Vancouver
2 min

A trip to the gynecologist

Bracing yourself for dirtiness and discomfort

You think of yourself as this great big out and proud dyke. Your family and everyone at work knows you’re queer and you hold hands with your girlfriend in public and people stare at you and you don’t care.

Then one day you find out that you have this problem with your uterus. It’s not life threatening or anything, just serious. Serious enough that you have to go to a gynecologist.

You haven’t been to a gynecologist since you were 14 and stopped getting your period. That gynecologist wanted to put you on the Pill. He gave you a dirty smile and said, “Your breasts will get bigger but just wear a tight sweater and the boys will love it.”

Your mom marched you out of his office fast and you never took the Pill but you always remembered him and his advice and the way he noticed how small your breasts were and thought you should be grateful for the opportunity to do something about it.

So almost 25 years later you get ready to go to the gynecologist again. Your girlfriend says she can go with you because you’re scared and she could provide comfort and also write things down in case you don’t remember. You look at her and her hair is super short and she has this big earring in one ear and she only wears boys’ clothes. You say, no, that’s okay, I can go on my own.

The last thing you need is the evil gynecologist freaking out because there’s some weirdo queer in his fancy office.

The gynecologist is your age and has a perfect haircut and soft hands and a lilt in his voice that seems somehow familiar. It’s already in your file that you have a female partner so when he asks about your condition and how it affects your sex life he says “she.”

But he doesn’t just ask a quick question. He mentions sex toys and lube and the words just roll off his tongue like he’s said them before. No hint of dirtiness, no hint of discomfort.

The next thing you know you’re asking him about your condition and fisting and after a few more minutes you realize he’s gay. Duh. You tell him about how you didn’t bring the girlfriend and he totally understands and you laugh about it.

But when you’re waiting for the elevator, you realize your hands are shaking and you’re close to tears. You–big city dweller, loud proud dyke–you feel grateful in this big deep surprising way for being able to be your queer self with a doctor. And you think about how fucked it is that you can’t take that for granted.