Exploring ways that the doctor – patient relationship with LGBTQ population can be more comfortable and inclusive. Dr. Dana Stachowiak PhD gives ample ideas and stories of doctor offices doing it right and wrong. We touch on intentions, Christianity and unknown biases we may carry.
Dr. Dana Stachowiak PhD went to Western Michigan, Winthrop University for her masters and PHD from UNC Greensboro in Cultural Studies and Education. Dr. Stachowiak has worked at University of Louisiana- Lafayette in Diversity Multicultural Education and is now at University of North Carolina- Wilmington. Her primary focus is social and cultural issues and trends in education.
We begin with a story of her being out right fired for being in the LQBGT (before she came out) and how that propelled her to pursue a PhD. We relate that to how this happened ten years prior to people and fast-forward ten years and it’s still happening. A couple stories early on in the episode really drives the point home of, Am I going to be in a safe place or am I going to be discriminated against, as real valid concerns that most LQBGT ask themselves everyday.
What can doctors do to make LQBGT persons feel uncomfortable or comfortable in the office?
Resilient and Intuitive are two words she uses describe herself and sometimes it’s that gut instinct when meeting new people where you can tell if someone is trying to be inclusive or is more uncomfortable and dismissive and ready for you to leave. Dr. Stachowiak elaborates more on these attributes.
How important it is for Doctors to check your own biases about the LQBGT population, and why would you want to?
Anything off limits?
What can we include/exclude from even our own paperwork (we discuss at least 3) and intake forms that could allow for more inclusion in your office? The answers and ways to implement might be surprising to some.
When it comes to gender vs biology what ways can doctors ask questions and address names that are more comfortable and respectful for LQBGT persons.
How do we pick to use the him/her/them pronouns? We all make mistakes and if someone prefers Them vs She but what your intention is can really make a difference to how they take that mistake. In other words, if your trying vs not can be seen, and it matters.
Doctors tend to pick up on how a patient describes things: I see, I hear, I feel. Is it any different to pick up on how a person wants to be called?
Look at your office walls and posters. Are they all white people? Do you have a mix of colors as well as LQBGT persons or health concerns that might be more of concern for non-whites and straight people?
Anything they want to discuss with their doctor that is generally ignored because the doctor is shy or nervous or afraid to be judged?
Knowing that some people can Pass as straight but aren’t and others Look not straight, what are ways to check your bias and not make someone feel self-conscious and not welcome?
How do you see discriminatory practices?
Dr. Dana makes a comment, wait I’m nice to hang out with and I’m gay… why couldn’t it be I’m just fun to be around… not In Spite Of but with no modifiers at all.
Reasons to escape your Echo Chamber.
We even discuss being Christian and gay and how complicated interactions can be with those who love everything about you- except in that one area.
Tips for long distance relationship and the importance of having your own friends.
Book: Comfort with Uncertainty, it merges Christianity and Buddhism into chunks you can meditate on each day.
Music: Michael Franti
firstname.lastname@example.org @doctorstachowiak on twitter
Show notes can be found at www.adoctorsperspective.net/87 here you can also find links to things mentioned and a complete transcript.
Justin Trosclair 0:03
Episode 87 LGBT Q, patient and doctor interactions. I'm your host, Dr. Justin trust clear and today with Dr. Dan, the whole via perspective.
Join 2017 podcast Awards Nominated host, Dr. Justin, as he gets a rare to see look into the specialties, all types of doctors and guess plus marketing, travel tips, struggles, goals and relationship advice. Let's hear a doctor's perspective.
All right, today on the show, we have got a PhD specializing in social and cultural issues and trends and education. Now we're going to talk about the gay lesbian, bi trans population and how doctors can make them feel uncomfortable and how we can make them feel very comfortable. And small changes I think in the office so that they feel more comfortable and more welcome. Also one of the I think key takeaways, I'll just spoil it a little bit is a tackling are owned by is that we may have and evaluating those. And then what is your intention intentionality of what you say how you act and those types of things, they have a different perspective than a straight white male, that we don't have to deal with. So I think this is a good episode to broaden horizons, and hear from a different side. How does the LGBT community experience things differently? And what would they expect? What would they like to see? We also discuss long distance relationships, we talk about examples of docs doing it right offices doing it right where we might go wrong, we even touch we're trying Try not to touch much on political, we almost go down that path and then we stay away we just stick to the doctor patient relationship. We do touch a little bit on the end about like Christianity and being gay and how does that play out in in her life and and others in a similar situation? Talk about echo chambers. Just overall, I think it was a really could be eye opening for a lot of staff and doctors and we'll learn some definitely ways to bridge the gap. practical ways. And I don't think very complicated because she's a great guest. a doctor's perspective, net slash eight seven for the show notes. Let's go hashtag behind the curtain.
Live from China and North Carolina. We have a great guest today. She hails all the way from a variety of schools from Western Michigan, to Winthrop to a PhD at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. She has worked at a couple different places that I'm aware of like the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and now University of North Carolina in Wilmington, Dana, it's the HVAC. Yes. Welcome to the show.
Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Justin Trosclair 2:46
Well, that last name, what is that
great? polish. It's a good Polish last name.
Justin Trosclair 2:54
Oh, that that would explain the W's and things in there.
Yeah, that'll do it. I couldn't spell that until Kindred like me kindergarten, unlike port card it says like, almost felt
Justin Trosclair 3:06
like we can't give her an A in English. But yeah, it'll be an A minus.
That's awesome. Well, today, we would love to hear a little bit about the lesbian, gay, bi transgender viewpoint, and doctors and all of this. There's so much in the news right now. And I think there's a lot of people who are aware of themselves now like, Oh, that's offensive. Oh, I didn't realize that my bad. And other people, they're just, you know, completely oblivious. And I don't know if we can help those people. But
I think you're trying to be like, okay, I don't want to be super offensive. And I also would like to not be microphones, if I can avoid it. And at the same time, I think personally, that, you know, we shouldn't treat anybody different. But the reality is that does happen. So just hoping to pick your brain to learn more about what we can do doctors to be more inclusive. And you know, what you guys expect from us so that we don't discriminate as well? That makes sense.
Yeah, there. I'm happy to talk about that. Perfect.
Justin Trosclair 4:11
So before we begin, there's lots of things in life that you could have been. So how did you get into your PhD program in and choose that route for your career?
Well, so I, I always knew I wanted to be some kind of teacher, I thought it was going to be a band director. I'm growing up. And some things happened in college, were like that. My music that I was working on was more about competition was about education. So I decided to walk away from that I still do music on the side. But
I, I sat in a class in my undergrad where I was in my whiteness was interrogated to think about white privilege, you know, and this is back in the 80s. And it really thinking about the ways in which we treat people and the ways in which you don't and at that point, my life I was not everyone terribly, terribly racist, sexist, I was hetero sexist I was, you know, I wasn't a horrible.
Your run of the mill person who's critically consciously about the ways in which we treat people are different for us. And so they're going to spark that are free to one word with
my door that minorities communities, and then I, at the same time was coming out and recognize that, hey, I'm a part of the issue, right, I faced discrimination and oppression every day. So it became more personal. So I talked for a couple of years, and I actually related to our topic was fired for being day. From a school district, even though I wasn't out, somebody found me out and outed me. And that propelled me actually to say, you know, what, forget it, I'm going to be who I am, I'm very proud of who I am. I'm going to go get my PhD. And, and hopefully, using that knowledge and using the higher ed arena, could be able to take my resource and things that I learned internet back to schools and school districts so that what happened to me doesn't have the other people, whether they're African American, whether, you know, other people of color, whether there are other LGBT q people, whether they're not speaking people. So that's kind of what propelled me was like, all right, I've always wanted to get my PhD. I wasn't sure what it was in, but this culturally relevant kind of topic is what sustains me. So I said that I think he is in cultural studies and education.
Justin Trosclair 6:31
You know, it's interesting, you said that, and I just finished watching a Seinfeld with drinking coffee with comedians, whatever it's called. Oh, yeah. Ellen's get Ellen's a generous, and I had forgot about this, but she got can from her show. And she came out. And I completely forgot about that. When you said, I was like, Oh, my gosh, like this was it destroyed her for like, two or three years. She said before she got our own sitcom.
Yeah. And that was back in 1987. And remember that I was in high school, like, almost done with high school, because I remember, and I was kind of figuring out who I was, but wasn't sure. I remember, like sobbing in my basement as a kid like watching that. Realizing like, wow, her list, like this could be me, I need to hide it, right? Like, that was a, but that was in 1997. And we're still saying things like that today, when I was fired, it was another 10 years later. And then even now, 10 years on, we're still in the same space. And especially now, at least in the States, political climate is for the LGBT community. You don't know if you're going to turn around and you're not gonna be served a cake. Or, you know, I've been in places where I've been asked to leave restaurants, because I was the emails matrix feeling comfortable, just by being in existence. So we say that a long time, it's easy to forget, especially if you're somebody who doesn't face it every day. But for those of us who do, it's kind of in the forefront every time we walk into a doctor's office, the post office, a restaurant a store, it's in our our mind, is this a safe space for me? Am I going to be okay, interesting.
Justin Trosclair 8:06
As I was debating, I will bring it up right now we'll see what how our time goes about the bought the cake situation. And if there's a way to, you know, if if it bridges into like, like a religious ism, you know, if that plays into it, where if you're Muslim, if you're Christian, if you're if you're gay, if you're Is there any ways? You know what, we can talk about that later? Okay. That's obviously pretty politically charged. And I was like, I don't want to go that route. I don't know. Let me just give me just focus that they will see what has her passion at the end of the episode, and we'll
talk all day about that religion and politics. And
Justin Trosclair 8:45
that was actually when I was trying to find questions for you, like really like, Okay, how do I bring this into, you know, a doctor's office? I kept going back to these, like, politically charged questions is like, Nope, not the right appropriate, not the appropriate, but it's not the
biggest all right achievement, like my body as being somebody who I identify as gender queer. And as somebody who identifies were presented more masculine than I do feminine. My body's politicized no matter what, right? Like, it's always even as much as much as we try to stay neutral. So I think that's where I think anybody would have that issue that problem like, what do I asked? I'm not really sure. I think the fly a lot of people have trouble not knowing how they're going to accept or include or work alongside LGBT q boxes, because so politicized our bodies just being and living and breathing, your politicized.
Justin Trosclair 9:34
I remember when we we first met, it was at a Christmas party in Louisiana. I just came back from China for like a year, and been back like four or five months. And this is Louisiana. And you're like, this is my wife. I was like, Huh, wife? That's interesting. And I remember thinking, I've been gone that long. Louisiana, allows this can you know, it's a different area that goes and results. And it just kind I like it blew my mind. I was like, oh, man, I can't believe Louisiana got super aggressive and then No, not at all.
Not at all. So anyway, okay. Let's get into some meat and potatoes here. You're going to the doctor's office, for whatever reason, are there some ways that we can make you feel uncomfortable, and other ways that we can make the community feel more comfortable? If it's if it's in the paperwork? Or you're just like you said, you're more masculine as a feminine persona. So someone might look and say, Wow, she might be a lesbian? I don't know. And then do we treat you funny? Like, that's a weird question. So see if we can unpack that.
Yeah. So I think that that could be aware of is that you know, in all of this I preface it was saying I'm speaking from my experience, or from stories of people I know, right, so I'm not speaking for everyone, so other people might have different experiences to me. So that's important to consider. But I think in general are thinking about the LGBT population. We're pretty resilient group of people and we're also a pretty intuitive group of folks so we can tell just by the way, some of these treating us talking to us you know, the friendliest, nicest person that they have limitations and that they are uncomfortable with who we are so I think the biggest inferred for anybody but doctors especially since just kind of keep that in check so and one of the things that you can do that is it was checking your own biases so what are what are your feelings about LGBT q people use? Hey, all all of them office is fine. Everybody is normal, or everybody is equal. Yet on the weekends, you're making jokes that are BBQ are saying, Oh, that's, that's so gay. or what have you know, if you're using those terms, in joking senses, that means you've got some bias bias that we carry, but really interrogating man trying to like, center it sit with it, like what does it mean to have these, these biases and what are they for me and why?
educating yourself, just understanding the community as a whole, I think, can help with just just your energy when you walk into a room that we can feel who this person is comfortable and not, because if you're more comfortable with your own sexuality, your own gender identity, your own biases, understanding them, if you're comfortable with the language in the terminologies, XFINITY, you're going to present more comfortably to an LGBT q per month, I think that's kind of a status, just interrogating your own bias. And then educating yourself about the community. But also thinking about things that, that make us uncomfortable, besides just this felt sense, when we walk when doctors walk into a room or we need doctors
is that, you know, you said something about paperwork. So it's paperwork in language are the two big things that I've noticed. So like, not recognize somebody the marriage of valid as valid in things like, I've heard things like, Oh, your friend, Sylvia, my partner, your roommate, or questioning, you know, people have questioned me. So I noticed that you put Sylvia down as your spouse, you choose your emergency contacts, it's like know what, she's my spouse. So not questioning what we put on our contact forms, right? So yes, that person is right, that was who also happens to have a female name precedes the female. So End of story. So just recognizing marriages valid, whether you believe it is just recognizing that. And then the flip side, the ways in which you can make make people feel comfortable is by using neutral language on your forums in when you're talking. So don't have spouse or wife or husband have partner instead on the forums. Right. So that, you know, are you partnered Are you single, and so that's work for anybody because you have a wife, what your partners with her right? You're going to be co partners and parenting, you're going to be your partners now life, you make decisions around finances and things. So we're all partners when we were buried. So using neutral language like that, it can help your on your forms, but also within when you're speaking to people. So even when you're talking to you patient, but you know, for a long time, you've known them forever, there's been married to the same man, it's a woman has been married to the man for 14 years. She's very straight. I've been using your partner doing I haven't seen you and your partner lately. How are you doing? Using that also helps you to normalize your language, but also serves as a learning opportunity. Your other patients, so you can kind of live by example, the other we can help to educate. So and also thank you. So that's the the LG be side of it, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, we also need to think about the transgender community because it's a different community, right? Not everyone who's transgender identifies as gay or lesbian. And so we need to also think about the ways in which we talked about gender. So in the Western world, we talk about gender non binary way, male or female, you can only be one or the other. So again, the language in your forms, it's just you're missing that binary mode of thinking. So instead of having
instead of having gender options, like male or female, we just like, you know, what your gender and then for Canadian, whatever they choose, you know, or do you feel like it needs to be more control a male, female, transgender, and then have my claim, but don't call it other right? column, something other is also problematic, right? So even just leading a blank line, so that people I'm very comfortable, maybe my bedroom identity, my sexual identity, offloaded, even if there's a blank line, but offering that having that line there is, is a method that even to that person, if they don't feel comfortable writing in the line, they know that you're okay with them writing it on the line. So that's helpful.
Justin Trosclair 15:42
And I also let me go ahead.
Yep. Well, okay. When it comes to gender, when it comes to insurance cards, typically they want to him or an F, because it has to match. Is that a way to say, look, whatever is on your insurance card, just put that that way, when we're doing the paperwork, you don't get denied? Because you put an F and it was supposed to be an M? Yeah, I'm like the legality of
Yeah, I think the legality of people will need you need to follow that. So I think it's important that if they have, like a separate questionnaire, that patient can Villa, what's your what's the name that do? What's your chosen name? Right? So not everybody
Justin Trosclair 16:15
gets a copy of your insurance card? And then there it is. Yeah. Right.
Okay. You know, so having options, at least to be able to share, you know, this is the name that I choose, you know, yeah, on my insurance card, it says I go by Kim, I'm Cameron, but actually can be left, right, like so having that option for folks. And because it does get tricky, and also thinking of like myself, you know, identify as gender queer, which is kind of this, identify as male or female, sometimes identified as female, sometimes I don't, sometimes I identify as male, sometimes this neither, you know, like, it's kind of like, really early here about if I'm male or female, it's not about me, but biologically, I'm female right now for for doctors to know, like it have, I have fiber, it's really important to know that I'm a female, that he or she or they can treat me badly. And I have Crohn's disease, and my hormones affect my
time in a flare. And so my doctor doesn't need to know about my biology. So I think it's not an either or you either put male or female or you put trends job. It's a both and right, we should know your gender identity. So there's two different ways to think about it. One is just a daddy. So the way in which I identify as gender queer, but my gender for legal terms is female, right? My sex where it makes sense. And so having those two different options, I think is especially important in doctors offices,
Justin Trosclair 17:45
okay. And it's not like, it's uncommon for us to put a nickname like if, because if somebody likes to be called, little Tom, okay, little Tom, who's six foot five and 300 pounds, like, I'll just parentheses little town. And it's so it's not uncommon to do that, especially like this is going to make someone feel way more comfortable. And this is how they identify. So why not appease them, just like you would appease? little town?
Exactly. And there is resistance, right? Like as much as that as resistance like, oh, you're suddenly transgender. And I'm not going to acknowledge that access my next space, then in this little town. Right. But I'm going to acknowledge that so there is pushed back so stars can work like yeah, it's not a nickname, right, like so don't want your nickname. So don't maybe don't label it as a nickname. But you know, preferred name, a name.
Justin Trosclair 18:31
That's the appropriate term.
Yeah. Yeah. chosen name. Yeah, that nickname. I think also having people be able to choose, like, name their problems, really important. So I go by, she heard I have friends who go by them, I have friends that go by he in him. So just know that and trying to use the from that people go by is also a way to make people use me screw up, right, you're not going to remember that. It's not always comfortable for people. But if you on your intake form, you're at least that person note, I accept who you are completely, and who are who you say you are, somebody that you are. So even if it's on the forum, called a person, because they go by day, and then and you still continue to call them she, your work your work in progress. And we all are. And so that's okay. So that's another part of all of this. How can make people feel comfortable or uncomfortable. And one of the ways to even work on trying to make people feel comfortable, is recognizing that you're human too, and you're going to make mistakes. And just be humble about that. You're not going to know everything not going to say, but also know that we've seen it a try another.
Justin Trosclair 19:39
Okay. So when we were looking at your intake form, and we see, partner, spouse, it's a guy and there's a guy's name down there. Okay. So you must be gay. We don't have to say it out loud. And you listen. And if he starts referring to himself as he or she or whatever, just are they be aware of what they're saying? Because we usually are aware anyway, are you auditory or you tactile and the way you speak? You know, do you see this? Did you hear that? A lot of us try to tune into that so that if we have to give an explanation, we will try to tie into how you talk which me that's probably how you process things. Right. So for already doing that. is one more thing to look at our to be aware?
Yeah, that's a great way to put it. Yeah. I think that's, I think also, another way, you know, if, if anything else that you can do to make things really visible, there were posters all over and doctors offices advertising things, or their gender non conforming people and those pictures, are there. LGBT q health issues posted on full service for those, you know, those are issues that are LGBT, the LGBT community, do you have those in your office, that you're aware of them that you're making others aware that you're claiming, essentially, hey, we've got this poster, this is a safe for who discuss it. also thinking about the ways that you choose people you hire, you know, it might be harder if this harder for LGBT q identified folks get to get jobs, but they're just as qualified as any other person on the street. So maybe being conscientious about who you hire your outfit. Maybe you have some visibly, or LGBT folks working behind the desk or working as your texts are working as your nurses. And so that you're showing that you prioritize? Yeah, these are people too, and they're valid, and we have them in our office. So if that's an option, you know, for between, so it's not offensive. Yeah, it's like one specifically stuffed up my office with gainful, but it's been really conscientious about who is the face of your, your clinic here.
Justin Trosclair 21:40
He said, If he had a poster, like, I'm sure there's stuff online, where if you're, you know, if you want to cater to that crowd, or just like you said, Let's mix it up. Let's have some Spanish people on the wall that's have a black person on the wall and some white people. Yeah,
I think that's one thing about the inclusion of diversity, right. So like, we've we've seen this rash, especially through the 90s, and 2000s, of like, who look at all the people of color on our poster. And so we've got our, you know, quintessential black person, and then white percent of the Asian person spending person and we've got, yay, we're accepting. And then we don't recognize that there are also all of these people. And all of these races are also have LGBT community members. Some are possible, right? Like, and my wife walked in the room, she passes the street, right? And people often don't will achieve. We partnered with me, I walk into a room and people know that right way. They've already told the story about me, involve, she must be day and she must not believe in God and Chima feminist already tell our narratives for us, and we walk in a room. So the more we normalize that, like, yeah, that person is on that poster with the rest of the other people. Or Yes, this is a health issue that we're going to, you know, we can treat here we can support here. Here it is on the wall. I think that that speaks volumes to I walk into the first places, and never seen myself reflected in what's on the walls, or what some people work. And that's it. It scared. Yeah, nerve wracking, it's uncomfortable.
Justin Trosclair 23:03
And that's the part for me, I always find it odd in a sense. Some people like you said yourself, hey, I don't look purely feminine, you know. And then there's the guys that dress like, more more feminine, and you're like, Huh, and I'm just like, Am I not supposed to have those thoughts? Like, oh, this person looks like he might be LGBT? You know, it's like, well, should I not? Am I supposed to think that can I not think that is like, Well, it looks like based on the TV shows, and the thing that I've seen that would fit into this category, like,
supposed to have those thoughts? Of course, absolutely. And that's kind of how we how we walk through this world as we we decided, well, that's a bad person, a good person. But what we have to be aware of is that our perceptions that people are the stories that we're hearing about people are not always, for example, statistically. So if we think about the mass shootings and estates to spend white men that and statistically, what males are committing Murs, and for crimes in the United States that any other populations statistically, however, all across the news, the image that most people most like people getting their minds about who could commits the most crimes and murders are black men. Right? But typically happens, but that's not. So we have to also just be careful about where we're getting our news or information from. So yeah, of course, you can walk into a room Oh, you know, I even do a family. Like that's our code for like somebody who's part of the community or family. I do that sometimes you sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong. But as long as you're when you're trying to when you're trying to decide things about a person, or how to work with a person, as long as you're not being aggressive, as long as you're not like, Oh, well, he's so gay. And that must mean that I'm, he's really attracted to me. So I, I can't tell him because he might not having thoughts like that. But you're trying to figure out what the gay they're talking about things that are making me think about the gay community, they haven't come out to me. But I need to for the mental health, for their physical health, I need to be aware that maybe are struggling with their sexuality, or maybe they're struggling with their gender identity, I think those are important things to be considering and be aware of. But again, it comes down to the intent behind it. And they ensure that we're not that we're not just falling into the trap of Oh, these are the bad people versus good people because I society, across the board, whether you're in United States here in China has a way of doing that of ranking people as better than less than
Justin Trosclair 25:31
like that. It's you recognize your thought, but what are you doing with that thought? I'm about to discriminate against them? Or I'm going to, we're not going to do with that thought?
Justin Trosclair 25:40
So so in the past, you know, when I've had LGBT q patients are suspected it I I tried to always, not always, I guess, but make an effort not to stigmatize or make them feel uncomfortable or whatever. And under one time, I probably did, because I asked about partner or spouse or whatever, and, and he was like, Oh, it's actually not legal, like 49 states or something. It was like, oh, okay, and I think this guy for a while, I just never actually knew. And once we had that conversation, it was actually cool. Because if I saw him again, we'd have like, a conversation. And it was like, we were becoming more friendly. That relationship between the doctor patient was, I think, much better. And I didn't feel to me like he was offended by that question. He just kind of made a joke about it. And then like said, like, From then on, it was just kind of more comfortable. We had more to talk about than just saying,
it was crazy. not crazy. You just don't interact with a certain community. You don't know what you don't know. My goodness. He's just a normal guy with normal issues. Like everything that we go through called a straight people. Wow, they have the same family dynamics. And the same Oh, I got an in law I gotta deal with and in this, and then you're like, Wow, look at this, you become a human being?
Yeah, I think when we start looking at people as human beings versus normal or not normal, the there's a change in that perspective, and the way that we look at people. So I think that all goes again, back to interrogating your ID and educating yourself. You didn't know something, you've got the question, you learn more about it. And that way you were able to foster that relationship. And some more we look at people as equal. We all have families, you know, I'm sure you and I could send them like complain about our lives.
Like we talked about this, or are they complain about us? Or, you know, we have we all have that. But it is also important to recognize different the challenges that LGBT q people have faced that you haven't a think you you are privileged, you are considered 99% of the time. Normal, right? Because you're a white straight gender male, whereas me when I walk into rooms, I'm not always considered normal. And it's not until people go, Oh, I got to know Dana. And she was really great. It was like, wait, why don't we start with Dana looks really like seems really great. But it was just like, there's the skepticism. There's this worry, like, oh, they're gay. I don't know. But it has to do in spite of. Exactly, exactly. Okay.
Justin Trosclair 28:10
You know, some people I mean, I know a guy, he'd never met a black person until he was like, 15. I was like, I don't understand. I mean, I grew up he was 50%. So yeah, everybody in your home call every Oh, there it is cool. They're everywhere. I mean, it was it used to never seen someone until 15. I was just like, Yeah, I definitely understand this teaching.
years ago, eight years ago, I was teaching an undergrad class. And we had this panel of LGBT q identify people talking to pre service teachers. And this one girl was sitting in the back of the class shaking. And I went back to her and I was I had, are you? Are you okay? Do you need to leave a message like, I have never been around gay people in my entire life. And I've been built the need for all of you been realizing that you're all really beautiful people. And I didn't know. And I spent 22 my life thinking You're awful people. So he had this with total moment of like, I'm still afraid, doing great my entire life to be afraid to go into bigger bad people. Yet I'm here humbly as human beings going, Oh my gosh, so it comfortable. Right? And because there's, to me, there's
it's scary to be out in some situations.
And a lot of situations, and so people don't come out. Right, like you can't hide your blackness, you can't hide that you have dark, darker skin. You can't but you're not white, right. But if some people pass as straight, can pass whatever gender and so that can be a little safer for them. And then people don't know. And then when you find out can be a little bit jarring, right? For the other person. And so again, just being in that, but yeah, I think they're able to, you know, I one thing I tell students to look at your Facebook list of friends, like who are your friends should all look like you think like us, like you, you might want to put like widen your circle, like bringing that out and getting to know more people and not hanging out with your kind, right? I think that'll help to, like you said, you got to know this guy and outside, you run into him and be able to ask them questions, and it was friendly relationship. And that can help to thinking about who's in your circle, who do you talk to
Justin Trosclair 30:19
Muslims was Facebook, sometimes I regret looking at things, not like porn or something just like, regular, like, some kind of stuff that I did. All of a sudden, you're like you're in every other slide like, man, I don't want to see more of this, or us look too much on the conservative side, and then you don't start seeing the liberal side, then you go too far. So I think it's a good like you're saying to read different sources, otherwise you're fit your feed is going to be always what you think. And you can have that echo chamber. I think when that that's not good for anybody. I don't think either you're conservative or liberal, it's not good to stay in your echo chamber at all.
It's easy, totally. And in life to my wife, I travel a lot between LinkedIn and greens, Berlin partner killing raise broad, and we live back and forth between the two cities. When I drive home, in certain areas, like talk radio that comes on and like I've started, that's just not me. I'd say I'm kind of center a little bit more last, but you know, so I tend to listen to NPR and CNN have those things on. And when I go into certain areas, look at this more conservative I find myself like, ah, angry, mad. But then when I go back over to what I usually live chicken go. Oh, so I wonder if that is why people another station we're thinking this like, oh, if I think about it from their perspective, that just some dumb. So how can we talk about it better? I think it's you know, and every morning, I wake up, I check CNN, Fox News? Like, what's this news channel? And how are they putting it on this other news channel, and I can make an informed decision about what I want to believe in what I want to listen to. Everybody's going to filter things through their different experiences and their different lifestyles, from where they live. Who am I say what is right or wrong? I know what feels right for me, just as much as you know what those are for you and somebody else but it doesn't necessarily mean we have to always buttheads or one has to be right or wrong. And I think that can come into play when we think about the LGBT q community. Because oftentimes, that argument is religious right? The thought of my religious beliefs. And that then also has been well, I'm conservative, Republican, right. Those often tend to with even though they don't have to go together, well, I'm, I'm Christian, and I'm Republican, they must go together. And so there's often a very religious thing becomes very political, and it doesn't necessarily need to. And so I think that can that can be where it's uncomfortable to I've been in the offices where it's clear, when I've been on the, you know, I think everybody needs to go to therapy and mental health is really something that we all need to be aware of whether or not you're, if even if you're really really healthy, I think everybody should be therapy. So I was in a therapy session I remember seeing across and so on the therapist desk, and I had this thought of like, oh, man, I can't talk to her about my life. And lo and behold, she also was making comments to me about like, Oh, well, you can you don't have to be gay, you know, she very much had the slightest way. But I also was looking at her, like, go over these things. But if we're more aware of the ways in which our beliefs play into how we treat people, or how we act around people, I think that's important, too. But especially with the new side of it, you know, I used I believe God, I'm, I, I have a Christian background, you know, and a lot of people automatically assume that, well, you're this horrible heathen, and do not get labeled something else.
I think that's a that's a real struggle. For me, as somebody who identifies as gay and see who God is that there's automatically this assumption that I'm a bad person, you don't have these. So I can't have these conversations, or I can't run into the circles or how could it be Christian and gay effect machine, but I believe in God, but how can you be this and again?
So I think again, it more broaden your horizon said, Okay, my religious beliefs. I have mine recently, in the middle, where you're not, you're not treating me poorly because of your beliefs. And I'm not reacting to poorly because of my own beliefs. And what that means.
Justin Trosclair 34:18
Yeah, if someone had that belief, like they're Christian, and they're open minded, but they're not open minded to that, just like, Look, you can be a lot of things. You can be a liar, and a drunkard. But you can't be. That's the only thing you can't be My name is with me the other day.
Awesome. Is there a way to still have a relationship with that person? If you know like, we agree on everything, quote on the Bible, like, we're so in tune, we agree. But in this one area, we're completely backwards, can you still have a kind of a relationship with that person when, you know, they think they your center just because of that part of your life?
Definitely, over every person, that's going to vary. I know for me, it depends on how that person treats me. So I do have I know people who
have those least no matter what I do, doesn't matter how many good things I do in this world, or the Bible quotes, I Bible verses, I can go with them. I'm still not an okay person, there's something wrong with me and I need to be grateful for I definitely have those people in my life, but I definitely keep them in a distance, right? Because who would want somebody around them all the time, regardless of good intent, right? Like their intentions are good to say, Oh, I'm very few. And but we're This is good intent, still hurtful. It's still, you know, painful. So but other people keep those folks in their lives. And that's fine. I just for me, personally.
It's hard. If somebody very, very blatantly like, well, I'm against this, and it gets to keep your thoughts to yourself, and we have a good relationship, that's fine. But if it's somebody who's very out and open about how much they hate people like me, it's like, well, how can you love and Amy at the same time, it doesn't seem to make any sense to face like, certainly personal depends on each person individually.
Justin Trosclair 36:16
Okay, bring it back, I saw one of the questions I kind of glossed over with you. You're at the doctor's office, is there something that maybe the doctors ignore, or you ever feel like you're not getting an adequate exam or consultation? once they find out, they get shy? Or they get nervous? I don't know what to ask, am I allowed to ask? And then you're like, well, I feel like my quality of healthcare is going down. Now. Does that happen? For sure
it does. And, and for me, I feel very fortunate that I am privileged that I have the ability with my insurance to be able to move doctors, and I live in an area where I can just say, you know, the sectors and make me feel comfortable and moving to a different doctor. I have the cultural capital to be able to go interview doctors are asked questions, right? I have, I have a where I feel safe that I can, you know, ask those questions. Hey, how do you feel about you accept me, and then make my own informed decisions? It's also, you know, I'm a researcher, I'm a, I'm an academic, so I researched so I go online, and I look up everything I can about that doctor, before I go and get to know them. I'll get referrals from people.
So I think there are definitely ways to find physicians and and I definitely there are times where I had been in physicians office where I felt like they're not treating me the same way that they would treat others. It's a very, you know, there's always people are always complaining, oh, bedside manner, they didn't spend enough time with me in the office could tell besides some use just really busy because they've got a lot of patients when they're behind where they don't want to be with you in a room. Right. And so I've definitely been able to, I've experienced that and have been able to teach you that are just little comments that blood, you know, doctors have made me feel uncomfortable. And even, you know, I back in. In 2007 or so, I was having some issues, feminine issues, cramps, really bad period pain, had gone to a specialist, and had my partner with me. And I talked about how I wanted to have kids and I was worried about my reproductive health at that point. And he, after lots of lots of things diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome, put me on birth control, and it will notice probably never going to live kids are going to have a really hard time consuming and he really, that was more of the compensation, then my health of like getting my PCs, PCs under control was more like, well, you're probably really gonna have a hard time having kids. Fast forward to like 2012 I had an emergency appendectomy, days later landed back in the hospital because had a pulmonary embolism. And they just they freaked Yeah. 30, who has that is testing. They, they figured that I had the pulmonary embolism because of the birth control and the surgery. So just kind of a bad cocktail, right? So I went through all the test didn't have any issues. So I went off birth control completely. And I've recently in the last couple years back going back to a new physician, who is very LGBT q friendly, who says, I have fibroids, I don't have to, there's not any history of it. I able to have children, if they so choose, that shouldn't be an issue. Fertility not a problem. And and whether or not it was real, that person was mistreating me like they didn't want me to have kids. I still can't help but think how does the reason I went to that position in in in 2007 or so was because he was one of the top demands in the state. I went to typically, because of that could do my research out there. How does somebody who's put it there? Miss diagnose? Like it seems like those two those are two things. I'm no doctor, but here in Miami, Dr. Lu, two things you can't screw up right
there. And so I had that personal experience, whether it's real or not, to me the experience of I just remember being really uncomfortable with it being a conversation about you can't have kids can't have kids. And now it's like, that's not even shouldn't even have a conversation.
Justin Trosclair 40:26
Wow. See, and I don't know enough about that area. To to be like, wow, how did you miss? You know, how did you you know, pass judgment on a sense of like, could you've ordered a better test? Yeah. Is it like a good of an ultrasound diagnose? Because I have friends that have that? and by golly, it took him 12 years to have another kid? Yeah, I mean, it was, that's real. I mean, it is a real side effect, but then to not really have that great diagnosis for it. And you're having all these problems anyway. So you're just like, well, I gotta be what it is, it seems, you know, a couple of boxes are checked. And then boom,
yeah, well, I'm not it was confused me because I would I, I didn't have the typical like, I didn't have acne didn't have a way. I mean, I was like 110 pounds at five street amount, you know, I didn't have facial hair is secure. And those are the typically the things to see with PCs. And even after I moved and less that doctor before the surgery that in the pulmonary embolism, their doctors and say to me, I see that you mark piece us but you don't have you look like a typical p CEOs patient. And I would just think oh, I'm just, I'm going to normally because I tend to be an anomaly medically, like who gets it? Who has a pulmonary embolism at 32? Quickly healthy, and I tend to have that. So I took it as a grain of salt. But now I'm thinking about them, like all those doctors, and a doctor in Lafayette like you don't have I don't understand why you've ever thought this way signature. So it all kind of added up.
Justin Trosclair 41:50
Wow, that's crazy.
I mean, yeah. So along along those lines in thinking about like, what, what what do you feel comfortable talking to go over doctors or what they feel comfortable there in the LGBT q community. And I'll speak for everybody. But I think just in general, like sexual health, sexual and reproductive health is things you worry about, for that very reason, like things that happened to me like, Oh, you can't have kids End of story. And some people don't have to wear all, they don't have the ability, they don't have the access to go seek out other doctors for a second opinion. And then also hormone replacement therapy for people who are trans. And so I think it's really important for
I think it's important for doctors, so if they're the kind of kind of also bring it around to like maybe a doctor is not comfortable treating an LGBT q patient is being able to lead her to be able to put aside their beliefs, and to say, I'm going to refer you to somebody else, and have a nearby position that you refer them to that you know, will support and treat them. So you can say, Hey, I'm not gonna bake that cake for you. But I know somebody else who will, right. So still seeing the that it doesn't matter. A person's it doesn't matter who who person what their beliefs are. Health care is, it's a right, it's not a privilege, right. And we all deserve access to no matter what. But if you don't feel like in your space, we can treat that person, you should be able to give them somebody wants to go to that isn't in the next town or five hours a day, but that they can have access to easily.
Justin Trosclair 43:27
Yeah, cuz I can see, definitely I can see some doctors are like, I have my own personal thoughts or beliefs or whatever about giving you hormone replacement, I'm not going to do it. And I'll treat you for everything else. But I'm just not going to do it. I don't you know, whatever reason they might have, maybe they just really feel like it's not healthy at your age, something like that. And if they can pass that on to somebody else, like I don't know, I don't know what the rule is on that as far as like our ethical code, because I luckily, I don't have to deal with that kind of hard decisions. But I could see a doctor saying, I i'm not i'm not versed in that process. Sure. So that could be a good. I don't want to, I'm not gonna learn about it. So I'm going to send you to an expert.
I think actually, you know, what, if you don't want to do it better than that, you know, I'm not really well, first thing, I don't want to do it. If you could just say I'm not really I don't know that well enough to think you'd be better off with somebody who knows it better versus, man, I don't agree with that. So go to this other person, if you can just brush it off. It's not really lovers, and I want you in the best care. Because ultimately, should you want anybody regardless, you want them in the best care and you want them to be their best selves to be healthiest.
Justin Trosclair 44:31
So yeah, cuz there's plenty of doctors, they're like, Can you manage my diabetes? Well, you know, I'm a spine. I don't do
PCP years of it. Yeah. I like to always ask, it's low more on the personal side, you got the questions ahead of time.
When it comes to like, hobbies, volunteering, besides working all day, and doing research and teaching and all of that stuff, what gets you excited for your day? What would get you motivated to, to recharge and everything?
Um, well, I'm an avid Michael Franti fan. So anytime I'm having a bad day, I will put on his music and I will dance and sing and listen.
So that's it, like to go to Michael Franti. Step one fun thing I do. I live at the beach now. So 15 minutes, I'm on the beach. So you know, my partner and I went out yesterday, we get to the beach 22 four, and we sat there till almost sunset and just destroyed. So that's one way to get away. We like to take a long week walks on the beach.
But I also live in a unique place. So I live in downtown Wilmington, which is also like Cape Fear River, is you know, my time in Louisiana, I love the swamps. We swampy area here under swampy area, Spanish moss, freeze the Cypher right on a doorstep. And so my advice to recharge really is if I hadn't have done the swamp, I can get a nature and correct. So that's what I you know, Scott internet is it is very spiritual, for me a second term gators, and Spanish Moscow trees. And we're, I am calm and happy. And I will choose that over anything else. And that's the other thing. If I bring my dog with me, I choose my darling.
So so my partner and also took a
course in January and modernism, the team that's the important part of our daily lives, even though we're not really that
structure was that again, you broke I mean, we do, we didn't MVs our course of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. And mindfulness. And meditation is an important part of our routine, both of us together separately, even though we really haven't been really fun. But that's also something that keeps us brief centers us make perfect, but also my partner
Justin Trosclair 47:00
that actually transitions greatly, because how do you keep the love alive and feel connected, especially when you are several hours apart?
I think open communication, we when we are apart, we Skype every night, we have a date, we always every night, make sure that before we go to bed, we always see each other's faces. And the nights that we don't, it's harder.
We are in therapy, because everybody needs to be in therapy. And we we we are passed on together, we're you know, like she's my favorite person to do stuff with I'd rather go like run errands, even if it's you know, stupid going to the grocery store to pick up one day, I'm like, you want to come with me.
So having our time together, but also, I have a group of friends that I spend time with. And she has a group of friends that she spends time with the number, same brands, but we also have separate friends where we can go off and do our own thing. But we're very much together. But we also very much live and respect each other's independent labs. It's not to say it's not it's not hard. I mean, we have issues like every other couple, but especially when we're being as being a part of the growth of work a little bit harder and making sure it stays healthy.
Justin Trosclair 48:09
You do because sometimes you just need it.
Exactly. Yep. Virtual hugs are not the same.
Justin Trosclair 48:17
No. I mean, I've done it. I've done the long distance. That was it's not, it's hard. It's hard. But when you committed and married, and desire to like make it work. That's a huge part of it. Like you said, you're actually in counseling, whether you quote needed for that times are things are good, and you still go to keep it good. Exactly. I think that's important. Very nice, very nice. Okay, books, podcasts, anything that you secretly love, and things, something that everybody should read.
I'm trying to let me look at the podcast really quick. But I have I always forget the name of it. cereal, who is a good one as town town was a rail.
That sound isn't it? I think I've seen it. It's fantastic. It's fantastic. That that one, I would recommend any podcasts really liked the podcast, what book man, I read a lot of academic books. So I'm not sure anyone would find the books that I read.
Actually, that's the book, comfortable with uncertainty. By familiar and comfortable with uncertainty, one of my books that the last decade or so I read at least once a year 100 different Buddhist teachings that you know, you can read in a minute and then meditate on or think about the rest of the day. And that book has a book is fused, I believe my Christian faith that I grew up having and my Buddhist kind of practice in the lobby for trying to like, live a life a little bit more scared. Those two came together when I read that book, I was a while this is like, I was able to like keep my beliefs Personally, I've grown up with but also have these beliefs of like, things being bigger in this world than just me. And it's also a book that helps me have anxiety helps me with my anxiety issues around my Crohn's disease and really struggling I'll pull that book and read it struggling at work with anger, get frustrated, the book that go out so comfortable with uncertainty by kind of children be probably my number one book that I think everyone in this world true.
Justin Trosclair 50:24
And if people want to get in contact with the somehow, how would they do that?
They can email me, my personal email is probably best versus my work. And I can share that with you like to share here, it's VM and then my last name, sta si h o w Ei ei k at gmail. com. People also welcome to find me on Twitter. I'm at Dr. Sylvia, is my Twitter handle, I'm active on there mostly in my educator role and do some older z and gender issues. So people can find here quite easily. Private messaged me that way or send me an email.
Justin Trosclair 51:01
Very nice, or we're going to see a lot of Are you a political, political junkie as
well. I'm not typically I typically tend to reach things that people post about being a really good teacher, about being inclusive of all students in life, that's thoughtful, currently conscious, attempt to try that they have a probably politically neutral, but I'm not, you know, putting the Trump says or but you know, as or what whomever I'm not going to see that you're mostly going to see, certainly my life as an educator that you're
like the work that I do, like I said, it has to do around equity and social justice work, but specifically which there see the shoes, and education. So you see a lot of that, that should be pretty, pretty fun to for people to check out then. And before we go, anything that we missed, or anything that you would like to chat about before we conclude one thing, actually just kind of a little bit of a plug. And also if folks are more interested in talking, and BBQ earning LGBT q folks, I'm doing a talk with a panel. It's for literacy Association next Saturday. But we're going to be talking about LGBT Q and R, or LGBT q students and literacy. But I think the people on the panel are probably also going to be talking about very just, anybody who's not an educator could also tune into, so I'm going to have that up on my Twitter, they're going to do a live feed of it. But they're also going to have it in their archives. So if anybody wants to know if you can't watch it Saturday, when it's happening, you want to find the archive of it and go back and take a listen to it. I would recommend that we don't know what the panel is going to be. I know it's going to be about I don't know what's going to happen. But just with the scholars and the people who are on the panel, I think it's going to be really helpful to educators and people support
Justin Trosclair 52:53
so they can just reach out to you if they've missed the definitely going to miss it because your episode doesn't come out for
the archive archive.
Link that'll be on my my Twitter account.
Justin Trosclair 53:09
Oh, fantastic. Well, I appreciate you being on the show and being open. Hopefully helping some doctors get over themselves. A little bit.
Having me I think, I think it's really close to you for wanting to bring up this topic. Not a lot of people do appreciate that.
Justin Trosclair 53:25
And you betcha.
Did you know I am offering a copy and one on one online class you know, I've been in China for a while I've got a class setup with some TCM docs who do cupping will show you the glass kind and the suction kind, you can find more information at a doctor's perspective, net slash cupping. Right now we have a pre sale price. So you're going to save a good chunk of cash. By signing up early just put your email You'll get notified when the class goes live. Also, as always, no needle acupuncture book and get four chapters anxiety, low back insomnia, and headaches, got pictures, how to find the points. And of course, all with no needles just go to a doctor's perspective net slash in a protocol as in needless acupuncture. We have great results the other day from lady who couldn't do a lunch because her knee pain. Now knee pain is not an issue. So excited to hear that. Also the first book today's choices, tomorrow's health, a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet, the same it this is saying hey look, if you can do small things daily, you will see results. And I'll give you the blueprints that I use to create an exercise routine cardio routine, get my nutrition in order and actually get your finances in order to because that's a big stress in life. And of course talk to them about chiropractic. So I'll check that out on the website under the Resources tab. These are my affiliate links that helps out support the show blueberry hosting. set for said they've got the power bands, and the really, really resistant, really good to stretch those joints, mentor box and get subscription to watch the author talk about the book so that you don't have to spend the time reading it also comes with four books and things like that really quite cool. primal health and nutrition. You can save 10% by going through my link using the code primal doc. It's bone broth. Here's to the autoimmune protocols and specific carbohydrate diet, gluten free non GMO, no sugar, dairy free, all those types of cool things. As well as Click Funnels. If you sign up to that, or pick up a book from him, do my links helps out a little bit. And then of course everybody's favorite Amazon. You can sign up for different things like prime fresh our music through our links. And of course in the the show notes. We have books mentioned a few follow the link through my site. That'll help out as well. Well, that is it. Go on ahead and leave us a five star review. Thanks so much for listening, and we'll see you next week.
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