Catholic Bishops Stopped My Surgery Because I’m Transgender

After years of working to affirm my identity in a world where transgender people are questioned constantly about their decisions, I felt hopeful as I arrived for the surgery I had waited so long for. I was 27, and I would finally be closer to calling my body home.

Since I was a kid, I’ve felt like my body didn’t match my soul. I felt uncomfortable in clothes. I felt disgusting when I showered. Everything felt wrong, but it took me a while to figure out why.

Once I discovered that I am a man, I went to my doctor to start the process of medically transitioning. I began taking testosterone. I had a double mastectomy. The next step was a hysterectomy.

My surgery was scheduled for Aug. 30, 2017, at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, California. It’s the only hospital in the area, and I was so excited that my community offered transgender care. I could get the operation close to home and then recover with my loved ones.

I had a pre-op appointment on Aug. 24 that went smoothly, and I followed all the instructions to prepare for my surgery.

On Aug. 30, I arrived at the hospital and they checked me in and did the surgery prep, which was extremely uncomfortable and triggering. I was given a pink gown. I asked the nurse if I could have a blue gown, but she told me I was having a “female surgery” and should wear the pink. I felt like a child all over again, sitting uncomfortably in a pink dress. But I forced myself to do it, I had been waiting so long for this.

They hooked me up to an IV to get ready to put me to sleep. About an hour after waiting, my surgeon finally came to get me. But when I saw the look on his face, I got a terrible feeling. He told me my surgery was canceled. It was denied by the Catholic Church for ethical reasons. I didn’t understand how this could be happening. The Catholic bishops didn’t approve of my surgery. It seemed unreal.

I had an anxiety attack and thought about all the pre-op and mental preparedness I had to go through just to get here. I freaked out and started crying. I was given medication to calm me down.

Fifteen minutes after that, the hospital staff asked me to leave. I still had booties on my feet as a nurse led me outside. I felt humiliated and queasy as I sat on the curb waiting for my roommate to pick me up.

It seems the hospital does not understand how it feels to be treated inhumanely just because your body parts do not match your soul. This surgery was important — it was meant to balance my hormones. The delay disrupted my life. I felt like the hospital’s bigotry had set me back years.

Today, with the help of the ACLU, I filed a lawsuit. It’s unfair for St. Joseph to deny me care because I’m a transgender man. I should be able to go to the hospital where I live. Life in Humboldt County has been tough enough. Everyone thinks it’s a liberal place, but it’s not for trans people. I am regularly harassed and called names.

I didn’t expect discrimination from a hospital. The sting from the rejection remains, but I hope my story lets others know that this is unacceptable. And we should continue to fight until we are all treated fairly. No one should be denied health care because of who they are.

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Anonymous

I do not mean to be disrespectful, but need to understand.
You are born male or female. I know that there is a 3rd possibility of hermaphrodite, but that is vey rare.
Certain medical professionals - with enormous monetary considerations - support changing physical components of a person's body to comply with their perception. I have no problem with any choice that a person may make in this regard.
I do not understand why anyone who is having elective surgery of this or any other type expects to have it paid for by health insurance, the government or anyone else. If you want this type of surgery, it should be entirely paid for by the individual.
Please explain why the general population, thorough taxes or health insurance should be responsible for these procedures that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars - potentially millions over the course of a lifetime - in a country that is 22 trillion dollars in debt.

FoxP2

When the federal debt reaches $23 trillion, this threshold mandates such a high amount of interest to be paid against GDP, that the country fully becomes a socialist country. Essentially the people are contributing most of their gross domestic effort to pay off just the amount owed -- for having the contract for borrowing against oneself. That's socialism. Renege on that contract, and all securities of the government may become valueless; and the dollar will sink in value. Go bankrupt on that contract, and all government funded industries need to be liquidated, contracting activity suspended. Ignore that contract, and go over the amount in trillions where we pay MORE than GDP - - - America becomes communist since the government essentially will own all large corporations. Capitalism collapses.

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but the economics of anybody doing anything, is blown away by the nature of the way things currently are. Paying for someone's surgery, whether elective or life-saving, AND MAKING A POINT ON OUR $22 TRILLION country debt, is as absurd as you're judging whether the person's pursuit of happiness is not as significant in some weird moral equivalency. This is America, it says the pursuit of happiness is given in the Declaration of Independence. There are people winning $1.5 billion on a small dollar lottery ticket. We can overcome every wall.

VAL

Seriously want to find this fucking doctor and knock his fucking teeth out. Then i'll find the nurse and cover her entire house with blue spraypaint since she clearly can't find any blue garments. Good for Oliver. I would've sued the pants off this whack ass hospital. This is honestly why I left the catholic church. It's white-washed bullshit narratives to try and manipulate good people (starting at birth) and it makes me sick to my stomach. Seriously I would take a shit on the front lawn of this God forsaken place if I were him. My prayers go out to Oliver. May God bless your soul and may you find peace in your new body.

submit to rome

So? who cares. The Catholic Church has a better track record than some loser writing about transphobia lol.

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