cw: hysterectomy/menstruation, gender dysphoria
“Just click this and we’ll have him on his way,” one of the polling station clerks says to the other. My heart flutters with a small burst of euphoria. Then she looks at me, “Oh, sorry, her way.”
“That’s okay, I prefer ‘his’ anyway,” I reply with a hopeful timbre.
Guess what didn’t happen for the rest of that conversation? That’s right, she used ‘she’ the whole time after.
It’s some kind of poetically cruel irony to have half the country voting for or against Roe v Wade principles on the same day I was supposed to have my hysterectomy, on top of getting misgendered at the polls, while menstruating.
I don’t expect strangers to know right off the bat, but I literally told her that I prefer ‘he’ to ‘she’ and it just didn’t matter (simplified, I actually prefer ‘they’ and no longer like ‘he’ anymore, but it’s better than ‘she’). And the procedure was denied by insurance due to lack of “medically necessary” evidence. I couldn’t get a letter of gender dysphoria into the system fast enough so my surgeon’s office could appeal, and now I’m doomed to endure another however many months of pain and discomfort in my body until I can get it done.
I’ve lived my entire post-puberty life in debilitating pain, and I’ve ALWAYS not felt right in the body I have. I just didn’t have language for it until I came out as nonbinary at the age of 25. I’ve been through birth control after birth control, ultrasound after ultrasound. I’m always picture perfect on paper, but my lived experience has been hell. Can anyone say endometriosis?! I don’t see how the medical director of my Medicaid insurance company could look at my medical history (of constantly being in and out of office for issues) and determine I’m not a fit candidate for surgery. I don’t understand how the “peer-to-peer” meeting my surgeon had with the medical director didn’t produce positive results; did my surgeon not fight for me?
And now I have the very scary possible reality where I could live in a world where my body is not my own. In fact, much of the U.S. government is already claiming AFAB bodies as its property. I don’t want to keep trying new birth control (side effects are scary) when societal collapse is bound to happen in my lifetime (I won’t have access to it past a certain point). I want a simplistic, permanent way to take away all the pain, risk of pregnancy, and added dysphoria so that I can continue to make something of my life before shit really hits the fan.
I am constantly forced to reckon with how we live in a dystopia. It’s fucking exhausting, and I’m one of the luckier ones.
I wish I could say my mental health is staying strong but it’s not. The last several months have been so stressful living in this “limbo” space of “will it happen or not”. I’ve been officially cracking under pressure for a whole week (when I was told the surgery needed to be postponed), and now that today is finally here, I’ve got nothing left in me to give. I’m hurting badly. And I honestly don’t see it stopping anytime soon.