Two months ago, I went to see a hand specialist to treat my crushed pinky. The paperwork I was asked to fill in before the visit confronted me with a good two dozen questions about my sexual preferences, preferred pronoun, and name, and other intrusive, sexualized topics utterly irrelevant to my damaged tendons.
As if I didn’t find anything surgical terrifying enough. I’d delayed treatment because of horrible experiences: Years ago, I had undergone hand surgery with the anesthetics not working, and that memory was a much bigger obstacle to me getting my crushed finger treated than any fear of somebody calling me the very name I had chosen to legally go by. Whoever pushed this sexualizing inquisition on an already overburdened, ridiculously expensive healthcare system somehow missed the trueism that sticks and stones may break bones, but words will never hurt anyone.