So, the unthinkable finally happened. And when I say “unthinkable”, I really meant the “inevitable.” Last Wednesday, while riding on my bike near home, I got hit by a car backing out of a driveway. Thankfully I wasn’t seriously hurt, and the man who hit me was kind enough to take me to the hospital which, thankfully, was only two minutes away. I had just flown back to Toronto a few hours before, and seeing that the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny for November, I decided to ride my bike instead of (the more prudent choice of) staying home resting.
But the collision isn’t what I want to write about. It’s my experience at the hospital. When I was checking in at the triage I had to give the nurse my government-issued health card, which has my birth name on it. (Yes, even now, Kaitlyn is still not my legal name yet.) Without any fuss whatsoever, or even a second glance, the nurse asked me what name I liked to be called by. “Kaitlyn”, I said. Of course. She made a note on my records on the computer, and that’s how everyone called me at the hospital that day. Later at the registration desk, I noticed a sign on the window, saying that if we preferred to be called by another name, we should let the nurses know immediately.
I think all of this speaks very well of the progressive environment here in Canada, at least in this part of Toronto. The hospital’s policy is of huge benefit to the transgender community. It literally took most of my anxiety away. (Admittedly it didn’t take the obvious pain on my arm away.) But I can also think of other benefits for many other people who have names that are difficult to pronounce in English.
I’ve been home nursing my right forearm over the weekend, but if anyone in Toronto wants to get together during the day this week or next week, just let me know. I’m always up for a good cup of tea.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)