My Story: Wanting More Empathy and Understanding from Medical Professionals
By Saniya Ghanoui —
Elise wishes for more medical professionals to understand fatness and understand that gender expansive people may also want to have and take care of kids.
OBOS Today: I wonder if you could talk a little bit about what things that you wish were different about this process in terms of how you were treated and medical settings?
Elise: Yeah. I wish that medical professionals were trained to understand more about fatness and how, like it is a category that people can be oppressed around, right like the people have some negative assumptions are made around people who have fat bodies.
And I also wish that folk who do healthcare related to pregnancy and reproduction more fully embraced the reality that not everybody who wants to have kids or has kids sort of fits into the role of woman, right, or wants to.
That there was just like a little bit more expansiveness around us as human beings who may or may not ascribe to womanhood or may or may not like do things that are associated with traditional womanhood.
Not that those things are bad, but there’s just as a whole universe out there, of how people act and live and self-identify. And, of course, I also wish that there was Medicare-for-all and paid parental leave, like we desperately need those things.
My journey would be so much easier if I had health insurance that I paid for through my taxes and I didn’t have to worry about having insurance plans that we can barely afford.
OBOS Today: So, I know you also mentioned that you wanted to talk about some, some positive and some affirming experiences that you’ve had so I wonder if you could tell me a bit about those.
Elise: Yeah, I mean my experiences with my friends have been so affirming and so awesome. So, from my friends who are doulas to my friends who are fat to like, you know, people who I love deeply who say like A, “I am so sorry that that happened to you” or B, “I’m so excited for you.”
I have had more often recently at least like one medical professional say like hey, what are your pronouns, which was very exciting and in general, I have felt like I’ve had a core of support in my life who sees me for all the things that I am and who has stuck with me what has been this years-long journey and I’m really grateful for that.