Draft 1

I had no idea how hard this letter would be for me to write…I’m no longer hurt or distressed by the whole affair but I’m still full of rage. It’s hard to be succinct and coherent when you’re mad!

So…my blogging friends, help me out here! Whaddya think? Constructive criticism most welcome.

Dear Dr H,

On Thursday 20th December ’07 I had an appointment with you that left me feeling disrespected and very disappointed.

You will recall that the primary reason for the appointment was to check my latest round of thyroid test results but that I was also concerned about my ovulation/fertility chart and questioned my low, erratic temperatures.

As we discussed my efforts to conceive via home insemination I was shocked and incredibly distressed when you suggested I consider having sex with my sperm donor. Whether it was meant in jest or not, I found your suggestion to be incredibly inappropriate and plainly homophobic. I imagine however, that such a suggestion would be equally as abhorrent to a heterosexual woman trying to conceive with donor sperm. I’d also like to point out that most research suggests that inseminating with fresh sperm results in almost the same level of success as intercourse.

I am a relatively new patient of yours and was attracted to your practice because of your progressive approach and your respect of complementary and alternative modalities of healthcare. Perhaps naively, I made the assumption that your progressive approach would carry into social relations and that you would have had some experience treating lesbian and same-sex attracted women in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

The healthcare needs of lesbians require the same level of respect and sensitivity as do those of any other woman. Those needs, however, can be vastly different. I would like to direct you to the volumes of research completed by a local GP, Dr Ruth McNair on lesbian healthcare needs. A dedicated website can be found at http://www.dialog.unimelb.edu.au/index.html. You may be particularly interested in the fertility and parenting section. Though currently on maternity leave, you may also be able to contact Dr McNair through the Carlton Clinic.

I will not be returning to your practice but know of other lesbians who do see you and think they’ll greatly benefit from your greater knowledge and sensitivity.

Yours sincerely,

PS – Blog post number 100! Do I get a prize?



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6 responses to “Draft 1

  1. ML

    I think that comment was insensitive, but I wouldn’t regard it as homophobic, and I think you may be over-reacting.

    I’m not aware of any research suggesting any difference in effectiveness between sex and insemination with fresh semen btw.

  2. vee

    Nice one – very succinct and controlled and clear.

    My only suggestion is that you might want to add something about the offensiveness of suggesting you seek sexual relations outside of your committed relationship in order to acheive pregnancy – would she suggest the same to a woman whose husband had a low sperm count? You’ve kind of said it, but it wouldn’t hurt to spell that out.

    Good on you for following it up. Have you thought about complaining to her superiors?

  3. Barb

    Wow! 100 posts! Pretty cool.

    I think the letter is great as is chickie.

  4. Sarah

    EXCELLENT letter. I am impressed with how you’ve handled the situation. If you want to go one step further, consider sending an FYI copy to your local GLBTQ resource center. Most do referrals to gay-friendly medical providers and would probably be grateful for the information. Good job sticking up for yourself and undoubtedly for many others to come that are in your same situation. Hopefully because of your courage, they will be treated better. oxox

  5. sara

    This sounds great– these things ARE hard to write, but I’m really glad you are sending something– it’s important.

  6. starrhillgirl

    You do get a prize! For 100 posts and for a great letter. It was clear and to the point. Good for you.

    I recently had my cousin (who’s *bi*!) ask me why I hadn’t tried “just having sex with a guy”! Arg.

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