HOLAAfrica!

A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective

Sexual Health For WSWs in Nigeria And Coming Out to My Doctor

By DykeRoad

black-woman-doctor 1

If you lived in Nigeria where it’s almost illegal to be gay or lesbian would you feel confident in coming out to your doctor? I had to recently. I didn’t feel scared of being judged because I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what she thought. I was more concerned about my health. When you’ve been seeing spots of blood coming out of your vagina nearly two weeks after your period has ended, you generally tend to care less about other people’s prejudices. Here is how my meeting with the doctor went. I am doing some paraphrasing here.

Me: Hi!
Doctor: Hi, sorry for the long wait. We’re moving to a new electronic system and today is the first day. We’re still in the teething phase so you got us on a bad day.

Me: No worries. I’ve already spent my entire day here so as long as I get to see someone its fine.
Doctor: So, how can I help you?

Me: I think there’s a problem with my period. I saw my period about ten days early and since then I’ve been spotting.
Doctor: Is your period normally regular?

Me: Yes, even to the time of day. But last month and this month have been a bit off. Last month, I wasn’t feeling well so I thought that was why. Sometimes, my period comes early if I’m unwell but it corrects itself once I’m better.
Doctor: OK, let’s look at the calendar and see if you can tell me what dates your period has come on the last three months.

We both look at the calendar. I tell her the dates and she does some calculations.

Doctor: Are you sexually active?
Me: Yes.

Doctor: Is there a chance you could be pregnant?
Me: No.

Doctor: Have you taken a pregnancy test recently?
Me: No, don’t need to.

Doctor: How can you be so sure then?
Me: I’m not having sex with men.

Doctor: But, you say you’re sexually active?
Me: I have sex with women.

Doctor decides its time to take notes. Because her screen is still tilted towards me. I can see her writing, “Patient claims to be sexually active but believes she cannot be pregnant”. At that point I stop her saying, “I’m not claiming to be sexually active. I am sexually active just not with men”.

The rest of our meeting is awkward. She tells me to give it some time because she suspects I did not ovulate that month and my period will most likely correct itself. I ask her about other possible causes. I ask her to give me a test for STDs and she asks me why I want that. I insist until she recommends one for me. I go to the lab for the test and wait half an hour for the results. In the meantime, I go down to the Japanese restaurant to get some food.

When I meet with the doctor again she tells me that I’m all clear. I persist in not wanting to wait until my period corrects itself so she says we can run a scan but I have to come back next week. I thank her and leave.

It was a horrible experience.

Im-Shocked-gif

I wanted to be mad at her for being a doctor and being that ignorant. I wanted to ask her where she went to school and how she learned to be so insensitive but I couldn’t. Somewhere inside me I was grateful that the smirk she gave when I reclaimed by sexual activity was all. She could have decided to start preaching to me. She could have taken a nasty turn and said more hurtful things to me.

Afterwards, I wondered about other women who have sex with women. I wonder if they felt comfortable coming out to their doctors. Did they get treated badly for being open and honest? What would happen to women who didn’t have a clue about what types of tests to run or what type of treatment to expect? I felt pity for all of us. Young now, but in a couple of years we might want to start families the unconventional ways. God help us all when its time to cross that bridge.

Originally blogged on Dyke Road’s Blog follow her on Twitter

HOLAA! back at us.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Stroll Through Time

June 2014
M T W T F S S
« May   Aug »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,456 other followers

HOLAA World Wide Twitter

%d bloggers like this: