How can I support my agency when talking to practitioners?
We can be conscious about what and how much we choose to share with practitioners. Here is how one person worked through this challenge.
“At some point, I realized I don’t owe them that explanation [about my gender]. Now, I will only talk about it if it is relevant to the treatment I am receiving. Otherwise, I just let them be uncomfortable. I’ve learned that I need to protect my own comfort before I try to protect the comfort of providers. I’m not going to be mean to them. There’s a point, where you have to think about what you need from these people because it’s supposed to be healthcare for you.
If we are uncomfortable answering a practitioner’s question, we can consider:
Asking for more time (e.g. I’d like some time before I answer.)
Declining (e.g. I’m not comfortable answering that.)
Asking about the relevancy of the question (e.g. Do I need to answer? Can you share why that is relevant for my care today?)
Asking about the impacts of your answer (e.g. How might my answer impact my treatment? What are the legal implications involved?)