Yes, this very new blog has been very quiet. At some point I will write a post about big feelings, anxiety, uncertainty. But in the meantime, heterosexism from a fertility clinic? Really?
My GP has referred us to three fertility clinics, two based on my request and a third that she had heard good things about. I had asked for one of the referrals mainly because it’s downtown and the (very) short list of queer people I know who have used fertility clinics have used this one. Let’s call it Clinic One.
So when Clinic One called today to set up an appointment, I was a little surprised to have this conversation:
Receptionist: Will your partner or husband be coming to this appointment?
Me: I thought that partners were required to attend the initial consultation?
Receptionist: Yes, he should attend.
Receptionist: Oh, sorry. She. They like to do all the tests at one appointment, so will run tests on your partner as well.
Me: Tests on my partner? But she isn’t intending to get pregnant. What kind of tests?
Receptionist: Oh, blood tests and things. So she should come as well.
First of all, what kind of testing would my partner require? I don’t need a blood test, ultrasound or lab result to tell me that she will not be able to get me pregnant on her own. She has many things going for her, but sperm isn’t one of them. Secondly, I know for a fact that this clinic sees a lot of queer people. I also know that my doctor’s referral didn’t describe a male partner or infertility– to the best of my knowledge I don’t have either. How difficult would it have been to use a different pronoun?
I’m not angry. I know that a majority of people in the world are straight and, probably, a majority of the people accessing this clinic. Instead I’m annoyed that I have to explain my identity and relationship in a situation that I already feel anxious about.
I haven’t made a final judgement on Clinic One, but if they ask my poor partner for a semen sample we’re out of there.