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When Lois Came to Town
Medical appointments and mischief
I've known Lois online since 2019. She describes herself as a post-op transexual woman. I describe her as my friend.
At the beginning of this year, Lois went viral for writing a Twitter thread explaining that she was seeking to access medical assistance in dying (MAiD) after experiencing medical issues stemming from her transition. As part of the process, she was referred to a specialist in Calgary who deals with patients that have undergone vaginoplasty.
(Lois was able to make the trip because of those generous enough to donate to her GoFundMe.)
I went along to the appointment. In fact, I joined Lois in the exam room. In the waiting room, she had to fill out a sheet that included sections for preferred name and preferred pronouns, opting to leave both blank. Woke ideology seeping into the healthcare system was part of the reason we were sitting there in the first place.
The doctor was nice but more concerned about preferred pronouns than about the lack of medical knowledge and resources for people who'd had irreversible surgery on their genitals. She asked Lois about the issues that had brought her there and performed a fairly quick examination. In the end, she suggested vitamin E for the scars and a numbing cream for the pain. She said she would write a letter to the MAiD assessor who had sent the referral.
The appointment was… underwhelming.
Our friend Neil and I didn’t let Lois’ trip go to waste, though. We took her around town and got to spend some time together in person rather than online which, as fun as our group chat can be, is so much better!
Lois and I also took the now-iconic photo of us giving a big thumbs down to the progress pride flag, though Lois didn't get the memo to frown and decided to go for a model pose instead.
(We are both big supporters of the liberated pride flag.)
It was nice to have Lois in town for a few days, even considering the circumstances. I was dealing with a stressful situation and she provided comfort and support. I also got to share some exciting life developments. What was even better was learning more about Lois’ personal history and her as a person.
At a Denny's before her return flight home, I asked, “would you do it all again if you could?” referring to the transition process as a whole.
“No,” said Lois, “I would have found a way to live in my culture as me.”
I don't like the path Lois is considering. But I'm not going to let it get in the way of a friendship. All I know is that life is strange, and true friends are important. Like Rilke says:
The fear of the inexplicable has not only impoverished the reality of the individual; it has also narrowed the relationship between one human being and another, which has as it were been lifted out of the riverbed of infinite possibilities and set down in a fallow place on the bank, where nothing happens.
A lot of my life has been ruled by fear. Lois is showing me not to let it.
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