Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Just a small visibility achievement that probably no one noticed, but anyway. It's a principle. When you register with a physician, they ask you all sorts of interesting questions that don't see their own slant or bias... Like are you currently "using" alcohol. Or lumping the use of cocaine and marijuana into one question. And at the top of the list, the obligatory question about your marital status: married - single - divorced - widowed. WTF? What does it matter to them? Oh this time yesterday when I signed up with a new doctor, I was extremely lucky, one of the options was "partnered". But that didn't quite fit either, so I made another check box, "complicated", and checked that one.

Then the nurse asked me again about my marital status, and I just paused for a long time and smiled at her and said, "I'm not sure". We then established that what she was really needing, was the name of the person living with me - for some reason? I asked her why do they ask that and how is it relevant, and she was genuinely surprised and said, "I don't know! I wonder about that!" Then the doctor asked if there were any people or animals living with me, so I laughed and told him I was happy that he was asking a more specific question. I asked him too about why they want to know about marital status, and he also said he didn't know, and that it was probably a hold-over from a hundred years ago, and everyone just keeps doing it.

Everyone just keeps doing it. It's not that people are intentionally bigoted, they just don't often question habitual realities.

Anyway the asexual visibility thing. For whatever reason the doctor's form feels like it needs to ask you about your sexual preference. And it gave me two options: "males" and "females". Not even "both"! So I felt really smug and wrote "neither" in the blank space next to it.

Nobody asked me anything about it.


  1. I actually think that form of visibility is really important! Doctors work with so many differnt people that they're bound to encounter other asexuals. I'm surprised that "both" wasn't an option as well.

  2. If the form was in paper format, as I deduce form your explanation, 'both' and 'neither' options was considered, since you may mark one, both or neither.

  3. Considered only by you and the likes of you, my friend. Those that think outside of the box.

  4. I would actually agree with Isaac, except for the fact that leaving both boxes unchecked could just mean you skipped the question. I'd like to see someone draw a double-headed arrow between and through the boxes and then mark their position on the spectrum. Granted, that's way too much information for the doctor to "need" to know in the first place, but at least it would be amusing ;-)
    In any case, good visibility work, Trix!


  5. I recently had a similar experience. My doctor asked me, "Do you sleep with men or women or both?" and I said "neither." He repeated the word and wrote it down without further question. It did feel like a triumph, even though he could have just assumed I'm a celibate Christian or something.

  6. I remember my objective with my new MD a couple years ago.

    We danced around the issue, he asked if I was married, nope. Asked if I had a girlfriend, nope. A boyfriend, yep!

    The question that really threw me, any guns in the house. Roger that! But then I asked why and he said "Kids". I looked at him, told him that we'd already determined that I was gay and that kids weren't high on my priority list. I'm much more the eccentric uncle type anyhow.

    The doc is a good guy. We're both Italian-American and both studying the language. He's only a couple years older than me.

    He's also about the same body type too which made the optimal weight thing interesting. I guess for my height 150 is normal. Not gonna happen, ever.

  7. Excellent! I can totally relate to this post. And I am also one to make my own boxes and check them; I become disappointed with computerized questions/surveys that don't have the option of writing in one's own answer.