My appointment with Dr. Preece
I spent 3 hours at Dr. Preece’s office this past Monday. I got quite nervous right before going in, but Dr. Preece is easy going and my apprehension faded almost immediately upon meeting her.
We talked for 2 hours and the remaining hour was spent filling out questionnaires.
Near the end of our chat, she asked me if there was anything in my life that was causing me sadness. (Nothing that we had talked about up to that point had stimulated much of an emotional response from me.) That made me worry that I was subconsciously trying to outsmart myself, and possibly Dr. Preece. I’ve done plenty of therapy in my time, and this wouldn’t be the first time that I attempted to avoid the real underlying issues by choosing the “right things” to talk about. I thought hard and came up with my music, or lack thereof. It is an area of sadness for me, and I suspect it’s closely tied to my identity issues.
Dr. Preece concluded that there weren’t any glaring reasons for me to NOT get top surgery, and agreed to write me the letter of support. I left the appointment feeling good, but that wasn’t the end of it…
The next day, I wrote a thank you email to Dr. Preece. In her response, she asked me if I planned to change the gender pronoun used to identify myself on my business website. We’d talked about pronouns at my appointment and I casually brushed the issue aside with “Oh, call me anything, it doesn’t matter. In fact, ‘she’ is more inclusive than ‘he’, so I’m fine with that.” On the way home after the appointment, a big tattooed guy referred to me as male, and it made me elated. It also caused me to stop and think about what I had told Dr. Preece about pronoun preferences just hours before in her office. If it makes me so happy when I am referred to with male pronouns, then why was I dishing out this stuff about “she” being more inclusive and just fine?
I talked with my GF about it and asked her to use male pronouns when referring to me. She didn’t really want to. I emailed Dr. Preece back and said that I didn’t have a solid answer for her, but asked that she too use male pronouns with me so that I could experience that a little more. I also emailed a friend in Toronto and asked the same of her.
Within a couple of days, my GF came around and declared that she was ready to start using male pronouns for me. In fact, she almost outed me in front of her parents that night, something I was not prepared for. We had a good laugh over that!
I don’t think that will be the last time I see Dr. Preece. I walked out of her office feeling like I already had all the answers about me, but in the days since, I have had big questions arise about some of the responses I gave her.