Sunday, October 17, 2010


Dear nurse:

The gentleman sitting with our patient, holding his hand and comforting him for hours in the middle of the night as he goes through a frightening and disabling illness, is not his "um, friend." He is his husband. Are you twelve years old, or what?

Next time we have a heterosexual couple in I'm going to smirk and blush and giggle and refer to them as "um, friends." Because I know we have policies to be polite about that sort of thing, but that kind of person puts penises in vaginas, and here they are just flaunting that.


  1. Oh god, and that is just want they need in a hospital, when my partner went into emergency I remember thinking about straight/passing as cis privilage, I got to stay past visiting hours, no one hassled me, he was sick and his girlfreind would want to look after him and that was the end.
    It is scary enough when there are IV's and your partner is passing out mid sentence and to think that you would have to deal with anything else in that situation

  2. Holly Pervocracy, when I grow up I want to gay-marry you. xo.

  3. ^ Can I get in on the gay-marrying? :D

  4. Am I late to the gay marrying parade?

  5. Well, here, where we don't have legal gay marriage, and it's the middle of the freaking biblebelt, I'm happy with "partner"......

    Beats the crap out of the rudeness usually dished out.

  6. It's true, Fuzzy. I live in Georgia and I cannot believe some of the stuff that comes out of peoples' mouths down here. "Umfriend" is not nearly as bad as the nastiness I hear on occasion. At least the poor guys get to be with each other while he's sick :/

  7. Ugh, I wish we'd just be more confrontational about things. Unfortunately, even people who mean well often react the same way. I work in a similar job and have many a time been the first person to flat out refer to a partner. There's usually some sort of a 'how do you know?!' response and it's generally followed with a 'because I asked' or 'because he/she told me.'

    The way I've habitualized the process is during an admission (I work in inpatient) or upon meeting an apparent significant other I just directly ask if the information is not readily offered.

    For many people, even if they mean well (let's give them the benefit of the doubt), have been so programed by our heterocentric society that they can't even comprehend a polite manner of addressing the subject - we need to be trained in that which is polite.