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Family physician stands up for gender variant patient: ‘Don’t make doctors tick boxes’

Family physician stands up for gender variant patient: ‘Don’t make doctors tick boxes’

Dr William Powers stood up for an agender/gender variant patient

A Michigan doctor’s note is making waves as he defends a patient’s right to gender expression.

Dr William Powers is a family physician at the Be Well Medical Center in Berkeley, Michigan.

And he’s proving that some heroes don’t wear capes, but come in white lab coats instead.

On Friday (21 April) he shared a picture on his Facebook page of an insurance form – more specifically, the box asking for the patient’s gender.

Except his patient does not confirm with the available options, which are limited to male and female.

‘Had to do a physical on an agender/gender variant person today. This is how you tell an insurance company its time to update their forms,’ Powers said.

‘Gender is not the same as karyotype or sex assigned at birth. Please don’t give doctors boxes to check.’

To do his patient justice, the doc cleared up what was really going on by simply writing ‘patient is gender variant, was assigned female at birth’ in the box.

In the comments, users are praising Powers for sticking up for his patient.

‘If only all doctors were as great as you,’ one user wrote.

While another, presumably cisgender user said ‘we all have so much to learn.

‘ I pray that the transgender community has patience with people, the medical community included, who want to understand,’ she said.

Some, of course, insists there can only be male and female, but Powers refuses to raise to the bait and spreads some nuggets of education instead.

‘Gender as a word in English refers to the construct of a certain set of expected expressions, social norms, and cultural differences based on a person’s “sex”. Sex, or Karyotype, refers to someone’s biological anatomy,’ he said.

‘Most humans are XX or XY (male and female) though some are XXX or XXY or XYY or other combinations which make them neither male nor female.

‘In the way that some men are more traditionally “masculine” than other men, gender expression varies considerably from a spectrum starting at “maleness” to “femaleness with “neither” or “both” in the middle.

‘A coffee pot is neither male nor female. It has no gender. You could say a pink coffee pot is more feminine, but this would be off of your own cultural norms which vary from country and time.’