Happy Weedsday to all you beautiful people out there in the world!
Discrimination comes in so many forms. It’s a sad reality in our world that people will dislike you because of your gender, the gender you love, your race, the medicine you choose to use, and just about any other reason people can muster up. The sad thing, too because they don’t seem to realize what amazing and strong people they miss out on knowing. I am bisexual and I have encountered disparagement for my sexual preferences, as well.
In this issue, I want to introduce a friend of mine and share her story and some of what she is about. Her name is Wendy Love Edge. Wendy and I met through our joint interest in the legalization of cannabis and this is but one of her experiences with discrimination.
Wendy, a lesbian, is a local author, artist, talk show host, cannabis activist, and the founder of Bulldozer Health Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization and health care reform initiative. She was recently selected to be an artist member of the Cannabis Art Guild, one of eight artists exhibiting touring worldwide at cannabis events and exhibits. You can learn more about her at Bulldozerhealth.org and CannabisArtGuild.org.
I agree with Wendy that we all should have the ability to have who we love beside us whenever we choose and should not be looked down on as “less than.” It surely is enough to be ill and have to worry about this kind of ordeal also. Perhaps, like cannabis, it’s no one’s business how you medicate your body, or who you love, or how you live your life so long as its hurting no one else. We all say we want peace and harmony, so let’s create just that by minding our own business and letting others have the freedom to choose their own happiness.
Here is Wendy’s story:
Bulldozing Lesbians at the Hospital: Everyone should have a choice who will be by their side
Hello, everyone. My name is Wendy. I have talked and written about my story of becoming ill and being bulldozed, and then working at taking back my health. I have talked and written about becoming gravely ill. I have also talked and written about Bulldozer Health Inc. remedies for health. I feel, though, like there is an elephant in the room, that I haven’t discussed. It’s pink, and it’s waving a gay pride flag.
You see, I have always had the attitude that I wanted to be treated equally to everyone else. In fact, I demand it in my life. I feel that by not making an issue of my sexuality, I am saying I am just like everyone else. After all, heterosexuals don’t declare themselves at work or on their way, so why should I? I speak about my life in a matter-of-fact manner. I make no apologies, and I never lie about it. But the fact is, that because I don’t present as a “typical” lesbian (whatever that is), people don’t realize that is what I am unless I tell them. I have been re-thinking this idea, though. Maybe it’s time to be more forthright.
That said, within the medical establishment, both my wife and I have experienced discriminatory remarks and treatment. She was told by certain nurses that she couldn’t stay with me in the hospital, and by others that she could. Same hospital. They would choose to enforce policies apparently based on their personal feelings about our relationship at the time. So it wasn’t really a matter of policy. We even had a whole medical team breathe a sigh of relief when they found out she was a woman and not a teenage boy. Literally, breathe a sigh of relief right in front of me. These situations are uncomfortable and create stress in a person who is already ill. If you are like me, you want your significant other with you when the going gets rough and you are uncertain about your health status. Especially when you are being told very scary things like “You are going to die either from the medicine we have to give you or the disease that you have.” You want to hold on to every minute with that person. Additionally, your significant other is frightened too and wants first-hand information from the doctor, and to be by your side to comfort you. Neither the patient nor the significant other should have to worry that they won’t have the choice to make.
We must all demand equal treatment and sensitivity by all health professionals in this matter. In fact, I believe family and loved ones may mean very different things to different people. Right now, for instance, my wife and I are separated. We are both trying to heal from the ordeal of my illness in our own ways. But I still want her to be able to obtain medical information about me, and I still want her by my side if I am in a life-or-death situation. This should be my choice. And if I want a friend or other loved one with me, this should also be my choice. All patients should have with them those who love and care about them if they want them there. It reduces stress on the patient. Feeling the loving presence of those you care about if that is what you want, can only improve health and wellness. Why should the healthcare establishment get to decide who has a relationship that qualifies them to stay by your side when you are ill and hospitalized?
So, as I thought about writing this, I realized that if we are all to be empowered in our health choices, it includes this. When ill, and trying to heal, we must be able to choose everything that will encourage a healing and healthy environment without stress and worry.