[Image: a room in the hospital, shown through a window in a door. There is a game of Hangman on a chalkboard, which is solved to read “PSYCH”]
The following is a transcript of a letter written by Jude. It has been copied as faithfully as possible, without revisions by the typist.
The exception is that names other than Jude’s have been redacted and replaced with initials, as consent has not been procured from these individuals. Additional information provided by the typist appears in [brackets].
A scan of the original letter is forthcoming. Like everything that will appear on this blog, it has been shared with Jude’s blessing.
Trigger warning: transphobia, assault
14/05/2017 –> Hospital PAU [Psychiatric Assessment Unit] Unit
Dear Hospital Manager/to whomever this may concern,
My name is Julia (Jude) Fitch and I am writing this letter on behalf of my friend Q. Today something absolutely unacceptable happened in the PAU unit. Q., a patient of yours and a very respectable and respectful woman, was given permission to visit the other side of the unit, was verbally and physically assaulted by another patient in the PAU unit. All Q. was doing was sitting on the couch and having a relatively calm and pleasant (respectful) visit with me and 2 other friends (one a patient and one a visitor; both witnesses to the aforementioned incident).
The incident, which I will soon give a detailed description of, was not handled appropriately by any staff in the immediate surrounding.
Q. is helping me write this right now, and we are both confident in assuring you that if you continue to allow your hospital/facilities to be run in the way it did today, you will continue to fail in doing your job of maintaining the safety and dignity (to the best of your abilities, of course) of ALL of your patients. Including your female patients. Including your male patients. Including your patients who are mentally ill and trying to receive help + support + feel safe. Including any human who is vulnerable enough to trust you to help keep them safe. Including trans-gender patients. Today, your hospital — your staff — your SYSTEM — failed in doing this.
Here is the incident that occured today at 10:25 am on Sunday, May 14th:
Q. was with me on the couch. We were talking — quite calm. Connecting. Being friends and doing what friends do — without being a bother or nuissance or doing anything that “should” upset anybody else.
A., another patient here, heard from Q. — from the other side of the room, in eavesdropping/passing, — heard her say something along the lines of: “yeah, but I am a girl, so …”. To this, A. became abruptly quite upset and disturbed. She yelled “No!”. We looked over at what the commotion was. She continue, screaming “No! NO! You are a BOY! BOY! NO!”. Q. began to defend herself and the validity of her identity. I jumped in, saying “A., Q. is a girl. I am a girl. You are a girl. We’re all girls! It’s okay! … Q. is a transgender girl, and that is OK! She is a she, just like you and me!” I was calm. I was respectful.
She did not listen.
She continued to yell. She continued to deny — deny an identity that is not hers to deny. She began to get extremely aggressive — sticking her tongue out, yelling; her body language grew more aggressive. At this point, Q. began to get defensive as well — as anyone in her situation would. She got tired of defending her validity, her identity with her voice, which is already exhausted from countless instances such as this one. Countless arguments, even calm discussion, of trying to convince, tirelessly, that she is transgender. That she is a woman. That her identity NEEDS to be respected — for her safety. Q. said that last time she was in this hospital, someone — (another patient) — threatened to kill her. For being trans. And no one listened to her (Q.) or believed her or did a single thing to make her feel safe after having a terrifying threat on her life made — all for existing and being alive in the world right now — as trans woman. We called for help. I yelled “Nurse! Doctor! Nurse!! WE NEED HELP! HELP!” — meanwhile, A. continued to grow in violence — verbal, but dangerously close to physical assault. Her fist was dangling in front of Q.’s face to attack her. For ‘being a he that said he was a a she’. The nurses finally came. They said “OK. STOP. You both need to behave like adults right now.” I tried to explain that Q. did NOTHING; nothing but exist in a transgender body in this hospital world, where she came to get help for her mental health — NOT HER TRANSNESS — but for her BPD [Borderline Personality Disorder]. Her suicidalness. Her mental illness. The doctors did not listen. Just like they refused to listen last time, not last time because there have been too many instances like this one –> AKA (transphobia) to count. But the time that that woman, C. threatened to kill Q. for being transgender.
AFTER LUNCH (NOW):
Q. told them (the doctors) about that too. Then, and also now. She also told A. … once again —
Fucking –> (sorry. Not appropriate.)
This is wrong.
This needs to
For the record — after the nurses went back to their “more important business,” A. grabbed me by the neck. Threatened me. For defending Q. I said something. No one cared. Or even listened.
this system. This system that, supposedly, is here in order to keep vulnerable (trans <– ill –> oppressed) people safe.
This system has failed me.
Please believe me. Please believe us. Please believe this story. Thank you.
Sincerely, Julia Fitch
Im Q. and this is true