This Blog is Moving

While we fully intend to continue updating this blog, it will no longer occur on this website. Here is the new location of the blog, which is still under construction, but readable.

As queers, we have minimal resources, and were unable to afford to upgrade our blog to enable a Donation button. We decided that the best course of action was to move the entire blog to Wix, which allows the addition of buttons free of charge.

If you are interested in donating to Jude, this is the blog post with relevant details. Please consider donating, even if it is only one dollar, even if you do not know Jude personally. If three people donate one dollar, she can buy a loaf of bread. Nothing is too small.

We thank you for your support throughout the process of launching and maintaining this blog, and we hope to see you at its new location.

Join the Facebook Group

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[Image: Jude, wearing dark clothes and a nose ring, smiles at the camera.]

You can now join a Facebook group to stay in touch with other folks who want to support Jude. It’s called Support Jude @ VGH. Please note that this is a closed group, and your request to join will be reviewed by existing members.

Resources Wanted

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[Image: Jude sitting on a stretcher in a hospital hallway. The stretcher has bedding and art supplies on it. Jude is holding a sketchbook that reads “HELP ME.”]

Jude and her loved ones have requested both immediate and longer-term resources. Please send any recommendations to contact.jude1995@gmail.com.

  • An outreach worker in Vancouver who works specifically with young queer women
  • Information on accessing Income Assistance and Disability (ideally from someone who has undergone the process themself)
  • Sliding-scale or free art therapy in Vancouver
  • Information on what mood stabilizers she may have been placed on (in addition to Lithium and Seroquil)
  • Information on the facilities at UBC (University of British Columbia), where she may be transferred in the near future
  • Information on how to most effectively report the nurse who witnessed an assault and failed to intervene
  • Zines from the Icarus Project, especially pertaining to Bipolar 1
  • Resources on grounding exercises tailored for persons experiencing mania
  • Resources about healing from gaslighting and queerphobia in the medical industrial complex

A Letter from Jude

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[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

10:15 AM

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 —

NOTHING

Fucking –> (sorry. Not appropriate.)

HAPPENED.

This is wrong.

This needs to

change.

Thank you

for hearing/

reading/

listening to

her story.

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.

Please

change

this system. This system that, supposedly, is here in order to keep vulnerable (trans <– ill –> oppressed) people safe.


This system has failed me.

Please

Do

SOMETHING.

Please believe me. Please believe us. Please believe this story. Thank you.


Sincerely, Julia Fitch

[Jude’s signature]

Im Q. and this is true

[Q.’s signature]

Introduction

 

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[Image: double-exposure picture of Jude in dark clothing, leaning against a pale wall in two positions.]

Jude is an 18 year-old queer person who uses she/her/hers and they/them/theirs pronouns. She is a settler on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Sto:lo Nations. After roughly two weeks of mania, Jude was admitted to the Vancouver General Hospital on Friday, May 12th 2017 and diagnosed with Bipolar 1.

This blog aims to provide tangible support for Jude during this crisis. It has been created after in-person discussions with her about what support looks like to her. This blog seeks not only to aid in collecting and maximizing resources in order to help Jude’s communities support her, but to document her experiences in the medical industrial complex. We intend that this will serve as a resource for those who may find themselves in a similar position in the future.

Comments are not enabled on posts; instead, please direct inquiries and information about resources to contact.jude1995@gmail.com. We will respond as soon as possible.

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