Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Pink

Pink makes me see red

21 Comments

I HATE pink. Have always hated it and its association with femaleness, femininity, muliebrity, womanhood, womanishness, womanliness – well, I’m sure you got the picture.

Yesterday I had to go to the dentist, as I had lost a filling over the holiday period. As my previous dentist has the bedside manners of Doctor Frankenstein, I decided to give this guy a try at the enamel, crowns, roots and cavities of this stubborn, old(er) mule.

The receptionist gave me a glance when I announced that I was a new patient and scratched in a drawer (luckily not hers) before withdrawing a form. A pink form. I could read the “FEMALE PATIENT” in the heading upside-down. Instantly my disphoria flared up. Pink. Female. Uh-uh. Not me. Not ever. Was the boy’s haircut in vain? Seems like it. Must be these darn childbearing hips. Ugh! UGH!!! Female patient forms

“Just complete this and doctor will be with you soon.”

I took a deep breath. A very deep breath. Decision time. Do I tell her to stuff the form and leave, or do I wrestle down the dysphoria? I do need a filling and I will not go back to the dentist I had and it will take weeks to get an appointment with another dentist.

Why the need to separate patients by gender?! Last time I checked, my teeth were genderless.

I silently took the form and sat down on the dysphoria, so that it was under control. Barely.

Question 1, after the whole pedigree information: Are you pregnant? YES/NO. If YES, how far along?

Dysphoria cringed and growled. %$*&@! I closed my eyes. Shall I stay or leave?

I stayed, completed the form and met my new dentist. A very nice guy whole smells of cigarette smoke (not nice). His mannerisms and speech are those of a gay guy. I would be happy if he is, but dare not assume.

I HATE pink. It makes me see red. Makes me grow fangs.

Fangs

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Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

21 thoughts on “Pink makes me see red

  1. Every few weeks, I have an incident like this, where my fangs come out.
    There are so many things that are gendered that don’t need to be. A part of me takes great satisfaction that I am able to respond with my identified gender, but a larger part of me is angered that gender is even involved.
    Next time at the dentist: pinch your nose, and hold the forms like they are rotten fish. “What in the hell is this?”

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    • Excellent suggestion! I already gave them feedback on their email survey. Told them to have the form redesigned as gender inclusive. No response. They probably printed it out for their joke of the week bulletin board. Haha.

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      • The thing about the pink (or blue) form is that you are left holding the damned thing. Lined up with the girls, or the boys. Branded with the scarlet letter. The new and improved apartheid.
        Maybe you should suggest new forms, aligned by color, with a person’s racial characteristics. Print a few out like that and give them to the people behind the desk on your next visit.

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  2. My dentist is pretty cool and Joseph, who is his dental tech, is as queer as I am. At the end of each cleaning he makes a big deal out of making sure to give me a new blue toothbrush!

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  3. Hi Kris, I work as a dental nurse and in my first month of working there I was scratching my head and asking why there is a male / female box on the lab docket when we are sending off to get crowns made.mthe dentist told me men and women have differenly shaped teeth. Pretty sure they make most of this stuff up!

    The pink and blue forms thing is just ridiculous. The mind boggles

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    • Hmmm, seems like I have some research of a forensic anthropological kind to do. So okay, assume men and women’s teeth differ – why let the colour of the form be an indication of little pointy terrier teeth or large knobbly Doberman molars? I’m sure there are Dobermans out there who are very proud of their deinty teeth and little terriers proudly baring huge fangs to the world. Will they also get pink and blue forms? Geez, I’ve painted myself into a corner here with my argument. Point is, we need no forms discriminating against us! How about starting a Coalition for People Against Discriminatory Gender-Projecting Forms (CoPaDiGeProFo). Our symbol could be fangs. Sorry, mind got derailed there! 😉

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  4. It’s kind of interesting how polarizing the color pink has become in our culture today. Historically, back in the early 20th century it was the opposite of today. Pink was for boys and blue was considered a weaker color and designated for girls. Prior to that babies were dressed in white because it was easy to bleach and keep looking clean. Also, boys and girls alike wore white dresses until they were about 6 yrs old. I don’t hate pink but I certainly bristle at the constant and persistent genderization of every little stupid thing in our worlds. It’s gotten to be ridiculous. I see why they would want to know if you were pregnant but why do they need two different forms? Just put the question on the form and put N/A as an option. Like you said, they don’t even NEED to know if your teeth are in a female’s or a male’s mouth. They are gender-less. Nice fangs by the way.

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  5. Having pink and blue forms for patients is very weird. Most doctor’s offices note the patient’s sex, but don’t have different colored forms.

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  6. Maybe discretely/subtly mention that it it the F###ing 21st century and they could consider switching to beige!

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  7. OMG! I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning and I’m about 200% sure work need to be done on my teeth. They still think I’m a woman, and I’m torn between telling them now or telling them some other time that I’m really a guy.
    BTW, did your new dentist do anything about your fangs? =P

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