I never knew Lisa was a lesbian though I'd seen her a dozen times over the past ten years. In hindsight it had never been necessary to have foreknowledge of her sexual preference in order to diagnose and treat her problems. Now, on this visit, she offered this new information thinking it was helpful and hoping it would hasten the diagnosis of why she was having postmenopausal vaginal bleeding.
I doubt her employer even knew she was a lesbian but I wouldn't have been surprised to learn if he did. Because Lisa, not her real name, is self-confident, reserved, and unassuming. She is a hard worker, and loyal to her employer of many years. She has had and has many friends and is outgoing -- like Robert, whom I had the privilege of knowing back in the 80s.
Robert was manly in his features but ever so slightly effeminate in his mannerisms. But he was by no means an effete man. On his first visit he requested HIV testing and answered a confident yes to the question if he was homosexual. Having two partners, and still not much being known then about what caused AIDS, he wished to be tested every three months.
Robert, not his real name, educated me on the 80s gay scene in Biloxi. When a Coast business man died of AIDS, Robert shared that the man had been a frequent visitor at an adult store on Highway 90 where anonymous homosexual encounters took place in the back in one of several connected private stalls, the decorative side walls of which had a single eight-inch hole cut out for those so inclined to engage in random sex with a stranger in the next stall.
Robert, a graphic designer by trade, somewhat boisterous in demeanor, lit up any room he was in. He shared self-deprecating humor and told jokes, many about gay men, that made me laugh so hard my stomach cramped. I considered him a friend over the six years he was in the practice, as did the staff, mainly because of his unpretentiousness. He eventually relocated to the Dallas area to a large homosexual community there and I've not seen him since. I sincerely hope he's dodged the HIV bullet.
In my more formal education I still remember a memorable teacher in secondary school who introduced us to poetry. It had been rumored then that he was a homosexual but no one really knew for sure. Brian, not his real name, was thin with soft features, and required us to memorize three poems of which one had to be over 20 lines.
Because of him I still remember the first poem I ever memorized -- Carl Sandburg's "Fog". The fog comes in on little cat feet.... I learned later as an adult that he was in fact gay, but as a patient he's never shared that with me; it's never been medically necessary to do so. He's now retired, having been a successful teacher for many years in the public school system. I'm privileged to see him as a patient from time to time and consider him a friend. He is a regular church goer. And like Lisa and Robert, lives privately among his friends.
There are many homosexuals like Lisa, Robert, and Brian who seem to go about their lives content to live and let live. They don't seem to have ever been interested in the efforts of gay activists whose aim it is to reinforce and expand public acceptance, and as an extension, the private acceptance of homosexual acts as normal. While yes, there are heterosexual supporters of gay ideology that view anal intercourse between two men as normal, I think it safe to say there are hundreds of millions of people who do not and never will accept this as normal. In spite of it, we can still live in good conscience together; I would venture to think these millions think so to.
Like me, doctors probably have no idea how many people they've seen who are homosexual and for whom they've helped without having to know in advance their sexual preference. I'm sure the same can be said about transgenders though few in numbers they be. It's not always necessary to know one's sexual preference in order to diagnose and treat -- or for that matter to hire for a job.
Lisa, Robert, and Brian stand in stark contrast to those homosexual activists and gender dysphorics who are currently protesting in big cities. Like those protesters in an AP report this past week in our local newspaper the SunHerald, by-lined by Terrence Petty and Robert Jablon, on the Trump protesters in San Francisco who while waving rainbow flags are smashing windows, lighting street fires, and spraying graffiti, saying "I'm fighting for my rights as an LGBTQ person..." and holding signs that say "Trans Against Trump".
If their grievance is true and not a misplaced perception these protesters seem to be saying they fear the voice and message that Mr. Trump represents nationwide; that they, the protesters, want no opposition whatsoever to their plan to foist upon private individuals the acceptance of their sexual habits as normal.
There are many reasons people voted for or against either presidential candidate. Jobs, the economy, immigration, etc. But many have to be wondering if the sharp leftward direction the culture has swung these past eight years under the current administration played a large role in the results.
It would be interesting to know how gay men and women like Lisa, Robert, and Brian voted this last election. Secure in their own skin I wouldn't be surprised if their votes reflected concerns for much bigger issues than their desire to live with their sexual preferences. I could be wrong.
But I know for sure that Lisa is much more concerned about her postmenopausal bleeding and what it might portend than she does the concerns of rainbow flag-waving, window-smashing, and graffiti-spraying homosexuals and transgender people on the streets these post-election days.