Voltrans Transmen Initiative founding member Ali Ar?kan passed away last night after battling cancer.
Source: Ali Ar?kan, “Hastanenin Trans’la ?mtihan?,” (“The Hospital’s Exam on Trans,”) Kaos GL, 4 September 2013, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=14750
I have been in the hospital for about a month and a half now; my bowels do not function because of the pressure from cancerous cells in the peritoneum. I am getting chemo, they give me lots of drugs so that I can shit. I spent a month in a small room on the third floor with limited air; sleeping, feeling suffocated but I did not lose my mind. My friends did their best to make the room look like my room at home and to find distractions to help me pass time. Then my doctor took me to the 1st floor, which is where the oncology department is. When I was in a brighter and larger room, I felt better.
A “Trans Manners 101” course had to be given to people from various hierarchies on both floors. Fortunately I did not have to do it. Because of the efforts of my cousin Kemal, who has been thinking about getting me a blue identification card, and my friends, who are my family bound by love, the issues of my gender identity, how I expected to be treated, and how I should be addressed were explained. And the following dialogues and interventions took place:
One of the nurses addressed me as Ms. Ay?egül. Serap was with me. She reacted: “What is she saying? I guess she is new.” I told her the nurse was probably just confused. Half an hour later the nurse came back to the room “Mr. Ali, I am so sorry. I got confused because there is another name on your file and we keep on looking at that file. I did not do it with bad intentions.” I melted inside when she apologized to me.
Another day when another nurse addressed me as Ay?egül, ?zlem intervened immediately and said: “His name is Ali, please address him as such.” The nurse stopped for a second and looked puzzled as to why I was supposed to be addressed that way, she said: “I said Ay?egül because that is what is written on the file.”
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