Elizabeth Hardy is a woman.
She’s not a man, a male, a him or a he, but a woman.
“Mr. Elizabeth Hardy? MISTER Elizabeth Hardy?” the nurse yelled in the waiting room while Hardy bowed her head in humiliation.
Hardy said if she were in the Overton Brooks VA waiting room that day with a friend who didn’t know about her surgery, it could have caused both her and her friend a great deal of pain.
Hardy said staff has referred to her using the wrong gender pronoun multiple times and repeatedly mentioned her reassignment surgery in medical records since 2017.
Every time Hardy visits the doctor, she said, staff notes her gender.
“If I go in there for a Band-Aid, they’re going to put in their notes that I’m transgender,” she said.
Also, sprinkled throughout Hardy's records was the term "gender dysphoria," the distress a person experiences as a result of the gender they were assigned at birth that doesn't match the gender they identify with. Hardy said gender dysphoria is a condition she had before she went through surgery. She said surgery cured the condition.
"It should not be repeated and repeated and repeated over and over and over again in my records," Hardy wrote. "I don’t see anywhere where you put, 'Symptom: Broken arm. Cure: Placed a cast on it,' over and over and over and over again."
Hardy said she’s corrected staff members and requested to have her records amended but some requests have been denied.
She said it's important all mentions of her surgery and previous gender be removed because transgender people have increasingly been targets of violence.
In September, USA Today reported 2018 was the deadliest year for transgender people since 2013, according to records tracked by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a civil rights organization for LGBTQ Americans.