I recently watched the Brené Brown Netflix special “The Call to Courage” and am taking it to heart. By watching this, I learned that I make myself small on purpose to avoid the risks that come with playing big. She talks about stepping into the arena means you will fail and definitely get your ass kicked, but at least you’re in the game and courageously trying to make a difference.
I have decided to step into the arena and start actively speaking up for gender rights in the healthcare system. Over the years, I have worked with quite a lot of gender nonconforming and transgender clients. While I will continue working one-on-one with people, I also want to do more to advocate for equality on a bigger scale, making a larger impact.
As Brené Brown says, these conversations are not comfortable, but necessary. We must put courage over comfort and have these discussions anyway.
I am a gender-affirming therapist with experience and passion on this topic. I would like to help other healthcare workers become more aware of their own biases; how they may hurt without meaning to; while also giving them tools to help gender nonconforming people feel more safe, comfortable and welcome. On the grandest scale, I would like to collaborate with others to help change insurance companies forms (and ultimately doctors’ office forms) removing the binary (M or F boxes) from all documentation.
I am choosing courage over comfort by consulting with other healthcare professionals as a gender-affirming therapist and activist. What does it mean for you to step into the arena? How can you take a step forward to live bigger and with more courage?
Kimberly Atwood is a licensed psychotherapist and certified sex therapist working in private practice in Princeton, NJ. She also provides online therapy with clients living in Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. She specializes in sexual health, gender, intimacy and relationship issues. For more information, please check out her website.