Transgender man says he was denied surgery at faith-based hospital

A transgender man claims he was denied a hysterectomy because of his choice to transition from a woman to a man. (September 1, 2016)

A Carmichael man says his hysterectomy surgery was canceled at the last minute because he is transgender.

"I have to tie my tie like five to six times, in order to get the length right," said Evan Michael Minton with a laugh. "I don't have the muscle memory down yet."

That's because Evan Michael, 35, was born a woman.

"[Evan] can be a girl's name," Minton said. "So I put a Michael there, so it's a clear indication of who I am."

While getting ready and looking in the mirror, Evan Michael says he is now who he has always wanted to be.

"When I was growing up, I had a deep internal shame about myself," Minton said. "I could never get to the bottom of that. I never want to my body to be my home."

That all changed about six years ago, when Minton realized he was ready to transition. He said unlike many other people who are transgender, he had a very supportive family.

“They loved me regardless," Minton said. "Their support for me... [what they] continue to give me is based on unconditional love.”

Minton has felt the support, but he has also felt the struggle. One example happened earlier this week, when his scheduled hysterectomy surgery at Mercy San Juan Hospital was canceled less than 24 hours before.

Minton said when he got a phone call from the hospital, he asked them to please be sure his charts and paperwork used his correct pronouns, like 'he', 'him', and 'his.'

The next day, his doctor informed him the surgery would be canceled. Minton also has a phalloplasty set in November and said getting the hysterectomy now is essential.

"This timeline is so essential," Minton said. "As it stands now, I'm past the three month mark."

Minton said he chose Mercy San Juan because that's where his doctor usually performs the surgery. He also added the surgery is covered under his insurance there.

"My doctor is a fight...she cares about me," Minton said. "I'm in such good hands with her. She knows me through thick and thin."

Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center responded with the following:

"At Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center, the services we provide are available to all members of the communities we serve without discrimination. Because of privacy laws, we are not able to discuss specifics of patients' care. In general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health's Catholic facilities in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) and the medical staff bylaws. Procedures that induce sterility are permitted when their direct effect is the cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology and a simpler treatment is not available. When a service is not offered, the patient's physician makes arrangements for the care of his/her patient at a facility that does provide the needed service. Please attribute to Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center."

Minton is now getting the surgery done on Friday at Methodist Hospital, where Minton says has less restrictions. Minton said his doctor will also be able to perform the surgery on him there, which he attributes to the help of media coverage.

Even though Minton has gotten past this hurdle, he says he won't stop fighting. And not just for himself.

"People often do this silently. I'm not a silent person," Minton said. "I speak out on behalf of myself and I speak out on behalf of others. When this is over, the fight continues. Not for me, but for the people who follow me."

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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