Trans woman works with hospital after being 'misgendered' by staff

Chantelle Saunders

Chantelle Saunders was left 'angry' and 'upset' by the incident

Saturday, April 13, 2019

A transgender woman is working with a hospital to improve its services for trans people after a nurse mistook her for a man.

Chantelle Saunders, who is transitioning from male to female, said she was left angry and upset by the way she was treated by staff at Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.

The 34-year-old claims a nurse referred to her as a man when she visited the hospital wearing an Ann Summers Mrs Claus outfit, to wish her friend who was a patient a happy Christmas.

She said she was disgusted after the nurse believed she was a man and then replied "erggh" when she informed her she was a transgender woman.

A letter from the hospital addressed to Ms Saunders after she filed a complaint about the incident said the nurse thought she was male because of her "full beard" and "male attire".

"I don't know where they came up with the idea that I had a beard and men's clothing - I have never had a beard in my life and the nurse who was involved never said that I did," Ms Saunders said.

"She got caught in the middle and I think the hospital should apologise to her."

The hospital has since apologised and said they would be looking to work with Ms Saunders on improving their services for transgender people.

A RD&E Trust spokesperson said: “We are pleased to be able to arrange a meeting with Chantelle to discuss her concerns further and get her insights on the work we are doing on diversity and inclusion.”

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