One of the reasons LGBT Cancer Support exists is because treating everyone the same is not the same as giving everyone the same opportunities. How so you ask? Let me explain.
After Stephen’s diagnosis a care and treatment plan was drafted by his oncology team. As part of the planning process it was necessary to have a number of meetings and pre-treatment tests to ensure the best outcome and prepare for what lay ahead.
As part of this process we met with a nurse, I cant remember her exact title but lets just say she was the one who had to give us the “bigger picture”.
Part of the meeting was to check Steve understood what would happen and why. I think I recall her confirming it was likely he would lose his hair but; the main topic of the meeting was Stephens fertility!
She explained the radiotherapy and chemotherapy could make him infertile so, asked if he had considered starting a family. The nurse went on to explain how his sperm could be harvested and frozen to be used at a later date.
We looked at each other and then Stephen turned to her and said, “I don’t think its possible as neither of us have child bearing hips!” We all had a giggle and she confessed she knew we were “together” but had to ask because they have to ask everyone.
There is my point. Treating everyone the same thing isn’t the same as giving everyone the same opportunity. A more comfortable solution would have been to acknowledge our same sex relationship and ask if we wanted information regarding harvesting sperm. That way we would have been afforded the same opportunity but, would not have had to endure an uncomfortable chat and would not have been forced to “out” ourselves.