Krista and Jami Contreras were married in 2012 and welcomed a blessing in their life, their daughter, Bay, in October 2014. This same-sex couple knows first-hand about the occurrence of homophobia in the world. They are aware that there are people who are strongly against, and have hatred towards LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) people. However, when the couple brought their 6-day-old daughter to their pediatrician for her first checkup, Krista and Jami were shocked to find out that “[…] Dr. Roi decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won’t be able to care for Bay” (MyFOXDetroit Staff, “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby”). Dr. Roi wrote a letter to the parents giving reason for her decision, stating that “After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients” (MyFOXDetroit Staff, “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby”). It could then be concluded that Dr. Roi was refusing to treat Bay, who has no sexual orientation of her own yet, simply because of her same-sex parents. After all, if Dr. Roi is worried solely about her patient-doctor relationship, then the sexual orientation of Bay’s mothers should not be a factor in the care Dr. Roi believes she can, or cannot, provide for Bay, right? Jami Contreras stated that “we know this happens in the world and we’re completely prepared for this to happen other places. But not at our six-day-old’s wellness appointment.” (MyFOXDetroit Staff, “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby”). Ultimately, the Contreras’ were shocked that an individual in such a profession could display such heteronormative tendencies. The Contreras’ were quick to find another wellness center and another doctor to treat their young daughter.
While searching for a new pediatrician, the couple felt as though they had to stress the fact that they are lesbian mothers and make sure that the doctor is okay with that. In the structure of today’s society, it is unfortunate that such heterosexual privilege still exists. There are so many movements that aim to diminish heteronormativity in today’s society. People try so hard to come together as one system and fight for equal rights of LGBTQ people and as much as their efforts have paid off, society is nowhere near equilibrium. This lack of equal treatment can be seen clearly through Krista, Jami, and Bay Contreras’ case.
Intersectionality, or interactions between systems of oppression and discrimination, is a prevalent issue that unfortunately still exists in today’s society. In order to understand the present, we must be able to understand the past and its history. It is clear that LGBTQ peoples were degraded much more in the past than in the present day. To some, the increase in support and acceptance may resemble a complete transformation, or fix, to the issue. However, as can be seen in the Contreras’ case, there has not been, nor likely ever will be, a complete fix to the inequalities between heterosexual and homosexual peoples. The oppression felt by LGBTQ people, which is based off of the discrimination by people who only believe in heteronormativity can be detrimental, especially in terms of self-confidence and the feeling of acceptance. Krista Contreras states, “Hopefully us telling our story can make sure by the time [Bay is] six-years-old this kind of thing can’t happen” (MyFOXDetroit Staff, “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby”). Similar to most people in this day and age, Krista and Jami Contreras can only dream of a world where their child can grow up without intersectionality and inequality.
Cornell West once said, “Justice is what love looks like in public”. A world without equality where certain groups of people are oppressed and therefore told that they deserve and are worth less than people with “desirable” characteristics is a world full of hatred. When justice is achieved for all people, that is when the world will be right, or in West’s terms, that is when the world will be full of love. Jami Contreras explains her scenario; being turned down for child care by her pediatrician for the sole reason that she and her wife are lesbian mothers as “[…] embarrassing, it was humiliating” (MyFOXDetroit Staff, “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby”). When justice is reached throughout the entire world, no human will have to feel embarrassed for being who they are.
Aulette, Judy R., and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds. Third ed. New York: Oxford Universty Press, 2015. Print
“Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby.” MyFOXDetroit.com. MyFOXDetroit Staff, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.