NATALIE, YOGA INSTRUCTOR, DISCRIMINATION
My name is Natalie, and this is my true story
My doctor of 10 years advised me not to take the V given my prior medical history and wrote me a medical exemption even though we both knew the exemption would never be approved by the government. I didn’t even try to submit it. This exemption was more to assuage friends and family inquiring about my V status. I am a Yoga instructor and given my line of work, people are often surprised to learn I have medical vulnerabilities. My healthy lifestyle is not only a choice but a necessity. A year ago, I would have balked at disclosing this very personal information but I’ve gotten used to it. Our Human Right to bodily autonomy is eroding – these gross violations will continue unless we speak out. Furthermore, I shouldn’t need a doctor’s note of exemption. I kind of resent that too. I’ve lived in this skin for over 50 years – I’m pretty sure I know what is best for my body.
I winced when I re read the line “thankfully, it hasn’t been that bad for me”. It has been bad. I won’t compare my pain to the physical injuries people have suffered but I’ve been ostracised by friends and family, gaslit, lost a job I loved teaching Yoga, my kids excluded from sport, etc. same story you’ve heard thousands of times. In all this, the blessing has been that I’ve found a community of like-minded people and for that, I am grateful.