In an odd bit of déjà vu, NBC’s medical drama Chicago Med used the exact same transgender storyline in Thursday night’s episode as viewers saw the day before on CBS’s Code Black. Alexandra Grey, a transgender woman in real life, is certainly cashing in on Hollywood’s latest cause – making being transgender seem normal. Ironically these episodes have shown transgenders to be very unhealthy.
In “Natural History,” what started out innocently enough – nurse Maggie’s (Marlyne Barrett) family reunion – turned into a medical emergency for her younger "sister," Denise (Alexandra Grey), in town from Dallas. Stricken with transient blindness, often a sign of a tumor, tests were run in the Emergency Room, including an ultrasound.
Imagine the look of surprise on Dr. Will Halstead’s face when up popped a prostate gland on the computer screen (I would have been more surprised if I hadn’t just watched this exact same storyline less than 24 hours earlier). Denise has prostate cancer. Just like on Code Black, Denise didn’t bother to disclose her gender altering snip-snip operation before tests were run, which exacerbated the problem. Dr. Halstead rightfully shows anger over being excluded from “crucial medical history.”
So pretty much, Hollywood REALLY wants to drive home the message this week that transgenders are so self-delusional that they will lie to their doctors and risk their health to avoid confronting their real biological gender. Denise even wants to leave the hospital because the wrong PC language was used by her doctor, that is in sanity.
But one new element was introduced in this episode – the family’s reaction to Denise’s decision to transition a woman. While Dr. Halstead admits his family would have probably disowned Denise, Maggie admits to Denise that, yes, she misses her brother.
Dr. Halstead: Maggie?
Maggie: What happened?
Dr. Halstead: She wouldn't let me examine her. She's leaving.
Dr. Halstead: Did you know it was offensive to use the word "Transgender" as a noun?
Dr. Halstead: I-I'm sorry. I didn't know.
Dr. Halstead: Yeah.
Maggie: What happened?
Denise: Exactly what I should have expected from a dude from Canaryville.
Maggie: Oh, come on, Denise, he's a little awkward and all, but he's good people. And a great doctor.
Denise: You know what? I'll have my prostate checked when I get back.
Maggie: No! You're not leaving, not without a definitive diagnosis. You need to have all this checked out annually, Denise.
Denise: You want to know why I don't come back that much? I don't always need everybody judging my choices, okay?
Maggie: Please, the family? They embrace you.
Denise: I'm not talking about the family. I'm talking about you. The second I see you at the family reunion, you're-- you're throwing shade about how you were born this way.
Maggie: I was mocking myself.
Denise: Just admit it. You hate what I've done to myself.
Maggie: I miss my brother. Is that such a bad thing?
Denise: Well, he's gone, damn it!
Maggie: Not to me! Not totally! Look, I'm sorry that I hurt you, but I'm not gonna lose you. So if I have to drag you kicking and screaming into that CT scanner, that's what I'm gonna do.
Denise: I'm scared.
Maggie: We'll get through this.
It’s easy for transgenders (oops, apparently that’s offensive) to forget that their decision to mutilate their bodies doesn’t just affect them, it affects those around them, too. Family and friends have to deal with the loss of a person they once knew and loved and have to learn to know and love someone new.
Denise indulges in her tale of woe – she “spent her entire life at war with my gender. Figures the one piece I didn’t get rid of is gonna kill me.” Sorry, but all the plastic surgery in the world isn’t going to get rid of that Y chromosome.
And apparently we’re not getting rid of this storyline anytime soon, either.