helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

we're here and we're queer and we're not going away

Richard thinks I'm weird because I like seeing obituaries that mention someone's same-sex partner. It's not that I'm excited by "ooh, another dead gay person", just that I like the idea that we queerfolk matter enough to get an obituary when we die. I like the euphemisms that get used for their partners, polite ways of saying what we all know. And I am saddened by all the old people who die who were apparently only ever someone's aunt or uncle, as if the family was embarrassed by any relationships they'd had.

Today in The Times there is the obituary of a woman doctor called Dr Mary Corbett who revolutionised the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, who is survived by her "companion and former colleague", Dr Jean Colston. Apparently before her work, rheumatologists had previously been happy to believe that patients who stop coming for treatment had been made better - rather than that more likely they were at home, too ill to go to the hospital. She kept meticulous records of all the patients which eventually helped to show which of the early symptoms of RA were likely to lead to serious illness.

She sounds like she made a very worthy contribution to her field of medicine, and I'm glad the paper let us know of her existence. And glad that the world is changed enough that her partner can be acknowledged openly.
Tags: queer

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