One of Britain’s first transgender paramedics has revealed the bad treatment she receives from patients when she turns up at their door for a call-out.
Steph Meech, 53, has been a paramedic for 20 years, but says her verbal and physical abuse started after coming out as transgender.
She works for South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb), which covers Kent, Sussex and Surrey in the UK.
Mrs Meech, from Polegate, East Sussex, said the abuse is ‘really not okay’, adding that she is a ‘paramedic first and foremost’, and her role is to help.
‘I’ve had times where I’m treating people and I get spat at, just for who I am,’ she told the BBC.
‘As I come to the door usually I get “what are you?”.’
She said that the majority of patients are ‘agreeable’ and appreciate help from the ambulance service.
‘It’s just that few minority that spoil it for everybody,’ she added. ‘When I come away from these incidents, they do really hurt you deep down.’
She said that since coming out, she can be her ‘true self’, and feels ‘enlightened’ by the change.
‘This is who I am and I’ve had to keep it hidden for such a long time,’ she told the BBC.