On facebook earlier this week, Suvi shared a post of things that they, as an intersex person, wanted the world to know. I offered Druid Life as a platform (this is something I am always happy to do, get in touch if you need to borrow the space.) For anyone not familiar with the term, intersex people are born with mixed sexual characteristics. I’ve seen estimates of around 2% of the population affected by this. Surgery to ‘normalise’ their bodies to one or other gender is usually carried out in infancy, with little regard to internal organs or how the child might self-identify.
Over to Suvi…
I have no physical sense of self or desire to make that connection
Puberty is bad enough; second puberties really suck
The secret we carry leads to our complete isolation
I have never been able to undertake any gender specific activities of either gender including sports
I’m inhibited, a mass of numb physical scars
I want to run away
Relationships with those of the gender you have been forced to conform to are difficult as faced with a body that looks nothing like yours. Normally they freak out and run away.
You avoid mirrors; outward appearances are very outward
If you can never live up to expectations of your parents; you don’t feel like you are loved
Desperation to be loved makes you very vulnerable as a young person and can lock you into abusive relationships; terrified that no one else will want you
Any manipulator can use the no one else will want you card; employers will use it against you too
Then, for many we don’t exist. That is until we have to fill in a form with gender boxes; we get caught up in every piece of red tape going. Until recently (in the last 5 years) we had no human rights. Tick the box ticked on your birth certificate they say; mine says “undetermined”
Trans and intersex are not the same thing; they want surgery and can’t get it, we don’t want surgery and have no choice in the matter. Apart from in Malta where intersex surgeries are illegal.
That said intersex people can be trans if they identify as male or female gendered and not amalga-gendered. Currently 10% of intersex people identify as trans. All of us have little choice but to be mis-gendered by those who don’t know us, and most of us play binary in public to avoid assault. Verbal and physical violence against intersex people is horribly common.
Intersex is not a sexuality. We are on the rainbow as due to being intersex the sexuality or sexualities we do have are going to be queer. Yes; we can have sex. No, we can’t have children.
If we have been operated on as babies or small children we are most likely to have been lied to. As have our parents. Trying to get any truth out of the medical establishment is like trying to get blood out of a stone. It was only confirmed in January that my condition (though I’ve known for decades) only affects boys; up to then I was told I was a girl and it was my fault I looked and felt differently. You would think though that having a prostate gland would be a give-away.
Please could we be included in the legalisation our existence is used to justify. Australian intersex folk can marry who they choose and Scotland to her credit is working on it. But nowhere else can we marry.
Could the world get over bathrooms please; if you have one in your home its unisex
My sign for Pride this year and no its not original, but very apt will say: Ugh, where do I start?