I am not transgender. I was born intersex. But since I was raised the wrong gender, and had to reclaim my true gender,
Almost everything that can happen to a gay person, lesbian, transgender person, or gender non-conforming queer person, has happened to me. I now know I am not alone. These things happen to other people born intersex too. So far, due to being born intersex these Fifteen Human Rights and Civil Rights Violations have happened to me. I am forty- eight years old and almost did not make it out alive: At the age of three and four, I went through therapy to be taught I was a girl. I was assigned female at birth. I am not female. My true biological sex is intersex, and my gender identity is non-conforming male.
- Although I am stable now, I have attempted suicide three times and almost four.
- One of those attempts happened before the age of eighteen years old; at the tender age of sixteen years old.
- Was kept out of locker rooms, and given the “favor” of taking more art or music class in Junior High and High School. The shame made me silent.
- I have almost lost my life due to medical errors made by doctors, three times.
- I was sexually assaulted by my doctor by the age of twelve.
- I was sexually assaulted by my boyfriend by the age of sixteen too.
- I was raped before I even turned twenty, and the judge let him get away after he shared about me.
- Doctors coerced me to medically and hormonally conform to a gender I was never born as. (For some born intersex, this means forced surgery and hormones). For me, I was not given choices, nor was informed of my choices, until I educated myself about my choices much later in life; after being made horrifically sick and disabled by their medical and psychiatric treatments.
- I had problems keeping a job, and getting a job.
- I was never allowed to represent my true gender, until recently, at work. Where I am finally successfully and have a job I love.
- I have been fired by doctors, and denied treatment by doctors. I have even received letters saying I am “patient non-compliant” when I started to embrace my true gender and stop the treatment that made me appear female. A treatment plan that is currently the only accepted treatment for my form of intersex, and medical condition.
- I was rejected by my family, and turned into black sheep, and scapegoat most my life.
- When I came out my true gender, I was rejected even more by my family. This rejection and prejudice, not only touches me, but my husband and children; and continues to do so.
- I can only find medical help by special “safe” doctors. Most would refuse to treat me.
- When in the hospital, due to my body not conforming to the typical notions of male and female, I am often medically neglected and have only received ONE decent bedbath. This being true after multiple hospitalizations and over eighteen surgeries.
- I obviously would suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and Anxiety, how could I not?
To compound all this, I have also had over eighteen surgeries, due to complications my body has due to the way I was born, and have also suffered from four miscarriages, and have not been medically respected due to being “medically complicated”. You can read about me in my autobiography. Thankfully, I now finally have doctors and therapists, who are trying to respect me, and help me; but this was not always the case.
So, when human rights effort do not include intersex, it hurts. It hurts badly. I will not get restitution, and yet society and culture got away with it.
Worse, my own personal list does not even include the surgical violations that have harmed countless other intersex people, or even the countless abortions, when they justify killing us before we are even born. The United Nations has said that the surgical assignment of gender has to stop. Yet, only two countries, Malta and Chile have made laws to stop this practice. This makes this even more horrific. You can read about them too.
The meme below went viral, and shares about Transgender Awareness. As you can see in my list above, all but two have happened to me. Please note, that before 2014 I appeared “heterosexual” (with my husband of many years), and I also appeared “cisgender” (when we agree to our birth assignment of gender). At that time my gender expression was that of a typical and conforming for female. I would NOT have appeared LGBT back then; although I would have benefited from the support of equality groups including intersex.
It is so important that “sexual characteristics” be included in this speech in making laws to protect us, and the “I” be included. That it is not just about protecting sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Now you can see this meme below, sadly hits the mark for some born intersex too, and yet still does not include all the horrors faced by intersex people:
If you doubt the above meme, please see: Transgender Awareness Facts
So, if you are including intersex in your HUMAN RIGHTS Efforts, you now can understand why better. If not, please second think why you are not, and the harm this causes to people like me and our families.
My Related blogs to this topic of Intersex Erasure:
- Judi Herring, M.D. and I talking to the City Council, about INTERSEX in Jacksonville, Florida, regarding the LGBT Human Rights Ordinance (HRO)
- The difference between transgender and intersex and the harm that wrong language can bring
- Am I Transgender? Can an intersex person be transgender?