Intersex Awareness, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination

Comments that people say that hurt me, as a person born intersex who is reclaiming their true gender.

I truly do not think most people want to hurt me, especially my friends.

However, sometimes the things people say do just that.  Since I know few have been educated about people like me, I try to simply explain why that was not an appropriate thing to say.

I have to have much patience because a part of me wants to get angry.  It is non-stop, and unrelenting, day in and day out.

So, I decided to become an activist and an educator.  This way I can justify why I have to be put on the spot all the time.  Sad to say, sometimes the things that people say trigger some horrible memories.

Here they are,  comments that have hurt me (I will add to this as time goes by, but will start with these few): 

1) So you really think you can be a “real man”?

My thoughts:  

Yes!  I am as real as they get.  I am not imaginary.  My gender is non-conforming male and yup…I am here, standing right in front of you.  Genitals do not create our gender, and never will.

2) My friend said:  “I am glad you are happy being male; I only want what makes you happy.”

My thoughts:  

It does not make me happy being a sexual minority, or an outcast.  This world is not kind to those of us born a sexual minority.  However, it does make me happy to finally get to live my authentic self.   I tried so hard to conform to your world as my birth assignment female.  It did not work.  Nothing about any of this truly makes me happy.  I am very disgusted by this world, and how they assign our gender at birth. 

3) My friend said:  “Yes a lot was taken from you. Your birthright. Your right to choose who you wanted to be. You should be comfortable raising your family and living your life the way you choose.”

My thoughts:

None of us get to choose our gender. To me, my gender is like my personality. Yes, we can improve ourselves and become better people, but I am still the same person I always was.  I also did not choose my sexual orientation.  Being with a man, and being attracted to him sexually just is.  But yes, everyone should have a right to choose their gender and sexual orientation, and not be judged or prejudiced against.  

4) Another friend said:  “You are lucky, you get to choose what gender you are because you were born both.”

My thoughts:

First of all, I was not born with two genders, just because my body is intersex.  I have one authentic gender.  Everyone is assigned a gender at birth.  None is “born a girl” or “born a boy”, we are all assigned a girl or boy.  Some of us are “lucky” enough to agree with our birth assignment.  I did not have a choice, just because I was born with intersex traits and born in between.  My personality is more male if I like it or not.  I simply exist, just like everyone else does. 

5) Another friend said:   “So, you are born a girl, and you decided to become a man?”

My thoughts:  

I did not choose to be a boy.  I was assigned wrong as a girl.  I was always a boy.  I was not “born a girl”.   None of us are born a girl or born a boy, and we definitely are not born “women” or “men”.  Every one of us is assigned our gender at birth, by assumptions based on chromosomes, and our genital appearance.  Some of us just agree with that birth assignment, and some of us who do not agree can reclaim our true gender like I did.  To become a man or woman takes maturity and time; no one is born a woman or a man.

6) Another friend asked:  “Does your husband miss her.?”

My thoughts:  

I am right here.  I did not vanish.  No, my husband does not miss me.  I did not leave.   I just go by a different name, and different pronouns now.  I grow my beard now.

7) Another friend said:  “Wouldn’t it have been easier to just keep conforming to appearing female so that your family would not have to deal with so much prejudice?”

My thoughts:  

I conformed to your world for 46 years.  I did everything I could to appear the “proper woman”.  I am done.  I can’t die living my unauthentic self; and yes, in the end, it was killing me.  I would not have made it.  My ill health, suicide, or both would have taken my life.  Death would have been much harder for my family to cope with than prejudice; and yes, I enjoy growing my beard now.

8)  My gay friend said:  “How can you truly be gay?  Gay men want typical male bodies.” 

My thoughts:  

Some gay men do not have typical bodies or want typical male bodies.   My gender is male; my body is ambiguous, and I am attracted to my husband, who has a typical male body.  In this world, that makes me “gay”.    I am here to teach that genitals do not make a “real woman” or a “real man”.   I am as “real” as they get.

9) One friend said:  I have gay friends,  I even have a transgender friend.  I am “open-minded” enough to understand.

My thoughts:  I am glad they are “open-minded”.  However, even if their mind had been closed, I still exist.  I am here.  Alive and kicking, and nothing about me or my gender is imaginary.   Your having an open mind doesn’t give me permission to exist.  I exist even if you refuse to accept me as real. 



If you were born intersex, or transgender, and have some hurtful things people have asked and want me to add to this please write me, and I will add yours:  








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