The surgeries for Hypospadias are sold like kool-aid or a Pepsi commercial by some clinics and hospitals. The new latest and greatest technique being competed for by surgeons. The life of the child in the balance. Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Never to ask if the child should get to decide if their own gender identity as a boy, girl, both or neither when they grow up.
I know an ugly side to the medical complex few see or know about. It is calling hypospadias a “birth defect” or “disorder of sex development” in order to pathologize bodies to justify surgery on non-consenting infants and young children. Parents convinced corrective surgery is the only solution by a “DSD Team” of medical experts (DSD: Disorder of Sex Development). These surgeries happening to children that are not sick and the surgery is not medically necessary.
My friend, Tiger Devore, a Survivor of Intersex Genital Mutilation
Tiger Devore is a survivor of such forced surgeries as a child. I met Tiger Devore for the first time at an HEA Conference (Hypospadias/Epispadias Association Conference) in Orlando, Florida 2016. He has had up to 28 surgeries, repairing the mistakes surgeons made when he feels he never needed surgery at all. He was born with a severe form of hypospadias where his body appeared a mix of both male and female at birth, his first surgeries happening at 3 months old. He is now up to twenty-eight surgeries to repair the mistakes of well-intentioned surgeons. As a young child, he was called a “hypospadias cripple”, to justify his surgeries. His childhood was robbed by hospitalizations and genital surgeries. He now educates at several conferences, literally competing with the sales pitch of surgeons and meeting with the parents of intersex children.
Few realize that hypospadias is considered a variation of intersex.
Most doctors and surgeons call hypospadias a “birth defect” that needs surgical fixing. The parents are NEVER told their child was born intersex. In general, hypospadias is when the urethral opening doesn’t make it to the tip of the glands/penis, in some form or fashion. It can also mean other intersex variations are happening at the same time as well.
Here is the problem. Not all with this variation are “boys”, just because their chromosomes are XY. Most of these surgeries are cosmetic and to create a child that “needs” to stand to pee. I sadly know many transgender women who started out with hypospadias and have XY chromosomes. I also sadly know many people who are not happy with their surgeries and are having to resort to repair after repair, even if they do agree with their birth assignment of being a boy. Lastly, and most shocking, I also know a few who have had to resort to amputation due to so much surgical error they had to give up on their penis.
Most the intersex people I know were surgically violated and simply wish they had the genitals they were born with.
Although these hypospadias repair clinics offer amazing promises, for some of the kids who are forced into nonconsenting surgery, there is nothing happy or good about the outcomes of such operations. In the end, the results are often destroying lives. No surgeon or clinic is breaking the law, nor are they accountable with they mess up.
This is what I am up against as an educator and activist. This type of commercialism of the male/female binary ideal and the fabrication of genitals. All this happening when nature proves more than male and female genital variations exist.
Below are two videos that you should take the time to watch by Dr. Tiger Devore. He talks about how he is a survivor as well as participating in a documentary with other intersex people:
These Human Rights Organizations and many more say it is time to Stop Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM).
My TEDx Video: Born Intersex: we are human!
I am Proudly the First in Colorado to get an Intersex Birth Certificate
How Common is Intersex Status? By Cary G. Costello Ph.D.
Seven Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, and Clitoromegaly. By Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez
These Children Aren’t Sick — But They Are Still Having Operations. By Juliane Loeffler