Four years ago today I emancipated my true gender identity to nonconforming gay androgynous man. As of December 19th, I am officially FOUR years old.
Four years old, you say? How can that be? Well, in the transgender community we often count our birthday from the date we started our transition against our birth assignment.
Being perceived as male while having an entirely female history and a mostly female body has made me feel not like an imposter (as some might imagine), but more like an alien.
You see, I don’t want genital surgery to belong to this male/female binary ideal world. I was born intersex, my genitals are intersex, my body is intersex, my hormones are intersex, and I am a man.
Please note: My gender identity is NOT intersex. This is why receiving the first Colorado Intersex Birth Certificate empowers me to now be able to tell you my legally recognized biological sex and my gender identity do NOT match, and I am ok with it. I like to say: I exist even if your mind is closed.
“I exist even if your mind is closed.”
My intersex friend, Jim Costich likes to say: “The minute we are born, gender isn’t something we do. It is something that happens to us.” Sometimes the “experts” at our birth are right, and sometimes they are wrong. One thing I know for certain, my genitals do not create my gender, and I do not feel I am in the wrong body. Typically if people don’t know a thing about me, they assume my pronouns are He, Him, His. Without a hitch! This is not always the case though when someone learns about my body.
“The minute we are born gender isn’t something we do. It is something that happens to us.”
From here on out, I have become Pronoun Fluid, and here is why:
When I educate I share that I have been pregnant six times, have had multiple miscarriages, gave birth to our two biological children twice c-section. I also joke that my easiest pregnancy was our adopted daughter too. You see, my kids call me a “Seahorse Dad”. My intersex friend Cary G. Costello Ph.D., even calls themselves a “Gestational Father”. Few have ever heard of a gestational father or a seahorse dad.
I am “Vader” to our children, which is another way to say, father. My husband is simply “Dad”. When I speak, I share that I was assigned wrong at birth. I share that I had to be taught to be a girl in therapy. I also share that I emancipated my true gender identity of a man at the age of forty-six years old. Yet, after telling all this I am still asked what my pronouns are. I know they are trying to be polite, but it shows me they did not listen with care to what I just told them.
So…….for my mental health, after educating, I am done answering with a precise answer.
Instead of having to validate my gender identity over, and over again, I am simply going to respond: “My pronouns are whatever makes you most comfortable.” I know people are trying to be polite, but this is wearing me thin. At this point, I assume it has to be an implicit bias and a case of not listening with care. I will gently love that my feminity still shines if I magically become “she/her/hers”, and move on like a proud intersex gay man.
My pronouns are whatever makes you most comfortable.”
Be sure to watch:
My TEDx Video: Born Intersex: we are human!
To learn more:
Intersex Fertility. By Cary G. Costello Ph.D.
It’s OK To Use “They” To Describe One Person: Here’s Why
I love this quote by Laverne Cox, a beautiful transgender actress:
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