By James Costich April 8, 2019
It would seem that General Casimir Polaski, Revolutionary war hero serving directly under Washington himself was an intersex man instead of a male man. This is of great interest to intersex people who have been made to feel like lesser human beings. Otherwise, it is of very little interest against the backdrop of the man’s remarkable career and accomplishments.
Being intersex isn’t all that exciting and so reporters have spiced up the news that he was intersex by saying that it could be that he was, “really a woman.” Women pretending to be men in order to gain access to careers is far more exciting than people with odd shaped genitals, or out of the usual hormone systems, or unusual chromosome arrangements. However, claiming that General Polaski could possibly have been a woman posing as if he were a man doesn’t make it true. In fact, the man’s biography makes it clear that he was never a girl or woman.
Most of the time physical/anatomical sex and gender identity seem to line up with male = man, or female= woman. However, reality is composed of more options than that not the least of which is intersex = man or woman. Now that it is socially permissible to entertain an androgynous gender again some people are exploring it and finding their home. Others don’t.
There are so many ways that a body can be intersex, so many ways that an identity can be transgender and so many ways that a personality can be intergender that the possibilities are endless. It takes a lot of diverse variables coming together to make us what we are. Each one of us needs the freedom, the liberty and the right to grow into ourselves. We need to be allowed to build our house before we can invite others into our home.
Our bodies, identities, personalities, abilities, and interests must have variety and diversity in order to be strong. It is wrong to think that strength is found in conformity. One of the tragic errors of early twentieth century understanding of people was to think that sex, sexuality, gender, and identity could and should be policed. There is nothing true in the belief that everyone is “really” male/masculine/man or female/feminine/woman and people who vary from this in any way are fundamentally disordered and must submit to being reordered. Not only is this a foolish and cruel belief setting everyone under the control of some random authority, it’s baseless. There is no science, no reasoning and nothing reasonable about forced gender assignments and the surgical policing of genitals. Learning to connect to the concrete reality we live in rather than sacrificing each other to the arbitrary and unreasonable fantasyland of “should” is something we need while looking into the past, watching the present or anticipating the future.
The thoughts of another intersex man regarding
General Casimir Pulaski
Please do not misgender Revolutionary War Hero, General Casimir Pulaski: Pronouns He/Him | By Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez
Other articles of interest:
Intersex Revolutionary War Hero Did Good Because Doctors Did No Harm | By ELIZABETH REIS | April 12, 2019
More Written by Jim Costich: The Man with the Hidden Playground