My thoughts on prejudice today:
My dad was a Castilian Spaniard. Our Spanish ancestors were Ashkenazi Jews that escaped Europe into the United States to survive being killed.
They converted to Christianity due to Catholic missionaries in the United States as immigrants. My grandmother was so terrified of their speaking Spanish, they forbid it in their children. My dad never learned to speak Spanish. They were told they were United States Americans now. Imagine that shame.
My mother was German and Pennsylvania Dutch. She lived most of her life indigent and without a father in the 50’s and 60’s. I was born intersex, due genes on both sides. Intersex definitely runs on the Marquez side. My Marquez side cousin born ten years after me was intersex too.
I was locked up in psychiatric hospitals for being their gay son, assigned a girl. This was during a time where the United States still punished gay men with testosterone blockers, electric shock, and lobotomies. Giving me only one choice, to live as a girl and a woman almost took my life. Yes, I relate to the prejudice transgender people receive. How could I not? I even survived conversion therapy as a young child. Therapy to teach me I had to be a girl when I was NOT.
I do not know about male privilege. I Have yet to receive it as an out queer intersex trans man. I never was treated like a “real” woman as Antoinette even. My skin is rather “white”, even though my Spanish name and heritage led me and my family to oppression. I would marry a man that is part African American but passes as white. Until he shares, and the one-drop rule is thrown in his face. He also had a Spanish, Pawnee and German mother. His family hid behind their “whiteness” in shame too.
Please don’t you ever tell me we don’t know prejudice. I do my best to stand by all marginalized people. So many of us intersex survivors have a horror story to tell. Stop stomping on the stories of others, just because we empathize with each other’s oppression. My family is obviously going to empathize and sympathize with a lot of prejudice.
We need to silence our judgemental words of each other and simply slow down and stop to listen sometimes. Start conversations before we go for the attack.
We need to learn to listen with care and to end all these ugly assumptions. I want what you want. My #HumanRights. It is that simple at the end of the day. I could share more but will keep this message simple and under 500 words.
Poem: Our Broken Intersex Community
2 thoughts on “Does my family know prejudice?”
I’m so glad you have taken on prejudice, bigotry, and worse that seems to be a stumbling block for some intersex people right now. I sure hope they get over it, and over themselves fast because they are feeding a problem we should be solving instead. That problem is easily summed up in the statement, “I can’t imagine what it must be like to be you.” A corollary of this is, “You can’t imagine what it must be like to be me and further more if you try it I’ll beat you up.” To those practicing this sophomoric error I offer this caution; “If you play into the game of ‘divide and conquer’ we ALL lose, including you.”
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