I was born intersex in 1967, and experts decided to raise me a girl in error. My mother would want me named Anthony. She was right in her intuition about my true gender identity but I still would be named Antoinette. After a life time of bad health, by 2014, I would finally emancipate and start to transition to my true self. My truth self being a nonconforming androgynous gay man. Since I could see that I was not alone in being harmed by a binary system that had erased my true sex intersex and forced me to abide by binary gender notions I decided to speak out to the world and come out of hiding.
By 2015 I decided to honor my sacred contract and come out as an intersex activist, educator, and visionary. I have never been treated with full human rights, due to my body being considered a stigma and my actual sex turned into a diagnosis Q.56.0 Hermaphroditism with hormonal intersexuality. So I decided to fight for my restitution. By 2018, I would receive the first Colorado Intersex Birth Certificate and was honored by TEDx Jacksonville to create my short message to this world: My TEDx: “Born Intersex: We are Human!”
All my life, I have been called many hateful things. When people have cruelly called me these things, it slowly broke my spirit. Especially as a child growing up, how was I to block it or cope with it? So, in October 2015, and for Intersex Awareness Day, my husband and I made this giant chalkboard, and I wrote all the ugly labels I have been called on it. Then with the help of my friend and photographer Seth Langner of Karmathartic Studios, we took photos of my erasing these horrible labels. Erasing them for good!
The power of erasing it all was emotionally cathartic and simply amazing. Today, thanks to the activists who walked before me, like Tiger Devore, Hida Viloria, and Pidgeon Pagonis, I now know that “No body is shameful,” and “We are not a mistake!”. I am free now with my legal sex being recognized as intersex. I now don’t mind calling myself a “hermaphrodite” man. I as of this year with my intersex friend’s Hida Viloria, Dana Zzyym, and Pidgeon Pagonis I am reclaiming the word “hermaphrodite”. Please note though, not all intersex people like that word to describe themselves. So please, always need to listen with care.
I believe it is critically important that we all honor the self-determination and self-actualization of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression for all people. Some of us intersex people are LGBTQ+ somehow, and some of us are heterosexual and agree with our birth assignment. We are all valid, and we are all human. Most of all, we all deserve our human rights.
My Suggested Blogs for Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance: