Anonymous Messages · Human Rights · Prejudice · Relationships

An Anonymous Message from a Suicidal Intersex Survivor

WE ARE HUMAN with Feather

I have been helping an intersex survivor and asked to share their words to this world.  I Hope this makes everyone give pause.  It is no wonder why the suicide rate is so high.  I have felt the same at times:

I may seem like a strong person, but in reality, I am fragile deep inside, you have no clue to my daily battles, you have no clue what it’s like to be in my skin. When people treat me different I feel it deep within and though I shouldn’t let things get to me, they do, for I have to fight every day to be just me, when people see only my disability and disorders, you fail to see that I am just as good a human being like anyone else, so fuck you for making me feel worthless and unworthy of love, friendship and happiness like anyone else, because of the way I look and the way I was born.

I do dream of a day I will be seen just as human being with the same needs and wants as any other human being, sure my body is different, but so is the colour of your hair, and eyes, I am just another variance of the human experience, I get treated poorly by gay guys because of my feminine features and treated like I’m not worthy of love, friendship and dates. My experience with date sites has been nothing more than a million question time and curiosity seekers, never thinking I’m a person just like them.

Intersex is not a deformation of the human body, it is natural variance of the human experience, intersex is not a taboo, what is taboo is the ignorance of a society that has little to no respect for others in their own unique form, being intersex is not a religious sin of deformation, but what is a sin is you lack of acceptance and love, and further more intersex people are just that people, intersex people are within every facet of society and are worthy of love, peace and compassion, and if you fail to be on that Level of equality with any type of person then you have failed in being a child of God and you have failed to be a true human being with good humble values.

Maybe this world change, and become a nicer place for people born with a difference, and words like this never have to be spoken again.

~.V.~

 

Anonymous Messages · Human Rights · Human Rights Violations · Intersex Awareness · Short Messages · United Nations

An Anonymous Message From an Intersex Survivor of Non-consensual​ Surgery.

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I want people to see what I get to see as an intersex advocate, educator and as a friend.  I received permission to publish this heart breaking response from a Facebook friend of mine who has survived non-consensual surgery as a child.  It was in response to the meme you see above:  

I am trying, it kills me to think that it’s still happening.  If only people knew what happens and what happens later on in life.  It’s a jail sentence for a crime us intersex individuals have to face in every aspect of our lives.

This cruel medical practice must stop, and I say to any mother or father in a position of having to make a choice on the matter please, please I beg of you with tears in my eyes, love you child, love them completely, love them with all the night in your heart, but please don’t destroy their body.

It’s a hard life, and a mental Truma I live with every day of my life.  Please all you need is to love and accept that your beautiful baby is normal and is not a deformative disorder.  Intersex is beautiful.

This person will never get restitution.   At this time only Malta and Chile have out lawed non-consensual corrective surgeries on intersex infants.  Below is what the United Nations says about it:

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Here is the United Nations’Intersex Fact Sheet

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Related Blogs about Malta and Chile (Flag Pin shown above): 

When will the rest of the world catch up with Malta?

Chile outlawed unnecessary Genital “Normalizing” Surgeries on Intersex Babies! 2nd country to do so since last April 2015, when Malta was the first.

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#StopIGM = Stop Intersex Genital Mutilation 

#NoBodyIsShameful 

~.V.~

Anonymous Messages · Cosmetic Genital Surgery · Human Rights Violations · United Nations

An Anonymous letter from a parent; to National Geographic.

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Above Picture is part of the series of: Born Perfect Baby Memes, By Mx. Anunnaki Ray

Below is the heart wrenching letter that was sent to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, from a parent of an intersex little girl, asking them to change the verbiage of “Disorder of Sexual Development” to “natural variation”.   I share this to show the huge tragedy, and constant battle we have in getting the correct definition of intersex out there, so that  all this tragedy can end:

Good Evening,

As a parent of an intersex beauty, I would not like to refer to her as having a disorder. It was brought to my attention that an upcoming article titled “Gender Revolution” address intersex individuals in a way that will only stigmatize them even more. Your words are powerful and for society to read that intersex individuals are associated with a disorder you are are only promoting them to be fixed. If you research a little more being fixed is a common practice on babies who do not fit the normal perception of pink or blue.
Allow me to paint a quick picture. My child was born with ambiguous genitalia. The doctors were not sure of her gender. The wanted to fix her right away, (make her normal). With our little knowledge of intersex, the doctors had seemed to know what they were talking about. That was the worst choice as a person I have every made. My child did not have a voice and I and the doctors took it from her. With a simple genetics test, she was deemed a boy 46XY. end of story , we had a boy.

This was just the beginning. My child had a man made penis created out of skin graphs. It was not till after 2 years of surgeries that we learned she had Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome. She was resistant to androgen and later in life she would not process testosterone and develop much like a female would. Despite that, we did not encourage or stop her natural process of identifying who she was. She on her own naturally transitioned into our sweet little girl. Please don’t confuse this with transgender, as you may know and I Hope you do intersex is biological. If society relates the word disorder with intersex then how can we stop the mentality that they need to be fixed. Imagine how hard things will be for her. She was born without a penis, was surgically given one and now does not understand why she has one. Please don’t say she has a disorder. Please don’t tell others she has a disorder. Please understand that she is intersex. I am attaching a picture of my sweetheart. I want you to see what your article is portraying as disordered. I hope this finds you well and I hope you consider revising your verbiage.

Sincerely, Anonymous Parent of an Intersex Child.


Note:  National Geographic has a new magazine coming out January 2017: “National Geographic Gender Revolution“.  If revisions are not made, it appears that they will be calling us intersex people a “Disorder of Sexual Development” or DSD.   Calling us a DSD  leads to our being aborted as a fetus, or our genitals being “fixed” with non-consensual “corrective surgeries” as infants and children.   Please say “natural bodily variations” instead.

The United Nations has asked that the non-consensual genital surgeries on children be ended!  You can read the United Nations  definition of Intersex and their message to stop cosmetic surgeries here:  United Nations Fact Sheet for Intersex

Here is the United Nations definition of Intersex, which is the one everyone should be using.  The verbiage of “Disorder of Sexual Development” needs to end.:  

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.

Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.  

It has become common practice to subject intersex children to unnecessary surgical and other procedures for the purpose of trying to make their appearance conform to binary sex stereotypes.

These often irreversible procedures can cause permanent infertility, pain, incontinence, loss of sexual sensation, and lifelong mental suffering, including depression. Regularly performed without the full, free and informed consent of the person concerned, who is frequently too young to be part of the decision-making, these procedures may violate their rights to physical integrity, to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and to live free from harmful practices.

Read more here: United Nations Fact Sheet for Intersex


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This child referred to in this parent’s letter, is one of many in the USA!  As long as we are called a disorder, they will forever try to fix us and they will continue to make errors. Surgery is rarely medically necessary.

We are simply a variety of human, with natural bodily variations.  We are born perfect the way we are.  The self-determination of our own gender is our human right.  Using wrong verbiage needs to stop: 

YOU CAN HELP:

PLEASE WRITE National Geographic: e-mail: ngsforum@nationalgeographic.com and insist that they use the right definition for us INTERSEX people, and STOP using “Disorder of Sexual Development” and instead use “natural bodily variations”.  Please also share this link from the UNITED NATIONS that shows the correct definition of INTERSEX:  bit.ly/1VZRCg5

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United Nations FACT SHEET on INTERSEX


FACEBOOK MESSAGES from other Intersex Advocates/Activists:

A Message From:  PIdgeon Pagonis on Facebook December 16, 2017.

As 2016 nears its end, I was surprised today with the appearance of my image on the cover and inside of National Geographic Magazine’s special issue on Gender.
As someone who’s always been obsessed with photography, especially the photography in Nat Geo, it’s nothing short of a dream come true to be able to use Nat Geo as a platform to increase awareness about sex and gender existing on a spectrum–while highlighting the unique struggles of intersex people.
Unfortunately, from what I can see in one of these images, the editors got the definition of intersex wrong. They unfortunately used a stigmatizing medicalized definition of intersex that leads to more pain and suffering for intersex people.
Please let National Geographic know that intersex people do not have “*disorders* of sex development”, but instead are people with sex traits that don’t fall neatly into binary definitions of either male or female. Pls tell them to use the United Nations Free & Equal defintion found here: bit.ly/1VZRCg5
This type of damaging language only leads to more surgeries and shame, the same surgeries and shame we are fighting to rid the world of.
#toocutetobebinary #intersexisbeautiful


A Message From Hida Viloria on Facebook:  December 16, 2017.

FOR ALL INTERSEX PEEPS, OUR FAMILIES & ALLIES:
Recently learned that National Geographic Magazine (@natgeo) plans to use hurtful, pathologizing language to describe intersex people in their upcoming January issue, “Gender Revolution”. I am so disappointed as I’d been contacted to be a part of the accompanying documentary (airing in January), and although my schedule did not permit, I was excited about it as it sounded fantastic.

It’s a travesty that an issue which respectfully defines and addresses gender variant people by their chosen labels (trans people are not defined as “people with gender dysphoria”) would use a label for intersex people which the community rejects because it promotes the stigmatizing view that intersex people require “fixing”, which in turn facilities the harmful, medically unnecessary, irreversible “normalizing” surgeries on intersex babies and minors which we are all fighting to end. I have begun contacting them to address this issue and BEG any of you who have an extra moment to please do so as well. Please be polite and courteous as they will hear our concerns more readily this way, and please feel free to use any of the language in this post. Hopefully, together we can fix THIS.

Email:
askngs@nationalgeographic.com & ngsforum@nationalgeographic.com
Fax: 202-828-5460
Letters should be addressed to:
Susan Goldberg
@susanbgoldberg Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine, Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners


Here is another Anonymous Message from the parent of an intersex child: 

Disorder does not describe my child but National Geographic thinks so……
In January National geographic will debut the magazine issue, titled “Gender Revolution,” covering a wide range of topics, from examinations of traditional gender roles. Included in this issue is Intersex . Despite the past respect I had for National Geographic, I am not happy with the verbiage used to represent Intersex individuals. Disorder of sex Development. I wanted to understand what the term Disorder meant to people. I am finding that the meaning is not an accurate representation of my own child or any other intersex individual. When you tell people that intersex is A Disorder, you stigmatize and harm individuals that are already fighting for basic rights and choices. This will only promote the continued practice of fixing babies with surgery to normalize them. Disorder is a very impacting word, and I will never feel my child has a disorder. Shame on you National Geographic for creating another hurdle for individuals to navigate through.


A Letter from a True Intersex Ally:

Dec. 17th 2016:  

National Geographic,


This letter is regarding the Special Edition of January 2017. The article “Gender Revolution” started to be the highlight of my day only to find a grave error has been made.
I was absolutely dismayed when I read the definition of Intersex. National Geographic chose to use a horrible medical definition instead of the definition given by the United Nations. The correct definition can be found at http://bit.ly/1VZRCg5 . To quote part of it, “Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.
Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.”
It is absolutely a disgrace to the very people who have rallied against the terminology of disorder, syndrome or even needing to be “normalized”. Intersex people are people and the have the right to be recognized as people NOT a disorder.
The definition lets people think it is okay to let doctors make decisions about intersex bodies with unnecessary surgeries that create a lifetime of misery.
This is why the United Nations stepped in. These atrocities have to stop! It is very important that National Geographic edit and share the correct definition.
Mx. Anunnaki Ray, Pidgeon Pagnosis (who was featured on one of your covers), Hida Vilera, Tiger Devore Ph.D of “No Body is Shameful”, Tony Briffa, Morgan Carpenter even Judi Herring MD of Tedtalk Gender Bound, just to name a few people that are working tirelessly to educate the public that Intersex is NOT a disorder or a syndrome. The United Nations themselves stated that Intersex is a NATURAL BODILY VARIATION this is what needed to be reflected in your definition. Again, too many doctors are using the disorder or syndrome to justify unnecessary surgeries and the genital mutilations that are done. It is wrong!
So as a well respected magazine that so many people read, you have sent out a bad message for the intersex population. The definition needs to be corrected, not quietly either. It needs to be BOLD and LOUD!
Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely, Anonymous 


A Letter from someone born intersex:

Susan B. Goldberg Editor in Chief National Geographic Magazine Dear Ms. Goldberg: I like National Geographic. The last few days I’ve been my attention call to your article “Gender Revolution”, in which the magazine uses the wrong definition of Intersex people: this is the correct one, “Intersex people are born with characteristics (including genitals, gonads, and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.” https://unfe.org/system/unfe-65-Intersex_Factsheet_ENGLISH.pdf. The term disorder of sexual development (DSD), is used by medical professionals to make parents feel like the doctors know what they’re doing. We (I’m Intersex/Hermaphrodite) are not born with any emergency need to do surgery (normalization surgery) on our genitals (we call it Intersex Genital Mutilation). The UN Rapporteur on Torture has called on all nation states to ban these surgeries. Which is what the term dsd seems to say. It’s a pathologic diagnosis for an illness that doesn’t exist. Surgery and other medical interventions cause us to be sterile, a form of Eugenics which is an unacknowledged form of GENDERCIDE. I’m sure this was an oversight. It’s likely too late to have the definition replaced or retracted, but public apology to our community and a follow up article about the fight for civil and human rights would be nice. We represent every aspect of citizen; Race, Religion, class, etc. Our Humanity shows up. For example a Federal Judge ruled that The South Carolina violated an Intersex child human right when they had M.C. (the Child) undergo normalization surgery (case dismissed on technical grounds). I’m suing the US State Dept. for a 3rd Gender marker in the 10th Circuit Court (ZZYYM v KERRY http://wwwlambdalegal.org/blog/20161122_zzyym)). We are Doctors and lawyers, artists, writers. And more and we deserve to be treated equally with our defined labels. Thank you Dana A Zzyym Assoc. Dir Intersex Campaign for Equality Organization Intersex International Board PFLAG Fort Collins Navy Veteran IGM Survivor

 

The Letter I wrote National Geographic December 17th, 2016.

~.V.~

Anonymous Messages · Bathrooms · Civil Rights · Human Rights · Intersex Awareness

An Anonymous Message From a Parent of an intersex child: What happens with the bathrooms when she grows up?

The Anonymous Messages

What happens with the bathrooms when she grows up? 

I often share the messages of parents to help change culture.  So you can hear their words, and not just my own all the time.  I do hope you take the time to read this one.  It is heart crushing.  This world has to stop the genital assignment of gender.  Errors are being made, and they are not rare.  The United Nations has declared genital correction surgeries to end.  It is time.  Please read this parent’s message below about their child, bathrooms, and growing up:

 

When our child was born I saw just a few feet in front of us. All the information was like running down a never ending tunnel. No true direction from doctors just what needed to be done in the moment. I engaged with others but reluctantly as I felt very scared of the things I could not fully understand. After surgery this moment of concern and regret over came me. What just happened to my baby. I did find a way out of the tunnel but not till it was to late. The hardest thing for a person/parent is, to make a choice for any individual that can’t express their own wishes. In hindsight it’s very clear, just don’t. Unless it’s a dyer life threatening situation. Recently our family traveled up North to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. We had to pass through North Carolina and of course stop and pee. 3 kids and a dog, means frequency in bathroom stops. I knew that Joey would not have any issues using the women’s bathroom, after all she is an 8 year old and no matter the gender of a child as a mom I would have accompanied my son just the same. But in this moment I realized that she is getting older and in a few years this could matter . As it does for many intersex individuals. So I went back to the place of anger when this monumental human rights violation happened. I then relived the decisions made years earlier. A man made part was installed like a car part. We had no option to delay the infamous M or F on the birth certificate. We had to pick her gender before any human could process what just happened.
I share this as a real moment that not only parents process but Intersex individuals do. There are so many amazing moments in between and life’s goes on but there is always that injustice hanging around. There is always that little reminder that challenges are ahead. I took her picture by the women’s bathroom in N.C as a reminder of how heartbreaking, the reality truly is. This is my reminder to always educate and fight for all rights . To help stop surgery without consent, to open up more dialog for all spectrums of intersex individuals. To just listen to those in need. To be a friend when one is needed. To be a parent and not forget that my child is intersex, and her thoughts always matter.

~.V.~

Anonymous Messages · Bathrooms · Human Rights · Prejudice · Relationships

About intersex children and bathrooms: An Anonymous Message from the mother of an Intersex Child.

 

Anonymous Message #3:

Unknown-4

More about bathrooms:

I first want to thank my family and friends for all your love and support!
This is for the rest of you.
Let me explain a few simple facts.
I support you and your children. I support each post where your children have been a victim of some insane rule, law, bulling event, and issues that has unfortunately invaded their precious little world. Would it be wrong to say you would do everything you could to protect your child? Would it not be true that you use social media to alert the world that your child is in harms way do to social perception ? When March of dimes needs help, I am there. When you post about a child that is beating the odds despite that fact they were born with down-syndrome, I rally for you. I rally for autism awareness, teenage suicide reduction,, anorexia and obesity. I rally for you because I care. I care about the well being of your child’s future. I care that they have an amazing quality of life. I care that you have to go through something so difficult. I extend my heart to you.
So for me , I am rallying for my child with or without you. I support her right to have an amazing quality of life. I want her to feel okay being who she is. I want her to beat the odds.
You think these bathroom laws are a joke? They are not and they do not take away from the many other environments and human concerns that are happening. As a parent can you see why not only I but others are fighting to restore basic human rights? You change where my child goes to the bathroom and you will label her as an outcast. You will subject her to hate,and discrimination.
She did not make a life choice in the womb. She did not decide to be born intersex. She had no idea the world of hate she was opening her eyes to. She did not know that society would require her to be fixed.
She did not choose Partial Androgen Insensitivity syndrome. She was biologically born different then you and I.
In my opinion, she was born perfect and I will make sure that she embraces being intersex, and knows that she no longer needs to be fixed. So if you for a second think that the controversy over bathrooms is stupid, take a walk in the day and the life of an intersex individual. Try to conceptualize what it is like to be born this way. Try to imagine having doctors decide to take a knife to your genitals and pick your gender for you before you can even speak your first word. Please open your eyes beyond politics and religion and see what is right in front of you. TRUTH!


More: Anonymous Messages from others

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Christian Theologian Megan K. DeFranza, A True Ally and Bridge Builder

Educational Intersex Videos, Websites, Blogs, Authors, and Articles.

If you would like to share an anonymous message, here is a way: 

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Anonymous Messages · Human Rights Violations · Intersex Awareness · Poems

An Anonymous Poem, From a Parent of an Intersex Child: She Had No Voice

They said we need to take a second look
They said he needs to be fixed
She had no voice
*****
They said you now have a beautiful boy
They misplaced the words that would open our eyes
She had no voice
*****
They washed their hands clean and sent us on our way
The letter came and shed light on our anomaly
She was never given a choice
*****
He blossomed into a person
*****
His voice began to surface
He said I’m a person please call me she
They broke our trust
*****
They stole a choice
She has a voice
By The Anonymous Parent of an Intersex Child

Unknown-6

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