Gender, Human Rights, Intersex Awareness, Self-Determination, Transgender

A Penis and a Vagina does not Create our Gender Identity

I like to teach that gender is our personality and that a penis and a vagina does not create our gender identity. We are not assigned our personality, we just become it. Just like becoming left or right handed, or being able to be ambidextrous and use both hands.  We now trust a child to choose if they are left handed, right handed or ambidextrous when they are very young.

This analogy of handedness can be used when an intersex child is born both and even holds true for any child.  It holds true even if they are born with an endosex (not intersex) body.  All children figure out their gender and they do it relatively young and before they even start grade school.

My Thoughts Regarding Intersex Children:

Here is the United Nations’  intersex FACT SHEET.  I believe that genitals, reproductives systems, hormones, and chromosomes will never create our gender identity.

If we just relax and wait, I promise the baby will let the world know.  All of us who were assigned wrong at birth have all proven that no expert, no chromosomal test, no MRI, CatScan or blood test can determine the gender of any of us 100% of the time.   Yes, sometimes surgeries are medically necessary, but most the time they are only cosmetic and have horrible consequences.  This means a lot of errors have been made and permanently so with non-reversible surgeries.   I know too many un-happy intersex people to prove the experiment of assigning our gender surgically has failed miserably and has to stop.  The obvious solution is to wait and let the baby decide their gender.

My Thoughts Regarding Transgender Children: 

If we gave self-determination of gender to all humans, the diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the label ‘transgender’ would vanish too.   It is our culture that has decided what genitals belong to what gender.  Anything outside of that expectation is now called gender dysphoria.  When I feel it is truly a case of cultural dysphoria around genitals and gender.  However, the label transgender is very important to our culture right now, so we have to take on the discrimination that us transgender people face very seriously.

Yet, in the perfect world, if we gave self-determination to everyone, no one would have to transition or be diagnosed to do so.  Birth Certificates would now only take note that a human was born.  My friend, Mo Cortez, Intersex Advocate from Houston, once shared that maybe our blood type could be put on our birth certificate in place of male or female.  Is our gender marker truly necessary on our birth certificate?  Many feel it is not for many reasons.

One last note: Self-Determination is a human right, and only with consensual adults should genital cosmetic corrective surgeries be performed.  No government should dictate that an adult trans person has to have gender confirmation surgeries to validate their identity.  Surgery should remain a personal choice and not a requirement for a transition from one gender to the other.  Sex reassignment surgeries are also a solution for severe forms of gender dysphoria and should always be available to those who require it.  The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) states: 

“The medical procedures attendant to sex reassignment are not ‘cosmetic’ or ‘elective’ or for the mere convenience of the patient. These reconstructive procedures are not optional in any meaningful sense, but are understood to be medically necessary for the treatment of the diagnosed condition.”

Back to Intersex Natural Variations: 

Right now intersex variations are diagnosed as medical conditions.  When they are truly just naturally occurring natural bodily variations.  Can you imagine if we gave a diagnosis to male or female?  It is no different.  Intersex is the biological sex of an intersex person.  Just like anyone an intersex baby can grow up to have any gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.   Surgeries are not going to keep these things from happening.  Yes, there are going to be gay, lesbian, and transgender appearing intersex kids and people, and the world has to get over itself.

A Gender Self-Determining World: 

If all children were no longer taught that their genitals made them a boy or a girl, and genital integrity was taught early on, wouldn’t this be a better world for intersex, transgender, and non-conforming people?  I believe that ‘no body is shameful’ and that a person can be the personality of any gender:  male, female, both or neither.

I also believe that it is not just intersex kids that need to learn that nobody is shameful.  It is all of us humans, especially transgender children.  Whom I feel are also being coerced to think they need genital surgeries when they grow up.

If everyone was given the self-determination of their gender, we might be very surprised to see a world emerge “gender nonconforming”: 

There are three ways to be a gender non-conformist:

1) Our physical bodies appearing both or neither.  We can be born biologically endosex (not intersex) or intersex.

2) Our Gender identity (our personality as male, female both or neither).

3) Our Gender Expression (how we dress, our hair, or appear to this world).

We can have one, two, or a mixture of these.  As you can see there will be many words and labels that describe all these states of being too.  I hope for a world that can evolve to stop thinking genitals create our gender and we can all just simply be with genital integrity.

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 3.45.30 PM

 Fix Society, Please.  

 Helpful Definitions of Human Sexuality

 

Fix Society with Angel Feather
Hope for a Better World.

cropped-cropped-think-outside-the-box.jpg

 feather

~.V.~

Advertisements
Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Gender, Human Rights, Human Rights Violations, Intersex Awareness, Prejudice, Self-Determination, Transgender, United Nations

My thoughts about the Third Gender Box, Gender Neutral or Gender X


cropped-cropped-unknow-gender-judi-herring-m-d.jpg

I was born with intersex variations, here is my autobiography.   My body does not comply with the rules that would put me into either the biological male box or the biological female box. So at my birth, and during my life, and up until the emancipation of my true gender, I was forced, mostly by social expectations, to conform to the female box when that was not my true gender.

As you know, at our birth they can mark either the Male box, Female box.  For many of us, our true biological sex cannot be marked on most forms.  Some believe we need a third box, gender-neutral, or gender X box,  for those of us born intersex, gender variant, non-conforming gender, non-binary gender, or transgender.

When I started to think about this option of a third gender box, I realize that it is not as simple as adding a third box or gender X option on our birth certificates.   In reality, there are some really good reasons to do this for consenting adults, and some possible really bad consequences to doing this with infants and children.   Below I write about the Pros and Cons, the way I see it, and a rather radical solution is given at the end of this blog.

Before I go into the option of a third gender box though, and how I feel about this, I need to first educate you about what intersex means, since few understand about us.  The below was taken from the United Nations’s Fact Sheet on Intersex:

What does ‘intersex’ mean?

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.

According to experts, between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits – the upper estimate is similar to the number of red-haired people.

Being intersex relates to biological sex characteristics, and is distinct from a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. An intersex person may be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, and may identify as female, male, both or neither.

Because their bodies are seen as different, intersex children and adults are often stigmatized and subjected to multiple human rights violations, including violations of their rights to health and physical integrity, to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and to equality and non- discrimination.

To read more from the United Nations please go HERE



Now that you understand what it means to be born intersex I will share my thoughts.

Seven Possible Negative Consequences  if our Government offers  third gender, gender X,  gender neutral, option:

  1. Some intersex people are happy with their birth assignment being either male or female, and would not want it any other way.  Simply due to one thing, prejudice.  If they had been thrown into a third box at birth, they would then be obvious intersex sexual minorities.
  2. If intersex infants were marked the third gender box at birth or the gender X box, we would not be able to live stealth later in life (not known to the public).  Anywhere where we have to prove our gender or show our birth certificate, everyone would instantly know we are an intersex sexual minority. The consequences in a society that has much prejudice around this could be dreadful, especially in a world that offers few laws to protect LGBTQIA+ people.
  3. If assigned at birth the third box or gender X, once again the self-determination of gender taken away. It is no different than experts deciding for us, male or female.
  4. If an intersex infant is put into the third box at birth, it could be more of a stigma for the parents of the intersex child, that could lead to the very surgeries many of us intersex advocates and activists are trying to stop.  Surgeries that could be justified in order to get their child out of this third box.  Once again, taking away the self-determination of gender for the child.  Note:  I have spoken to other intersex advocates and activist, in countries that provide a third box or gender X box. They have all voiced concern around cosmetic genital surgeries showing an increase.  Note: Surgeries that can take away sensation, fertility, and sexual pleasure later in life. Not to mention, that the wrong gender may be assigned.
  5. Right now, if they detect some forms of intersex in-utero, through testing, a genetic specialist can suggest aborting that intersex fetus.  Even though the United Nations states that we born with human bodily variations, most doctors still call us a “disorder”, “syndrome” and “condition”.   If parents had to worry about their child being an obvious minority with a third gender box or Gender X box, this might increase the eugenics and genocide of intersex humans through abortion.
  6. It also seems that a third gender box continues this patriarchal and misogynist views of the world. Where even typical females are seen as the “weaker sex”.  A third box, or “gender X”  person would definitely be faced with similar prejudice, if not worse!  A third box could simply continue cultural dysphoria around intersex bodies unless our society was able to accept human bodily variations better.
  7. Last, the suicide rate is already high for all sexual minorities, it could go higher if we were marginalized and prejudiced against even more with a third box, or gender X box.  Especially if we do not want this option.

My thoughts about how this could effectTransgender People:

  1. If transgender people were forced to mark the third gender box or gender X box, this would take away their right to self-determination of gender.  Some transgender are simply either male or female. Just because they were assigned wrong at birth should not take away their validity as a person who might identify binary male or female.
  2. However, some transgender people identify as gender non-conforming, non-binary, gender queer,  both male or female, or neither.  So as adults, having this option of third gender, gender neutral, or gender X, could be very validating and confirming of their existence and greatly welcomed.

Two Possible Solutions that could work for everyone:

  1.  I feel it is a Human and Civil Rights solution to Give all people, of adult consenting age, the choice to pick a third box, or gender X option.  After all, at eighteen a person can legally change their gender to the opposite of their birth assignment if they are transgender.  This also is allowed to happen when us intersex people are assigned the wrong gender at birth.  It only stands to reason a person should be granted a third gender option or gender X if they feel they are both male or female, or neither.
  2. Here is a radical solution: Get rid of all gender assignment at birth and offer the self-determination of gender for every human being on the planet.  Along with a few out here, I believe that at our birth no one should be assigned gender.  Yes, this is a radical solution to some.   However, when one believes that the self-determination of gender is a human right, it stands to reason that this should become an obvious solution.

In closing, I  realize that the second solution is rather a radical one.  However, I believe that the self-determination of gender is a human right.  No matter what genitals we are born with I believe this to be true.  I believe that our genital integrity is a human right too,  and those cosmetic surgeries should stop in infants and children.  I also believe that transgender children should never be told that they are in the wrong body nor made to believe that they need genital surgery to conform.  

I will never feel that our reproductive system, genitals, hormones, and chromosomes determine our gender, and simply never will.  

So, I end this blog with a question to you:  Is time to Get rid of all the gender boxes? 



About my collaboration with Judi Herring, M.D., who believes it is time to “(un)know gender”:

I’m a Gender/Intersex Activist, who works collaboratively with Judi Herring, MD. Our collaboration grew organically through a series of interactions, among which, Dr. Herring’s 2014 TEDx Jacksonville talk, Gender Bound: Lessons from the world between, was key.  I have included the link to that, fourteen minute, TEDx below for your viewing.

In the talk, Dr. Herring delivered a message, which resonates with me, “It is time to (un)know gender.”:

“There is no question. The time is now.”

Judi Herring, M.D.

“It is time to stop cutting the genitals of infants and children just so that we can bind them into M-F boxes.

It is time to stop cutting the freedom of people, by applying labels, nonsense words – homosexual, bisexual, intersex, intersexual, transsexual, transgender – groin-focused words that bind us into in-groups and out-groups, entrenched in a state of perpetual dispute; destructive words that keep us bound, all of humanity bound in the realm of UVT – Us versus Them.

It is time that we unbind ourselves from thousands of years of certainties that place our reproductive parts, our reproductive potential at the center of who we are and how we relate.

It is time to raise our gaze from between the legs, so we can see. So we can see that it is our mind that is at the center of who we are and how we relate.

In my journey from one cell to sentience, through some magic of biology, through the wonders and the miracles of nature, my mind was embodied. I stand before you the embodiment of a mind. You are the embodiment of a mind. We are embodied minds, not bodies that happen to have minds attached to them so we can function and move and reproduce.

It is time to transcend our physical boundaries, to come together across these physical differences that divide us.

It’s time to unknow gender.”



If you would like to read more about this topic see the below links.

California the first to offer Gender Neutral as an option for Birth certificates: California 1st to Allow Gender-Neutral Birth Certificate

A Groundbreaking, Legal Case, in fighting for Third Gender in the USA: 

  1. Here is an article about Dana Zzynn, a person born intersex, who identifies as third gender.  Quote:   “A federal judge in Denver ordered the U.S. Department of State to reconsider its denial of a passport to a Navy veteran from Colorado who identifies as neither male or female, court documents showed on Tuesday.”  Judge Orders US to Reconsider Denying Passport to Intersex Veteran; NOV 23 2016.  And Lambda legal In Court Case: Zzyym v. Kerry

New York City Issues Nation’s First Intersex Birth Certificate:  

  1. ‘The protocol of the day was to lie’: NYC issues first US ‘intersex’ birth certificate
  2. Nation’s First Known Intersex Birth Certificate Issued in NYC

The nations second to have an Intersex Birth Certificate:  Hida Viloria: “I have an intersex birth certificate!”.

 

Articles are written by Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.; Tiger Devore, Ph.D., and Morgan Carpenter:

  1. The Problematic Ideology of Natural Sex By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
  2. Cis Gender, Transgender, and Intersex. By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
  3. Five Myths that Hurt Intersex People By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
  4. Cis Gender, Ipso Gender By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
  5. The Inbetween Sex / An interview with intersexual Tiger Devore, Ph.D.
  6. Male or female? Babies born on the sliding sex scale; With Tiger Devore, Ph.D. – BBC News
  7. Miraculous Thinking By Morgan Carpenter

My related Blogs: 

  1. Five ways I show that the Male/Female Binary is a Myth, and a Social Construct. Nature has always Created Sexual Variety and Diversity.
  2. Two diagnoses that bring in the cash $$ for surgeons, psychiatrist, and therapist: Disorders of Sex Development, and Gender Dysphoria
  3. INTERSEX Erasure Hurts! Examples of Misguidance from Doctors.
  4. Why I don’t like saying “non-binary gender” anymore.
  5. A Male/Female Mosaic Brain Proves We Need the Self-Determination of Gender
  6. I was born with an Intersex body, but this does not create my Gender or my Sexual Orientation.
  7. Seven Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, and Clitoromegaly.

 

15181259_10211079277883304_6307326317806284694_n

Thank you for visiting my blog.  

Male_and_female_sign.svg

~.V.~