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.

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 Fix Society, Please.  

 Helpful Definitions of Human Sexuality

 

Fix Society with Angel Feather
Hope for a Better World.

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Bridge Building, Celebrations, Emancipation, Freedom, Gender Nonconforming, Human Rights Violations, Intersex Activist, Intersex Awareness, Questions and Answers, Relationships

The two of us, born intersex and named ‘Antoinette’ at our birth.

God-incidence or Serendipity? 

Whatever you call it, it felt like a miracle.  

I was finally coming to terms with who I was as a human being.  This was after having a lifetime of not feeling real, and being thrown away by many doctors, therapist and psychiatrists, who had tried to ‘fix me’.  

I was an Intersex human being.  Not male, not female, something in between.

The fact is, back in the late 60’s, when I was born I was assigned a girl.  My mother had once shared she wanted a little boy named Anthony, but instead, she would have to turn that name into:

Antoinette

My nickname as a teen ‘girl’ would later become

Toni and Ant

Little did anyone know, somewhere around the world in Australia, another miracle was born intersex.  They too were named a girls name and assigned female and that name was: 

Antoinette 

And their nickname would later become

Tony

And here we were, meeting on Facebook for the first time, March 2015, and have become dear friends ever since!  Wow! 

Here is that story: It was October 2014, when I finally decided I would never do the things to conform to a typical woman ever again.  I had gotten very sick and disabled.  Doctors did not know how to help me, and most had given up on me and  I had gotten used to being patient abandoned for not wanting to endure their medical regimen. I quickly became sexually taboo.

I did not want to lose my beauty.  I always felt like an androgynous person.  I emerge from a wheelchair, and a cane.  Disability had become my reality.  I was sleeping in my house, up to sixteen hours a day in a hospital bed, because I could not even lay down flat anymore.  I felt I might die.  I received my disability from my country even.  I wished for death, that is for sure, and everyone who knew me back then knew how sick I had become.

I then figured out I could get better eating a special diet and by changing my hormones and by honoring my own truth. Soon after that, I started to search other people born intersex like me.  There they were, the two articles about Tony Briffa, from Australia.

At first glance, I did not see the coincidence at first.  

I read, and there it was their birth name:

Antoinette 

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When Tony Briffa was seven years old doctors in Australia made a choice that was never theirs to make – castration.
Tony was born with healthy testes, as well as a vagina, and doctors decided it made more sense for Tony to live life as a woman – called Antoinette.
But Tony – who was born intersex – never felt comfortable being a woman, or a man for that matter.
“Nature – many would say God – made me a healthy hermaphrodite… I tried my best to be a woman but I couldn’t keep up the lie forever. Something was going to give.
“At 30 I rejected what the doctors had done to me and started living life as a man. I was open about my past, about the way I was born, and what doctors had done to me. Now, at the age of 44, I am comfortable explaining I am both a man and a woman,” Tony tells Times of Malta.

Taken from: ‘Healthy Hermaphrodite’ is both man and woman

And another one about Tony Briffa

At birth, Tony Briffa’s doctors couldn’t determine his gender. He had a rare intersex condition known as Incomplete Testicular Feminisation that made his gonads release estrogen even though he genetically tested as male. So on his doctor’s advice his parents raised him as a girl named Antoinette—they painted his room pink, gave him dolls at Christmas and made him wear frilly dresses to school.

The frequent hospital visits for hormone therapy and surgery made him feel like a freak: his parents had him castrated at age seven and even though he told his doctors as a pre-teen that he felt like a boy, they ignored him and continued administering female hormone therapy, something that filled him with desperation and thoughts of suicide as he entered his teenage years.

Taken from: The Amazing Heartbreaking Story of Tony Briffa, The World’s First Openly Intersex Mayor

That day I wrote Tony.  I was confused back then after being guided by misinformed doctors and psychiatrist.  My first notes to them no doubt reflected such confusion.  To my doctors here, I remain a disorder, a syndrome, and a medical condition.  They were even trying to convince me I was transgender.   The medical system in the USA can be very confused about intersex and gender.

I knew one thing, without permission from those who had been surgically violated, I was not going to use the word “intersex” or “hermaphrodite”.   My heart was secretly broken by what has happened to their bodies surgically, without consent as a child.   I did not want to offend anyone.  I had been violated, but it had been mostly by psychiatry.  My physical body remains whole, what would they say?

So, with much bravery, I also reached out to six amazing people born intersex: Tony Briffa, along with Tiger Devore, Ph.D.,  Cary Costello, Hida Viloria, Gavan H. Coleman, and Pidgeon Pagonis.  Six of the most tolerant and loving people I have ever met on this Earth.  Around that same time, my path would also cross with Judi Herring, M.D., who had created the TEDx months before meeting me: Gender Bound, Lessons from the World Between.   This too will always feel like a God-incidence and serendipity!  Judi and I have been working together ever since September 2015.  Together we have done public talks, speaking to schools, visiting the city council, and have even spoken to the human rights commissioner here in our city.  We have become very dear and close friends.

Wow, with the opinion of all of them,  I  learned that I was not born a “freak”,  a “disorder”, “syndrome”,  or “condition”, and I surely was not “mentally derange”!  With that permission, and blessing form all of them, and with Judi Herring, M.D. standing by my side,  I became empowered!  I decided to tell the world I too was born intersex, and share my intersex story.  It has been a huge honor to add my message to theirs in ending tragedy from happening to one more innocent child.

One thing that is most amazing, is that we both have two big things in common.   First, we both find it very special that we were all born BOTH  male and female, and most of all we like to celebrate it.   We are both gender nonconforming too but in different ways!   To me, that is serendipity at it’s best!  

The second thing we have in common, is we all have overcome so much trauma, due not conforming to the male and female binary.  With that experience and pain, each of us has taken all that ugliness, and all our bad experiences,  and now help the world with it. 

So there you have it!  

Two people born with natural bodily variations, known as INTERSEX, with the same birth name

Antoinette!  

Planet Earth is an amazingly small place when you start to think about it!   

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Mx. Anunnaki Ray November 2016

Thank you for visiting my intersex story!  

You can read here:  Why did I name myself Anunnaki Ray.

Please also visit the UNITED NATIONS’ INTERSEX FACT SHEET, to learn more about intersex violations and what you personally can do to help us end it. 

UNITED WE WILL CHANGE THIS WORLD!


EndNote:  An intersex person can have any gender identity, and any sexual orientation.   Also, our biological sex does not equal our gender.  I believe that the Self-determination of Gender is our Human Right and that our sexuality should not be decided for us as children,  our parents, by medical, psychological experts, or the government.   


 

 

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Gender Nonconforming, Intersex Awareness, Questions and Answers, Relationships, Self-Determination

Am I Angry I was raised a Girl?

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Am I angry I was raised a girl? The true emotions are devastated, overwhelmed, and crushed. This world was not better prepared for my arrival, nor more than it is prepared for a baby born like me now. So I share my life story to change this.

I wish my parents had been instructed to give ma an androgynous name, and just leave me to be, but that did not happen. The pain is reflected in my writing at times. People assume anger. I have been told that my writing is very intense and it’s very strong. That’s why it seems like anger, I guess.
Yes, devastated, overwhelmed and crushed are three very intense emotions.

I just know one thing. I was raised the wrong gender, and not allowed to express my true gender. I never wanted surgery and still do not. My choice would have been to leave me be. I do not agree with the assignment of gender, in infants, by the appearance of genitals, and I never will. I was born with intersex traits, both in my physical body and hormonally. You can read about me here.

If I knew what it is like to be a typical woman or a typical man, I might have anger. I have no idea what that would have been like. I can’t even pretend to know today.

Only people like myself can be truly empathetic to being raised the wrong gender. They understand the emotions, devastated, overwhelmed, and crushed. This world still has problems allowing me to simply be. I am Gender Non-conforming. I am “inter gender”. I have the gender expression of a male, and on the most part the voice of a guy. But, will never know what it is like to be a typical man. Even when I appeared as female, I had no idea what that truly would feel like. At times, I enjoyed being a beautiful woman though. I am not transgender, I do not have gender dysphoria. I now equally enjoy appearing male and my body can finally be at peace doing so.

Typical people can attempt on their empathy, but because they were not born with my sort of body, they simply will never know.

Sad to say, because of this inability to know, often times friends, family and allies say things that can upset me. So I try to explain what it is like to be a person born like me.

But no, I am not angry. I am devastated, overwhelmed and crushed.

Why couldn’t they have just left me be? One simple answer. The male/female binary and a social construct that does not allow this taboo. I was born taboo, and later in life my hormones became more unacceptable as female. With transgender people emerging all around, and more intersex people gaining their right to self-determination, this world is changing finally.

If You Have Been Brutaly Broken... Nikita Gill

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About Mx. Anunnaki Ray

Two diagnosis that bring in the cash $$ for surgeons, psychiatrist, and therapist: Disorders of Sex Development, and Gender Dysphoria

Poem: I was never in the wrong body. (With 5 Intersex flags from around the world.)

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Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Cultural Dysphoria, Human Rights, Intersex Awareness, Transgender

Two diagnosis that bring in the cash $$ for surgeons, psychiatrist, and therapist: Disorders of Sex Development, and Gender Dysphoria

Bottom line: If they can convince us, or our parents, that we are born in the wrong body, there is a TON of money to be made.

The two most common diagnosis that leads to genital surgery,  sex reassignment surgery, or therapy  are:  Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD), and Gender Dysphoria.  

I hope to educate this world, so that these pressures to conform to what is male/female typical can stop; and people can finally have peace with the bodies they were born with.  To me this is more about “Cultural Dysphoria” than the personal problem experts try to make us believe we have.  It is time to end Cultural Dysphoria, so that the genitals of intersex babies are not such a threat!  By ending cultural dysphoria, gender dysphoria will no doubt vanish, or lessen significantly with transgender people too.

It doesn’t matter if we are born intersex, or identify as being transgender.   The system is created to make us feel that our bodies need “fixed”, that we are “born in the wrong body”, and that we need to align to the strict male/female binary expectations of male and female.

Daily, Intersex Genital Corrective Surgery or Cosmetic Genital Surgery,  happens in the United States, and pretty much everywhere in the world.  Sometimes it is called “Genital Normalizing  Genital Surgery”.  Most of these surgeries occurring on infants and young children, who can not even give their voice yet.  Many more occur on transgender people, who are made to believe that  they have to have the surgery to be whole or “pass”.  Needless to say, in some places one has to have surgery to even change their birth certificate’s gender.  I feel this is wrong on every level.

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For transgender, and some adults,  top surgery (chest surgery), is the most common.  This is when breasts are created, or a masculine chest created, depending on the persons request.  However, “bottom surgery” is also offered to those who can afford it, and take the risks involved in having a surgically created genitals that conform to the appearance of a typical male or female.  These surgeries are extremely expensive, and cary significant risks that include the loss of:  fertility, sexual sensation, sexual function, and create scaring.

Here are my four thoughts and what I believe about corrective surgeries and therapy:

  1. Self Determination is a Human Right.  I don’t care if you are born intersex, transgender, or not.   Every single human being should be able to decide their gender, and not have to be assigned by the appearance of their genitals at birth.
  2. Gender is a personal thing, and is how one feels internally about themselves.  Gender is not determine by our genitals, reproductive system, hormones or chromosomes.
  3. I believe that only with full consent, and full knowledge, should a person have surgery to conform to what is typical.  That surgery should never be done on an infant or child.  Surgery should not be decided by our culture, government, doctors, friends, family, or churches either.
  4. I believe that genital integrity is a human right; and we should be allowed to have the genitals, and body, that we are born with.  No one should ever feel that they are “born in the wrong body”.  It is my hope to see more and more gender nonconforming people in the world, but if a person must have surgery to conform,then that should be their right to do so.

A related blog:  Do I Pass, What Gender Am I?

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The Government Should Not be Allowed

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Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Gender Nonconforming, Intersex Awareness, Prejudice, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination, Transgender, Transphobia

I am an Intersex Person. I never felt like a Cisgender Person and I Relate to Some Transgender Men.

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I am a person born with intersex traits, that was assumed to be female, and raised female.  A Cisgender person identifies as the gender they are assigned to at birth.  I do not, nor have I ever felt Cisgender, even when I appeared female.  All the therapy and surgery in the world could never achieve that with me, however, there are some intersex people who do identify as being Cisgender or as typical male or female people.  Each of us are so different.

I know many intersex people who were assigned the wrong gender like I was.  I have never felt 100% male or female; although I definitely identify with being male, far more than female.  I am very gender nonconforming, and would rather not say “non-binary”, due to not believing the male/female binary/two categories are accurate in describing humanity.  Please note, I do not speak for other intersex people.  I only share my experience, strength and hope.

Until I honored my true gender, that of being a Gender Nonconforming, Gender Fluid, Androgynous Male.   I also like the word “inter gender” to describe my gender.   I feel that I was forced into a binary sex category (male or female).   In America and any country that has not adopted a “Third Gender” box, it is mandatory to pick either biological male or biological female.   Because of this, some intersex are subjected to infant sex assignment surgery, to make their bodies conform to the assigned sex.  This obviously can be catastrophic in some cases.  Even with this third box, surgeries are still being performed; so that is obviously not the answer either.  Some say, that getting rid of all the boxes might be a more sound solution.  I write about that here:  Seven Reasons to Why I do NOT want a THIRD GENDER BOX, and a possible solution.

Not only are some assigned the wrong gender in some cases,  they have lost body parts, during these childhood surgeries that they may have wanted later in life.  Also, their fertility is often taken without consent.  Worse, all too often their ability to orgasm, and enjoy sex  as adults  taken forever during these childhood genital surgeries.

To the surprise of many,  not all transgender people have or want genital surgery.  It should be left up to the intersex child, just like it is left up to the transgender person to pick what surgeries, if any they have.  Gender is a social construct.  Gender is a personal thing, and how one feels internally about themselves.  Gender is not in our genitals and never will be.  I made this meme because of it:

Some of us do not want surgery

 

It took me until I was forty-six years old to become sick enough, and desperate enough, to finally stop the insanity of it all, and accept my true gender.  I truly feared I was going to die, or end my life.  I had attempted suicide many times before.

Death becomes a very big motivator when one has kids and a husband they love.  So I stopped all testosterone blockers, many of my medications, and many of the steroids I was taking.  Yes, it was a risk, but I saw no choice.  I was facing my certain death.  With the help of my new reproductive endocrinologist I finally received the right help.

For me to become my true gender, I have had to do many things similar to  transgender men.  I inject testosterone every week, but at a much lesser amount due to my body (my adrenals and ovaries) creating my testosterone and androgens.   I have the most in common with gender nonconforming and non-binary transgender guys; or transgender guys that had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or have their own intersex traits.  I appreciate all the friends I have made even.

Needless to say,  I sadly can also received the same transphobia too.  First, when I had unusually high testosterone as “female”, and was using blockers and taking female hormones.  Some used to call me nasty insults that happen to transgender females.  Since I  now inject testosterone, and have stopped doing everything female I have received transphobia and prejudice.    Some of this transphobia has even been from other intersex folks, which is terribly disheartening.   Since they should know the difference between transgender and intersex, and have compassion for my story.  People who are marginalized like I am, should know better.

More ridiculous is the phobia, (both intersex phobia, and trans phobia),  I have received from the gay or lesbian community.  Thankfully, I have had more good experiences than bad, since I go out of my way to educate and share a message about love and acceptance.  I like to educate all people because I see that it erases their phobias, and irrational fears, or prejudice.

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Self-determination is obviously the key here to achieving balance and happiness with oneself.  It is my hope that self-determination of gender becomes every human beings right, and every intersex child’s right in this world.

Here is a Related Blog by Cary Gabriel Costello, Ph.D.:  Cisgender, Trans Gender and Intersex

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Related blogs:

I am a BRIDGE BUILDER 

Poem: I Promise to Be Your Voice: My New Year Resolution for 2016

WE ARE HUMAN with Feather

 

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