Anunnaki Ray's Photographic Stories, Celebrations, Emancipation, Human Rights, Intersex Awareness, Self-Determination

Intersex Day of Remembrance and Solidarity 2017

Intersex Day of Remembrance, also known as Intersex Solidarity Day, is an international awareness day that aims to draw attention to the issues faced by members of the intersex community. It is observed on November 8, marking the birth anniversary of Herculine Barbin.  Herculine was a hermaphrodite who wrote a memoir about their life and the tragedies they faced in the nineteenth century.

Today I will celebrate then and now, with an intersex child named Joey, who is getting the right to self-determine her own gender.  I too have emancipated my true gender and my right to self-determination.  The biggest problem we intersex people face is the forced assignment of gender as children, in the form of non-consensual genital surgeries, hormones, and psychiatric treatments.  Together we have to work to stop these atrocities.  To learn more about those of us born intersex, here is the United Nations Intersex Fact Sheet.

May we never forget that we walked among you then, and now.  The Self-Determination of our own Gender is our Human Right.

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Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-century French Hermaphrodite

By Herculine Barbin, Richard McDougall (Translator), Michel Foucault(introduction):
“With an eye for the sensual bloom of young schoolgirls & the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of her life as a hermaphrodite. Herculine was designated female at birth. A pious girl in a Catholic orphanage, a bewildered adolescent enchanted by the ripening bodies of classmates, a passionate lover of a schoolmistress, she’s suddenly reclassified as male. Alone & desolate, he commits suicide, aged 30, in a miserable Paris attic. Here’s a lost voice of the sexual past in an erotic diary. Provocative, articulate, eerily prescient as she imagines her corpse under the probing instruments of scientists, Herculine brings a disturbing perspective to our notions of sexuality. Foucault, who discovered these memoirs in the archives of the French Department of Public Hygiene, presents them with the graphic medical descriptions of Herculine’s body before & after death. In a striking contrast, a painfully confused young person & the doctors who examine her try to sort out the nature of masculine & feminine at the dawn of the age of modern sexuality.”
“Herculine Barbin can be savored like a libertine novel. The ingenousness of Herculine, the passionate yet equivocal tenderness which thrusts her into the arms, even into the beds, of her companions, gives these pages a charm strangely erotic…Michel Foucault has a genius for bringing to light texts & reviving destinies outside the ordinary.”–Le Monde, 7/1978

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The Intersex Flag 

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Pirate Antonio Phoenix was born INTERSEX!

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HAPPY Intersex Awareness Day 2017! Joey meets Pirate Antonio Phoenix AND Joey’s Gift: Self-Determination

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Photography From Seth Langner at Karmathartic

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Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Cultural Dysphoria, Human Rights, Human Rights Violations, Intersex Awareness, Intersex People, Poems, Self-Determination

Poem: Stop Cutting us With Steel

Stop Cutting us With Steel

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We are not a myth,

We are real.

We are hermaphrodites.

To be cut by blade, and by steel.

To be erased, by this cruel world.

That is threatened by our existence.

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We are not myth,

We are real.

We are hermaphrodites.

That word

HERMAPHRODITE

you even destroyed that too!

Making it a dirty word, a dirty name!

Making an excuse to erase us.

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Telling us we could not be a boy.

Telling us we could not be a girl.

Telling us we could not be both!

To cut it off, to cut it out, to make us infertile, and unable to orgasm.

To lock us up in psychiatric hospitals for being gay or lesbian.

To be surgically erased, or even aborted.

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We are not myth,

We are real.

Stop cutting us with steel.

Is Self-Determination too much to ask for?
Let us walk this Earth again.

Stop stealing from us what is ours.

We are Born Perfect! 

Unknown

Mx. Anunnaki Ray

March, 21, 2017

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Gender Nonconforming, Intersex Awareness, Intersex People, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination, Transgender

Intersex VS Intergender. Do Intersex Transexuals Exist?

What is Intersex?

Intersex is general term used for natural bodily variations in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.  Some forms of intersex also naturally occurs after birth and later in life, however these are all naturally occurring bodily variations.  In humans, it is a variation in sex characteristics, including chromosomes, hormones, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female.

Just like anyone else, an intersex person can have any gender, sexual orientation, or gender expression. The “rules” of the heteronormative binary, male and female, often do not work for intersex people. Since intersex is a way to describe a person’s biological sex, it should not be confused as  gender identity  , or with transgender  gender identity issues.

Dyadic: A word used to describe someone who is not born intersex. Dyadic people are born with sex characteristics which could be categorized them either as typical female or typical male. Dyadic people can have any gender identity,  sexual orientation, or gender expression.

Note: In the past, and in some countries, the term “hermaphrodite” is used to describe people born intersex. Depending on the country or the person, this can be considered offensive. Always ask to make sure it is ok to use the word hermaphrodite. Please always ask if it is ok to say in your country. Some accept it, and some do not now.

To learn about some of the worse human rights violations known to this planet, please visit the United Nations Intersex Fact Sheet PDF.

What is Intergender?

Intergender is a gender identity that is considered a non binary term.  Some feel it fits under the transgender umbrella terms.  Intergender people have a gender identity that is in the middle between the binary genders of female and male, or lies on that spectrum between the binary genders of female and male.  Some inter gender people may be a mix of both.

Note: The word “intergender” has been independently coined by different people at different times, resulting in two main differences in meaning:

1. Some believe that this term, intergender, is an identity label that any person can use. Even if they are not intersex (dyadic) themselves, they can declare themselves intergender.

2. Others believe that “intergender” can only be used by people who are intersex, and that intergender is an identity only for intersex people.   Some believe that intersex people need words for their gender identities that correlate only with intersex bodies.  These people feel that in this case, dyadic nonbinary people should respect intersex people, by taking up a different non-binary label than intergender for themselves.  It might be more respectful if they used  androgyne, bigender, gender fluid or queer to describe themselves instead.

I personally believe that the Self-Determination of gender is the right of any person.  I believe any person has the right to declare themselves “intergender”.  However, only a naturally born intersex person, should declare themselves born “intersex”.  

The Gender expression of an Intergender person: 

Some intergender people see it as solely a matter of gender identity, and therefore do not feel they have to dress in a particular kind of gender expression. They may even be satisfied with an appearance that fits within the gender binary, and conform to societies expectations of how a typical female and typical male dresses; even though their gender identity does not conform to binary notions.  However, other intergender people will dress androgynous and have a gender expression that is a mixture of both typical male and female.   They may or may not,  express their intergender identity through their personality or activities such as crossdressing or “interdressing”.  They may or may not  the intentions of being seen as any particular gender.

The Assignment of Sex  VS  The Assignment of Gender 

Sex Assignment is done surgically and with the use of hormones, and requires a physician and surgeon.  Gender assignment is declaring one’s gender identity, and is a feeling within oneself.  Much like their personality, and does not require surgery or hormones to declare.

Note: Some people legally change their gender now, depending on the laws of their government, and do not ever feel they have to undergo sex assignment surgeries.

Intersex Transexual do exist, however they were born Dyadic NOT Intersex.

Transitioning to appearing “Intersex”

Some non binary people, who were born dyadic, have described their transition as one that will make their body more “intersex”, and call themselves female-to-intersex or male-to-intersex transsexuals.  Through surgical assignment, or with the aid of hormones, some intergender, or non binary people wish to transition to a body that has traits in between female and male, or wish it to be more like a naturally born intersex body.  These dyadic people may call themselves female to intersex, or male to intersex transsexuals, or female to intersex, or male to intersex transgender.

This type of person starts out as a dyadic person.  They were NOT born biologically as intersex.  They had  surgical or hormonal interventions to create “intersex” with the help of a surgeon or physician.  They often do these surgeries, so that their bodies can match their mind.  This type of person, I feel, does not have the right to claim they were born intersex.  They are simply a transexual, or transgender person, who has transitioned to appearing intersex.

If you are confused about certain definitions used, please visit my pages: LGBTQIA+ Definitions and Human Sexuality.  

WE ARE HUMAN with Feather

References used: 

Helpful LGBTQIA+ Definitions and  Human Sexuality

Nonbinary.org Wiki Intergender

Here is my autobiography:  About Mx. Anunnaki Ray 

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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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Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Intersex Awareness, Questions and Answers, Transgender, United Nations

The difference between transgender and intersex and the harm that wrong language can bring

Language is very important, and language can do harm. Here is one example to why:

The biggest priority most intersex activist/advocates/educators have, like me, is decreasing genital mutilation in babies born with intersex traits and decreasing our bodies being aborted when detected before birth.

This means “Born in the wrong body” transgender theories, can do us harm. This is one example of why I educate.

I support the message is: “No body is shameful” and “born perfect”. Instead of saying disorder, condition, syndrome, or birth defect.  The United Nations wants us to say: NATURAL BODILY VARIATIONS. I like to say we are born a “variety of human”. I urge anyone who is wanting to speak up for intersex rights to please read and memorize these two pages given by the UNTIED NATIONS: INTERSEX FACT SHEET

Also, Although some intersex born people may accept the word “hermaphrodite”, that word too, can bring stigma, and shame, due to it being connected to a medical history of misinformed doctors who justified fixing our bodies due to some of us being labeled “pseudo hermaphrodite”. Always ask before using this word in public. It is always safest to say: “Intersex Person”.
The words we use to stop genital mutilation and abortions from happening are a vastly different from how most transgender people are being taught or may feel about themselves and their, bodies and their genitals. Most psychiatrists, councilors, and doctors are teaching “born in the wrong body” theories and that transgender people need to “transition” through hormone manipulations and surgery to correct their “body dysphoria”.  Although some transgender people truly have body dysphoria and benefit from treatment, some do not. The same truth holds true for intersex people. Everyone’s experience is unique to their own and generalizations are never a good idea.

Here lies the problem, the medical and psychiatric communities are teaching these theories even to the parents of intersex babies, and children. Even as adults, who discover later in life that we were born intersex are being taught these theories. The harm is horrendous. The set back in our movement is great.

Here lies the biggest difference between transgender and intersex. It is a mountain of misinformation, we are up against when it comes to saving bodies, and lives, so that we can simply be born with “NATURAL BODILY VARIATIONS” and co-exists our true gender in this world with the genitals and bodies we were born with.

An intersex person can have any gender identity, and according to the social construct of gender, it is not always going to “agree” with our genitals. So this means the self-determination of our gender has to be our choice. This choice needs to be a fully informed choice and should be given to any child born intersex. Here are some examples of the different gender identities an intersex person can have: Gender Identity.

To learn more, here is an excellent link regarding the “Basic Differences between Transgender and Intersex“, shared from Oii Australia.

An added note:   Some, but not all transgender people elect to have Sex Reassignment Surgeries (SRS) or Gender Confirmation Surgeries.  This can involve just doing “top surgery”, which involves masculinizing or feminizing one’s chest; or the more involved “bottom surgeries”, that help the person to align with their genitals to the expectations of the male/female binary.  Also, some intersex people, but not all, can also identify as transgender and intersex both.   It is up to the person how they describe themselves, and not up to others to label them or diagnose them.

Sad to say, these types of surgeries are also performed on infants and children, born intersex, and is often called “corrective surgery”.   As you now understand, self-determination is a human right, to what surgery a person may or may not want.  The United Nations says that cosmetic genital surgeries, and corrective surgeries,  need to stop in non-consensual infants and children.  

Related articles: 

Trans Persons Posing as Intersex (and the damage they do to intersex rights)

My related blogs: 

Common names for INTERSEX:  Intersex is what it is….

Why I feel INTERSEX should be added to the LGBTQ rainbow

Am I Transgender? Can an intersex person be Transgender?

How I was medically, and psychiatrically violated as an intersex person.

Are my Husband and I Gay Men Now? How We Became Sexual Minorities, Our Intersex Love Story.

I was born perfect, and I am lovable. Thank you, United Nations.

Examples of Transphobia, Queerphobia, and Intersexphobia

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Bridge Building, Intersex Awareness, Intersex Erasure

Here is another sad example of Intersex Erasure:

Recently they have been trying to get the senate to pass a bill that would require Sex Ed to be LGBTQ inclusive.  This would be progress, this would be awesome even.  However, it still does not include intersex, nor the teaching of our intersex bodies. It is another example of intersex erasure.  Below I explain how this hurts us people born intersex.

By changing culture and educating about us intersex people, it is my hope they will stop surgically, hormonally, and medically erasing our bodies at birth, and during our lives.  The abortion of healthy intersex babies might stop too.  Our births would no longer be so scary, stigmatizing and create so much fear.  The world would learn that no body is shameful.  Please help us intersex activists, speakers and educators end inters erasure.  Allowing our bodies to co-exist on this planet can only happen if we change culture, and educate this world.

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You can read the above article here: Senate Bill Would Require Sex Ed to be LGBTQ-Inclusive, Medically Accurate

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When did I get sex education about my body:

I did not get taught the truth about my body until I was 46 years old, and this is just wrong. It lead to my being suicidal, self hate, being raised the wrong gender, being an outcast, being medically abused and violated, misunderstood by my family, and being abused by society.   I know other intersex have experienced the same thing.  Intersex erasure can end lives.

Most of my education, about my body, came from other intersex educators and activists.  Such as Cary G. Costello, and Hida Viloria.  My doctors did not even teach me the truth about my body, until I fortunately met two new doctors recently.  They have helped me finally makes sense out of my body, and my gender.

In this country many still say it is ok to say “Disorder of Sex Development”, or even call my condition a “syndrome”.  Even if we flower it all up and say “Difference of Sex Development”, by changing the “D” to mean something else,  it still  stigmatizing in my opinion.  I would rather be called a hermaphrodite, before being called “DSD”.  However,   hermaphrodite is also a word that some intersex people find very stigmatizing.  So please always ask if it is ok to say hermaphrodite.  A few of us don’t mind it, some of us do.

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To me my biological sex is simply “intersex”.

I am simply an intersex person, or an intersex man.  The truth is, when describing biological sex (our physical bodies),  we have female, male and intersex.   At this time an intersex person can not accurately mark their sex on any government forms  yet.  There are only two boxes.  I am not allowed to mark both boxes and their is no third option.  I personally wish all the boxes would vanish.

We Offered to educate the schools and were told “NO”:

As an activist and educator I offered to educate our schools, with Judi Herring, M.D.,  in our county, I was told it was “adult content” to teach about intersex. That they would never allow it. How can teaching about the varieties of biological sex, and the truth about it be adult content? It is not.  The same county then went to teach all the 6th graders about the dangers of sex predators and “sexting”. Which I agree needed to be done; but this was seen appropriate and not “adult content”.

So, what is my sex, gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation: 

I will end this blog with a bit more education around being born intersex.  To be born intersex has nothing to do with our gender. An intersex person can have absolutely any gender. They can be cis-gender (agree with their birth assignment), typical female or male, gender fluid, gender queer, inter-gender, transgender, and so many more. We can also have any sexual orientation (who we prefer to have sex with), or gender expression (how we dress).

For me my gender could be described as “androgynous male”, “Non-conforming male”, or even “gender queer”.   I am ok with all those.  My gender expression is mostly conforming to male, but a bit more extravagant and androgynous.  My sexual orientation would appear Heterosexual when I appeared female to this world, but now would be assumed “gay” now that I appear male.  I think “intersexual” could be used as a sexual orientation to describe my husband and me.  I write about that here: Is my husband gay, now that I appear a man? I will use “Intersexual” as a Sexual Orientation and Are my Husband and I Gay Men Now? How We Became Sexual Minorities, Our Intersex Love Story.

Here is another link that might interest you in learning more about human sexuality: Helpful LGBTQIA+ Definitions of Human Sexuality

Thank you for reading, and helping us to change culture, and make this world for all of us.

Intersex Erasure HURTS!

Here are five different intersex flags seen around the world. 

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