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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Intersex People, Poems, Prejudice, Questions and Answers, Transgender

Poem: Over 50% would have died.

feather

Over 50% would have died.

I just survived what most would not have.

No I do not like this world.

It is a cruel and cold place for intersex people and transgender people.

Most would not have switched their gender to save their lives.

I can’t respect that.

I just survived what most wouldn’t have.

I sit here envying that death would have been easier for you.

I sit here wondering why I chose to survive this hell.

Most would not have switched their gender.

I can’t respect that.

I just survived what most wouldn’t have.

I sit here wondering if death would have been easier.

I sit here wondering why this Earth is so fucked up!

Why is it that over 50% would chose death, over saving their life like I did?

I am supposed to learn this and just sit here and do nothing.

I can’t respect that.

No, I will not sit here and do nothing!

Why is that?

feather

By Mx. Anunnaki Ray

April 5th, 2017

Why I wrote this poem:

This poem was written in response to finding out that over 50% of my friends and family would have died, like I would have if I had done nothing.  Yes, over 50% would have died, over saving themselves, like I did.  They would have refused to change their gender and how they appear to this world.  Please note that Sex and Gender are not the same thing.  When I refer to gender I refer to how we identify as male, female, both or neither.  When I refer to gender I am also talking about how this world perceives by our gender expression (how we dress or appear as to other).

To me gender is like our personality.  Sex has to do with genitals, reproductive systems, hormones and chromosomes.  Some people are born dyadic (typical bodies), and some people are born intersex.  Both dyadic and intersex people can have any gender.  I believe that the two do not, and will never be the same definition.  I believe that the self-determination of gender is a human right.

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Human Rights Violations, Intersex Awareness, Intersex People, Prejudice, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination

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

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I was born in 1967, and assigned a female at birth and on my birth certificate. My medical career as a patient, started at three years old.  It was after they realized they had a boy on their hands, that was not allowed to be a boy. Back then, they called me “perceptionaly handicapped”, and therapy started to teach me I was a girl at three and four years old. I would compare what happened to me as “conversion therapy, but for a child. Although my genitals were never surgically violated, as a teen I would later be greatly harmed by psychiatry, due to John Money being the man of the day for gender assignment, and due to my doctors blaming my gender nonconformity as mental illness since my genitals clearly did not match that of a dyadic male.

Since I was taught to comfort as a girl, when I came out as a gay boy, their solution was to diagnose it, medicate it, and damage my brain with mitochondrial toxic medications. As you can assume my genitals are not in alignment to that of being a typical dyadic boy. However, unlike a trans man, since I am intersex, I can only relate to some things about being transgender and not everything. Most my life, to conform my hormones to that of a typical female I took added female hormones, and androgen blocking medications, so that I would appear more female. My body did not develop like a typical female in many ways. I was born with a metabolic condition related to mitochondrial dysfunction, adrenal insufficiency/non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). My natural sex hormones were never that of a typical human male or female.

The things I did to conform to appearing female almost took my life, stunted my growth,  made me very sick, disabled and in a wheel chair for many years even. I would not find the means or courage to emancipate my true gender until October of 2014, and at forty-six years old. Instead of saying “transition”, I say I “reclaimed my true gender”. Back then, I stopped doing what doctors had prescribed and would later be patient abandoned for being a “non-compliant patient”. This lead to our going bankrupt, losing our house, and traveling the country to find “safe doctors”. Due to my medical complexity I could not simply just find a transgender friendly doctor. It was very difficult to find medical care that would help me recover my health from true government approved disability.

In Florida, I finally found two doctors that are willing to medically help me with my self-determined hormone levels, and issues I have with my metabolism, adrenals and strange ovaries. I also, now collaborate with Judi Herring, M.D., my colleague, in educating and speaking out about intersex and the right to the self-determination of gender.  Here is her TEDx Talk:  Gender Bound: Lessons from the World Between.  My husband of twenty-eight years and three children, and I will never get restitution.   In some ways I remain disabled as a result permanent injury to my brain and body. However, with better medical interventions I now can work again, am out of my wheel chair, and have rehabilitated significantly.

I now work as a pirate performer, and for the Black Raven Pirate Ship, as Pirate Antonio Phoenix. I am also a St. Augustine Swashbuckler, a pirate group that does fundraising for childhood organizations, such as Make A Wish Foundation and Dreams Come True. Most important though, I now educate students, doctors, psychiatrists, teachers and my followers on Facebook and Twitter, about us intersex people and how we are being violated.

It is my hope that the United Nations request for intersex human rights is respected, in the USA, and all around this world.  It is my hope that better laws are created to protect all of us.   I know too many people whom have been violated, and are not happy, and suffer great loss.  I believe that the self-determination of gender is a human right.  Right now only two countries, Malta and Chile, have honored the United Nation’s request to stop the surgical assignment of gender on intersex babies.  It is obvious that we have only just begun.

Here is the United Nations’ Intersex Fact Sheet

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My Related blogs:  

Am I Angry I was raised a Girl?

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

Am I Transgender? Can an intersex person be transgender?

Thank you for visiting my intersex story

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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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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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Emancipation, Freedom, Poems, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination

Poem: I am not….. I am…..

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I wrote this poem to help explain who I truly am and to invite clarity for the many who seem confused when they describe me incorrectly using words that stuff me into stereotypical boxes:

 

I am not the bearded woman

But thank you

For letting me know I am beautiful

><

I am not a transgender man

But thank you

For letting me know that you see a man

><

I am not a transgender woman

But thank you

For realizing that not all women have to shave their face

><

I AM an Intersex Person

This means my body  was born a mix of

Both male and female traits

><

I am not a cisgender person

The authorities messed up when I was born

I was assigned the wrong gender

And they marked the wrong box 

On my birth-certificate!

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I am

Reclaiming my true gender

I am not

In transition.

><

I am

Intergender

I am Androgynous

And will not conform

To

The male/female binary 

><

I am not

A girl

I am not

Your sister

I was never

A wife

And

I was never

a

Mother

><

I AM

A  man

Your brother

A

Husband

And

A

Seahorse Dad! 

And someday

HOPE

To be a

Grandfather!

By Mx. Anunnaki Ray

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I am a SEAHORSE Dad

Note:  Just like anyone else, intersex people can have any gender (our personality and the way we relate to being male and female).  Some can be cisgender, transgender, male, female, non-binary, intergender, and the list goes on.  Also, just like anyone else, intersex people can have any sexual orientation (who we love), and they can have any gender expression (the way they dress).   Last, an intersex person can have the biological sex of male, female or  sometimes claim their biological sex as intersex.  Last, please note, that with any human, gender and biological sex are not the same. We are like anyone else, we are all different, we are all human.

Helpful LGBTQIA+ Definitions

The Difference Between my Biological Sex and My Gender.

Mx. Anunnaki Ray and They, Them, Their

 

Culture Dysphoria, Intersex Awareness, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination

Do I pass? What Gender am I?

I was NOT born a girl...

One’s self-determination of gender can come in many forms, and it is not always the male female binary.  There are other options out there!  All too often, I see that some are not even told or shown that non-binary options are out there. We are expected to live up to this list of expectations, which come in the form of hormones and genital surgeries, to “pass” as the male/female binary.

The medical community, and our world governments, are now being challenged right now with the right of Self-Determination of gender. A right to self-determine that has nothing to do with our genitals, reproductive system, genitals or chromosomes. Gender identity is like one’s personality. It is a feeling one holds within themselves. Here are some ways people can declare their gender:

  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Cisgender
  4. Binary Gender
  5. Bi-gender
  6. Gender Fluid
  7. Gender Queer
  8. Intergender
  9. Neuter or Genderless
  10. Non-binary
  11. Omnigender
  12. Pangender
  13. Transgender
  14. Tri-gender
    Plus, other terms not mentioned….

If you need the above gender terms explained, you can go to: Helpful LGBTQIA+ Definitions

I listen to what is going on in social media, and the groups out there.  Some of us intersex and transgender people are tired of being diagnosed broken, disordered, or as a syndrome,  if we do not conform to being a typical male, or female.  A diagnosis like “gender dysphoria”, or “Gender identity Disorder”, only show that authorities are trying to control what we do to our bodies to “pass”.  In some states, there are laws that make it so that we can not even change our birth certificate unless we agree to cut our genitals.  Each state has its own laws.  Some of us, intersex or transgender people don’t want surgery.  Some of us do not feel defective at all.

I truly feel that it is cultural dysphoria.   A culture dysphoria based on a social construct that has declared some of us sexual minorities, and our bodies defective, or our mental well being defective too.  I do not have gender dysphoria, and yet I was diagnosed with it.   So when I worry about if I “pass”, I am  comparing myself to this social construct of male and female.  Maybe I don’t care if I pass.  Maybe I am happy not passing.   If we truly want surgery or hormones, it should ONLY be up to us, not our doctors, society or our government.

Do I Pass?
You decide for yourself if you pass. Society should not have that power.

So in my case, when someone says I was “born a girl”, they could not be further from the truth. I was never a girl.  I was simply assigned female and raised to be a girl. For me, I reclaimed myself and my birthright. It was never a transition for me. Further, some of us like our bodies too, and don’t feel born in the wrong body either.  So when I am told, “you were born a boy, in the wrong body”; that is not further from the truth.

Please notice how I always say “typical” and never “normal”. Nature has created a variety of people out here. A variety that affects our biological sex (reproductive organs, genitals, hormones, and chromosomes) and gender (Our personality, and how we relate to the gender spectrum of male and female).

Some of us (intersex and transgender), don’t want surgery, or wish surgery had not been forced on us as children.  I am fine with my body just the way it is. Some of us simply do not want our bodies to ever “pass as normal”.  I refuse to have genital surgery.  Some just have “top surgery” (chest reconstruction, or breast surgery).   More and more, are not doing the entire “to do list”, to conform to this male female binary of “normal”.  Some intersex and transgender people, even refuse to do the hormones, or to dress a certain way, and it is their human right to do so.

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A sign I really liked, created by: www.intersexday.org

Last, I would like to share this: There are intersex people, who believe their intersex body, is a part of their gender identity, and declare that they are “intragender”. One XXY person I know described their gender and biological sex like this: Intergender/Intersex. We are all given this right to self-determine who we are and how we define ourselves. No one is right or wrong with this. It is time that we all respected each other better.

In closing, this world is Big! There are many intersex people, and transgender people who conform, and are either male or female. There are also intersex people who are cisgender too (they agree with the gender they were assigned to at birth), and strictly either male or female.  Needless to say, I never could be cisgender, because the authorities assigned me the wrong gender at birth.  I do not conform to the male/female binary either, in that I will not have a complete surgical sex change.   In other words, to describe my gender and biological sex, I am a non-binary/intersex man.   I do like the word “Intergender” though and might start using it to describe my own gender, since my biological sex is a mixture of both male and female intersex traits, and my gender is non-binary.  In a way, it is a different way to say non-binary, intersex person.  Therefore, once again, I share that the Self-Determination of gender is one’s human right, and should not be up to our doctors, psychiatrists, social groups, or our world governments. 

A related blog of mine: Two diagnoses that bring in the cash $$ for surgeons, psychiatrist, and therapist: Disorders of Sex Development, and Gender Dysphoria

Biological Sex and Gender Both on a Spectrum
Fix Society Please.
What are other intersex people saying about gender and intersex?
On Sex/Gender Check Boxes By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
Cisgender, Transgender, and Intersex By Cary G. Costello, Ph.D.
Caught in the Gender Binary Blind Spot: Intersex Erasure in Cisgender Rhetoric By Hida Viloria
The Age on Tony Briffa: “Choosing the right gender” By Tony Briffa
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