08 June 2012

About The Intersex Debate

Yesterday's post generated one of the most mean-spirited comments I've received since I started this blog.

For the record:  I have never claimed to be any sort of authority on intersex people--or even, for that matter, transgenders, lesbians, gays or bisexuals.  In fact, I don't even claim to be an expert on gender or sexuality, and I am not trying to become one.

That is the very reason why I will not ever judge whether someone is "really" intersex, transgender or whatever.  First of all, I don't want such a job--which, by the way, is one reason I'll most likely never become a therapist or social worker.  The only person who knows whether he or she "feels like" a man or woman, or his or her attractions, is the person him or her self.  

It doesn't do anybody any good to accuse someone whose beliefs and experiences don't square with what we know of "hiding behind" something, or "faking it."   It also doesn't do anyone any good to call someone a "late to the game transsexual" or some such thing.  It still shocks me to hear such bile and bitterness, and such baseless accusations, from other members of the LGBT community.  I still think of all of the men who were convinced that I was a gay cross-dresser, when they knew nothing of my motivations for wearing women's clothes or living as a woman.  (Neither one was a sexual turn-on.)  If I were a better person, I suppose I would feel pity for such people.  Talk about delusion:  They were assuming sexual interest that I simply didn't have for them.

Now, speaking as a lay person who just happens to have known people with the genitalia of both sexes--and, in some cases, neither was clearly defined--I don't think anyone has any business accusing Steve Crecilius or anyone else of "making up" such a story or "using" it to rationalize cross-dressing or whatever.  "Lindy," whom I mentioned yesterday, nearly died because of her condition.  She had not been to a doctor in many years because of her poverty and lack of insurance, and because of the mistreatment she received from medical professionals.   When she had last seen a doctor (before her condition was discovered), almost no doctors had any idea about intersexedness, or related conditions.  And, if someone doesn't get an X-ray or other kind of examination in that area of the body, such a condition would not have been discovered.  

"Lindy" was brought to an emergency room because she was so sick she could barely stand up.  As it turned out, her internal ovarian system had been infected and was gangrenous.  

Now, as to why someone like Steve would marry, father children and such even though he "felt like a woman inside."  Well--again, I will speak only from my own experience and that of people I know----most of us, especially those my age or older, knew that we would not find acceptance and would almost certainly lose our lives (or, at any rate, our careers, families and such) had we not followed the cultural dictates that go along with whichever gender is indicated on our birth certificates.  Some of us also thought that being in love with a member of the "opposite" gender would "cure" us.  Not to mention that many of us were always, and remain, attracted to members of the "opposite" gender.  And, finally, most people want to have kids.  That is, as best as I can tell, completely independent of anatomy, gender, sexual orientation or any other factor.

So, please stick to facts--or, at least, solid, commonly-accepted medical or scientific theory--if you are going to attack me or anyone else, or anything we say.  Please don't attack us with conjecture or your beliefs:  Isn't it bad enough that other people are doing the same to you?

I've managed not to have any "flame wars" during the nearly four years I've been writing this blog.  I'd like to keep that record going.