I'm Intersexed, which means biologically speaking, I'm neither 100% male nor 100% female. That's pretty common - over 1% of people are, and for about 0.1% it's fairly obvious. But I have one of the really rare conditions like 5ARD or 17BHDD where the appearance changes over time. Psychologically I always was female, but when you have the body of a rugby forward... pretending to be male was easier. Until my body changed.I first came across this issue a few years ago when doing research on some new wrinkles in a New York City antidiscrimination law--a law that was now permitting people who "identify" as male or female, whether or not they are biologically male or female, to use the restrooms assigned to members of the gender with which they "identify."
I decided to follow through a bit more on this subject of intersexuality. The author of the comments I quoted yesterday, A. E. (now "Zoe") Brain, tells an interesting and, I would say, disturbing story. As she writes in her "About Me" space:
Actually, I am a Rocket Scientist. Also hormonally odd (my blood has 46xy chromosomes anyway) and for most of my life, I looked male, and lived as one, trying to be the best Man a Gal could be. Anyway, in May 2005 that started changing naturally for reasons still unclear, and I'm now Zoe, not Alan : happier and more relaxed not to have to pretend any more.So what is it like to be an intersexual?
She has written over 180 posts on the subject. Many of them quite disturbing. You can start with her latest post on the subject: A Personal Thanksgiving.
How would you want to help your child if s/he were in a similar situation?
I hope not like the mother who wrote to a personal advice columnist in the Jamaica Gleaner:
Q: My 10-year-old son is acting like a girl. I beat him almost every day for this. People tell me he is going to be gay and that it doesn't matter how I beat him since the female hormones will be there because the Lord made him that way. I am planning to send him to his father in Kingston who says he can beat it out of him. What should I do? He is very bright in school.