Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Intersex people are still largely not out of the closet.  To those of you who are coming out for the first time, & to those who keep making the choice to come out to people in your life - you are awesome.  Coming out as Intersex has been one of the most freeing, necessary things I've ever done in my life.  It's still hard sometimes for sure, but being out has made my whole experience of being a person out in the world - whether interacting with other people or enjoying some solitude - such a different experience.  Staying in the closet can make things easier in the short-term (and in some situations, it's necessary to stay safe). But there's no replacement for feeling free to live your truth.  

For everyone coming out today - and courage and love to you!  <333

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NYC Intersex Awareness Day (IAD) 2014 Events Announced!


I am proud to announce two fantastic events this year for NYC’s Annual Intersex Awareness Day (NYC IAD) events! I’ll be raising awareness with intersex folks & activists, Hida Viloria and DalĂ©a Rundblad.

The theme this year is INTERSEXionality: how being intersex (& intersexphobia) relates to other identities (& forms of oppression). Discussion encouraged.

First event is on Wed, Oct 22nd, at Bluestockings at 7pm:

Last event is on Fri, Oct 24th, at NYU (Kimmel Center, Room 804) at 6pm:

We’d love to see you there! Feel free to join, share, and promote these events as you like.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Parents Project Post: How to Talk to Your Intersex Kid

Hi, everyone! I'm proud, once again, to be working with the fine folks at Everyone Is Gay - specifically, their Parents Project. In this post, I offer some advice on how to discuss intersex issues with your intersex kid (since in our current climate, where intersex people are largely not understood positively viewed, that can be very difficult to do sometimes).

Check it out here!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hey, I'm Sitting Right Next to You

Lately, my feelings on hearing how the world (still largely) views intersex people are more acute. I’m slightly more indignant, I have the urge to roll my eyes a little harder, a little longer. I’m sick of hearing the errant, “I dunno, what is that, like…a hermaphrodite? That’s people that have like…both, right?” The inevitable giggles and even guffaws, that someone that doesn’t fit into our binary sex categories could actually exist in the world. That our biology is so misunderstood, thought about and talked about (when it is) in the most reductive of ways.

I’m really tired of it.

I’m thinking about this a lot more because there have been multiple times on my international work trip that I’ve heard mention of these supposedly mythical, somehow embarrassing “hermaphrodites,” while I’ve been sitting right next to them. I watch their eyes brighten, processing these – what? two or three, at most? – people that exist, watch their eyes crinkle and mouths stretch wide as they smile and laugh. I always consider saying something. So far, I haven’t, simply because I don’t feel like having the hour(s)-long conversation explaining what intersex really is. Because I don’t want to present myself as a curiosity to strangers. Because I don’t want to offer myself up as their own personal Google – press the button, here’s your answer.

But I’m really tired of it. I hate it.

I’ve heard innumerable conversations about all manner of seemingly high-falutin, culturally competent topics, such as customs in particular areas, historical overviews of why so and so buildings exist or how a culinary tradition came to be, etymological explanations of phrases used and how they differ in regions x, y, and z. It’s confusing and it hurts to hear these same worldly, intelligent travelers so easily and casually dismiss the existence of people like me.

Because one of the implicit messages in these situations I keep finding myself in is that I’m not worth knowing about.

It is worth understanding a specific word whose meaning cannot be translated into other languages. It is worth dissecting the themes and intentions of famous artists in renowned museums. It is worth comparing and contrasting the price and quality of well-made espresso at the many surrounding local bars and cafes to enjoy with a fresh-baked pastry specific to the region each morning.

It is apparently not worth knowing about a group of people that live across the world, to recognize their existence. Or, if you know intersex people exist already, to acknowledge that we’re fighting for basic human rights, and our fighting for them is vital and important.

I am not less important than a painting in a museum.

And I want my worth and agency to be recognized.

Dear travelers and people of the world: I gently remind you to think about who you are talking about when you are having big, cross-cultural conversations with each other. You do not know who’s listening. You do not know that the people you’ve named – and maybe consider more theoretical than actual, bodily, real – may literally be sitting right next to you.

Make your worldview just a little bit bigger than it already is. The “hermaphrodite” at the next table over will silently thank you for it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guest Post!: Everyone Is Gay

I am super-excited to have contributed to the fantastic blog, Everyone Is Gay (EIG). I wrote about what intersex is, and how intersex people differ from hermaphroditic species of living things (e.g., plants, fish, mollusks). As a long-time reader of EIG, this was really fun to do, and I'm looking forward to doing more posts in the future!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Check Out Hida Viloria's Newest Op-Ed in The Advocate: "What's In A Name: Intersex and Identity"

This article examines why the term "DSD" is still being used and what using it actually accomplishes. She advocates not using the term because it medicalizes and stigmatizes intersex people, and Viloria does a great job of illustrating how using DSD "doesn't mean that it promotes equality to do so." Importantly, Viloria also shows how (inaccurately) constructing intersex as a medical condition that needs "fixing" parallels how gay and lesbian people were diagnosed with disorders before 1973, when homosexuality was officially removed from the DSM.

Great article, Hida! So proud to be your colleague! :)