Monday, April 12, 2010

Full Frontal Activism Blog Readers: Build A Little Community Here!

...Um, ALL of you! O.o

This blog is relatively new, so I'm staggered to see the growing list of individuals that are following this blog, or are perhaps reading but don't officially "follow." (I get it; I read lots of blogs semi-regularly, and don't officially "follow" any.)

Aside from the fact that I'm curious to learn a little more about you (other than the fact that you're likely interested in intersex and/or queer issues), I thought it might be nice for you readers to have a space to introduce yourselves and get to learn a bit about each other. I know I oftentimes read really intelligent comments written by other readers on blogs I like, and wonder, "What's their background? How did they find this blog? I wonder what other cool stuff they have to share?" Well, now you can share and learn, ask and tell! :)





I'll go first, to get you started. Hi, my name is Claudia. ("HI, CLAUDIA!") Besides the stuff you already know about me, I am a scientist, love to bake sweets, am constantly freezing, and love dressing in bright colors.

YOUR TURN!

Nice to "meet" you all!

11 comments:

  1. I'm bex. I'm tri-gender. Its kind of weird. I can only explain it as someone who is transgender and being born into the wrong body, but the body they are supposed to be in is a mixed body (with male & female parts).

    I cook a lot, I go to school for massage therapy and I am recovering from bi-polar and childhood abuse & trauma.

    I have my own blog at www.neverburnbridges.blogspot.com

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  2. Hey, Bex! Thanks for being comfortable enough to share some information with us, especially since some of these things (i.e., abuse, trauma) are often kept private since society unfortunately shames survivors that had nothing to do with their situations. You're a brave person - rock on.

    And yay for cooking! I am definitely a better baker, but am trying to gain more proficiency cooking...

    Welcome! :)

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  3. OK! I've never typed what I'm about to. Kinda scary...

    Hi, I'm Trish. I am intersexed.

    I really don't know the full extent of how much went into "correcting" me male, other than that the plastic surgeon must have been paid a bundle and I'm guessing all the shots were steroids or testosterone or similar. I was very young.

    I found out a few years back when I was in counseling for PTSD. I guess I found out what the trauma was. My parents had told me so many times that what was happening was normal and everyone has this done that I believed it. I guess it had been in the back of my mind slowly driving me deeper into depression ever since.

    To the present!

    I'm a computer scientist. I like applying computers to art and other non-traditional media. On Facebook, my Farmville farm has a rendering of Sharbat Gula (the green eyed National Geographic girl) rendered out of 2,560 hay bales. I load up Portal and set it to the advanced chambers and feed the whole thing to Chatroulette. If it's crazy like that, I'm probably into it.

    Finding out what happened when I was little completely smashed my whole sense of sex and gender. I just can't believe some of the things that happened. One day when I was maybe 4, my mother sat down and told me that it's perfectly normal to have chromosomes opposite your sex and it happens all the time. I'm guessing it was so later if it came up then I wouldn't be surprised.

    So yeah, now I'm some queer, pangendered person. I'm happy now though.

    Sorry if this was not at all coherent. ♥

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  4. Tricia, wow. My heart goes out to you, in that you had to endure these experiences. You are definitely a strong person for having been through this. I'm so glad you're happy with how things are going (with a heart at the end, even)! :)

    It's really upsetting that parents either try to 1) pretend their child's intersex doesn't exist, or 2) tell lies and distort what intersex is and what implications this may have on their child's life. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    Also, YAY for fellow nerds! I'm not a comp sci nerd, but I've always had this secret plan to start coding my butt off. Too bad I don't actually enjoy it. :/ Guess it's biostuff for me!

    It totally was coherent. And if it wasn't, no worries anyway. :)

    Welcome!

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  6. My name is... actually, that's currently a confusing issue for me. I have a legal name that I dislike, I go by Alexander(Alex) and Raven(Ray), and I'm known online as Dardrian. I'm a transman. I like to create, be it paintings, poetry, or food. I'm pansexual and polyamourous. I crossdress and like fucking with gender as much as I can while staying safe. (I live in a traditional, fairly close minded area.) I suffer from untreated depression and anxiety. I didn't mean to say so much, sorry. I might edit this later.

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  7. I'm Brittany, and I'm bisexual as is my hubby. We have a one and a half year old intersex child who we love more than anything in the world. He is also legally blind and dependent on hormone replacement therapy. We are raising him to be a confident person who is completely free to be himself (or herself if he chooses or even if he wants to be nongendered, whatever he feels happiest being).

    We're also a wiccan family which I think influences our beliefs a lot. Our religion is accepting of all people gay, bi, straight, transgendered, intersex, whoever you are you can be wiccan as long as you believe in the earth and follow the wiccan rede (do what ye will, but harm none).

    At the moment we are trying out dressing Skyler in different types of clothing. For a while we had only been dressing him as a boy, and most people aren't aware (except for my family who are also very accepting, though not as open minded as us) that he is intersex. So now we're trying out the whole dress/skirt/wearing pink thing. Though I welcome anyone (who is intersex/transgendered/etc) who has thoughts or opinions on this, because I'm still kind of feeling unsure about it. I want him to be able to choose his own clothes when he's old enough to do so, (as in let him pick out his outfit each day, dress or jeans or whatever) but I'm just worried about confusing him.

    Though I imagine it must be confusing enough to be intersex to begin with, so it's not like I'm going to "screw him up" or whatever. I just want him to be comfortable being whoever he feels like being. Even if it changes from day to day. There are days I wish I could be a male, and days I feel more feminine. I want him to be able to choose.

    Also I don't see the big deal about a "boy" wearing dresses, whether the boy is intersex or not. It used to be a social taboo for girls to wear pants, but now in north america we wear pants all the time with no questions asked so why can't guys wear dresses or skirts or pink clothes? What's the big deal? Whatever, I tend to ramble on here, sorry about that.

    Anyway I wanted to say I am so grateful to have found this blog. And while I do have a blog of my own I have not yet disclosed that my son is intersex. I'm currently considering it, I just don't want to "out" him I guess. But on the other hand I kind of think I want to tell people he is intersexed because I want him to know that it's not some big scary secret and it's perfectly fine to be intersex, but then again I'm worried about people reacting badly to finding out and then scarring him for life. Sigh. Someone help. lol.

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  8. Hi! I'm a genderqueer transguy who is sick of the spell check telling me I'm spelling things wrong. Feh!

    My girlfriend is intersexed. She has a lot of shame associated with being IS, and regrets over what has been done to her body by her parents and the surgeons in her childhood. I don't know how to help, really, except to tell her that she is she and I love her as is. Life is too short for regrets.

    I have this odd hormone imbalance thing, which necessitates me being on one hormone (either T or E) all my life until menopause. So I know what it feels like to have your body fighting itself and not really "fitting." Now that I identify as a transman, I'll be switching from E to T. Exciting and scary!

    Anyway, have you read the Japanese manga: Intersexuality? It's wonderful. I love the art and the main character Haru. The world needs more positive trans and intersexed role models! You can find this manga on Spectrum Nexus. It's a wonderful read and very educational and advocates choice, no medical intervention, and no shame. Just awesome.

    Love your blog, I'll keep following and hopefully get my girlfriend to read this too.

    Thanks!

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  9. Everyone: Please excuse my delay in comment moderation. I had been finishing exams and finalizing plans to do work internationally. (It's finished, and I'm overseas, now! Woohoo!) Which means I am back to blogging and posting and engaging in community with other intersex indviduals and intersex allies. And it feels SO GOOD! :D

    Dardrian, welcome! Yay for pansexuality, polyamory, and genderfucking! I am sorry that you are unable to go more genderfucking than you do right now, but staying safe is really important. It’s an unfair position to be in: “Be authentic to who I am and risk my safety, or be unauthentic and safe.” Is it possible to take occasional trips to bigger areas where individuals with similar lived experiences are located? Or continue to create some kind of community using online resources, like this one? (Although, of course, online contact can never just REPLACE face-to-face intimacy. It is simply another way to do this in and of itself – not a substitute for anything.) Some of the depression and anxiety I have experienced have definitely been directly due to society’s rejection of sex and gender fluidity, and my inability to feel comfortable in my own sex and gender identity, presentation, performance, etc. Whether or not this is a factor in your depression or anxiety, it is important to get what you need so that you can live your life. People need different things and ways to heal at different times; personally, a combination of introspectiveness, journaling, creating art and music, psychotherapy, being with loved ones, exercise, and enjoying the outdoors were all things that worked for me. Not necessarily all at once, or all the time. I know that writing down my needs and how to get those needs (kind of like a pros & cons list, or like the Crisis Wellness Plan described a few posts back) have helped me to figure out how to go on living my life even if it’s not ideal, instead of wasting my life by not really living it and focusing only on how it’s not perfect. Maybe something like this could be helpful to try? If you wish to delete your post, I completely understand – no worries! Alternatively, feel free to e-mail me any time and I’d be happy to be a sounding board for you. :)

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  10. Brittany, welcome! Raising your child to be confident and himself is the best thing you can possibly do. Sounds like you’re responsible and on the right track – I wish for such openminded, caring parents for all intersex children! :) I think it’s also great that your spiritual beliefs inform the acceptance of your child, since not all spiritual value sets or religions do right now, unfortunately. Wearing different types of clothing is a tricky issue. In reality, it shouldn’t matter what we wear – what colors, fabric types, fabric cuts, the whole shebang. Clothing (just like so many things) is arbitrarily gendered, so I’m all for wearing what you want, whether it’s genderfucking or not. However, I think it’s also important to consider that at this time, most people are unfortunately not so open-minded and accepting. It’s worth thinking about how others may treat Skyler. While it’s a great idea to raise Skyler with open-minded, accepting attitudes, Skyler will no doubt meet some adversity (perhaps teasing, bullying, etc.) from those that don’t hold these same attitudes. My questions are, how old is Skyler, and does he choose his own clothing? If Skyler is very young and does not make clothing preferences, then it is difficult to know whether – intersex or not – he would be interested in wearing clothing that is at odds with those clothing types, colors, etc. that are ascribed as acceptable for his perceived sex and gender. It may be better to dress Skyler in ways considered appropriate by society for his perceived sex and gender now, but foster open-minded value sets. If he naturally gravitates toward wanting to wear pink, dresses, whatever, then he’s exerting a choice that should be honored. If he doesn’t gravitate toward those choices, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. His clothes, also, don’t have to reflect his intersex, either…it is entirely possible that he may not even identify as intersex, but as biologically male, as he ages; this may cause confusion in retrospect thinking, “But I never wanted to wear dresses! I’m a boy! What the hell?!” Additionally, the choice to disclose one’s intersex status is a tricky one. Disclosing intersex status is one of many ways to raise awareness and say, “It’s okay to be intersex!” as you had stated. In another sense, each individual may feel differently…some may choose to disclose intersex status to only certain individuals (if any), while others are out loud & proud. This again depends on how old Skyler is. If he is old enough to understand and consent, then that’s fine! Blog away! If he is not old enough to understand and consent, then maybe you can make another blog, but make it anonymous. This is a good compromise in my opinion, since it allows you to put out there, “It’s okay to be intersex!” while respecting your child’s right to decide whether or not to publicly disclose their intersex status, and if so, to whom. It puts all the agency in Skyler’s hands. If you’d like to continue discussing, feel free to e-mail me anytime! :)

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  11. Van, welcome! Yay for genderqueer, trangender goodness, spelling abilites be damned! ;) May I say you’re being an absolutely awesome partner by being a great intersex advocate? It’s really important for supportive partners to do research and become informed about all things intersex. I completely understand how fucked up it is to look back and say, “Things were done to my body and psyche that I didn’t consent to. I didn’t know I could say no. I didn’t know what they were doing. I don’t know how to make things right with myself. I don’t know how to move forward from such a screwed up past.” I think it’s great that you are giving her support and love, and letting her know that. It’s also important, though, that she can support and love HERSELF as she is. Love and support from other individuals is necessary, but must be in addition to self-love and –acceptance…not in place of. As I suggested above to Dardrian (check it out!), it is important for your girlfriend to evaluate what her needs are and how can go about meeting those needs in ways and in a timei-frame that’s comfortable for her. Thanks for feeling comfortable enough to discuss your own body and hormones, and I hope that your switch from E to T is a great thing in your life! No, I haven’t read that manga. Even though “intersexuality” is generally considered an offensive term, that manga might be awesome, and I intend to check it out sometime. I’ll have to post what I think when I do… ;) Thanks for the tip! If you and/or your girlfriend ever want to discuss this further, just e-mail me!

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