YESTERDAY was International Intersex Awareness Day 2016. And for those that have been following and supporting the film efforts of ‘Born Between: The Nature and Science of Intersex‘, I must say I am humbled by the progress and efforts made in the past four years since we started to share a very important message and more important information.
For those that may not already know, several years ago we initiated a project, well, a film. It began as a quest into the unique nature of how individuals develop closer to one biological sex or the other, and why. I wanted to know the truth, the science, the facts. So I started to research. The more I researched, the more I felt society had cursed a terrible injustice on the many humans over history that have been born between the wide biological sex variations possible in the determined sex of being male or female.
The biological evidence of the increase of intersex births based on chemical environmental factors as early as in the womb, was also evident from the research. But few people could understand all the Science! The Academics and Researchers are making amazing advances in the genetic science of sex determination. I’ve worked with them. Our bodies are just a bank of switches which any good geneticist can change at whim. Such is the 21st century. Biological sex determination can be manipulated just like any other genetic characteristic.
Which is one of the many blockades I discovered when I started the project. You see, I expected resistance from the conservative and traditional religious right, throughout the world. What I didn’t expect was the resistance from the one group I was hoping would support us the most, the gay and trans community. Not only did I receive resistance right here in my own hometown ‘voice’, but I also received national criticism for transposing ‘gender’ for biological ‘sex’.
What I found was the same old misguided rhetoric. The word ‘trans’ has too many possible variations to categorize. And neither did they want to be categorized. Society was well aware of the plight of the ‘gay’ person, but ‘trans’ was still nebulous. An unknown that people preferred ‘not’ to know about it. It was an entire movement in a pressure squeeze, it had been going on for thousands of years and it was suddenly seeing relief.
People that were intersex were considered ‘freaks’ (in many minds they still are). Historically they were buried after birth never to be spoken of again. According to some traditional religious dogmas they were ‘heathens’ or ‘Gods rejects’. When in truth and in scientific fact, they are very much natural. And not at all rare throughout the animal and plant kingdom. So yes friends, we have come a long way. Much has been accomplished in the past four years.
We recently saw an episode of ‘Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman’ that had an excellent segment on the science of male and female. Amazing new research was introduced. Yet the ‘trans’ issue was still the lead opening and the closing in many ways. Here I must begin to discuss the importance of the word ‘transition’ when it comes to this topic. I must clarify for those that have not visited our website, youtube channel or Facebook page.
Intersex is a word used to describe over 45 different variations of biological sex development while in the womb, and in other cases even during their lives. They are human beings and their process of development is as natural as anything else God creates. Well, you can imagine the obstacles I encountered. And how few would willingly donate money for such Science and Education!
I worked with an amazing team of researchers, support groups, scientists, academics, producers and courageous intersex people willing to discuss their own physical and biological challenges. The twenty minute film, ‘Born Between: The Science and Nature of Intersex’ is the product of that hard work and tenacity. And the many shorter versions, variations and extended interviews that blossomed along the way.
So for Intersex Awareness Day 2016, I want you to know, we have come a long way. And if you wonder what keeps me going beyond all the criticism and obstacles, I can tell you. It is the stories, emails, comments and wins I get, from so many, in so many different places around the world. I gathered a few of the personal stories I was given permission to share. And I just want you to read a few of these personal stories and you tell me. Should I continue to support and fight for these courageous people?
Which also leads me to my own story about working on this project. I have rattled the cages of some in the ‘gay’ and ‘trans’ community. They needed to be rattled. Simply stated, the mere fact that they preferred to popularize a ‘gay/trans’ movement that in effect (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong), is mostly focused on personal vanity . . . (yes, I said it), as opposed to a human condition that is based on scientific and medically recognized biological diversity.
Again, I have to clarify. Some gay or trans persons may well be intersex. Medical tests will verify. But many other gay and trans people are not intersex. The gay and trans community are the largest obstacles to intersex awareness. We all lose as long as they prefer the spotlight to be on them because of which sex they prefer to sleep with, or which sex they prefer to be seen as. Instead of focusing on people that had no biological choice from birth on how their very unique bodies were gong to develop. Until at some point in their lives they are surprised to find out that their bodies are not the same as others.
So thank you to those that have supported us in the past and to those that continue to support us, or work in their own way to educate others on the science and nature of intersex. I do hope some of you will further research, and maybe others might just understand more by reading this.
Doro is from Mexico. Doro’s story.
Joyce is from the Midwest. Joyce’s story.
Nicky is from the Northeast. Nicky’s story.
David is from the Midwest. David’s story.