From the time we are born, we begin to be influenced and molded by our environment. We imitate behavior. We follow role models. We are influenced by what we hear, what we see, what we smell, what we feel and taste. Our senses begin the long road of programming which continues throughout our lives. We are born innocent. Gradually we are tarnished, hardened, and molded into the character we become. At first we are helpless. We depend on our nurturers to feed us, change us, bath us, and provide a time to sleep and rest. When we reach the age of 3 or 4 years old, we begin to understand how our actions can effect our surrounding environment. Crying might get food. Smiling will elicit a laugh. Tantrums can sometimes get results.
Our first ventures in learning are very basic human behaviors: laughing, crying, anger, joy, surprise. Soon we begin the social indoctrination of the educational system. We are taught things that are not necessarily true or right. We are taught things we later find are insignificant. We are taught things that are certainly wrong. Along the way we learn to think. We learn how to gather information with our senses and process the information to develop a conclusion based on the information. But along the way our processing also becomes distorted. And in todays world, we are often deluged with so much information, our processing capabilities break down or become tainted. We tend to follow without questioning. We seek acceptance and strive to be inclusive within the greater social fabric. All of these factors will often blind us to the reality of the world we live in.
Some of us were born as males, others as females. We clearly see the dividing line between each. But a s select few were born between the lines. They did not choose this slight of nature. Yet they must modify their behaviors because of it, for the rest of their lives. The physical properties were a product of science, not of the environment. Society explains these unique individuals through many different terms. Among them hermaphrodites, intersex, DSD (disorder of sexual development), ambiguous genitalia, he-she’s, freaks. Now at this point is where I must make a very important differentiation that has continually confused our society and undermined the struggle of these very human co-inhabitants of our planet. In my opinion, they are not a product of a disorder. They are not freaks. They are only freaks in the respect that we are all freaks on this planet.
Now here is the important differentiation. I will refer to folks that have been born with gender variations as ‘intersex’. Even among their own community, the terminology they prefer is ambiguous. Some prefer to refer to themselves as males or females, whichever gender they most relate to. Others use a variety of different terms. `The Science and Medical community now refer to them as ‘DSD’ or ‘disorder of sexual development’. I don’t like this term at all, it is denigrating. If you require a medical term, I prefer to refer to it as ‘VSD’ or ‘variation in sexual development’. The Intersex community may not like this one either, I don’t know. But I don’t like ‘disorder’.
And I know what many of you are thinking right now, so I’m going to explain. Sexual preference is NOT gender. ‘Sexual preference’ is based on the gender you choose to actively participate in sexual acts with. ‘Gender variation’ is the biological science of variations in physical attributes both external and internal to the human body. Please read these last two sentences very carefully. The misunderstanding between the two has created an injustice that has been promulgated for thousands of years. It is time it STOPPED! Before I explain the distinct differences these two concepts, I would like to explain a little bit about the biological science and the spectrum of gender variations.
It begins the same way this essay began; in the womb. Various factors contribute to the development of a fetus in the womb. All of us begin our lives in the fetus with pre-development female genitalia. Fact. Several biological processes determine the ultimate gender, these include chromosomes (xx, xy or variants), hormone excretions (androgens for male development), physical development of gonads or genitalia (sometimes the process get caught in various phases between the development of female genitalia to male genitalia), and finally a recent discovery, a small section of the brain that is different sizes in males and females. When these individuals are born they do not make a decision on gender preference. At this point, parents and doctors make the decision based on several factors (that’s another story). Sexual preference on the other hand, may be a result of several factors including the size of the area of the brain that determines male/female, hormones, and possibly environmental factors. We’re not certain. And this is not what I am discussing here. But the fact is that many born intersex may be attracted to the opposite gender of the sex that dominates their bodies (or not). Some people with intersex conditions exhibit characteristics of both sexes (androgyny, he/she). And some may even physiologically revert gender at puberty, just like flipping a light switch, because biologically certain androgens do not activate in the body until the late teens or the mid twenties.
To categorize intersex individuals as one size fits all into the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual community is an injustice to each every one these people that were born with this biological condition. This is the dark shadow of ignorance our society has promoted. Even the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) community has been guilty of this. It is an in-service and an injustice. I am not close to anyone that I know for certain is intersex. And although I do have many friends that are gay, I am comfortable with my hetero identity and 28 of marriage with tow grown children. But I do know many that may be intersex because they exhibit either strong characteristics of both sexes, or exhibit characteristics of the opposite sex their outward appearance exhibits. They may be intersex or it may be hormonal or it may be neither of these.
This is the line of research I have been obsessed with in the recent past. This is the tragic human condition and social ignorance that has inspired me to initiate a project to enlighten others on scientific facts we are not told or are kept from us. I will do this in the way I know best, through storytelling. I will do it in the way I feel I can tell the story and present the facts accurately to the largest international audience, through documentary storytelling. I will be discouraged and maybe even suppressed by traditionalists, religious fanatics, those that prefer to keep the social status quo intact, or others who just don’t want me to succeed in my goals. But I will promise them this right here in writing today. I WILL NOT desist not will I be silenced. I will light the torch and I will let others light their torches from it to shed light for all of these innocent fellow human beings once and for all. They should not be required to live in slavery by our society because of the biological cards they were dealt at birth from Nature. Nature is God and God is Nature. And they deserve the same joys in life all others enjoy.
So I am asking you to please share this essay/link with others. Help me open people’s eyes that sex determination is science. And those caught in the middle of both sides deserve our respect. But don’t take my word for it. Do the research. Visit Wiki or Google or the Facebook page I created. Because I think if you do the research for yourself and once you know the facts, you will understand people in a whole new light. And you will be able to provide respect and compassion where you may not have considered it before.