My grandfather use to tell me not to judge people and that you should always put yourself in their shoes and walk around in them for a while and maybe you would understand where they are coming from. This statement that he made to me kept playing in my head as I read Alice Dreger’s book Hermaphrodites and the medical invention of sex. After reading the story she told about Barbin I decided to put myself in her shoes. How would I feel to look different than all the other females around me and to love someone who society says it to be unfit. I thought about the day she went to the doctor and was poked and prodded by a “man of science.” Being unsure of what he was discovering and feeling so violated only to find at the end that I was not a women but a man. To be torn from the life I knew and place in a world so strange to me, away from the women that I was in love with. To feel so alone, no one to talk to, no one to understand me, alone in a world that I didn’t belong. I too would have wanted to end my life like she did. These thought made me realize how lonely and confusing a Hermaphrodites life must be. Worse is begin made a certain sex that you don’t feel you are. I thought about what I would do if I myself had an intersex baby. Would I like so many choose the sex for my baby before they even had a chance to decide? Would I want to be the one to cause such pain and mental torcher to my baby or would I tell the doctors to let my baby be and let them decide down the road what they wanted to do with their own body? If I chose to let them decide for themselves how would I present my baby to society how, would I dress them? After thinking about this for many hours I decided that I would most certainly let them decide for themselves and I would present my child to society as my perfect child the one meant for me. I would dress my child in gender natural clothing until they decided what they wanted to be and when they were ready to go to school I would let them choose what they felt was the right sex at that time and if down the road they changed their mind I would be there with them on their journey never judging. I know that even though I thought about all this that it wouldn’t all end up pretty and happy there would be people that would judge my child down the road and they would be face with a lot of hard ships. That no matter what path you take an intersex person has a lot to deal with. All this makes me sick to think how society is so set on picking a gender and how we are wrapped up in gender that people who can not help how they were born are stuck in this web where they can not win. Where they can not be left alone in the world to be who they are without being looked at as some freak that will be tagged with a label as” it” or some scientific name and placed in science magazines.

~Kielly Perkins~

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