My coming out: The lingering intersex taboo

Montreal Gazette

Intersex. Few people have heard of the term, and those who have often confuse it with a «third» gender identity or with the mythical figure of the hermaphrodite, presuming we possess both typically defined female and male genitals.

This is not exactly the case. To explain who we are we need new words, or new framings of bodies and identities. But for people to understand intersex as living truths and not as disincarnated concepts, we must speak them with our own voices while carefully clearing a path between euphemisms which threaten to pull us back into the silence of a taboo that feeds human rights violations committed against us, and a direct language which can be twisted around into voyeurism and suffused with other meaning.

Put plainly, either we are objectified and mistreated by medicine which has most successfully erased us from public consciousness, or we will be subjected to…

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