Doctors and parents are doing irreversible harm solely due to discomfort with difference. We are erased before we can even tell them who we are.
I was born with typically “male” XY chromosomes and internal testes instead of ovaries and a uterus, but my body developed to appear typically female.
My intersex condition was invisible until I reached puberty and failed to menstruate like other girls. On the advice of doctors at a major hospital, my parents agreed that I should have surgery to remove my healthy gonads, without my knowledge or consent.
My natural hormone production ceased, and I was forced onto hormone replacement therapy for the rest of my life. I was just 15. Doctors also recommended to my parents that I receive invasive surgery to create a more “typically” sized vagina — thankfully, my parents refused. I didn’t find out about any of this until I was 41 years old.
Intersex people like me — up to 1.7% of the population — are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical definitions of male or female. I have androgen insensitivity syndrome. Because my body was resistant to androgens, including testosterone, in the womb, my natural hormones automatically converted into estrogen through a process called aromatization.
Intersex people have been the last bastion of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” with doctors…
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