Female or Male? You choose.

After reading the Intersex Narrative based on gender, medicine, and identity I was left in awe.  I wondered to myself, what choice would I make if I had an intersex child or what if I was an intersex individual myself?  Would I be upset that I was medically assigned a definitive sex, or would I be happy that I was able to identify myself as a definite gender this day in society, even if I was in the wrong body?

According to Sharon Preves, every day babies are born with bodies that are considered sexually inconclusive or ambiguous. As a result, these babies are regularly medically altered to reflect the sexual anatomy based on “standard” female or male sex assignment.  This article explores the numerous responses and choices parents can make regarding their intersex child, which can include no response at all.  In this day in age, it would be challenging not being able to identify yourself as male or female, since sex and gender are huge factors in our everyday existence, especially when considering social norms.

After learning more about intersexuality, I began browsing the web for personal stories.  I wasn’t really interested in celebrities or stories that made it big, I was just interested in the guy or girl next door.  I wanted to read a story and really try to grasp his or hers life experiences and how they were affected not only medically, but psychologically as well.  Do you think it is possible to live a happy life as an intersex human being?  Well, let’s find out.

Max Beck before and after sex change

When Max Beck was born, the doctors could not tell his parents what gender he was.  According to PBS news, doctors found “a rudimentary phallus” and “fused labio-scrotal folds” in between Max’s legs.  After many tests, his parents were sad and confused due to fact that all they wanted was a healthy baby, which is almost everyone’s hope.  Five weeks after constant tests and medical procedures, it was discovered that Max was a “mosaic,” with some cells in his body having the XY genotype and others having XO.  Therefore, the decision was finally made to raise him as a female. His parents did what they knew and named him Judy.  He quickly grew into a tomboy, constantly being called a “little boy.”  Max realized it was easy to get away throughout childhood, but it was harder during adolescence.  He had no physical sense of self and watched his peers experience and interact, as his puberty came in pill form.  He refers to himself as Frankenstein in this article because he didn’t know what he was, only that he was incomplete.  Max eventually carried himself as a lesbian.  Throughout his life he suffered many obstacles including, dropping out of college and even attempting suicide.  He felt forced to stay with his husband until he met Tamara, who he then fell in love with.  After over a decade of therapy he finally made a decision to transition from female to male, switching to testosterone.  From changing the letter on his driver’s license, to changing his name from Judy to Max, he was finally on his way.  Max is now happily married to the love of his life Tamara, who both identify themselves as lesbians and have a baby girl named Alder.  Max looks forward to the future and closes this article saying, “I cannot undo my history, and I am sick to death of regretting it.” 

wedding of Tamara and Max Beck

  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/intersexual-life.html

 
 
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3 thoughts on “Female or Male? You choose.

  1. http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/transgender-girl-s-parents-sue-for-her-right-to-use-the-bathroom-201415013.html
    This is an interesting article regarding intersexuality. From our discussion on Tuesday, I think we all agree that dealing with a child who is an intersex person is difficult. But the support and possibly changing the kind of mentality our society has, are the keys to helping intersex people to feel like they belong. In this article today, I read that there is a 6 year old boy who identifies as a girl and was banned from using the girls restroom at her school. Although this girl is not an intersex person, she is going through something similar to an intersex person. I think her family is the example that needs to be set on society. They are giving her lots of support and are fighting for the person she wants to be. This girl is going to grow up to be happier because of them. If this little boy wants to be a girl, the school district shouldn’t interfere with that.

  2. After our discussion on Tuesday I truly hope that this situation never happens to anyone or me because this decision would be so difficult. Like we discussed in class it would be hard to make the decision for your child. But as a parent if you do happen to make the decision to choose for it to be boy or a girl instead of leaving it alone, then you are going to have to deal with the consequences. We all discussed that if the parents have full support of the child and help them through the process then maybe intersex people wouldn’t feel so alone. These people don’t know whom to identify with so they struggle just like Max did in this article. We discussed that maybe at some point down the road gender won’t even be around.

  3. As a young adult I have my opinions now without much experience. And though I may feel one way now it can change years from now when I may be in the position to have a child. So its hard to say what I would do in this situation without actually being in this situation. It makes me sad to think of all the young kids that have to grow up confused and feeling less of a human being because they feel so out of place just because of what society says is wrong and right. Just like gays or lesbians. I feel it is our responsibility as a society as as adults to over come this obstacle of judgement. We should accept anything and everything and be open to new ideas and such. Just like as a society we have come to accept different races and cultures that range from people to people. I think the choice should be up to the child when they become old enough to make the decision for them self and it is up to us to not make them feel out of place for being the way they are. Instead we should support and accept peoples differences and not make them feel like the odd one out.

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