Germany will soon be the first European country to recognize babies born with ambiguous genitalia as a third gender, allowing parents to choose a baby's sex later in life. HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd hosted a discussion about what this change will mean for intersex parents and children.
Guest Nicky Chaleunphone, an intersex EMT and firefighter who was also diagnosed with Kallmann's syndrome, said he believed his childhood would have been different if this choice existed during his formative years.
"Back then in the 1980s, intersex kids never had a choice," he said. "Their choice was taken away from them."
Chaleunphone wasn't diagnosed as intersex until he was a toddler. While he underwent multiple tests, surgeries, and drug regimens, his parents chose to keep the reason a secret.
"I had to deal with doctors that told me that I had to take testosterone for a reason, and they wouldn't tell me the reason why. I had to be spoon-fed the lies of taking testosterone without giving me the facts about what's going to happen if I didn't take it. They didn't tell me why I had a surgical scar."
It wasn't until Chaleunphone was in high school that he accidentally discovered he was intersex.
"It took me to the point when I wanted to play sports in high school and I had to get a physical, and had to bring my medical records to school, I finally discovered what was done to me."
Update: An earlier title included information stating when Chaleunphone discovered he was also diagnosed with Kallmann's syndrome. Changed title to clarify that intersex and Kallmann's syndrome are separate conditions.
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