You'll find these "moralists" dwelling in the comments section of mainstream Internet media sites immediately following the publication of any kind of trans-related story. We've all seen their vile, hateful, myopic, black-and-white views of gender: "if it was born with a penis, it's a man" and other similarly ignorant comments dismissing the medical reality that gender was never just two choices to begin with.
A lot of people are born intersex. And many intersex people aren't even aware of this themselves; their doctors took a quick look after birth and put down either an "M" or an "F," leaving some wondering later in life why the heck the gender marker on their birth certificate isn't matching up with what seems obvious below. Many other intersex people are living with obviously vague genitals but have a birth certificate marked with one gender or the other.
Right or wrong, the practice of doctors assigning a gender on a piece of paper has given anti-transgender moralists fertile ground to spread their black-and-white view of gender among the masses in our society. When confronted with the idea of an intersex person, they easily dismiss it because it isn't quite common knowledge; I mean, doctors are not quite upfront about this document blundering, are they?
Which brings me to Sheena Metal. She's a popular L.A. radio host, journalist, comic and sometimes-actress. Recently she came out as intersex over the air and in an interview in Gay Star News. What struck me about this is that Sheena says she's baffled that nobody wants to talk about it. She believes the media isn't that interested in covering it because "the general public doesn't really want to understand anything about being intersex." As for the "intersex community," Sheena says there isn't much of one. She asks how one can find others when nobody admits to being intersex.
This piece isn't a criticism of the intersex community; in fact, it's far from it. I believe both the transgender community and the intersex community can gain from a higher public profile of the prevalence of intersex people in our society. Not only will this improve the lives of some intersex people who live in the shadows, but it will educate more in our society at large that when it comes to gender, the black-and-white view is another fallacy that we were led to believe.
And most of all, the existence of intersex people throws a huge wrench in the dogma of anti-transgender "moralists," weakening their ability to create chaos.
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