It’s really an old video but still very informative on what it means to have Kallmann’s syndrome and be an Intersex person. It’s alot better than using the dumb wikipedia. It’s worth noting that some versions of Kallmann’s syndrome such as those who carry the Kal-1 gene do have a micropenis, can’t smell and have Sensorineural hearing loss as well. It’s good to educate people on this and for me, I know more about it because i’m diagnosed and verified by the US Government and the National Institutes of Health as having Kallmann’s syndrome.
Being and Interex person and someonw with Kallmann’s syndrome, my experience growing up Intersex is not the same as every other Intersex person’s. Alot of factors that goes into an Intersex person’s experiences vary from intersex person to intersex person and Intersex condition to Intersex condition. Which is why for an Intersex person, growing up has a universal linkage such as having our condition kept a secret and hidden from us or growing up different and not normal like everyone else.
My experience is that, I grew up knowing that I would never be a normal biological man no matter how much medical science tries. I always have that feeling that I’m always in the middle in between men and women, though I tend to lean more towards the women then men. Body wise, I always knew I had a mix of male and female body. I knew that my Intersex body is never gonna be normal. It’s why I always knew that micropenis of mines is never gonna outgrow itself and it’s always gonna be the same shape and size regardless of what medicine does. It’s why, when it comes to my Intersex body, I’ve always known that it’s always gonna be in between and a mixture of male and female features. It’s why I always tell people that I am fortunate to sit in between men and women due to my biology, genetics and DNA. I’m fortunate that I have longer arms, longer legs and child bearing hips.
When it comes to the social and society side of being an Intersex person, it’s always hard to work with a world that only see’s male and female. Being that I have Kallmann’s syndrome, it’s far worse for me because people always see me as being younger than my age. They look at me as being in my late 20’s and early 30’s, despite being 41 yrs old. On top of all that, I look young enough that, sometimes I can pass as a tomboy girl and people wouldn’t be able know if it was me or not. Which is why as an Intersex person, I am fortunate that I can get away with dressing as either a tomboy girl or just a normal man. It’s why being who I am as an Intersex person and because of my Intersex body, I have clothes from both sexs, that tend to fit me well. That means I not only have clothes from Men’s side but I also have clothes from women’s side to help fit my intersex body and make me feel comfortable. It’s why as an Intersex person, I can get away with wearing leggings, dresses and even with business suits as well. I am fortunate that I have an Intersex body that allows me to wear whatever I want and be comfortable in.
Although, growing up Intersex for me, I never fitted in with the biological men or women. I was always seen as being in the middle. In the beginning I was forced to socialize with men and boys to keep my folks happy until I gained independence and started to rebel. That’s when I started to break the mold and started to forge my own mold. I did that because I knew I couldn’t fit the Male stereotypes, male mentality and male role no matter how hard medicine tried to pigeonhole me into the male mentality. It’s why growing up, was always a challenge of trying to be myself but also pacify the Laotian culture that was still stuck on the old sex and gender stereotypes of the east and not the west. Which was why growing up intersex in my childhood was often times labeled as being very traumatic.
Now for me, I am able to be myself and be who I am as an Intersex person. I have 3 doctors, all of whom are female to thank and who took care of me and who knew not to force the male or female stuff on to me and even allowed me to be myself without the pressures of being male or female. I even had a social worker who took care of me and even allowed me to be myself and dress whatever made me feel comfortable and happy. The social worker allowed me to dress whatever I wanted whether male or female and even helped me try to live a normal existence, despite having to deal with everything in life. Which is why I am fortunate to have people who made growing up Intersex very easy for me despite living in a toxic culture and trying to make my medical condition much more bearable to deal with. It’s those things that helps makes growing up intersex much more bearable and manageable.
Now the downside to my Intersex experience is that being that I have Kallmann’s syndrome, it comes with a whole host of medical issues that no normal person would ever want to deal with. Part of having Kallmann’s syndrome in the Kal-1 gene that I have is that I am born deaf with Sensorineural Hearing loss in my right ear. I lack the ability to smell everything including foods and flowers. I have a Micropenis that is so damn small that the only time I notice it being their is when it’s stiff and hard. When it’s soft, it’s so damn small that I don’t even notice it. It’s when when I want to finger myself, I can literally push my micropenis inward and actually finger myself until it gets stiff and hard. The other is that I have vitiligo, which is a skin disease, where I have white spots on my skin as well. On top of that, I don’t have the ability to manufacture hormones on my own, which is why I am on lifetime HRT for the rest of my life. I’m also put at HIGH risk for osteoporosis because I don’t have hormones to help shape and protect my bones. The worst part of it all, is that I am sterile for life and that means, I can’t get a biological woman pregnant no matter how hard I try.
Out of all that, my intersex experience is very different from most intersex people but every intersex person knows, that growing up is and was never normal for us. It’s why, mines was not that easy and not that normal for me. I never had anything that was normal because of my Intersex condition and normal was something that was very foreign for me. Being intersex and growing up was never easy because of the fact that I never experienced anything that was remotely normal and I was viewed as being weird by society and a lab rat by medicine because of my genetic disease. It’s why, growing up intersex, I was never normal to begin with and will never see normal in my lifetime, though I am glad that I have 3 doctors and a social worker who made growing up intersex much more bearable, manageable and tolerable for me.
There is this article that is making the rounds of twitter that the Washington post did about Intersex people and the Intersex rights movement. I wanted to take my time to digest this story and give my take as an Intersex person and an intersex activist myself. After I have read it and found out that INTERACT had pushed this story. I think it’s time to present my opinion on this story.
In my opinion, like many intersex stories like this one and including mines, I can tell you the common theme is so predictable that Intersex people like myself want to be seen as normal people who live with a very rare disease. Intersex people don’t want to be seen as a sex, gender, gender Identity or Sexual orientation as how the LGBT wants to see it. The reality is, in all these intersex stories coming to light is that being Intersex is a normal thing and it’s really a rare disease and not a sex, gender, gender Identity or Sexual orientation. The story’s in the Washington post article is fine but I think they were slanting towards the same line, same tactic and same agenda that the LGBT uses when they wanted to push their issues and use the lives of LGBT people to push their agenda. It’s the same I am seeing within Intersex groups like OII and INTERACT, who are using the LGBT tactics to push their agenda onto people as well. It’s becoming so predictable that I’ll bet the next intersex story will have the same line as well.
Which is why in my view, the intersex story is great, it’s helping get the message that Intersex people do exist and that Intersex people are not a sex, gender, gender Identity or Sexual orientation. The downside to all that, is I fear that Intersex stories like this and so many others will get hijacked and used by the LGBT to push their agenda at the expense of Intersex people like myself.
Which is why I am hoping that intersex stories like this will spark the Intersex rights movement and kick the LGBT to the curb. Too many times, Intersex rights has to take a back seat or be used as pawns by the LGBT to push their agenda at the expense of Intersex people. In which, it results in intersex people getting nothing and Intersex people being used to push, justify and legitimize LGBT at the expense of Intersex people. It’s why I am hoping that this story and many others becomes a wake up call to bring Intersex back to it’s core roots about Intersex people and not about the LGBT.
I’d like to see one day where Intersex can go back to it’s roots and fight for Intersex rights on their own terms and not on the terms or backs of the LGBT. That is because, many of the LGBT issues are not the same as Intersex people and it often times makes it hard for intersex people to be seen. It’s why Intersex people need their own rights movement and don’t need the LGBT to ride off the coattails of Intersex people. Intersex people have their own needs that is very specific to Intersex people and not to the LGBT.
It’s why I like to see stories and conversations about this because it does get people to understand that, biology, science and medicine really matter to Intersex people. I’d like to see more stories show that Intersex people like myself are not a sex, gender, gender Identity or Sexual orientation. Instead, I want intersex people to show people that they are just a normal human being like everyone else but they are born with a Rare Genetic disease that they have to face and deal with for life. It’s being able to humanize what it means to be born with an Intersex condition and not be sexualized, fetishized or pornified by the LGBT. Which is what Intersex people like myself need to show and we need to show how Human we are, despite being born with an Intersex condition and with an extra chromosome in our intersex bodies.
Washington Post. (2017). The intersex rights movement is ready for its moment. [online] Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/10/05/the-intersex-rights-movement-is-ready-for-its-moment/ [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].