I was reading a piece of memoir/writing-from-personal-life that is going around the tumblrz, by a non-binary person. (Note: I’m purposely not linking to it here because I don’t want to Tumblr Call-Out the author. They made a mistake, which I am going to talk about here. But the mistake they made is also an incredibly human and understandable mistake, and it is one that I have seen a lot of people make and have wanted to write about here for awhile. I don’t think that public shaming is actually gonna be productive in this instance. I’m gonna send them a direct message when I’ve got more spoons. This is just me venting/processing a bit…)
Anyway. I was liking their piece! And then there was the line “I wish I was intersex…” And then stuff about how that’d be sooo great because then “my body would match my internal sense of myself” (it was slightly different exact wording, I am paraphrasing here, but it was along those lines). And then I honestly just kinda wanted to throw my laptop across the room. :/
I want to start this by saying that I cannot and should not speak for any intersex or non-binary people other than myself. But, just sayin’: I am both intersex and non-binary. They are related but fundamentally seperate parts of myself. I would not say that intersex is my “gender” or my “gender identity,” as much as it is my experience (although, if you ask another intersex person this question, you might get a different answer!). I would definitely not say that being intersex makes being non-binary any better/easier/safer. If anything, again, speaking from my own experience: Being intersex just deeply fucking complicates all of that stuff. I personally find it REALLY obnoxious when non-intersex genderqueer, non-binary, and trans people use intersex people as “proof” of the beauty and diversity of zee gender spectrum (why the fuck do we even NEED proof when we are right here?!), or as “justification” for non-binary/genderqueer identities and/or for trans identities (why the fuck do we need “justifying”?!).
Also: I am well-aware that there are pockets of intersex “community” (more about this in a sec) that are deeply transphobic and really don’t want to be associated with trans, genderqueer, and non-binary people. I would hope that it is obvious that that is not me here. I think that non-trans intersex people and non-intersex trans people, for example, have a lot of stuff in common wrt, say, dealing with the medical industrial complex. I think that it is important to build alliances with each other, to talk across our differences, to support each other’s fights. I think that, in a lot of ways, at the end of the day, we really are all in this together. But being in it together also means listening to each other and learning when we fuck up.
"Community" is in quotes in the above paragraph because I would argue that because IS people are by & large deeply isolated from each other, there isn’t really so much a unified IS community to even speak of. (I often wish there was, frankly. Sometimes I get lonely.)
TL;DR: YO! OTHER GENDERQUEER/NON-BINARY PEOPLE! We are perfectly lovely and legitimate as-is. We don’t need to use the existence of intersex people as “proof” that we belong and that we matter and that we are real. We’re real no matter what! Saying that you wish you were intersex “because then [my] body would match [my] mind” is actually deeply fucking appropriative, and belies an intense misunderstanding of what it is to actually be intersex.
This is so important. I especially want to echo the part about the dubiously-existent intersex community. I hope that this tumblr and other places online can start to serve as a way for intersex people to connect with each other, because feeling alone can almost be one of the hardest parts of being intersex.
I agree with this. As said in previous asks, I think it feels like small arguments tear the intersex “community” apart because there are such a limited amount of intersex people speaking in the first place. There are great organizations but in terms of individuals speaking their opinions, stories, etc, even here on tumblr it’s so quiet that as soon as a few people have differentiating opinions it feels like a huge battle. I have talked to maybe 1 or 2 people who have my condition and shared only somewhat of a similar experience as me. That is very very isolating. This is a big reason why I wanted to be a part of this blog, so others wouldn’t feel as isolated as I have. As for someone wishing they were born intersex, that is alarming to me. It seems like that person has a glamorized, fetishized idea of what being intersex is like. I don’t think it’s wrong to want an intersex body, but consider how much privilege it takes to be able to say not only that but that you wish you were born intersex. You can’t seperate our bodies from our experiences, you can’t have one or the other. - Mod H
back when I first started doing photography I had the difficult task of asking all my subjects for their permission to use their image in a photograph. it wasn’t until I finally read the law books that I realized you don’t have to ask permission to take pictures of birds. birds don’t have the same legal rights as humans apparently. outrageous but true