Onestatement from Thea Hillman in Intersex:For Lack of a Better Word that represents living as an intersex individual is,”We are women, men, and alternative genders such as transgender-just likenon-intersex people. We like to decide what happens to our bodies and like tobe asked about our lives, rather than told. We’ve told our own stories inbooks, websites, newsletters, and videos.
I can promise you they are far morecompelling and exciting, moving and powerful than any fictionalized account” (Hillman,29). This statement about this biological reality fits into my understanding ofgender concepts because it essentially reveals my understanding of thecomplexity of an intersex life. The first sentence of this quote about intersexindividuals’ genders reveals that intersex individuals are similar to non-intersexindividuals. In other words, Hillman emphasizes on the idea that intersexindividuals are not that different from individuals without the condition.Therefore, it seems that she is implying that individuals without this conditionshould focus on similarities, rather than merely differences between them and nottreat intersex individuals any differently. Hillman also represents the complexityof this condition as she describes that intersex individuals can be multipledifferent genders within this first sentence. In other words, Hillman describesthat the gender of intersex individuals is not black and white, but rather on acontinuum. It is significant to recognize that intersex individuals arebiologically male or female, but may identify as a separate gender based ontheir internal feelings, depending on the individual.
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This first sentence isrelevant to my observations of the world surrounding me because I haveexperienced others treating my homosexual uncle differently based on his genderidentification. Although homosexuality is different from an intersex condition,in both cases, individuals are treated differently or unfairly. Within the second half of the quote,Hillman discusses intersex individuals’ desire to have control over theirbodies or be recognized as a human being. She implies that other individuals essentiallydo not accept an intersex condition as they instantly desire to change intersexindividuals’ physical parts.
Since they are human beings, it seems that theyshould have a say in potential procedures regarding the physical makeup oftheir bodies. Within my own life, I have experienced this lack of acceptance toan extent. After breaking my nose in elementary school, my nose began to growcrooked and others would often ask about it. Due to these questions, I feltthat I did not fit in and eventually considered reconstructive surgery, whichwould straighten my nose and open up my sinuses.