Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

Race and the Intersexed
by Lynnell Stephani Long
2003-06-01

This article shared 9057 times since Sun Jun 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


( 'This demythologizing of black sexuality is crucial for black America because much of black self-hatred and self-contempt has to do with the refusal of many black Americans to love their own black bodies ... . How does one come to accept and affirm a body despised by one's fellow citizens?' — Cornell West, Race Matters )

According to ISNA's Web site ( www.isna.org ) , one in every 100 children born are born Intersex. That is the total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female. The 2000 census bureau reported that 25% of the population is people of color ( i.e. Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics and Asians ) . That would mean 1/4 of Intersex children born are children of color. So why are there so few people of color that are Intersex out? Why aren't there more activists of color working with ISNA to help end Genitalia Mutilation?

When I first started researching data for this article, my original intentions were to write about what more Intersex organizations can do to gather the help of people of color. But I think it's important I write about the stigma people of color face, and what more we can do to erase those stigmas.

Someone recently asked me what emotional difficulties did I face when I came out as Intersex. At first I thought this person wanted to know what I faced in gaining my medical records, changing the name and info on my birth certificate, and so on. They explained to me how rough they thought it must have been for me as an African-American Intersex woman that was raised male for most of my life. I said I cannot speak for other people of color born Intersex, but I can tell them how I felt, and what I endured.

Like Cornell West elegantly said in his book Race Matters, there are different stigmas and stereotypes in the Black community. While most of those stereotypes stem from myths, they still exist.

It's said that all Black men have huge penises. In fact a lot of Black men are so proud of their endowment they walk around grabbing themselves at any opportunity. Well imagine if a Black child is born Intersex and raised male with a small penis. In my case I was raised male because my karotype is XY. The doctors saw I have something that resembled a penis with Hypospadias, did surgery and handed my parents their baby boy.

Growing up in an all-Black community and going to an all-Black high school was rough as hell. While a lot of the other boys walked around nude, proud of the size of their penis, I tried my best to hide. Hiding didn't stop the questions though. Questions like, 'Why is your penis so small? Why do you have breasts? What are you, a boy or a girl?'

My mother didn't know how to handle the situation, so she did what a lot of other Black mothers would do. She told me to keep it a secret, and not to change in the locker room. Maybe it was because of the lack of info regarding Intersex conditions, but my mother refused to acknowledge I was different. She practically handed me over to the doctors to 'fix' me.

Even today, in 2003, I am amazed at the number of people of color who do not know what Intersex is. It incenses me that people think being Intersex is a 'white' thing. I am curious to know how many of these same people thought, or continue to think, that HIV is a gay disease and that people of color are immune to it? I believe if I can save one child from the horror I had to undergo, I would have paid my debt to society.

There isn't any one thing an organization like ISNA can do to help the Black community, except make sure information is available. I strongly believe people of color need to educate themselves. We need to step outside myths and stereotypes. If a child is born with a small penis, that child may be Intersex. If a girl is born with an enlarged clitoris, chances are she is Intersex. There is nothing to be ashamed about. There is no reason to hide the child or try to get that child fixed unless the child needs medical treatment.

Whether people of color accept there is a third gender called Intersex or not, it's important for us Intersex to learn to embrace and love our Intersex bodies. I am an African-American Intersex woman who has stood in front of countless audiences, across America and Canada, outing myself in the hopes of educating that one person that will take that information back to their family, and save a child's life. In God's world, nothing happens by mistake.

'I speak without concern for the accusations that I am too much or too little woman. Too black or too white, or too much myself.' — Audre Lorde


This article shared 9057 times since Sun Jun 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Refugee Coalition of East Africa calls for attention to anti-queer violence 2021-05-07
--From a press release - On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia will be observed worldwide, followed by many celebrations of Pride in the month of June. We at the Refugee Coalition of East Africa will raise ...


Gay News

Utah Supreme Court upholds transgender rights 2021-05-06
--From a press release - Salt Lake City — On Thursday, May 6, the Utah Supreme Court ruled today In Re Gray and Rice (20170046) 2021 UT 13, and confirmed the right of transgender Utahns to change the name and gender ...


Gay News

National Black Justice Coalition honors the life of Monica Roberts 2021-05-04
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the life and accomplishments of Monica Roberts, a revered transgender journalist, activist, and founder of the award-winning publication TransGriot. ...


Gay News

WORLD Caribbean group, hate crime, 'Queen of the Pacific,' volcano wedding 2021-05-02
- A Caribbean advocacy group launched a fund to help LGBTQ people who have been impacted by the eruption of a volcano on the island of St. Vincent, The Washington Blade reported. The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Black trans candidate, travel case, trans death, CEO fired 2021-05-02
- RuPaul's Drag Race alum Honey Mahogany—who currently holds a vice-chair seat in her local County Central Committee—announced that she will be seeking the role of chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party when current Party Chair ...


Gay News

New report examines bans on medical care for trans youth 2021-04-29
- The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released a new policy spotlight report, "Efforts to Ban Health Care for Transgender Youth." In 2021 alone, legislatures in 22 states have introduced bills to ban best practice medical care for ...


Gay News

Study: Gender-affirming surgery improves mental health outcomes among transgender people 2021-04-28
--From a press release - BOSTON, April 28, 2021—A new study published today in JAMA Surgery (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/2779429) found that gender-affirming surgery is associated with improved mental health ...


Gay News

Yet another governor signs anti-trans bill 2021-04-28
- West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges, The Seattle Times noted. Bills seeking to ban transgender girls from competing ...


Gay News

Queer health sciences art: U of Michigan students translate research through art 2021-04-27
- ANN ARBOR—Tanaka Chavanduka was inspired to reconsider his communication methods after a trip to a national conference on HIV in Washington, D.C. While there, he also visited the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of ...


Gay News

New Center for Applied Transgender Studies responds to trans misinformation 2021-04-27
- Combatting bad information and promoting accurate education on transgender issues are the focuses at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, which officially opened March 31. The independent, nonprofit, research organization ...


Gay News

AMA to states: Stop interfering in health care of transgender children 2021-04-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO — On April 26, the American Medical Association (AMA) urged governors to oppose state legislation that would prohibit medically necessary gender transition-related care minor patients, calling such efforts "a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL 'Trans in the South,' N.C. ordinance, HIV lawsuits, Andrew Yang 2021-04-25
- The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) released the 2021 edition of Trans in the South: A Directory of Trans-Affirming Health & Legal Service Providers, a press release noted. Nearly 400 ...


Gay News

WORLD Namibia ruling, U.S. embassies, Kenya refugee camp, trans teen 2021-04-25
- Namibia's High Court ruled against a gay couple battling to obtain travel documents for their twin daughters, born to a surrogate in South Africa, after authorities refused to do so on the basis the infants were ...


Gay News

Body of 19-year-old Chicago Black trans woman found in June 2020, identified April 2021 2021-04-24
- On June 6, 2020, the body of an unidentified young Black trans person was found in an abandoned building at 7908 S Laflin in Chicago. https://twitter.com/KaylaraOwl/status/1292173435750277123 . Koko Nia Labeija was born 29 May 2001 in ...


Gay News

Alabama governor signs anti-trans measure 2021-04-24
- Continuing the thread of anti-transgender measures that almost two dozen states have considered or are considering, Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law April 23 that requires all Alabama athletes in K-12 public ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.