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Gender: God Based, Not Fear Based
by Lynnell Stephani Long
2004-03-01

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'I wish I could hold you in my arms, and take all of your hurt and pain away. I wish I could kiss you on the forehead give you the courage I have to stand up and be proud of being Intersex. But I can't! There are lessons you have to learn that can only be learned by you growing from your pain.'

That's what I told someone over the phone as they cried and cried. This person called me because I told them they could, after we met at a conference. They (and I am not using a pronoun intentionally because this person doesn't use one either) didn't call me wishing I could take away all their pain and fears away. This person called me because if anyone in the world could understand the fear, shame, and pain someone goes through being different it would be me.

I'm not sure why God gave me the courage and fearless attitude that I have, and not everyone else. But I do know that not everyone can be an out and proud hermaphrodite, and not fear being judged and ridiculed. That's if people make the assumption that I don't fear being judged or ridiculed.

Something happened to me five or six years ago that made me say fuck it. Maybe I finally got tired of trying to be what I 'thought' society wanted me to be. Maybe I got tired of being afraid of someone finding out my 'secret', or maybe I just got tired of having a secret. What ever it was that pushed me over the edge some people seem to think this courage I have makes me exempt of pain and fear. It doesn't!

No one wants to be different. I don't know one person that identifies as LGBT or Intersex that will say they chose to be that way. Who wants to live a life where you live in fear of being bashed just because your lover is the same sex, or you happen to be Trans? Who among us like not having the rights that other citizens have? Who asked to be born Intersex (a hermaphrodite), and have to go through life trying to reverse the damage the medical profession has done to you? Not me! But I am what I am and I refuse to sit back and whine about it. I refuse to pout and get mad at God because I'm a little different.

I don't know many Intersex people that have the courage it takes to get up on stage and out themselves as Intersex, and then proceed to educate an audience about Intersex conditions and Intersex Genitalia Mutilation. But I do! I do because whenever I speak openly about Intersex issues I'm not alone. Whenever it comes time for me to tell my potential partner that I am Intersex I strongly believe that God has sent this person to me for a reason. If not to be lovers, then there is a message we have to share.

On February 17th of this year I will celebrate 11 years of sobriety. I didn't stay sober, with all of the shit I've been through, just because I am a militant revolutionary, poetic, kick-ass leather dyke. I stayed sober because I am truly blessed. That doesn't mean that I will be out on Madison & State quoting the bible, or the big book of AA. Nor does it mean that I am a saint and don't make mistakes. It means that everyday I try my best to do God's will, and not my own. There are days when I fall short or when life is hard, but as I become more God based and not fear based I learn to trust in my higher power.

No one said life was easy. And being LGBTI makes life for us a little more difficult, some at our own doing. I can't change the way people feel about me, but I can accept it. I can't make someone accept me, but I can have the courage to get up and try again. If there was a secret as to why I don't bow down to fear maybe part of it is my alter ego Daddie Millarca. Millarca doesn't bow down to anyone. But a large part of it is I don't see a reason to. I didn't get sober to be afraid to live or love. I happen to be a very sexual being. If I was afraid that every woman I ever meet would reject me I may as well stay home and watch reruns of Friends. But I have a life to live, poetry events to attend, people to educate or piss off, articles to write, leather events to visit, and so much more than giving in to fear.

You know, my mother was a minister ˆ God bless her soul ˆ and there were times when she preached against everything that I am. Her God hated me just because. I didn't have a chance with her God. But I learned to have faith in a God of my understanding: A God that loves me because of who I am, not in spite of it. I'm not trying to get all sanctified on you. All I am saying is if you find yourself living in fear give God a chance. And tell her I said hello!

'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

www.millarca.com/intersex.html


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