Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

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

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


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

U.S. Supreme Court backs Idaho trans woman's reassignment surgery 2020-05-22 - The United States Supreme Court denied Idaho's application to stop a transgender inmate's reassignment surgery, East Idaho News reported. The court order ...


Gay News

Brave Space Alliance announces board of directors 2020-05-21 - Brave Space Alliance—a Black- and trans-led "LGBTQ center on the South Side of Chicago that is dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally ...


Gay News

Trevor Project releases report on mental health of trans, non-binary youth 2020-05-21 - The Trevor Project's research team has published a new peer-reviewed article titled "Understanding the Mental Health of Transgender and Nonbinary Youth" in the ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Harvey Milk, trans woman killed, 'Queer the Census,' NYC Pride 2020-05-18 - LGBTQ-rights icon Harvey Milk would have turned 90 on May 22—and San Francisco is coming together ( virtually ) that day, a press ...


Gay News

VIEWS LGBTQ discrimination is a disgrace 2020-05-18 - Re the New York Times article, "Aimee Stephens, 59, Plaintiff in Transgender Rights Case" ( obituary, May 14 ): Our world has long ...


Gay News

Report: HHS rule will negatively affect 1.5M transgender Americans 2020-05-18 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to announce a final rule in the coming weeks that reverses federal ...


Gay News

'Matrix' co-creator cites Chicago LGBTQ organization in tweet 2020-05-18 - Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski cited Chicago LGBTQ organization Brave Space Alliance in a tweet, Variety noted. The transgender director was not happy ...


Gay News

Navy grants first waiver for trans service member 2020-05-15 - The U.S. Navy granted a waiver allowing a transgender service member to serve "in their preferred gender" for the first time since the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lady Gaga, Quibi shows, Alexandra Billings, 'Queer Eye,' podcasts 2020-05-12 - Lady Gaga announced that her sixth studio album, Chromatica, will be released Friday, May 29, via Interscope Records, a press release noted. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Blood-donation ban, Kenyan refugees, trans activist, club COVID-19 outbreak 2020-05-12 - The top court in Brazil ruled the country's ban on men who have sex with men ( MSM ) from donating blood is ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

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.