I have reached a point in my life where I feel comfortable enough to share my life story. I’ll start by saying that sex and gender are on a spectrum. Female, male, straight, gay… we were taught to see this as a binary. Now, we are realizing it’s more like a kaleidoscope.
As you may already know, women have XX chromosomes and men have XY, right? Well, usually. We used to think it was pretty straightforward, but we see more combinations than that in real life. Even for people with just two sex chromosomes, anatomy can vary wildly.
Like me, for example. I have XX chromosomes but I was born with genitalia outside of the typical male/female binary. As a consequence, I was assigned male and I grew up as a boy till my puberty when I went to the doctor because things weren’t developing as they were supposed to, I began developing different sex traits.
So, I was referred up the chain of specialists, who set out to find what was wrong with me. The doctors ordered some tests, and when they got the results back, my chromosome analysis said I had XX chromosomes, which is typically associated with being female.
That was the moment, when I realized I was intersex, which is somewhere between the sexes.I have to say that was a relief for me, knowing that was intersex, because for so many years I couldn’t explain it and this proved to be, the first step towards me finding myself.
After having consciousness of my anatomy and of what I wanted for my life, I decided to live my life as a girl. And it was such an amazing experience, but I have to admit it was not easy: transitioning from one gender to another is a big challenge when in this society do not belonging to the norm represents a desanvantage.
And that’s why I speak up. It’s difficult to define ourselves because we are told not to talk about our bodies. I remember my doctors, friends and family telling me that I didn’t need to talk about it because it was not necessary or evident. And I did that for a long, and I did feel I was the only one.
Being intersex is about as common as having red hair. So, where are we? And how have so many people never heard of us? In our personal, professional and public lives, we are deep underground. We’ve been ashamed of it, so we don’t talk about it. But we can’t be invisible anymore. Last year I came out as an intersex person. Since that moment, I started being more open and I am really happy; people around me have reacted really well. This proves that we can stop perpetuating a circle vicious of shame and stigma by educating people.
I know fear. I faced it several times in several forms and ways. And I know fear has a concrete power of keeping us from doing and saying the things that are our purpose. I understood my silence serves no one, and in this society, being yourself can be a revolutionary act. Speaking of the greater good, I think we commit ourselves to telling truth to building bridges to common ground.
What was a vulnerability time ago for me — now it’s the birthplace of love, of authenticity. We can remember that all of us, male, female, intersex, are not things to be fixed. We are people to be loved and if you believe that you’re a person to be loved and treat yourself with kindness and patience, then you’ll treat other people the same way.