Friday, August 29, 2008

Coming Out Intersex

Anger doesn’t live under Darlene Harris’ skin anymore... It’s melting away — the same way bad memories do — along with the confusion she has carried from a rocky childhood in New York City’s housing projects to her life as an Atlanta police officer. She now knows why her voice is so deep, why she’s always been attracted to women, why she can grow a full beard.

Officer Darlene Harris, of the Atlanta Police Department, is intersex.

Intersex people are born with chromosomal anomalies or ambiguous genitalia. The medical term "hermaphrodite" has been used, but is not accepted by many intersex people. Medical professionals commonly assign a male or female gender to the individual and proceed to perform gender assignment surgeries beginning in infancy and often continuing into adolescence, before a child is able to give informed consent. Read more about intersexuality here. And read Officer Harris' story in The Atlanta Constitution-Journal.

For Officer Harris, discovering her intersexuality was the lifting of a great burden of misunderstanding about herself. “It was like, ‘OK, I’m not crazy,’ All of these things came together full circle at that moment. I now understood the reason why I am the way I am... It’s freedom, total freedom. It’s like I can fly.”

For further research and resource for and about the intersex community, be sure to check out the Intersex Society of North America.

3 comments:

Curtis E. Hinkle said...

I am writing on behalf of the Organisation Intersex International to add a link to OII, the largest grassroots intersex organisation in the world. ISNA is now defunct.

Our link is

http://www.intersexualite.org

Kind regards,
Curtis E. Hinkle
Founder, Organisation Intersex International
http://www.intersexualite.org/

Nicky said...

Explain how in the world can you come out intersex. Intersex is not a lifestyle like the transgender people. Intersex is a medical condition and you people are mixing up lifestyles with medical conditions. You people are conflating the two and mixing them up can be very dangerous.

Kath Forsyth-smith said...

Nicky coming out as intersexed is much worse than just being gay, no it's not a lifestyle but telling people who different we are is much worse, after living this dirty secret being classed as a friek telling even people who know you is the worse thing ever. When you say you people does that mean your not intersexed if that is true you have no idea how it is to live in our shoes.