And my lifetime of nasty painful dehumanizing complications that resulted from my being "corrected" at birth. In response to ABC News, let me tell you MY story about the results of "correcting" an intersexed child.
Crossposted on Pam's House Blend
Because my vagina was pinhole sized. They assumed I'd never get more than a pinky finger in it, much less a man's almighty penis, (which is sadly their main criteria when making these decisions; Will they be able to have "normal" hetero sex?), so they cauterized the mucous membranes with a heated metal rod and sewed up the tiny hole, leaving what visually appeared to be a normal if a wee bit below average penis and one testicle with a small scar.
Only my father was consulted. My mother was told they just needed to remove a growth. Except they failed to actually bother wasting any time doing silly things like a full internal examination. If they had they'd have found my uterus and maybe thought twice about the whole "She'll be happier as a boy" idea. (Helpful Hint; They were WRONG). Or they might have removed it and spared me a lot of grief.
I didn't actually know I was intersexed until 9 years ago while undergoing a full spate of physical tests at the gender clinic that used to be downtown in Vancouver before the BC Liberal stripped it of funding because it was "Frivolous spending". They discovered my true biology right at the same time they realized my blood disorder meant invasive surgeries would likely kill me.
See, until then, I had just thought I was a chronically ill MTF transsexual woman who had for some reason grown breasts. Sometimes I was actually stupid enough to believe I had breasts because I had somehow willed them to grow in my desire to be a girl. But around age 12 when they began growing, I started getting really sick every month. No doctor took me seriously because my parents told them I was probably faking to avoid school, (You can imagine how much I hated school, but still), and for years I never got thorough satisfactory answers or even seriously tested to see what was wrong with me. It's where I first learned to not trust doctors.
My problem? The uterus and my one ovary are functional. Imagine the joy of PMS when, thanks to sexist asshole binary enforcing doctors, the goddamn blood has NOWHERE to go. My body goes through painful PMS, then averages two weeks of chronic stomach pain and nausea as my body is forced to re-absorb blood it should be expelling, and because of my progressive blood disorder there's NO way this can be fixed now. So I'm doomed to a lifetime of needless suffering all because doctors thought they had a right to make that choice for me at birth.
If anyone has any questions about intersex from the horse's mouth, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
The worst part is that when I was FINALLY given access to my birth records, to learn exactly what was done, I learned I was years beyond any recourse to be compensated. The doctor who made the decision and lead the surgery had died 3 years before I found out, and every lawyer I consulted said no judge would hold the actual hospital accountable. My only comfort is knowing at least the bastard won't screw up anymore children ever again.
The choice should ALWAYS be the child's, when they're old enough to understand.