Sad to say that if the general populace doesn’t understand about transgender people, they will surely be at a loss regarding intersex people. That is the unfortunate truth about it.
Shortly before the pandemic, I lost one of my best friends here. She was an intersex woman and our ages were within 2 or 3 years of each other. Our coming into our gender identities basically happened in the same time frame (now it would be 8-9 years ago). We were both living in New York State at the time. She was in New York City and I lived in Corning before we both relocated to the desert.
As we got to know each other here, we discovered several similarities in our journeys. It always impressed me that her parents resisted the “advice” of doctors after her birth and declined surgery of any kind. She grew up as a male, eventually got married and had 2 daughters. Ultimately she extricated herself from the cloud of denial and took steps to align her presentation to how she felt mentally. She was just an interesting and pleasant person to be with. Every month or so we would have breakfast together or go thrifting in our area or drive over to a favorite shop over in Riverside.
She was as close to being a savant regarding popular music as anyone I have ever known. Sometimes we would listen to the radio in my car on the way over to Riverside. In response to the song that was playing, she would ask if I had seen the video for it and would proceed to explain all the associated history and nuances. I think part of the bond was that in addition to being contemporaries was that she had the same degree of passion for popular music that I have for motorsports and my son has for baseball, so I completely understood the thought process!
She also told me something that, to this day, I still consider to be a gift. In our haste to live in the moment, I think we don’t often slow down, step back a bit and consider our lives in the context of what we are doing and how we fit into the grand scheme of things. She told me about how difficult it had been for her be in the world dressed and that only after close to 2 years had she started to become comfortable with things. The last major hurdle for her was to try not to become completely traumatized by just the thought of using the women’s restroom. Then she told me that I always seemed pretty comfortable with being in public. To be honest, I had never thought of this before. It gave me pause for a moment as it was not something that I had ever considered in this context. But, having said that, I understood what she meant and it was a bit of a revelation for me.
Since Alyce passed August 1, 2018, I have missed her and will forever be appreciative of the gift that she handed to me.
So, as your journey continues, every now and then pause for a time and consider where you are compared to where you have been. I can’t think of any better way to realize our progress.