Transgender center launches intersex group

When a baby is born the first question most people ask is “is it a girl or a boy?” The doctor takes a look at the baby’s genitals, if they see a penis the child is declared a boy, if the see a vulva the child is called a girl. But sometimes a child’s anatomy is not that clear cut, and sometimes the genetics, physiology or anatomy of person is more complex than the penis=boy, vulva=girl equation. The umbrella term “intersex” is used to describe people whose physical bodies, hormones or chromosomes lie between the male and female ends of the spectrum.

According to the Intersex Society of North America somewhere between 1 in 1,500 and 1 in 2,000 babies born in this country have genitals that fall between the strict male/female dichotomy. Additionally, several genetic conditions exist where people who may appear strictly male or strictly female have chromosomal combinations other than XX or XY, a combination of XX and XY, or the chromosomes associated with one gender and the body associated with another. With so many intersex people walking around, there is a fairly good chance that you know one.

But according to “Koomah,” the founder of the group, very few spaces exist for intersex people to talk about their lives. “Most of the social and support groups that I’ve encountered are online,” says Koomah. “I’ve encountered a handful of people both in and outside of [Houston's] Transgender Center that are intersex-bodied but didn’t know anyone else who was. When I mentioned I was and spoke with them more in depth about my experience it seemed to be a great relief that their experience isn’t the only one.”

Koomah realised that their was a need for a group that would allow the intersex community to talk about their experiences. This realization led to the founding of the Transgender Centers Intersex group, which will have its first meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 pm at the Center (604 Pacific). The group is designed as an informal get-to-gether for those with intersex bodies and their spouses.

Koomah explains that while the transgender and intersex communities share many experiences the terms are not interchangeable. “While some intersex people do identify as transgender and some may choose to transition, sometimes the experience of being intersex is different,” says Kumayama. “Being intersex in childhood is radically different than the experience of other non-intersex folks, explaining your body to doctors can be scary, and making choices on things like transition or relationships are easier when you have people whom you share similar experience to talk with.”

—  admin

#VVS2010: Give me Liberty or give me depth

This writer was somewhat shocked when I first saw that the Liberty Counsel, a group that’s so far to the right of even the organized anti-LGBT movement the they’ve publicly criticized the Prop 8 defense for not putting “ex-gay” researchers and other like minds on the witness stand, is this year co-sponsoring the Family Research Counsel’s Values Voters Summit. Usually there’s a little more distance between Liberty and just about everyone else in the movement, with more “mainstream” groups like Focus on the Family instead taking the prominent co-sponsorships. But then again, this is a year when the GOP elephant seems to have determined that fringe is due for a fashion revival — so I guess groups who write poems that “satirically” liken same-sex marriage to human-man-tree marriage are the new black.

So now, after watching a commercial for Liberty and its associated University, listen to Liberty head Mat Staver explain why only God is allowed to shape civil public policy in this American experiment, as well as attack Kevin Jennings for wanting “children as young as five years of age to have sex with one another” and paint the supposed “protection of marriage” as a self-evident right that cannot be reconsidered by modern government. Sorry, all progress since the 1700s:

Mat Staver [AFA]

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Good As You

—  John Wright