Between+XX+and+XY:+Intersexuality+and+the+myth+of+two+sexes

For years she has wrestled with the fact that she

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Unformatted text preview: wake little Lisa May up. . . . One day a staff person came to me and talked to me, but I didn’t answer until she told me my Melissa committed suicide the night before. . . . I was destroyed after that. I left the retreat and went camping for a few days and prayed and said my good-byes to this world. At the end of the third day, I loaded up my pistol with a special round. While watching the sunset, I put the pistol up 86 Between XX and XY to my throat under my jaw and pulled the trigger. . . . I heard it just click as the hammer came down on the shell. . . . I was mad as hell. I couldn’t do even that right. . . . After a couple of days of swearing at God . . . I left the mountains, moved in with some friends, and saw a doctor and got a lot of testosterone and started to inject myself and got big and strong and went to work as an ironworker for some time after that. Lisa May continued to inject massive doses of testosterone. Her muscles gained new bulk. She took martial arts lessons. At first she focused solely on revenge—a hard, slow steely revenge against those who had raped and beaten her. Eventually, she came to see the folly in that, but still she worked to bring Michael back into full control over her tortured body and mind. During this time Michael married three times—each time to a lesbian woman—and each time the marriage failed. Ever since Melissa, I have had rotten luck in relationships. No matter how hard I try to please my mate, it only takes one bad comment about my body and I start to shut down my emotions. If the negative words or gestures continue, I just retreat into myself and hide in a place in my mind that is a safe place. . . . I feel I’m ugly as hell ever since that nightmare in Mexico. I feel nobody will ever love or adore me as Melissa did, and I feel I can’t please anyone anyhow. . . . [The rape] really screwed me up as far as being touched by anyone in a loving way, even though I knew it was in a loving way, and not in a forceful and hurtful way. Only in the last couple of years has Lisa May’s life begun to change significantly. For years she has wrestled with the fact that she does not look or feel like a lot of other people, wrestled with her differences and her shame and her fear and her loneliness. Time and again, she has drawn from a very deep well to find the courage and the bravery to go on. She is a remarkable woman. Where Our Sexes Come From 87 In the end, as she puts it, Michael let Lisa May out. She stopped taking the testosterone and started thinking about estrogen instead. The decision to become and live as Lisa May full time is not a current one but one from a lifetime of conflict. Since I have no male side really left [in her mind, at least], and I’m growing breasts and such, and at least half or more of my body looks female, and I move, walk, gesture, and such, and I thought, why not? It seems I don’t fit into the male role very well anymore. So this way I can at least be something instead of an “it.” The hormones are really kicking in, and . . . soon enough, I will have my implants. So after that, I am Lisa May all the time. And I’ll be moving, so no one will know of me anyway. So my journey to find some peace of mind and happiness is almost upon me. The demons still come for Lisa May, especially late at night, and especially when memories of Mexico and Melissa flow back to her. But the demons are losing more often now. Lisa May is getting stronger. She’s also told me that her sexual experiences are unlike any of those described to her by men or women. Hers are, she says, a much more intricate mix of male and female responses. Hers are much better, she says. She told me, too, that she just won a “best legs” contest on one of her first nights out in a very long time. “I am proud,” she says at last, “to be a hermaphrodite.” Pseudohermaphrodites: Beyond X and Y Pseudohermaphrodites are very different from hermaphrodites, who have gonadal tissues of both sexes. Here, pseudo, meaning “false,” refers to the external appearance of these people, which does not correlate with their karyotype. Female pseudohermaphrodites have a 46,XX karyotype and have ovaries, but their external genitalia include fully or partly formed penises and scrotums. Male pseudohermaphrodites are 88 Between XX and XY 46,XY, but their external genitalia are partly or fully female. Male and female pseudohermaphrodites usually have normal sex chromosomes but carry abnormal genes on other chromosomes. Dianne Age: 39 Location: Ontario, Canada Dianne was born to an unwed mother at a charity hospital in 1969. “There is reason to believe that there may have been some degree of physical abnormality,” she says, “but no records exist (or are admitted to exist) about my earliest life. About six months later, I was put up for adoption as a boy. Boys were much more in demand for adoption in those days.” Though advertised as a boy, as far back as she can remember, Dianne says, she was certain she was a girl. “I spent most of the first decade of...
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This document was uploaded on 02/04/2014.

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