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"Other" Gender in Driver's License

reject legal construction of gender as anatomy

Forum: Intersexed_Society list
Date: 06/11/2005

On 6/11/05 4:15 PM, "L" wrote:

I probably would be more interested in trying for getting a third gender designation on travel documents if anything, but it seems that most focus is on surgery issues at this time.

For me, while I put a lot of emphasis on changing the medical treatment of intersex, surgery is not the focus. Medical reform does not begin and end with stopping surgeries; it has to do with creating the culture of honesty, respect and acceptance throughout the child's development.

I think that the focus on the surgery has hurt the movement because it intensified the debate and divided medical professionals and parents into for or against surgeries. I'd tell anyone about what I think about surgeries if they ask, but I think we have a better chance unifying everyone who are genuinely concerned about the child if we focused on honesty, respect and acceptance.

The reason I don't support third gender designation as an intersex project is because I believe that if any such designation were to become available, it should be based on one's identity and not on her or his anatomy. I see that as a gender rights issue. I don't believe that intersex people are any more entitled to having the legal recognition of third gender status than non-intersex people who want the same; to say that intersex people are more deserving of it is any less bigoted than saying that transsexual women are less worthy of being treated as women than non-trans women.

In other words: if you are going to push for third-gender designation, I support that effort as long as it's not linked to intersex. If it's linked to intersex, I can no longer support the effort because I view that as inherently anti-transsexual and also it is not in the interest of the vast majority of intersex people.

I finally wrote to my Congressman directly asking about passports and if it was okay to commit fraud to obtain one if I am IS; not M or F.

See, I don't think that this is the way to go. By claiming the right to the "I" designation based on your physical intersexuality, you are upholding the legal regime that penalize transsexual people for having bodies that contradict their gender identities.

More realistically, though, I think a better approach is to push for the removal of gender information from most official documents because they serve no purpose other than prohibiting same-sex marriage and flagging trans people for abuse. Once same-sex marriages become a non-issue, and it will sooner or later, they won't have any reason to keep gender designation in most official documents.

- ek

Date: 06/11/2005

On 6/12/05 5:38 AM, "D" wrote:

Since S-S marriages will never be fully accepted AND that there r SEVERE ane even life threatening medical issues involved with being IS (for instance denial of medical coverage of my mammograms) I have to STAUNCHLY stand by the 3rd gender issue. Delicious

It's ridiculous to think that the general public will "fully accept" third gender designation more readily than they would same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages are already happening in half a dozen countries today, plus one state in the U.S., unlike the third gender designation.

Also ridiculous is the idea that obtaining the third gender category is the way to receive proper health care. There are so many other ways we could be working to improve health care, but pushing for the third-gender status isn't likely to improve things much, especially considering the fact that the word "intersex" is so un-specific and diverse that it can't possibly give any useful information to treating physicians by itself. Doctors don't want to know if you are intersexed; they want to know which specific conditions you have and what treatment you have received or are receiving.

On 6/12/05 6:15 AM, "L" wrote:

I do not consider myself Male or Female nor do I consider myself with gender disphoria.

And I fully respect how you identify. I also respect people who "do not consider themselves male or female" but do not have any intersex condition. They deserve the exact same level of respect for their identity as you do.

TS have a whole different slew of issues and I don't think they should be added into a third gender category if one is created;

No one should be put into a category that they do not want to be part of. Most transsexual people identify as male or female, so I don't think they want to be part of the third gender category. BUT there are people who are not intersex, who feel that they are neither male or female. They deserve as much respect for their identity as you do.

plus TS reinforce the idea of binary gender.

And you don't? Give me a break. Claiming to be in the middle does reinforce the idea of binary as normative.

IS/Herm designation is a good place to start on a birth certificate, an X designation on a drivers license or passport, or if this is too over the top, leave it blank and have a secondary card for explanation. Simple?!

Does the fact that vast majority of people born with intersex conditions do NOT want to be given the third-gender status influence your proposed solution, AT ALL? Do you care only about yourself?

The gender designation on IDs should reflect one's identity, not her or his anatomy. If you want a third-gender category, it should be based on how you identify and not on your physical (chromosomal, etc.) intersex status.

- ek

Date: 06/11/2005

On 6/12/05 3:33 PM, "L" wrote:

I am not anti-TS but I don't think they should be incorporated into IS.

Nobody here is talking about whether or not transsexual people should be "incorporated into IS." You are talking about creating a third-gender designation based on your physical (chromosomal, etc.) characteristics, and I am arguing against that because it would logically lead to the construction of legal gender designation as a reflection of one's anatomy rather than her or his identity, which is transphobic to say the least.

It's a matter of simple logic. You don't have to "hate" trans people to act in a way that supports transphobia, as you are doing now.

I take medication for an IS specific condition.

There is no such thing as "IS specific" medication. There are only medications for specific diagnoses, so having the "I" on your identity card is useless. Identity card is not meant to be a substitute for your medical file, and the fact it can't be used to show what medical condition you have is a poor argument for changing it.

And besides, you said earlier that having "no gender at all" on your ID is also an acceptable solution. WHY? If your goal is to use your ID to communicate with your doctors, then why don't you insist that it contain your intersex status? The fact that you'd be "also fine" with "no gender at all" suggests to me that all this talk about taking special medication is irrelevant.

Again, a matter of simple logic.

I cannot get a Western medical doctor unless I lie and say I am TS, which is untrue.

That really puzzles me. If you need a medication specific for an intersex condition, why would telling your doctor that you are transsexual help at all? It would seem like you would have to tell the doctor what specific intersex condition you have if you want a medication for that condition...

What you are describing is like you go in and tell the doctor your stomach hurts in order to receive a medication for headache, which is Very Strange. Can you explain why that is the case?

See, I don't think that this is the way to go. By claiming the right to the "I" designation based on your physical intersexuality, you are upholding the legal regime that penalize transsexual people for having bodies that contradict their gender identities.

This really isn't the board for TS issues, er.

That doesn't mean anti-transsexual rhetorics should be tolerated here.

If you desire to slam me for something that took a lot of strength to do, something I wanted to say for over a year to my congressman because someone in this group outside the US received an X designation on a passport, gave me a lot to hope for. I mean a lot of hope!

A hope for you, fine. But what about the hope for people who do not have an intersex condition who feel just like you do? By using your intersexuality to your advantage, you are diminishing their hopes. Yes I will slam you for using biological essentialism to create hierarchies among people who feel exactly the same. Having courage and strength is great, but that doesn't make a stupid or bigoted idea any better.

I know of IS people who take the easy way out and proclaim TS because the stigma is less.

Not sure if I'd agree that transsexual people experience less stigma... What I feel jealous about them is their visible number and sense of community.

I only have sympathy for you to feel that I threaten you, because today, I am proud to be IS.

Huh? I'm pointing out that your arguments are bigoted and illogical; I never said that they threaten me. I find your "proud to be IS" statement amusing, like that horribly written and horribly performed play about vaginas speaking and wearing feather hats.

If you are offended or unsupportive, so be it!

I'm not offended by your pride as an intersex person; it just amuses me. I am offended by your support for anti- transsexual rhetoric.

The more you say your against, the more it will spure me to push forth, because now I know I am on the right track.

In other words, any criticism you receive will only prove that you are right. With such an a cult-like attitude, your "movement" will never learn from its mistakes and grow, which is a pity.

All I am saying is that the gender designation on IDs should be based on one's identity, not on her or his anatomy. If you disagree with that, that's fine--but you haven't articulated a single argument against it. Tell me, why should the gender designation on your ID based on your biological condition rather than on your identity?

- ek

Date: 06/11/2005

On 6/13/05 7:38 AM, "C" wrote:

Every day more and more evidence piles up linking transsexuality to physical causality. I believe eventually most transsexuals will be considered IS in some manner.

Even if it were proven that transsexuality is biologically rooted, that doesn't automatically make it an intersex condition. Whether or not it is biological and whether or not it is "intersex" are two separate questions.

As far as I'm concerned, transsexuality will become an intersex condition when they begin performing brain surgeries to eliminate GID at birth (and, it doesn't really work and causes all sorts of undesireable side-effects). Then they will realize that there is nothing to be gained from being classified as "intersex."

This is why so many are still willing to be labelled psycho- pathological rather than a birth condition.

If you think that "intersex" is less pathologized than "transsexual," that is simply wrong. And, many so-called "psychiatric" or "psychological" conditions are in fact biologically rooted, and the fact that they are biological hasn't resulted in removal of these conditions from the DSM. Which leads to the conclusion: even if transsexuality were shown to be entirely biological, it will continue to be considered a psychological condition.

In other words: the treatment of transsexuality as a psychological condition will not stop simply by showing that it's biological. If they want it to stop, they would have to call for the complete depathologization of GID, not its re-classification to another pathologized category.

On 6/13/05 10:10 AM, "S" wrote:

If you read the HBIGDA's Standards of Care, they do not provide any means to address IS who have been wrongly assigned their gender through surgery when young.

That is not true. The SOC states that intersex individuals who wish to transition gender as adults can be diagnosed with Other Gender Identity Disorder or Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (instead of the simple GID) and can be treated similarly to transsexual adults.

Now, I am aware that some doctors are reluctant to treat intersex individuals who want to transition, but that's only because they are lazy and don't want to individualize the care. They are too lazy to adjust hormone dosage for someone whose hormonal levels are unusual, or find other sources of skin to graft when penile skin is too small or damaged, for example. I know that HBIGDA is addressing this problem and it's not true to say that HBIGDA doesn't offer any support.

- ek