Telling My Stories

A life lived outside

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Posted by catkisser on June 15, 2009

I’ve been many things and seen many places in my somewhat unusual life journey so far. As a teenager I lived in India and travelled much of northern India and Kashmir. I was blessed with being able to explore many of the sights of Rome, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and much of the rest of the Middle East as well at that time. I’ve ridden an arabian stallion to see the pyramids, spent the night basking in the reflected moonlit in front of the Taj Mahal, gone on elephant back through the jungle, explored the old bazaars of Istanbul and old Delhi, climbed in the Himalayas. I attended Ohio State University where I followed my interests for three of the four years resulting in an education closer to the traditional “classic” model than is the norm for most American college students. I was a “hippy” and a political activist in the late sixties. I was married 25 years and raised a wonderful daughter. I was a master cabinetmaker, a psychiatric aide, a mystic who taught classes for the OSU free university in the mid-seventies on the occult and finally, a nursing assistant who worked as a “gypsy” aide in many different hospitals and nursing homes.

Not a “normal” woman’s life in many respects, but then, I’m also not your standard woman.

I was born in 1949 near Detroit, Michigan and the gender and name on my birth certificate then is not the same as the name and gender of my life today. I could now bore you with all the lurid details of growing up different, but most reading this already have heard it many times in many forms from others. My story differs only in that I discovered relatively late in life that I was born intersexed and that fact was hidden from me by most of the doctors I had contact with who knew. Intersexed?, what’s that you ask? Is that where someone has both male and female genitals? In my case, yes. But my case is unusual among intersexed people as well. I am what is called a tetragametic chimera or “merged twin mosaic”. That means I was born with both XX and XY tissues and had some of both sets of genitalia, which is extremely rare. Scar tissue indicated surgery was done on me when I was born without my parents knowledge or consent. It borders on certainty in my mind that a hysterectomy was done on me when my appendix was removed in 1980, again, without my knowledge or consent. I spent many years as a transsexual advocate and am only now breaking my silence on being intersexed rather than transsexual. None of it is really relevant to my life now except as history. Today I am happily female, my body and mind in congruence.

I could wail about the difficulties of my life, regret my lost girlhood and be resentful of the years I spent trying to act like a male for all those around me, but that would be missing and regretting all the wonderful things I did and learned unrestrained by the expectations placed on women in western society. The simple fact is, I was able to learn and do things unhampered by those expectations and my life has been richer for that. I consider myself blessed being the way I was and the way I am today. Each and every step along my journey taught me valuable lessons and opened my eyes to aspects of life that most others never even considered. Even becoming disabled had it’s positive results. As She did in ancient times, the Goddess chose me before birth and guided my life to forge me according to Her will.


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