LGBT Intersex and the Argument for Gay Marriage

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by The Internet, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. The Internet

    The Internet New Member

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    Intersex

    n : one having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made


    How's it going my homosexual friends? :wavey:

    Let me start out by saying that I am not gay, but I believe adamately in the right of gay people to marry. In fact, I've been so active in my support of gay marriage/rights that it has caused several people to seriously question my sexuality. I guess that's to be expected though. :hs:

    Anyway, I recently came across a book called "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides... a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about an intersex child who is raised as a girl, but whom discovers that she would feel more comfortable as a boy. She then decides to have sex reassignment surgery. And who can question her/him from any moral standpoint? She/he was born with an ambiguous gender, and her/his gender was determined rather arbitarily.

    This made me wonder about where intersex people fall into the gay marriage debate. I'm sure that this isn't a new argument, but I have never encountered it in the mass media. This surprised me, because it seems like a valid issue... so I think that it deserves mention (even if you have heard it before).

    It is estimated that roughly 1/1000 newborn babies undergo surgery to "normalize" their genitalia, due to an intersex condition. An even higher number of newborns have some intersex condition which is not "treated" with surgery. For instance, there are many people with XY chromosomes who look and function like females, even though they are GENETICALLY male... with the caveat that their male hormone receptors do not work. There are also exotic combinations of chromosomes (XXY, XXXY, etc) which contribute to intersex conditions, as well as intersex conditions which are not related to chromosomes at all. Many babies are born with genitalia so ambiguous that doctors have no idea how to proceed. Other intersex individuals live their entire lives without any "treatment" and are oblivious to the fact that they are not male nor female in the strictest sense.

    Yet these intersex babies grow up... fall in love... and some get married.

    Doesn't this mean that "straight" XY females are "gay" from a genetic standpoint? Or that "gay" XY females are actually "straight" from a genetic standpoint? Doesn't this mean that many other intersexed people are gay - and not by choice? (I personally believe that "choice" is irrelevant to the gay rights issue, but that's another post). Doesn't this mean that gay people have been getting married under our noses for as long as the institution of marriage has existed? Whether we (or they) realized it or not? Clearly, gender is a spectrum - a rainbow if you will :mamoru: ; in reality, it's not as black and white as "male/female." Therefore, neither is sexuality.

    Thoughts? I hope I'm not beating a dead horse here. :o
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  2. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    I have never really heard of this argument either - very interesting - my guess is that it is so rare, if 1/1000 newborns are not "normal" and some of them are treated early on to change the plumbing, then its probably like 1/10,000 that are not normal, and on top of that, if the standard "gay" statistic is correct (1/10 ppl are gay), then its 1/10 of 1/10,000th which starts to dwindle the numbers even more. (thats only my argument for why this is never covered in the media). Would this have to be taken to court to be decided if someone can get married? How are things like this even addressed? You said that most people dont even know that they are male (with female components) etc? How is that possible, I would think your doctor would make sure you knew. I also cant imagine there hasnt been some sort of court case with this issue... But who knows, like I said above, its very interesting.

    As far as middlesex goes, my sister recommended it to me and its actually in my book queue on amazon - but ive yet to get it yet.
     
  3. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    oh, and thanks for being an avid straight supporter of gay rights :) always nice to see and know. :wavey:
     
  4. The Internet

    The Internet New Member

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    As far as I understand it, many babies who have their "plumbing changed" at an early age, grow up with genitals that only look superficially like that of a particular sex.... many of them are sterile. Most are alterated to look like females... some of these "females" have undescended testicles (albeit nonfunctioning ones) and a portion of these "females" are capable of having children. Yet no one questions their sex.

    As far as I understand it, many parents keep this fact a secret from their children... perhaps because they are ashamed of it... perhaps because they want their child to lead a "normal" life and not have to worry about being intersex. It's not even recorded on birth certificates. One would have to look at their old medical records... and why do that unless you have a good reason to in the first place?

    It's what I do. :wavey:
     
  5. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    So, if they get married in a state that doesn't allow gay marriage, is the marriage still considered valid?
    ;)

    What about religious practices that look down on homosexuality? Do they still go to hell?
     
  6. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    the easy answers? no and yes.

    they will not only go to hell, but burn eternally there as well for falsifying their marriage documents. ;)
     
  7. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    bah!

    Here's to hell!!
    May the stay there be as fun as the way there.
    :beer:
     
  8. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    .
     

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