Monday, 31 August 2009

Descend Into Controversy

One thing I forgot to mention about yesterday's pool visit was part of the conversation I had with one of the staff members there. I had been talking to her before on a few occasions, and a cleaner who works there too had noticed this and he had asked her why we were talking so much, to which she had replied honestly, telling him about my issues and such in short. His response was one of disbelief at first, to then state that it was 'wrong', that it was 'unnatural', because there are only men and women. It should be noted that this man is a Muslim and was raised in a mixed Moroccan/Dutch environment.

Thinking about it, the Bible, Torah, Koran and virtually every religious work underlying religions talk about a god or gods creating men and women (in no particular order). I can't think of a religion which recognizes the existence of intersexuality, that males and females are just the extremes of a wide spectrum of possibilities. To not want to be or to not pretend to be one of those extremes is then considered to be 'unnatural', and possibly a sin in the eyes of some devout believers. I have never seen religions as being very aware of reality, but this realization was new to me, and frankly it somewhat frightens me.

Having met quite a few religious types and having discussed various matters with them, their inability to accept new concepts, or to examine their own is astounding. While I don't think that the average non-imported European person is very intolerant in this respect, it nevertheless scares me somewhat that there are quite a few people out there who would consider my existence to be unnatural, possibly even a 'sin'. Someone joked a while ago about a fundamentalist Christian attacking me for clashing with his or her beliefs, but especially with events like fundamentalist Christians attacking abortion clinics and murdering people occurring all too often, it does put a bit of fright in me. It could happen, and with the more publicity I get, the more controversy I'm likely to create. It's all part of the game, I guess...

To talk about something less gloomy, I got the first draft of the magazine article emailed to me by the journalist yesterday with the request to look through it and make any changes to the content I deemed necessary. I had Pieter look through it as well, after which it got his approval. After reading it through a few times, I found no obvious mistakes with it either aside from a few minor details which I noted in the text after which I emailed it back to the journalist. I told her I was pleasantly surprised that she had completed the article so quickly, in only 3 days time including the weekend.

She'll make the last changes to it today and submit it to the Grazia, which is also when she'll hear when it'll be published. At the current rate it could be published within two weeks from now (my estimate). It'll be nice to have a date on that. I'll just have to wait on the broadcasting date of the Omroep Flevoland documentary to conclude my media dealings for the time being. I truly hope I'll get the attention my case and intersexuality in general deserves.

Last night Pieter sent an email to a member of one of the ruling political parties, a woman who deals with among other things medical ethics for the PvdA, one of the largest political parties here in the Netherlands. He included a link to my first TV appearance, as well as a link to the Dutch Wikipedia article on Foekje Dillema, an athlete who got into a lot of controversy years ago when she turned out to have XXY genes, which would give her an unfair advantage or so. It was a case not dissimilar to the current one with the South-African athlete. The request in the email was to look at the possibility of introduction a change to the current law on official gender change to make it possible for intersexual people like me to officially take on the gender they and their environment feel most comfortable with. As Pieter described, the only time I'm still a 'male' is when I have to use a form of identification, even if my environment doesn't recognize me as such.

Sadly I still haven't heard anything on the Bbz welfare thing. I was supposed to hear something last week, but all I can do now is send another email asking for a new estimate. It's quite annoying.



zakir ahmed said...

Hey Maya ,

Firstly I am a muslim and i dont hate you :P.He would have just been shocked because he comes from a completely diff culture.

This link gives about gender issues in islam.

In most Muslim laws and societies, transgender people who’s bodies have both male and female characteristics (hermaphrodites or intersex people), are allowed, or even encouraged, to undergo surgery to make their bodies in line with the sex and gender division into male or female. However, for transgender people who’s biological sex is female but who’s gender identity is male (and vice versa) and for those who do not identify as either male or female or as both, this is usually more complicated.

Maya Posch said...

Thank you, Zakir :)

So the general policy is still to keep things divided into male/female. I wonder what happens if someone were to refuse this and tried to stay or even openly admitted to being intersexual. People can make things so complex for themselves and others...

zakir ahmed said...

yeah that would be a really complex situation O_o.I don't know i am not a scholar though ;).

My point was just to show that religion is not always bad as some people think :).Dont you feel there has to be a root account to this world ? who has that ? GOD ?