Saturday, 23 July 2011

Response From Dutch Health Minister

I received this letter from the Dutch minister of Health on July 14th:

English translation:

Dear Maya,

Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to respond to your letter of May 8th, 2001 because the subject falls under my responsibility. I can tell you the following.

I have read your letter with a lot of interest. You describe how at a certain point have discovered that you are transsexual. Afterwards you discovered on the internet the term intersexuality, with which you can identify much better.

You write that many hospitals were not interested in examining you as an intersexual person and I conclude from your letter that you're very disappointed about this. After a search of six and a half years in the Dutch healthcare you have now put your hopes into foreign help.

I regret that you haven't found that which you were looking for in our healthcare and that this has been troublesome for your personal life as well. Looking over your letter I think that you mostly feel the need for recognition and I can find myself in this.

The subject intersexuality also has the interest of the House of Representatives. Recently the Minister of Education, Culture and Science has answered House questions regarding the battle which people in the Netherlands with an intersex condition fight to get (medical) recognition. Although those answers mostly apply to the legal status of people with an intersex condition (it involves the reporting of the sex in the birth certificate and the passport), they also refer to the medical reality. In that connection is the 'Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders' relevant. This guide line is created in 2006 by medical specialists and advises physicians to avoid hurried and medically not required surgeries. This possibly explains the reluctance which you encountered at the hospitals which you have visited.

Although I sympathize with your situation I have to point out that the responsibility to medical action lies with the professionals in the healthcare. As a minister of VWS I can of course not take such a professional responsibility upon myself.

I include the House questions which I just mentioned and I conclude this letter in the hope that you'll finally find the recognition you seek. Finally I gladly wish you all the best for the future.

Best wishes,
the Minister of Healthcare,
Wellness and Sport,

Ms E. I. Schippers


The included attachment referred to in the letter basically comes down to that intersexual people in the Netherlands can legally change their gender without issues, as a law exists for this already (1:24). I have of course encountered this law already when I was discussing my first name change last year with my lawyer. The requirement for this law is that you are recognized as being intersex by a hereto approved physician. Sadly the physicians in this country refuse to identify people as being intersex, rendering this law pointless.

I will be writing a follow-up letter to the Queen and send it next week. My first letter was mostly just an overview, and since this Minister clearly did not bother to even glance at my website I will have to put the relevant items into the letter itself.

My response to the above letter is mostly one of extreme bitterness. To have my troubles just brushed away like that and with her having the nerve to rub it in by pretending she cares. It really, really hurts really badly. If this doesn't underline why action is required to give intersex people their human rights back, I don't know what will.



rhcp6495mf said...

After reading both letters, I came to conclusion that Dutch government don't respect people. Transsexual, gay or intersexual are first of all HUMANS and as such, you should have the same rights as hetero people.

Rev said...

I have read your letter with a lot of interest. You describe how at a certain point have discovered that you are transsexual. Afterwards you discovered on the internet the term intersexuality, with which you can identify much better.

Is it just me, or is this the most insulting part?

As if you were born just someone questioning their gender identity or with gender dysphoria, rather than someone born a hermaphrodite. As if you were some teenager looking for a fashionably oppressed group to sign on with, an emotional phase. Like some fundamentalist Christian parent telling their child, "You heard the word 'atheist' on TV, did some poking around on the internet, and decided you wanted to identify that way." How condescending can you get?

Maya Posch said...

@Rev - it is indeed very insulting and dismissive/condescending. I honestly can not wait for the current lawsuits I'm pursuing to result in all this filth about the Dutch government to come out into the open for everyone to see.

They are the ones who have the position of power right now. I'm just a mere citizen with whom they can do as they please. They sure didn't make me any more positive about this government, that's for sure.