Saturday, 19 May 2012

I Am Still Unable To Get Medical Help

With everything that has transpired recently it seems easy to overlook the points where my situation hasn't improved much or at all. Beyond my financial and living situation there's one major issue I wanted to have address back in 2005 already and which still hasn't been addressed. It was part of my original set of questions: do I have a vagina, and if so, can it be made usable? The first part of the question was answered with a 'yes' and the second part is still a definite 'maybe'. It's agonizing me that I can not get help with answering that question.

How long will it take before that second part of the question gets answered? When I'm 30? 35? 40? Never? No specialist capable of answering that question has looked at my case yet. The German surgeon who did the exploratory surgery wasn't a reconstructive surgery or otherwise versed in such knowledge. I am not aware of any specialist who can help me at this point. Most definitely there isn't one in the Netherlands. So yes, I can call myself female, and I have a vagina, but I'll never be able to actually use it. That's just bitter.

I had hoped that I could get medical help as a result of the media attention, but the Dutch media has issues grasping the situation, preferring to focus on the bit of happy news and leaving it at that, and as a result the foreign media isn't picking up on it at all. It was my hope that the foreign media would provide salvation, but the earliest that may happen is by the end of this year. If I'm lucky and the lawsuit against the first Dutch hospital (VUMC) goes well, that is.

When it comes to medical help there's exceedingly little I can get here in the Netherlands at all. I do not have a family doctor at this point and have only had negative experiences with family doctors in the past. They seem to be consistently incapable of diagnosing even basic things and rarely take me serious in any fashion. Combined with the above issue I distinctly feel that my existence is still as ridiculed and irrelevant as it was before. In the end nothing bloody changed...

I am currently trying to raise more attention for the intersex cause and with it my own situation via another project, namely the World Intersex Society for Humanity (WISH). At the moment I'm collection stories from other intersex individuals so as to provide a single, coherent voice to the impossible situation society has forced us into. You can see the overview and submission rules here:

Another project I have high hopes for is a more scientific one, called the High-Level Algorithm Artificial Intelligence (HLA-AI), a new approach to mapping and reimplementing a human-level intelligence on a computer system. So far I have mapped mostly sections of the visual and auditory cortex including their memory cores and the interactions with the so-called linguistic center. The current prototypes revolve around natural language processing/understanding and synthesis. My hope that this project will give my career a major boost. It is also a major self-esteem thing as I have been working on AI projects in some form since the late 90s ever since I caught the AI bug. I'll be blogging about this soon on my Jinzou Ningen/Artificial Human blog.

So yeah... I'll see what happens, I guess.



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Working, Searching For A Job And Exhaustion

It's been nearly two weeks since I last wrote anything on my blog. The main reason for this is that I have been and still am exceedingly busy. Busy with lots of things. Most recently trying to find a job as I need income, and fast. But also with trying to finish some more games to sell, as I need income, and fast. Also busy with making this new relationship I have found myself in work. And realizing how desperately I need to move on with things. I need that income, my own place. My own life.

There's also the whole media thing. I'm a whistle-blower for the horrors inflicted upon intersex individuals by Dutch physicians. I'm the first legally recognized hermaphrodite in Europe. The media in the Netherlands is still having a hard time coming to terms with this whole situation. I can not blame them. It took me seven years to fully grasp what was going on. Last Friday an article on me, my struggles and me suing the VUMC hospital's gender team for starters appeared in prestigious Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. This resulted in two Dutch TV stations, EO and VARA, contacting me for a possible appearance on their respective news and talk shows. I had expected them to give me a date today for an interview, but either they do not wish to cover the story, or it's taking them longer to decide due to the massive nature of it.

In all of this and with my huge background story it doesn't feel like I ever truly had time to... be myself. As a child I didn't know what was going on. There was only the pressure to move ahead with my life, go through primary and high school. College. All those things 'normal' people do. I left a large part of myself behind back there in the 1980s. A scared little child lost in the dark forest with big, hungry wolves roaming around.

Now it's an income I need. Money. The good thing is that if I do manage to land a job I feel comfortable in, I should have my own place. Financial security. Social contacts. No more being a burden on my mother and vice versa. All the room I should need to hopefully find that aspect of myself again of which I can not even remember any more what it looks or feels like.

In all of this my body also makes it well-known that it can not take much more. From the bags underneath my eyes, constant headaches and stomach pains to the locked up and painful muscles, general sensation of exhaustion, constant canker sores inside my mouth and feeling so cold that I'm freezing to death.

Winning a battle or two doesn't mean you have won the war. It merely means that you haven't lost all the battles. Not that you have won or will ever win the war. Even for relative values of 'winning'.


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Formal Complaint Filed Against VUMC Hospital; Liberation Of Our Bodies Commences

Yesterday my lawyer, Yme Drost, and I worked on finalizing the formal complaint against the VUMC hospital's gender team for their failure to properly diagnose my intersex condition, insistence on having me conform to either a male or female role, refusal to listen to or answer my questions and concerns and their violating as a result of this of my fundamental human rights including the right to decide about my own body, the right to determine my own identity and the right to be not discriminated against for any reason.

Yesterday (May 4th) we commemorated the deaths of the Second World War here in the Netherlands ('Dodenherdenking'). Today, May 5th, we celebrate the end of the German occupation of the Netherlands, on May 5th, 1945. This last date ended a period of about five years during which the Nazi occupants set the rules and took whatever they wanted, stripping the country bare.

It is somehow very befitting that the complaint against the VUMC gets filed around this date. Without trying to evoke Godwin's Law, a number of apt comparisons can be made. The Dutch medical system in a sense also occupied my body and that of those like me, determining what I could and could not do. I was denied the right to self-determination and any complaints I had about my treatment were ignored. I too had to start a kind of underground movement by choosing to self-medicate, self-inform and choose anything but formal routes to finally achieve victory, loosening the choke hold the Dutch medical system had on my life.

Similarly, I now have to rebuild after the long war. Meanwhile the war rages on in other territories, for other people's bodies, whether already born or not yet. This is the war for self-determination about our bodies, the call for the end of the occupation in which millions are forced to adhere to the inhuman rules of the so-called medical profession. While the happiness of us intersex people is claimed to be their goal, the used methods are beyond barbaric and give us a similar amount of choice as the victims of medical experiments by Nazi physicians were given.

Sixty-seven years after the liberation of the Netherlands, ten years after the Dutch government finally admitted to homosexuals also having been a target of Nazi exterminations, now on the verge of finally liberating our bodies. With so many victims of this war which took on serious shape in the 1960s, it is time that it finally ends.

Regardless of who or what you are, you and you alone decide about your identity, your body and how you present yourself. This is the ultimate freedom which supposedly was taken care of by international treaties like the United Nations' declaration of human rights, the European declaration of human rights and national declarations embodied in laws, such as article 1 of the Dutch fundamental laws upon which the country was founded.

No one, whether a politician, physician, psychologist or anyone else, has the right to decide about another person's identity whether mentally or physically. No one had the right to decide what kind of surgery I should get, or what kind of psychological therapy. No one had the right to judge me and ignore my questions as a result. Not the Dutch hospitals, not the Dutch politicians I contacted, not the Dutch Minister of Health. No one.

My mission is still to win this war. Now that I have won the last series of battles, claimed the right to independence and pushed the enemy forces back there's no time to rest, no time to question my motives. This struggle by any definition can be called a war for justice, for freedom and for an end to the horrors inflicted upon countless individuals in the name of righteousness.

I know that there are many more like-minded people in this war and I hope that they too will be joining me. There is no room for negotiating, no room for understanding. The old regime is beyond salvation, beyond redemption. The only solution here is to replace the old with the new.

While I'm not advocating public lynchings of Dutch politicians, physicians and the like, I do think that those responsible for the horrors inflicted upon us intersex individuals and others can not be trusted to ever perform a role in which they decide about other people's bodies. They should be sacked, judged in a court of law and sentenced according to UN and other relevant laws and regulations.

The line must be drawn here.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Dream Sequence

This was the first significant dream sequence for me in a long time. I had no troubles at all remembering it and it left a pretty significant impression on me upon waking.

I was sitting on the left side of the backseat of a car. I vaguely remembered something involving an airplane hijacking. We were driving on a road next to what could have been part of an airport. The driver, who was our hijacker and hostage taker, must have mentioned something about having to get out here. Upon bringing the car to a halt I looked to my left to the car door and found the handle. I pulled on it and the door opened. I noticed that the other hostages in the car didn't seem to be moving at all.

I left the car and walked along the left side towards the back where I saw a gap in the road's guide rails. Leaving the road via that gap I was walking freely. Then I noticed the hostage taker walking to my right. He had a Western look to him. As I looked at him I saw that he pulled out something from inside his coat. I didn't know what it was until he did something with it and the car behind us to our left detonated. I don't think that the other hostages made it out.

As I looked at the hostage taker again I saw him pull out something from inside his coat and knew it was going to be a firearm. I was proven right. I turned away from him and ran for it. I tried to stick to cover, while every moment I expected a bullet to make its way between my shoulder blades. I began to see more and more men around me, all armed. They swarmed around me and I thought I was done for. It had to be a trap.

A flashback: I was sitting on the ground, a man in trench coat with yellow-brown colour was standing in front of us. He was shooting people behind me and to my right. He wore a frozen, mad grin. I then looked into the pistol's barrel and died.

The me of the first sequence walked into this scene and noted to my relief that apparently I hadn't been shot, but that the people swarming around me had been the rescuers. I must have been panicked to mistake them.

New sequence. I was sitting on a couch next to my former housemate. He wasn't looking at me. I was feeling very small and somewhat afraid. There were other people in the room. They were talking about something.

Flashes of other sequences. A child of 4-5 years who knew everything and was good at leg massages. My legs were quite hairy for some reason.

Final sequence. I was sorting the coins in my purse. I looked up and saw my older brother and his wife kissing each other deeply. It shocked me. I stacked up some boxes with more force than needed and nearly ran off. I felt horrible and a need to somehow get rid of this feeling inside.