During the past seven and a half years I have had to deal with a lot of strange events which even to someone who isn't paranoid would suggest some kind of conspiracy. With the major discrepancy between the conclusions by Dutch and German physicians, it was beyond obvious that something rather unpleasant and illegal was going on. Yesterday this charade continued when I visited the opening of the exposition 'Ik M/V' ('Me M/F') at the Dutch museum 'Het Dolhuys' in Haarlem.
For those who haven't been following along or forgot, allow me to summarize things. About half a year ago I got contacted by the curator of 'Het Dolhuys' with the question of whether I wanted to have my story featured in this upcoming exposition. I agreed to it, and for the next months I'd be cooperating with the museum on getting them various materials, images, videos and more. The curator ensured me that my entire story would be featured, with relevant excerpts from the media and from my site. I figured it'd be nice exposure for my story. Then, September the 25th the opening of the exposition took place. I was present together with my girlfriend.
Since it was supposed to be an exposition about the blurry lines between male and female it was no surprise to me that the room was filled with transsexuals and transvestites. A bit of a shock was seeing the coordinator of the VUmc gender team there as well: Jos Megens, someone I hadn't seen since early 2007 and who is one of those at that hospital who made my life hell for nearly five years. This already upset me a bit. After about half an hour of speeches by the director of the museum, a transsexual and a transvestite the exposition was opened. My girlfriend and I decided to allow the others to walk through it first instead of diving head-first into the throng.
Looking at a sign next to the entrance to the exposition we could see clearly that the VUmc hospital's gender team was majorly involved in the exposition, with both this Megens guy and the leader of the VUmc gender team, Peggy Cohen-Kettenis, listed. The latter is also one of the people I'm suing via my lawyer at the moment. I think I was feeling pretty estranged at that point. Nothing about the experience was really like how I had imagined it.
Crowding into the small exposition room, we managed to walk around and see the exposition. It soon became clear that everything about me in the exposition was on a small table in the center of the room, which was the only section about intersex. Over half the table was taken up by historic material of other intersex people in Dutch history, the rest was the newspaper article about me which appeared in NRC Handelsblad, my old and new passport scans and an old school ID card. The card next to it listed the most basic of summaries about me. The larger card about intersex just said that some people are born with ambiguous genitals and that this is corrected by children. Nothing about the controversy surrounding intersex conditions.
I was feeling pretty nauseous at this point. This small selection of material was all they had bothered to put into the exposition? They had forgotten all about the major controversy surrounding intersex conditions and the countless forced surgeries, of which one or more take place in the Netherlands alone every single day? After making a single round through the room I simply walked out of it and my girlfriend and I made our way outside. After a brief moment I expressed my disappointment to her and we decided to go home again.
The involvement of the VUmc's gender team is something I could have expected, but which I definitely expected the curator, Esther Vossen, to inform me about, since the NRC article I mentioned earlier and much more material on my site and in the media notes that the VUmc has treated me horribly. I also know from experience and from things I have been told by mostly transsexuals who have been patients at the VUmc's gender team that this collection of individuals who call themselves physicians and transsexual/intersex experts shouldn't even have a license to carry out their profession.
It honestly doesn't surprise me that with the VUmc's involvement this exposition turned into some kind of 'happy-fun' thing without any criticism on any practices by physicians, let alone Dutch physicians. In that regard it is positive that the NRC article about my story is part of the exposition as it does detail the horrible incompetence and - dare I say - evil practiced by Dutch physicians against intersex individuals. After having personally witnessed the horrible corruption, evil and intent to exterminate intersex conditions by Dutch physicians, psychologists and politicians first-hand during many years, yesterday's experience was essentially a confirmation that nothing has changed yet and that much more is needed to bring down the big, bad institutions such as the VUmc's gender team, but also essentially anyone in the medical, general healthcare or political world who plays some role in suppressing the human rights of intersex individuals.
I feel now more than ever that it will take a major lawsuit against most Dutch hospitals regarding my treatment by them and international attention/outrage to make some kind of dent into this system of corruption and evil. The upcoming broadcast of TLC's 'TLC About...' with my story being featured in the third episode 'Taboo' should accomplish this to some extent as well, being an international documentary and from what I have seen and heard so far a very serious, in-depth take on what really happened and still has to change. After talking with the producer of the TLC show for a while I have a very good feeling about it.
As an addendum, while writing this blog article I got a response from the museum's curator, Esther Vossen, to the email I sent her yesterday in which I expressed my displeasure at the exposition using about the same points as above. She tried to defend the exposition by saying that there's more material in the exposition by people who promote diversity within gender roles and thus it's not as bad as I make it seem like. She fully dodges the reason why I wasn't told about the VUmc's involvement, or the presence of someone from the same gender team which was involved in making my life hell for so long.
Here's to a very good TLC show. Please let me know the broadcast dates for your region for the third episode 'Taboo' so that I can list them here. Thank you.