To those following me it's hardly a surprise that I do not much like this country I was born and raised in. Yet despite everything there are enough people who keep telling me that I am essentially not allowed to hate the Netherlands and everything it stands for. Their reasoning is more or less that with all the bad that this country has inflicted upon me, there are still so many good things, and that I should be grateful that I grew up in a rich Western country like this.
Of course, that reasoning is about as sensible as telling a woman who is constantly being beaten and sexually assaulted by her alcoholic and aggressive husband that there's also a lot of good about him, because he always does the dishes, takes the garbage outside and picks up the children from the daycare. Some things just can not be overlooked. A country which is guilty of just one major lapse in morality does not deserve it to be praised, much like in a relationship there's a lot you take of the other person, but physical and psychological abuse are some of the lines which should never be crossed.
To summarize my relationship with my country, I have been exposed to brainwashing by Dutch psychologists and physicians who knowingly and willingly ignored my intersex condition and attempted to make me believe that I had to be just a confused transgender boy. Two letters to the Dutch Queen didn't receive any personal attention. The first got forwarded to the current Dutch Minister of Health, who dismissed my case, insisting that the Dutch physicians 'know best'. On top of that the Dutch police force saw it fit to violently arrest me despite me offering no resistance after a Dutch family doctor called them upon me, and detain me for an entire night under inhumane conditions, while denying me needed medical and psychological care.
But hey, at least I get to grow up strong and healthy in a wealthy country, right? Even if I have to launch lawsuit after lawsuit to fight for my basic rights, as physicians and my insurance company alike discriminate against me. I can feel totally safe here, right? Even if I suffer severe psychological and physical trauma due to the actions of health specialists and friendly police officers.
I do wonder what the good points are again about this country, and why I am not allowed to just outright denounce it as a horrible place to live if you're not white, rich, male and preferably Christian. Not to mention for homosexuals, transgenders and the even larger group of intersex individuals. All of us have our basic human rights trampled. But it's still an awesome place to live in. Better than in a less wealthy country. Even though the education system, healthcare system, infrastructure and general economy in the Netherlands are crumbling a bit more every day.
I'm sorry, I must admit that I live in a very different side of reality in which the Netherlands is not a pleasant country to live in. I guess that's the point of Calvinism, which underlies Dutch culture. Be white, rich, male and Christian and you're awesome. Otherwise you may as well get out while you're ahead.
I, too, want to leave the Netherlands. Preferably before the end of 2014, to stay realistic. Around 150,000 individuals left the Netherlands forever in 2012, and I intend to join them. To go where, though? I'm not entirely sure.
There are so many countries out there which have varying degrees of 'pleasantness' when it comes to embracing intersex individuals. I have looked at places like Canada, USA, Norway, Australia, South-Korea, Japan, China, New Zealand, and many more. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. At this point I'd say that it's a pretty illusive choice to make. Secretly I hope for something or someone to help me with making this choice. Maybe through my media attention which should be spreading world-wide this year, I hope. Maybe due to a relationship I'll suddenly find myself in with a 'foreigner'. Maybe due to something I can not possibly foresee at this point.
At any rate I do really hope, wish and pray for that one country and place which I can actually come to like if not love.