Friday, 5 September 2014

Furthering My Media Career, Or: Berlin Road Trip

A short while ago I got contacted by Berlin-based producer with the question whether I'd want to partake in this TV documentary episode which is being shot in Berlin in the first week of September. It's part of a documentary series on sexuality in different cultures being produced for the largest TV channel in Chile, TVN. I saw no reason to say 'no', which has led to my current situation where I have an all expenses paid journey to Berlin coming up.

I'll be leaving tomorrow, arrive there pretty late and probably immediately check into the hotel which was booked for me. Then Sunday morning I'll be picked up for a series of shoots in a variety of locations, involving interviews by the two hosts of this show, both familiar Chilean TV hosts. The end of the afternoon I'll then be leaving back for Karlsruhe again, another roughly six hour long trip by high-speed train. Upon arriving home - some time after midnight - I should be ready to collapse into my bed.

As I mentioned in my last video log, the only reason why I'm still agreeing to do these interviews is because it may help others like me in the future. I have given up any remainder of hope that I may ever receive medical help and it's harrowing to deal with this subject matter again, regurgitating the same bad memories once more. Yet if I don't do it, something positive in the future may not happen, or much later. Either way I owe it to newborn and not yet born intersex children to do this.

In many ways the world-wide media seems to be far further ahead on the subject of intersex than physicians, psychologists, politicians and far too many human rights activists. While often the media attention for the subject of intersex is simply because it's one of those freakish things the tabloid media in particular loves to report on, there's also a very serious current of increasing understanding among journalists of why intersex is such an important topic to increase awareness of.

The past week I have had some run-ins with feminists and anti-feminists in online discussions, with both sides accusing me of being the exact opposite of their alignment. This experience made me realize just how irrelevant feminism is to human rights in general, in particular to transgender and intersex rights. It's one of those insane conflicts occurring within 'regular' society, which all the not 'normal' people are not meant to be part of. While homosexual people have more or less clawed their way into society to be met by grudging acceptance, it's still open season for intersex and to a lesser extent transgender people.

What I mean here is that the average person is at least aware of the existence of transsexuality and most people are personally okay with it, while intersex is still this thing which doesn't really exist. It's hardly acknowledged and every day again a number of infants undergo forced genital surgery, with any record of their intersex condition usually erased. While many countries have politicians standing up for homosexual and transgender rights, you don't see the same thing for intersex. There are pride parades highlighting homosexuality and transsexuality, but intersex is absent. Beyond the occasional news article the millions of intersex people around the world may as well not exist.

While I may have lost my personal war over the past decade in my attempts to get medical help with my intersex condition, this doesn't mean that I have to be okay with others having to suffer the same fate. In the run up to this TV interview I have had to go through the usual emotional struggles as I ready myself to once more perform as well as possible, diving back into every memory I'd love so dearly to leave behind me for good.


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