Monday, 31 August 2015

The point where one just cannot care any longer

After what for a while seemed like actual progress related to somehow resolving my intersex condition, things seem to have stalled again, with nothing really happening any more. To even get into a contact with a physician is almost impossible, with making an appointment virtually inconceivable. The submission of so many medical reports and critical questions. It's the same as every time before, as if I'm undergoing a trial. I'm not a patient requiring help. Or deserving of any, for that matter.

Some alternate examinations were also suggested as mentioned before, including an examination by a specialist of my intestines, including for a potential inflammation issue with the appendix. I got a referral for this, but I haven't made an appointment yet. I don't think I will be making one either. Even if I thought it was an issue like this, I just cannot care enough. As my body goes through more and more bizarre changes which make it very obvious that something is happening inside, and even on days like today when I'm feeling nauseous and feeling abdominal and vaginal pain, I only realise that no matter how serious it might be what is happening. It's irrelevant to everyone but myself.

Even if what is happening to my body will cripple me, or leave me in pain for the rest of my life, or even kill me, I know that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how much I care about this issue, it will not change anything. Ergo I will not care any more. I cannot care any more. I do not have the energy or motivation.

I do not wish to head towards attempting suicide again either. I just want this stupid intersex issue to go away, and with it the disorder that is society, especially physicians and other self-professed 'experts'. There's nothing for me to be gained there. Nothing that can be accomplished.

All I can do is stop caring about this body. Ignore it, and all the troubles that this body brings with it. Even if it means giving up on the last hope that I might find medical help. It's not worth it any more. Not after decades of suffering and pain.

I'll just have to learn to live with the bitter regret that I was born with a cursed body which has somehow made me a persona non grata in the eyes of society, in particular the medical profession. They say that the worst thing you can wish for is that you were never born, and I do not wish for this either. I don't think so at least. I just wish I felt like I had a future. That I could see a future, yet all I can see are dark clouds of uncertainty. I do not know anything about this body and will never learn any useful details. With how these symptoms are developing I may not live through this year, or I may be fine for another ten. It's impossible to say.

If I stop caring. Stop feeling. Maybe then I'll be able to continue to live for a while longer...


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What one physician taketh, another physician giveth

I may have to take back at least some part of what I said in yesterday's post. Maybe not all physicians are selfish, uncaring people who neglect to practice their trade. Maybe it's possible to have a normal physician-patient relation after all.

Today I got a response from one of the new physicians I have contacted recently. After sending the newest MRI scans to this physician, he had the hospital's radiologists analyse the images and concluded that they can see a 10 cm long rudimentary vagina. This matches up with the findings during the surgery in 2011. Hopefully from this point onwards some real answers and solutions can be found.

Just let it work out this time, please...


Physician-induced dissociation

This morning started off in a rather nightmarish fashion. It began with an email response from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the US, whom I had contacted a while ago, to ask for help with finding a solution to my intersex situation. Sadly their email kept mentioning and referred to my condition as a medical disorder, the infamous 'disorder of sex development' (DSD). This is a sensitive term to me, because this term has been used extensively by all of those physicians - including those in the Netherlands - who have mistreated me and attempted to force me to undergo genital reassignment surgery, as well as tried to brainwash me into believing that I had to be transsexual.

To reiterate, in medical terms a 'disorder' is a condition which is incompatible with a normal, healthy existence. Worst case it implies a non-viable existence. Disorders in a medical sense are without exception conditions which require immediate and constant care, demanding constant care where a cure through surgery or otherwise isn't possible. Almost all intersex conditions do not fall under this header. People like me do not require medical attention, as such. Aside from complications which can develop for some conditions - like my hermaphroditic condition - intersex conditions are almost always as a rule complication-free and do not require medical attention.

The main reason why an intersex individual might still request medical care is in order to fill in blanks about their body and to maybe tweak some things in order to make their body feel more like their own. This falls more under the header of 'cosmetic surgery' than that of urgent medical care to deal with a life-threatening disorder. Being infertile isn't a disorder either, but just an inconvenience.

Due to all of this and many bad experiences I got triggered quite badly by this NIH email. They provided some links to resources, but upon perusing these I found that they were all institutes exclusively using the term 'DSD'. I even contacted one in Germany today, and they refused to even answer my queries about how they treated intersex cases, and whether they could help me. I feel like I got brushed off there. At any rate I wrote back to the NIH, closing that path of inquiry and informing them that their use of the term DSD is both offensive and unhelpful, and that I would pursue the search for intersex experts via sources with more empathy and scientific understanding.

Suffice it to say that during all of this I became rather agitated. With my post-traumatic disorder distorting every thought and observation, I felt more and more hunted and desperate until I was nothing more than a trembling emotional shell, ready to snap if something happened to push me just that little bit further.

Most of it all is just this incredible uncertainty, with one physician proclaiming that I have for example a vagina, and no prostate, while another will proclaim the opposite. One will state that I am physically a male, while another will state that I am physically female. In all of this I only have these proclamations and my own observations. Thus I know that I do not appear to have a male body. I know from getting cut open back in 2011 that I have at least a rudimentary vagina, yet this seems to be snowed under by physicians vehemently denying that I have any female genitals.

To my thinking much of this confusing mess might be that most of these physicians simply do not have a clue. I trust the surgeon who cut me open and saw things with his own eyes. I do not trust those who disagree with that assessment, and think that they're just afraid to show that they're utterly clueless. They'd drive a patient to suicide with their rigid attitude than to admit that they do not know, or might be wrong.

For that is the course I am on. Despite my rational mind puzzling together the most likely truth from all of these fragments, fact remains that I do not know what is going on, or what this body is. I do not know why I'm having these pregnancy-related symptoms. I do not know whether a reconstructive surgery can give me a functional vagina, or that I'll just a vagina-less female. When I look into the mirror, I do not see a woman, or a hermaphrodite. I merely see doubt, frustration and impotent rage reflected back at me. I'm not even a body at this point. I'm not even nothing. I'm less than nothing. Just a brain which may or may not exist. I'm not sure.

There is no 'I'. There is no 'me'. Over the past decades as I have tried to figure things out I have only become more familiar with the horribly pleasant sensation of dissociation. Unable to define this accursed body I was born into, my mind distances itself from it. The result is a numb, but not unpleasant sensation. Confronting my mind then with the existence of this body breaches the dissociation and results in expressions of frustrations and rage only aimed at utterly destroying such a horrible joke of a body.

I still do not think that being intersex is the problem here. I have no problems with just being myself, with a healthy body and interesting characteristics. Yet it is clear that the problem here is simply put physicians. They have made me sick. They are making me sicker. They have caused my PTSD, my dissociation. They frustrate, enrage and have pushed me to commit suicide once already, and will not relent. They are driving me closer to attempting suicide again every day. They don't have empathy. They aren't human. They just have their massively swollen egos with which they crush patient after patient. Each sacrifice feeding their ego even further.

It's why self-important physicians and psychologists could once before confidently state that homosexuality was just a disorder, but that they could cure it, not caring in the slightest about the countless victims they made this way. It's why today this same carnage repeats itself, but this time with intersex individuals as the sacrificial offering. Homosexuals regained their humanity. Intersex people still have all the humanity of a lab rat in the eyes of physicians.

This is why I cannot deal with this body of mine any longer. This is why I have to force myself to keep living and not slit my throat this very moment. This is why I regret ever having been born. I have no value in the eyes of the world.

If I could snap my fingers and cause every 'DSD' supporter to instantly suffer cardiac arrest, I would do it. My hatred and contempt reaches that far, fuelled by the endless pain and agony I harbour inside my chest. I want to stop living. It hurts so much. Yet I still hold the hope that some day being alive won't mean feeling intense pain amidst the shards of me as a person. And that's maybe the worst curse or cowardice of all: not having the guts to end this torment.


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Pregnancy update: gotta be flexible

I have never really been a very flexible person. Physically, that is. While others would easily touch their toes without bending their knees in the slightest, the most I could ever do was touch my knees. I never really bothered to try this out any more until a few days ago when someone told me that he had once read that during pregnancy, the body's tendons become more flexible, able to stretch further. This includes being able to bend down much further than one's back would previously allow. Naturally I had to try this.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that I'm now able to touch the ground in front of my toes without breaking a sweat or bending my legs in any way. I had to repeat it a few times to ensure that I wasn't fooling myself, but it seems that I cannot deny it any more. It may somewhat explain the lower back pain I had the past weeks as well. This adds another fun symptom to the list of reasons why I should really be pregnant:

  • swelling of the breasts (roughly one cup size so far and continuing).
  • continued appearance of linea nigra on abdomen.
  • flexible tendons.

The other symptoms are more generic:

  • lower back pain.
  • lower abdominal cramps.
  • hot flashes.
  • nausea.
  • exhaustion.

As far as the hot flashes go, I started back on the pill after the previous update a few days ago, and so far the hot flashes seem to be subsiding. They occur less often, are less severe and don't last as long any more. Seems like with the pill I'm able to at least somewhat control that part of my body's hormonal mess. Meanwhile the quest to find a surgeon or other specialist with a clue about intersex continues.

I'd still really like to find out what in heaven's name my body is doing at this point and how worried I should be. Maybe some day...


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Toxic feminism driving girls away from gaming and STEM

Recently I stumbled in my Quora topics notifications on an interesting question regarding the gaming industry's current challenges. Quora is generally a fun website to follow topics on, as many of the people answering questions on it have in-depth knowledge of the topic in question. Suffice it to say that I wasn't feeling too happy to thus stumble on a rant by someone accusing this mysterious group of individuals also known as 'gamergaters'. According to this guy women and minorities in the gaming industry but also among gamers were being harassed by these people.

Not having had such experiences, despite identifying clearly as a woman and as an exceedingly nerdy person since I started gaming in the late 80s, I of course wrote a comment, informing him that I wasn't sure where he got his info from. To me it wasn't something I couldn't identify with at all. His reply to my comment was basically that I had been 'just lucky', because supposedly women were absolutely being harassed. After expressing my disbelief at this fervent proclamations, his last comment to me was that I should just try to state online that I demand more games involving minorities and women, to see the abuse and hatred flow in. After this the guy blocked me.

What puzzles me in all of this is that this guy's views are apparently that I as a woman should be feeling unwelcome in the gaming community and not find any games really suitable or not offensive to me. As someone who has played games since my parents first got me and my brothers a Commodore 64, gaming has been an intrinsic part of my childhood, youth, teenage and adult years, and still is to this day. To me video games and the gaming community in general has always represented this slightly nerdy side corner of society, where we can all have fun and come together and discuss games without any regard for who we are, what we look like or what our background is.

I know that some might then butt in and proclaim idiotic things such as that 'I'm not truly a girl', or 'I was seen as male, ergo argument invalid', and so on, but the fact of the matter is that I am utterly and totally convinced that even if I had been a quadriplegic, black, lesbian transsexual, my experience would have been much the same with regards to the sense of warmth and safety I have felt as a part of this gaming community. Even if we are just a loosely-knit group of individuals, our common interests connect us. Put any few of us together and we'll generally find some common games and genres we like and can harp on about for hours.

In light of this I simply cannot comprehend why there are individuals who insist that this is all not true, that the gaming community is this grim, male-only community, like some kind of nerd-version of a football jocks club where the testosterone and gaping intellects pour out of every crack and pore. Little do they seem to comprehend that it's always been the anti-jocks, the ones who got scorned and laughed at by the alpha-males who made the video gaming community into what it is today. Sure, the market has expanded to also include children more comprehensively, as well as other groups. Yet video games keep connecting people. Video games are still diverse, having strong characters of any imaginable biological sex and unimaginable ones as well.

Of course I understand that for individuals like Anita Sarkeesian who coined the term 'toxic masculinity' and insisted that women are being kept out of/driving away from video games, the main goal is likely sheer profit, as playing a professional victim gets one invited everywhere, especially when it's about 'weak' women, who needs to be protected by strong men. Yet I wish that individuals like Sarkeesian would stop profiting off the back of the video gaming community by trying to demonise it.

On the back of this controversy caused by Sarkeesian et al., there was also the usual whining about the STEM fields (science and technology) being hostile towards women and minorities. Naturally I have experience here, too, as I work as a senior software developer. Most of the stupid remarks I got for being a female in this field were received in the Netherlands, but that makes sense in light of it being a fairly conservative and regressive society. Here in Germany being a woman is no excuse to not accomplish your dreams. You can even become the Prime Minister :)

The statistics also show that women are well-represented in every STEM field, especially in biology. IT is the only weak point at this time, but that comes after women dominating the field until the 1980s. In so far as a conclusion can be drawn from all this, it is probably that there is no 'toxic masculinity' driving women and girls away from video games, let alone minorities. What will however likely affect girls still on the fence on their future today, is toxic 'feminism' frightening them away from STEM fields and video games with scary stories of how they'll be harassed, abused, ridiculed and raped every chance the Privileged White Cisgendered Male Patriarchy Members which are Suppressing Us Women get.

In short, it's all a lot of baloney, with liberal amounts of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt poured into the mix. No, there is no War on Women. No, there is no Rape Epidemic. No, in Western countries women are not being oppressed. What we do have are unscrupulous women gaming the system, garnering sympathy from susceptible males using their feminine wiles and meanwhile ruining things for us other women. Those utter bitches.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The body's transformation during pregnancy, or: free breast enlargements

Even though I apparently do not have a mini-me growing inside of me, my body is still insisting with all of its might that it is in fact pregnant, even if my abdomen isn't expanding with the growth of a new life. From the seeming cessation of the monthly pains I was suffering through, to the appearance of linea nigra on my abdomen, to the changing of my eating habits and of course the swelling of my breasts, it's almost a textbook example of what a pregnancy is like.

In some ways it's kind of interesting that I get to experience what it's like to be pregnant this way, since I'll never be able to experience it another way, having been born completely sterile. It feels as though both my body and mind are maturing in their own way. Suddenly being confronted with the exceedingly remote but not impossible event at the very beginning of these symptoms that I might in fact have to care for a child of my own was very revealing, as was having to consider the possibility of having a tumour and even cancer.

I still have to consider the latter possibility until the right examinations have been performed to rule this out, likely in the form of laproscopy during a broader (reconstructive) surgery. For now it seems like I'm having a bit of a break, though. I even get to enjoy some of the less serious aspects of my current situation and 'pregnancy'. Such as the discovery that the reason why my bras weren't fitting so well any more was because I had completely grown out of them. Switching to bras one cup size larger relieved virtually all of the issues I had. It's a shame that it's not as obvious as with, say, a shirt when a bra gets too small

It does mean of course that I will have to invest in new bras the coming time and possibly having to scuttle the bras which are now too small. I never thought that moment would come, but at long last I'm 'upgrading' :)

To me dealing with these symptoms is on one hand very easy, as it's to me the kind of confirmation I have been waiting for for many years. Something which would show the world that I am not crazy, that I am a hermaphrodite and that physicians should finally stop being jerks and start practising their profession in their treatment of my case. I could almost cry with sheer relief that I have been absolved of so many uncertainties and frustrations thanks to my own body. My body knows it's female. My body knows it's that of a hermaphrodite.

Yet on the other hand there is of course the lingering realisation that whatever underlies these symptoms may not be benign at all. During the past years of research I have come across a lot of frightening possibilities in intersex cases akin to mine, from cancerous tumours, to sepsis, to other unpleasant diseases, many of which potentially lethal. So long as the possibility remains of a test leading to the conclusion that I do in fact have a medical condition at this point which is harmful, I cannot rest easily.

For that I require that physician, surgeon or anyone else with the right know-how, skills and/or contacts to resolve. Unfortunately my form of intersex appears to be as rare as freshly fallen snow in July, with interest from physicians in a rare medical condition being equally scarce.

All I can do at this point is to try to live in the present and ignore the very existence of a future, for fear that I may not have one.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The parents who tattoo their own baby

Much of our behaviour towards our offspring is dictated by cultural and social norms. In some cultures the application and displaying of tattoos is very important in every day life, showing one's status within society and marking the passing into adulthood. One could postulate thus that tattoos are something quite harmless and there would be nothing against the wish of parents desiring to have tattoos applied to their baby's skin in order to indicate their joy with their newborn and display this to the world. At a later age the child or adult could proudly display said tattoos as a sign of parental love and care.

After all, parents already determine the religious faith or lack thereof their child grows up with, what education they receive and what they are and aren't allowed to see, read and watch. What possible harm could there be in leaving a physical mark on a child's skin in addition to the life-long impressions left on the child's mind and psyche?

In Western society the answer to this is codified in so many child protection laws. No parent shall knowingly and willingly inflict physical or emotional harm onto their child, lest child protection services become involved, or even the justice system in severe cases. Tattoos are definitely a step too far here, as indicated by the outrage expressed by many at the sight of young, pre-teen girls being forced through the motions of a beauty contest, dressed up and with make-up applied to give them the apparently of women many times their own age. Clearly that's as far back as the line goes, and less far again in other Western societies.

One of the main issues which people in general have with inflicting permanent, physical changes to an newborn's body is that the newborn in question has never given permission, and secondly there is no appreciable benefit to such an action. One even has to consider the possibility of severe psychological trauma as a result of this choice as the newborn grows up into a child, teenager and adult. What will the impact be on the person's emotional health? How will one's environment handle it? Might it negatively affect the person's chances to get a good job, successful career and loving relationship?

In light of this the moral and often legal consensus is that it is fully amoral to apply a tattoo to a baby's skin or other individual incapable of making an informed, personal choice.

This does, however, lead to the interest conundrum that every day again in the same Western countries parents knowingly and wilfully consent to have their baby permanently and physically altered in a way which goes far beyond the impact of a mere tattoo, which one could reason is not that permanent any more with the host of methods to remove them these days. The victims of these surgical alterations are infants who have the misfortune of having been born without clearly distinguishable male or female genitals.

These surgeries have as goal to completely remove any trace of the 'wrong' genitals, while making the Chosen genitals look as normal as possible. Which side gets picked and as a result which physical sex and thus gender role gets assigned is done purely by chance, as there is no way to tell for an infant which physical sex or gender role they may prefer as they mature into teenagers, roughly twelve years later. The use of chromosomal tests to see which sex chromosomes (XX, XY, other) are present in the infant is meaningless, as made abundantly clear by the existence of transsexuals.

Salient point here is also that none of these so-called 'normalization' surgeries are medically required. In fact, they are dangerous, potentially harming or even killing the infant as full narcosis by infants is extremely risky. One must also question how many of the victims of these surgeries later identify as 'transsexual', unaware of their medical history, as all too often these normalization surgeries are neither recorded nor reported.

These leaves us at the rather awkward point where we can all share moral and ethical outrage at parents who would consider tattooing their baby or infant, yet who would at the same time jump at the chance to forever alter and scar the same infant with unknown consequences for no realistic gain. Because it's a sin to not be 'normal'? Just like 'everyone else', as if one can truly take a random group of individuals and split them strictly across a male/female line keeping in mind both biological characteristics and gender role preferences.

In some way this situation reflects the moral ambiguity and hypocrisy in society. Tattooing a baby is 'wrong' because it makes it less 'normal' and it wasn't a voluntary choice, but removing a half-formed uterus from an intersex infant's abdomen is perfectly okay, because it makes the infant more 'normal', even if it wasn't a voluntary choice.

Because who doesn't want to be normal?


Sunday, 9 August 2015

On respect and being too alien

Ever since fleeing the Netherlands and becoming somewhat settled in my new country I have noticed that as the immediacy of survival subsided, I began to experience the return of memories of events which I had seemingly completely forgotten about. Much of it for apparently good reasons, as recollections from my childhood and early puberty indicate.

I had remembered that during my primary school time I was bullied, with groups of students standing around me during lunch breaks outside, harassing and ridiculing me, or trying to prevent me from cycling home. Events which seem to have slipped my mind included at least one time when a fellow student spit into my face, and another where some classmates were holding me while another punched me into my abdomen until I folded over in pain.

What was it that drove these classmates to be so incredibly cruel to me? I do not recall them doing something similar to others, whether in my year or to others in other classes. It's often said that appearing weak, easy to give in to demands, or just being 'weird' tends to attract bullies. Yet the scale at which this happened was astounding. It wasn't a single bully, but practically my entire class who participated. Enough to surround me multiple bodies thick during lunch breaks and enough to block an entire road and sidewalk.

This wasn't just limited to primary school either. During my subsequent first few years in high school the same pattern continued, with many of my classmates taking up the habit of surrounding me every time we were waiting for a new class to start and killing the time by verbally harassing me. It was during that time that I discovered that I'm susceptible to migraine attacks induced by stress. Almost every week for at least one year I'd be absent from part of that day's classes as I was forced to go home with another migraine, often being picked up by my mother as I was unable to cycle any more.

In both cases I managed to improve my situation considerably through violence. In both cases those instigating the worst bullying and harassment were guys, and in both cases I had to first use violence in order to make them stop. For some bizarre reason they then turned friendly towards me, as if the whole thing had just been some kind of outrageous test.

It all still makes me wonder what it is that seems to make people in general consider me to be different enough to single me out, not to mention wonder about the behaviour of people around me as a whole. There are plenty of things which likely play a role, including me living the first decades of my life as a bizarre kind of inverse transsexual: believing myself to be a guy while in reality I always was a girl in body and mind. For the most part at least.

And then there's the second curse, that of being gifted. Not thinking or seeing things the way those around you of your age do, but preferring to converse with adults even as a child. Reading books for adults because children's books are boring and simplistic. It's another great way to find oneself to be very lonely, as no group recognizes itself in your combination of physical and mental age, even as your own mind keeps striving to outpace even the most learned adults around you.

All of these memories seem to blend together with my struggles of the past decade and some, with the bullying, harassment and condescension of physicians, psychologists and other supposedly learned and intelligent people. Their belligerent attitudes are to me little different from those of the bullies and their hangers-on who used to torment me as a child and teenager.

It all serves to reinforce for me that both physically and mentally I'm too different, too alien for most to ever accept or understand me. I'm surrounded every day by people for whom I might as well be an alien from outer space, as I'm nothing like them and they cannot comprehend what it's like to be so different.

This is not to say that there aren't individuals here on this planet who do respect me, but they are far and few between. Most people avoid me because I'm too strange. Those who should help me because of their occupation meet me with scorn and derision, rejoicing in making me out to be a complete and utter liar. This sadly often leads me to be suspicious of people acting friendly towards me. I have never enjoyed playing the victim, which is why I have always kept up a brave and happy face through all of these decades of physical, mental and psychological abuse, harassment and worse, yet I'll be damned if I am not allowed to feel at least a little bit that I have deserved something of a break at this point.

A good night's sleep without being plagued by barely remembered nightmares and traumatic recollections would be a start.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Sick of hormonal issues

Today I have had and still am dealing with lower abdominal cramping, extremely sore hips, pain in the vaginal area and the usual hot flashes. I suspect that at least some of these symptoms are also causing my current bout of insomnia and general lack of proper sleep. All of these symptoms in addition to the linea nigra and swollen breasts are all indicative of reproductive hormonal issues, both menstruation and pregnancy-related.

It seems that my body is just producing all hormones at the same time for whatever godforsaken reason. Starting tomorrow I'll be going back on the pill in order to see whether that makes some difference, but beyond that I have no idea what to do about it. I tried the physicians/gynaecologist route, yet got no results and just annoyed looks for my trouble. In the unlikely event that I'll find a cooperative surgeon it remains to be seen what they can do.

Thus I'm left with just dealing with these daily pains, inconveniences and worries and frustrations about what in heavens name is happening to my body, without a solution in sight for the rest of my days. All part of my own private cozy little Hell.


Saturday, 1 August 2015

On the sense and nonsense of dating profiles

Occasionally I am reminded of the fact that years ago I created a profile on a well-known dating site. Usually this happens when I get a message from some stranger commenting on something on my profile, someone who just wants to chat, as well as the usual pointless comments by men, usually asking questions which are answered in the profile text. I cannot say that creating this profile has brought me much. Aside from one date with a girl years ago it's been mostly languishing in obscurity.

When I recently got this message from a girl asking whether I'd be interested in a threesome with her boyfriend I had to seriously question why I keep such a profile around when I begin to get such inane spam. Main point being that my profile on this site clearly lists me as a) a woman, and b) only interested in other women. Yet this fact alone seems to elude most visitors to the profile. Only thing which keeps me from deleting the profile outright are the occasional nice messages I receive. And maybe the faint hope that maybe I'll meet my True Love this way.

Of course, one seriously has to question the point of a dating profile when one belongs to - to put it bluntly - a small minority. For the average heterosexual or even bisexual person it's easy pickings. Filtering through the noise of heterosexual chatter is a fairly daunting task, however. And that that's all before one gets to the actual filtering which takes place prior to even selecting a suitable match.

First there is the whole nonsense cliche of 'only the person matters'. Anyone who has even an inkling of reason should be able to see that the very first thing which matters is whether or not the other party matches up with the pre-programmed part of one's brain which indicates whether said party has a suitable configuration of reproductive and related organs. After that pre-programmed and societal norms for fitness and beauty filter this result even further.

Only after this lengthy pre-selection process can one begin to criticise a person as just that: a person. Of course, to many this is also the 'optional' section of finding a mate, as their genes and society have clearly marked this match as being acceptable. Cue the high-school-style relationship dramas.

Taking all of this into account, I realize that my initial filtering leaves only lesbian and bisexual women, filtered on Very Secret criteria for beauty and such fluff. In end effect, with only a few percent of the population as input, this filtering leaves a fairly marginal number of individuals. Since I'm also fairly picky about the personality of someone I'd have to spend more than a considerable amount of time with, this list will then dwindle even further, until my chances of winning every lottery in the world simultaneously start looking pretty darn good.

Naturally, only then do I remember that I'm just a cynical bastard who doesn't even believe in love and who will most likely live out her days in solitude. Not like I'd wish to inflict sharing my life upon someone else, anyway. That having a dating profile is practically an exercise in futility seems like a pretty small issue in comparison.

Thus I conclude that keeping this dating profile around is merely an expression of cynicism and indication of the whole futility of the dating business. I'm okay with that.