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I am no different to them

An Intersex Perspective on Identity, Equality, and Tragedy

By Quaker-nomicsPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
Top Story - March 2024
31
I am no different to them
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

With the brutal and violent deaths of two 16-year-old's Nex Benedict (they/them) and Brianna Ghey (she/her), one year apart, and nothing but an ocean dividing them. Nex Benedict was attacked in a bathroom of their school, they weren't attacked because of an argument they were attacked and sustained injuries that killed them over their choice to be themselves. Brianna Ghey, another 16 year old, was stabbed over 20 times to death, again, not because of an argument, not over gang affiliations or anything like that, she was killed over her decision to be who she was.

Nex was a handsome person that I'm absolutely certain would go on to have an incredible life because they already had an incredible impact on everyone that they knew and had the privilege to call them a friend. People who are handed a life like Nex's and choose to be themselves no matter the circumstances of where they are or who they are, often go on to lead extra-ordinary lives. Unfortunately when it comes to Nex, we shall never know what their life would have been like and the impact they would have had, because a bunch of children, decided that Nex's life wasn't valuable enough to continue and decided to end it right there and then.

Brianna was a beautiful girl who had the entirety of her life ahead of her, she could have gone on to have a successful career in anything she wanted and put her mind to. Who knows, her TikTok might have taken off and she would have become a mentor to trans youth not just in the UK but around the world, all with a laugh and a smile on her face. But again, like Nex, the beaming light that was her life was shut off by two sadists who just wanted a thrill, and treat her as a guinea pig partly because the other two would-be victims didn't show up, and also because both of them hated Brianna for who she was.

Both Brianna and Nex were members of the LGBTQIA+ community, both of them were 16 years old, they were exploring life like all of us were when we were 16. They were going out, finding friends, finishing off their high school education, going on dates and just figuring out what they wanted in life. They weren't harming anyone, their existence was not a threat to anyone in their classes or their school. They were kids, like we used to be, they had the trials and tribulations that are typical of 16 year olds, but the difference between what they experienced and what we did is that our bullies didn't decide that their life was more important than ours.

I know all too well what it looks like and feels like to be on the outside of the "clique" in school. I was born Intersex, I am the embodiment of the exclusion to the rule when it comes to "basic biology". When you say "X can't be Y because their genetics", I think you'll find that's not true in the slightest. If you had bothered to pay attention in that bi0logy classes you would have learned about me. Someone who has a genetic makeup that doesn't fit XX (female) or XY (male), I am XXY. I have Klinefelters Syndrome which is a kind of intersexuality.

I have the broad shoulders of a man, and wide hips of a woman, I have the anatomy of a man but the hormones of a woman. If you were to do a glance at the hormone levels of me (off-meds) you would think i was a 16-year-old girl who just started their period, despite being a 28-year-old that identifies as male. I have known about my intersexuality since was I was 4, I had to know because I had to know why I was being sent to the doctors every 6 months. I had to know why doctors were poking and prodding me, I had to know what I was going to experience and why.

This meant that from the age of 4, I understood the difference between a cisgender man and cisgender woman, I understood hormones and the like by the time I was 8. I understood sex and all of that by the time I was 10. Those were factors that I was made very well aware of by the time, it was "time" for the state to give me "the talk" in Sex education class. I wasn't a student of that class, I taught part of it because it was information I knew from a very young age. From the age of around 11, I was being told or at least nudged by doctors to make crucial decisions about my health, such as when I wanted to start taking hormones. Whether or not I wanted them to start harvesting sperm from me while i'm young, so that I may be able to have kids when I'm older.

I knew that Gender and Sex were not the same thing by the time I was 8, this was not due to an education, it was due to my life. Much like myself, Nex and Brianna had to make crucial choices about their life and how they wanted to live it. Their choices were just as consequential as mine, but I would argue that in the world in which we currently live, the choices I had to make were less deadly than those of Nex and Brianna. Because none of the choices that I had to make from a young age would result in my death.

Brianna and Nex had to make the seemingly impossible choice of, do you live as someone and something you don't identify as, just to make those around you comfortable, or do you live as authentically as you can, and make yourself comfortable. Do you live as something you aren't knowing full well that there's a decent chance that you will die by your own hands, or live comfortably knowing there's a there's a chance your life will be taken by someone else.

When I was growing up there was no mystery as to what I was, word spreads in a small school, and before I knew it all my friends and classmates parents knew I was intersex. I had all the creepy questions under the sun at all ages growing up by both teachers and parents. Questions to which you wouldn't be caught dead asking to anyone on the subway, yet asking them as a random adult to a child seems to be completely fine. You expect it as a kid for those questions to come from your peers, you don't expect them to come from your mates dad outside of the school.

As an Intersex person, my struggle is no different to that of my Trans and Non-binary siblings. Intersex individuals have a right to not be gawked at as a peculiarity and Trans/enbies have a right to the healthcare they should have and not be killed by society. Why do I, as a someone who was just popped into existence with abnormal chromosomes given more ease of access to HRT than my enby or Trans siblings. It has never made any sense to me.

Why are people sh*t-scared of their kids being taught about their future development, they're teaching your kids what consent looks like, and what puberty is, and what's a normal part of developing, and what's not. They're not teaching your kid technique. In that class your kids will be taught what gender expression is, like clothes, or how you talk, they'll be taught about the importance of different views and expressions in life.

All with the hope that those kids grow into well-rounded, open-minded adults who have care and compassion for those who do not fit the "norm". Trans and Non-binary people are here to stay and they are just as valid in their identities as I am. There is no difference between Nex, Brianna and me. Apart from one key difference, my "identity" was accepted enough by society that I was allowed to walk out of high school alive.

CommunityIdentityHumanityAdvocacy
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About the Creator

Quaker-nomics

My name is Abe, I'm a 3rd year Business Economics student mainly specialising in Alternative Business structures like Co-operatives and Accessibility. I mainly write about Business, Politics, Sociology and some personal stuff.

He/him

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Comments (13)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred18 days ago

    Hi we are featuring your excellent Top Story in our Community Adventure Thread in The Vocal Social Society on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Great job of giving your audience a glimpse into what life is like for someone unique and out of the ordinary (I'm sorry...I'm just not savvy enough to come up with the proper terms and mean no disrespect.) Anyway, well done and congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Carol Townend2 months ago

    My heart is with all of you and those who lost their lives just for being themselves. Please remember, we are not all like those horrible bullies and murderers. I am bi-sexual and married, I spent years in the closet because of bullies, and it breaks my heart to see this happening. I have friends from all walks of life, including Transgender and those who are intersex; they are good people who want to be accepted as the whole individuals that they are.

  • Interesting, not everyone is into using pronouns in the English speaking countries though so that can be confusing to some. I think you would like my stories.

  • Idogho Oghale2 months ago

    Your story highlights resilience and the strength of diversity. Your courage in sharing your journey inspires hope for a more inclusive and accepting future. Keep shining your light! ✨

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    This is a deeply immature culture we live in, and I hope that one they that they/them and she/her truly become Us.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Truly a disgusting thing that keeps happening, the injustice of the cruelty of others and their anger for differences in people… a true waste of precious life. Very honest narrative you created here, well done

  • Jeremy White2 months ago

    Congrats on the top story. Thanks for this informative and emotional piece. Thanks for sharing your personal story as well.

  • River Joy2 months ago

    congrats on the top story! this was a beautiful and powerful look at gender and sexuality.

  • Oneg In The Arctic2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Sex, sexuality, and gender diversity have always existed, and are valid and important. And that ain’t going to change.

  • J. Delaney-Howe2 months ago

    Very powerful piece. Thank you for sharing your personal story as well. I am going to share this in our group, Queer Vocal Voices on Facebook. Excellent piece.

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