Emily B. — On the Use of Categories
Emily B. is our newest Inter/Act member. Emily has the intersex/DSD condition known as Swyer Syndrome. Read her wonderful insights on her child-self and into the people around her.
This is an especially timely blog post as Facebook just recently broadened their gender categories allowing the choice of intersex. Fox “News” responded by lashing out and making light of intersex people saying, “Intersex—whatever that is”.
Inter/Act exists to give our young people a platform to amplify their voices. We don’t let the media define who we are or our experiences. We are taking the mic back and inserting our own perspective into a national discourse that doesn’t only misrepresent and not understand who we are— but one that sometimes treats our lives with undeserved disrespect.
I have a lot of experience telling people about my condition. I’ve always thought that it was kind of cool—something that made me special and unique. My parents told me to keep it a secret, but that only made it more clandestine and significant when I’d jump on a lull in the conversation at a sleepover or at summer camp and say, “I’ve got something I want to say, but you guys can’t tell anyone else.” I was a quiet kid (at least around new people) but also desperate to speak and be heard, so holding everyone’s attention the way I did when I told them I had Swyer Syndrome felt like having a superpower.