A Single Word: Stop!
by Deborah E. Brown, Director
Intersex Support Group International
If there were only one word I could give to parents of a
born with ambiguous genitalia (intersexual, hermaphrodite,
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, et al), that word would be:
Stop! Repeat after me, ''STOP!''
When the doctors say, "Your could never function as a
male/female, so we suggest that we cut..." Say ''STOP!''
When an expert surgeon is brought in to tell you that your
has malformed genitals, that she/he needs adjustment, and now is
the best time to do it. Say ''STOP!''
You have allowed genetic tests, which have come in with extra
chromosomes or with a pattern that does not concur with
external appearances. Say ''STOP!''
As much as every parent wants to bring home a girl, or a boy,
your may not be distinctly either. Often immediate
corrective procedures are necessary for the life of the .
When well meaning clinicians attempt to make a package deal,
Early invasive treatments literally change the destiny, the identity,
the 'me' of your . It is OK to wait. Gender assignment
(mutilation) is NOT COSMETIC SURGERY! It is OK to wait
and see who the 'me' your turns out to be, and then bring
your into the decision loop.
If your is born absolutely mud-ugly, you would love your
, and you would see the wondrous beauty God has created
in them. Even more important, you don't have to call your baby
'son' or 'girl'. Love your 'dear one'. Hug your 'precious '.
Enjoy their unique life. As their 'me' begins to be revealed, that is
the starting point for mainstreaming toward a gender identity, if
any. Depending on the diagnosis, that procedure could begin
under 4 years old, or later.
It is our belief at I.S.G.I. that a certain degree of social
conformity will eventually need to occur. We believe that God's
creation of sexuality is a special gift, and the distinctive of 'male'
and 'female' are part of His design. Those of us, your ren,
who don't exactly fit the mold will be held accountable before
God for our lives. Do not rush to decisions for which your
will forever bear the consequences.
You may ask, "What if we make a mistake? What if we have
chosen wrongly?" I was raised as a male, though my 'me' was
female. The decision to 'adjust' my gender was not made well.
My parents labeled my 'me' as odd, perverse, and as sin. They
have missed out on a wonderful woman, Who's Who of
American Women, a mom to three quality kids. Because they
'sat their minds in concrete' they refused to believe such a person
as I could exist.
If you made early decisions to treat/not-treat which your
has voiced as wrong, don't let your pride add to the wall of
mistakes. Accept your , love your , try to identify how
your is expressing their 'me'. Enjoy the marvelous gift of
your 'unique' , a designed and built by God.
AUG 6, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Deborah E. Brown firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.isgi.org
CHRISTIAN INTERSEX SUPPORT GROUP FORMED
Intersex Support Group International announces a new ministry based on
the True Love of Jesus Christ for intersexuals. I.S.G.I. has been
established from the recognition within mainstream Evangelical Christian
churches of birth anomalies labeled "Intersex" or "Hermaphrodite".
Based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., the I.S.G.I. grew out of the godly
response of one Conservative Baptist Church as they studied, prayed,
and responded with compassion to an adult intersexual within their
congregation. From the basic discernment that "being born a
hermaphrodite is not sin", to understanding the complex web of life
thrust upon the intersexual, I.S.G.I. has blossomed to become an oasis of
Christian love and hope.
For too long, the unyielding demands of people claiming the name of
Christ have over-ridden the real love and understanding of our Creator
and Lord. Acknowledged in scriptures, both old and new testaments,
persons born with ambiguous or non-existent genitalia have been
promised special blessing, (Isaiah 56:3-5), as well as understanding of
their peculiar relationship in a two-gendered society, (Matthew19:11-12).
I.S.G.I. has gathered a highly respected panel of leaders from
internationally respected ministries, all serving to keep the lines of hope
and support open to intersexuals, their families, and their church
communities. The 'Manifesto' of I.S.G.I. has been published at the
group's virtual domain on the world wide web, www.isgi.org
In addition to the I.S.G.I. web site, a counseling network has been
established on four continents to provide basic triage' of spiritual and
emotional conflicts experienced by many who cope with this common life
circumstance. (1 in 2000 births) In cooperation with established
intersexual activist groups such as ISNA, the Intersex Support Group
International has taken the lead to provide insight and understanding
toward individuals searching for peace from their Creator, our Lord Jesus
As intersexuals we have been created unique by God.
Deus Unicus Creatus
Intersex Support Group International
P.O. Box 33150
Portland, OR 97292 (503) 408-1829
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