INTERSEX - LIVE FORUM
This week on HUNGRY BEAST, reporter Ali Russell meets two intersex Australians – people born with both male and female physical attributes. Click on the video above to see an excerpt.But we've been longtime friends via the net, and Nat comments here reqularly.
Zoe Brain, a 51 year old aerospace engineer, was born male but at the age of 47 her body spontaneously changed to female over the course of three months. Zoe’s case is particularly rare being 1 of about 100 cases like this in the world.
Natalie Kirk, a 23 year old graphic designer, was born with female anatomy except for underdeveloped ovaries. This means she has never gone through puberty. But she doesn’t feel entirely female.
Intersex is something we almost never hear about, but is surprisingly common – as often as 1 in 100 people. Despite this, the overwhelming majority of intersex people live in secrecy.
Zoe and Natalie are two of a very small handful who are willing to speak publicly about their experiences.
We will be hosting a live forum here after the show at 9:30pm AEDT. (On Wednesday 17th - that's 10:30 am GMT)
Both Zoe and Natalie will participate in the discussion along with Ali Russell, who produced and part-filmed the story. We’ll also be joined by Dr Milton Diamond, a professor of anatomy and reproductive biology at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa. In Zoe’s words, “Milton Diamond is to the science of sex and gender what Albert Einstein is to physics".
Neither Natalie nor Zoe has ever appeared on television before and they hadn’t met before the story was produced.
(Geek Interlude) I hadn't noticed the similarity in skull structure between us before. Genetically related, or a consequence of particular kinds of Intersex conditions, the way that those with various genetic anomalies sometimes have distinctive commonalities in facial structure?
I did notice that my forehead still shows the marks where I was hit by a crowbar around age 8. A recent CAT scan showed the brow sinus lower down had been partly crushed. Although I didn't appear unusual at the time, some Trans and some Intersex kids "smell funny". They have body language, vocabulary, and instincts that set them apart from their peers. Not all Intersex kids, though they may have an unusual appearance. But Trans kids, yes.
There's a reason why most Intersexed people aren't willing to decloak.