Sex: None of the Above

By Connella, Katherine | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), October 24, 2000 | Go to article overview

Sex: None of the Above


Connella, Katherine, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


Growing up gay isn't easy. So as adults, gays should be among the most accepting people in the universe, right? Ha! With the dawning of a new millennium, perhaps it's time to loosen the ties that bind each "alternative" sexuality unto itself to the exclusion of others. Take me, for instance. I've lived in Los Angeles for eight years and have been writing horoscopes for gay magazines for seven of those years. I think my reputation has been pretty much that of a straight fag hag, given my many nightclub appearances with drag performers like Jackie Beat and Alexis Arquette. But in the eyes of the law in some states, I'm not even a female. I was born what is called intersexed--meaning I was biologically neither fully male nor fully female but a combination of the two.

Growing up, I knew nothing of this. I was brought up as a boy named Charles; all my friends were gay males my age. They thought that's what I was too. In school--at least until I could no longer bear being the Carrie White of my community--it was assumed I was gay as well. I was constantly teased, though not with the usual gay insults; I was "the boy who acts just like a girl."

I didn't know what I was. The more I learned, the more confused I became. And my gay friends were no more help than my parents in helping me to sort things out. At 16, I was stamping hands at Dallas's biggest gay disco. I had a blast, even if I remained unkissed. At 17, I made one lame attempt to be a "drag queen." What a disaster--instead of lipsynching, I insisted on singing live.

I first heard about sex changes in my teen years and began to wonder if that's what I was--a transsexual. I dismissed it at first, but when I was 18, I decided I was a male-to-female transsexual after all and began six months of physical and psychiatric examinations. Here's what the doctors found and chose not to discuss: The fact that I started growing breasts at age 11, long before most of the girls in my class. That what appeared to be a normal boy's penis as a baby never progressed and instead became an enlarged clitoris. That a grossly unethical hormone treatment, undertaken by my family physician to force me into being male, had failed. …

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