Personal stories

Personal stories and testimony, with a focus on testimony by people with intersex variations.

Testogel sachets

Testosterone: suffering the system, not the medication

Woohoo! I’m on a four month posting from Australia to Ireland, courtesy of my employer. I’ve just collected my latest Testogel medication from a local pharmacy and I’m excited! Why the excitement? Well, here’s a little background: like almost all adults with intersex conditions, I’m infertile and I need HRT to help maintain my weight,…
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René’s story

René’s story

I can say that I became an adult at seven years old. When I saw that I looked more like my sister who had just been born than my brother who was four years younger than I was! Before the birth of my sister, when I was naked, I had noticed there was a difference…
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Photo by Karin

Karin: “Fact, fiction and intersex lives”

In a world as heavily mediated as ours, where the boundary between reality staged for entertainment and reality documented for information is blurred, and sometimes lost altogether, works of fiction often encroach upon the territory of fact – the danger is that we may not be able to tell the difference. That certainly happens when…
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Max Beck in Middle Sexes

Karin: “Middle Sexes”, not all the same

Intersex people are often represented as being all the same, or as slight variations on a uniform theme. So, too, are trans men and women. Likewise, the Hijras of India and Pakistan, or the Kathoey of Thailand, are depicted as being near-identical clones of each other. It’s a new form of an old trope –…
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Man into Woman, 1953 edition

Karin: Lili Elbe’s autobiography, Man into Woman

Download a copy of this book review as a PDF Published autobiographies written by intersex people are rare. Socially-imposed guilt and shame at being born intersex have led to fewer such books being published than one might wish for – we can learn so much from how others like us have lived. I’d always known…
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Tony Briffa in The Age: Choosing the right gender

The Age on Tony Briffa: “Choosing the right gender”

Despite a difficult childhood, Tony Briffa is a resilient pragmatist with a wonderful sense of humour, writes Lily Bragge. When Tony Briffa was born at Altona Hospital in 1970, doctors were unable to determine his gender. The younger of a set of twins, Briffa’s sister Catherine was confidently announced to be a girl, but for…
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