Carolyn Parsons

Classification: Emeritus | Speakers

Carolyn Parsons

On a small mission in the heart of the central Angola highlands, Carolyn Parson’s grandfather delivered her, introducing a healthy girl to a growing family. A healthy and happy baby, she grew to be a bright, curious, and easy going child.

As an energetic 11 year old, Carolyn began a journey that would radically change her life. Her apparently female body started to change. Her muscles began to develop, hair started growing on her body, her clitoris and labia began enlarging. She began to be very shy of her body and never let anyone know what was happening.

One day her sister told her parents that “Carolyn looks like a boy.” After visiting her grandfather’s doctor’s office for a consultation, the family was off to Cape Town South Africa and the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital.

In South Africa, Carolyn underwent an orchidectomy/gonadectomy and began estrogen therapy to “correct” her sex to female. For years after that, Carolyn didn’t think much of her sex and gender until a college genetics lab involved doing a chromatin test. The results showed her genes were 46,XY. The lab instructor explained that the test was hard for a first timer to do properly.

The seeds of doubt had been planted; these doubts bloomed fully after Carolyn saw a television documentary about intersexed children and adults. This new found curiosity lead Carolyn to the Androgen Insensitvity Support Group and then to ISNA.

Carolyn currently works as a program manager in the software industry. She and her partner live in the Puget Sound area of Washington state where they care for the Corgi dog and share a passion for art. Carolyn is a secretary of the Board of the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Chorus and sings alto in a diverse mixed chorus.

Carolyn enjoys talking to PFLAG groups and is interested in faith communities and the relationship between intersex and GLBT communities.