- From the Editors
- (Not) Another Clit Story
- Caught Between: An Essay on Intersexuality
- Doctors Containing Hermaphrodites: The Victorian Legacy
- Finding the Words
- Growing up in the Surgical Maelstrom
- Hermaphrodites with Attitude Take to the Streets
- In Amerika They Call Us Hermaphrodites
- In Process
- Interview with Dr. Arika Aiert
- Is Growing up in Silence Better Than Growing up Different?
- Letter to My Physicians
- Meanings of Gender Variability Constructs of Sex and Gender
- My Beautiful Clitoris
- News Release: American Academy of Pediatrics Position on Intersexuality
- Ode to a Life (Poem)
- Porno Docs
- Power, Orgasm, And the Psychohormonal Research Unit
- Showering "Sans Penis"
- Silence = Death
- Take Charge! A Guide to Home Catheterization
- The Murk Manual: How to Understand Medical Writing on Intersex
- Time for a Change
- What dream? (Poem)
My Beautiful Clitoris
Thirty-two years have passed since my clitoris was taken from me. Though I was too young to be able now to recall the event, I feel that I will be grieving the loss for the rest of my life. Every day my thoughts touch on what it would be like, what it would feel like, what it would look like, if this had not happened to me. I have only one connection to the clitoris that I was born with: a pathologist’s report on the bit of tissue the surgeons sent him for analysis:
The specimen consists of a soft pinkish piece of tissue measuring 2.8 cm in length and approximately 1 cm in average outside diameter. The distal 1.2 cm. of the specimen is covered with wrinkled, pinkish tissue resembling prepuce. Section shows the specimen to consist of 2 soft, pinkish-white, somewhat shiny, half cylinders, each outlined by a thin rim of shiny whitish tissue and entire complex is covered by a thin rim of soft, shiny, pink tissue.
It sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? I imagine it, my clitoris, lying in the cold metal specimen tray. I can’t help but think how sad—such an alive, vascular, beautiful, sensitive organ, removed from the warm body of this precious child. My body. How tragic that this little child would grow into a sexual being who will never know orgasm. How heartbreaking that so many years of this child’s life would be filled with anguish, confusion, and shame.
I am so glad to have found ISNA. Sometimes, I think it saved my life. I wouldn’t have known otherwise what to do with all this. Before ISNA, I, like others I have now come to know, believed I was alone—the only one in the world to have been treated this way.