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Many of us wore purple yesterday.
Over 10 million people have watched the “It Gets Better” video project started by Dan Savage, where adults record a message of hope to help LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex) teens understand that things aren’t always going to be as awful as they are in high school, “because life will get better when they’re older”.
President Obama and Hilary Clinton have joined the many celebrities recording messages of hope. It’s impossible not to be moved by the testimonies; for example, have you watched Fort Worth Texas City Councilman Joel Burns’s message?
But does it really get better?
Dr Cary Costello, a midwestern American professor who is “intersex by birth”,
Intersex people are supposed to lie low and keep quiet. Not me. I’m not defective, I’m not disordered, I’m not ashamed. I just don’t fit in your M/F boxes
wrote in his blog, The Intersex Roadshow, one of the most moving honest articles I have ever read by a LGBTI person, entitled, “Does it get better?”
For those of us who are gender-transgressive in appearance, whether we have chosen to be seen as genderqueer or would like nothing better than to be able to be gendernormative, but must live with physical androgyny, harassment does not end in high school.
Both Dr Costello, and his spouse (who is intersex by birth) are white and live in Wisconsin:
All my spouse and I have to do is go to our local Midwestern Walmart, and it’s like the circus came to town. People stop, and stare, and shake their friends’ elbows, and point.
Every trip to a public bathroom exposes my spouse to danger of outrage or violence or police intervention, so she rarely ever uses one
Here’s the link to Dr Costello’s blog, “Does it Get Better?”
Thank you for explaining your side of the story to us Dr Costello. I hope enough people will read your blog so that LGBTI travelers will be able to walk on the street, and be greeted with respect, and that the common decency will spread to doctor’s offices, schools, police officers and your local Walmart.
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