To all people searching for pics of intersex genitals

I want to start by saying, I am glad you are here. I am glad you stumbled upon a page of an actual intersex person. I hope that you take advantage of this opportunity to educate yourself.

Intersex people are not something you can can gawk at to fill your curiosity, get a good laugh or get your rocks off. We are real people with feelings, lives, friends, families, jobs and hobbies just like you. Our bodies have been marginalized, mutilated, photographed without our consent, poked and prodded by multiple doctors, nurses and medical students. We have been labeled disordered, freaks, accidents, mutations, defective. We have been told our bodies are wrong, that no one could ever love a body like ours and that it needs to be “fixed.”

These days it seems that many of the hits I am getting on google are coming from folks searching for things like (these are a few actual search terms bringing folks to this page):

pictures of an intersex person
picter of intersex people
intersex conditions and pictures
hermaphrodite genital pictures
intersexed genetil pictures

I understand that people are curious and after doing this work for years, have received multiple requests on anonymous feedback forms post-presentation saying they would like to see pics of mine or other intersex folks genitals. That is particularly frustrating feedback to get after I’ve spent 1-2 hours explaining the medical exploitation of intersex people and the trauma many of us go through with public displays of our genitals, but that is another blog post.

All that said, it is none of your business what my genitals look like or what any other intersex person’s genitals look like unless we want or choose to show you or tell you. I would never walk up to a person I didn’t know and ask to see pictures of their genitals. The fact that people think they have a right to access the bodies of intersex people is part of many years of historic exploitation and medical abuse of intersex people and our bodies.

And the pictures you can find online and in medical text books of intersex people’s genitals are exploitive. Babies can not consent to having their photograph taken and published. Even older kids and adults are forced to pose for those awful pictures with blacked out eyes. Can you imagine what it would feel like to have your picture taken and your identity slightly masked so that you can appear in medical texts around the world as an example of a “wrong” and “defective” body??

If you want to learn about intersex people, click on this link and you can read basic information on intersex, as well as access a resource list with tons of web links and books. Learn about the surgeries performed on infants without consent. Learn about the lives of adult intersex people haunted by a lifetime of unnecessary surgeries that robbed them of their sexual sensations and pleasure. Learn about intersex people with severe post traumatic stress from multiple surgeries, genital exams, and public genital displays. Learn about the deep pain and shame associated with being told something is freakishly wrong with your body.  Do the work to educate yourself and stop perpetuating the exploitation and harm of intersex people.

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9 Responses to To all people searching for pics of intersex genitals

  1. Hannah says:

    I felt out of place in a mens shower room, as a child, because of my very much under developed penis and testes. In fact I was beat-up because someone thought I was gay or something. These fools got the something right. My childhood wasn’t very good from that stand point and now someone wants to see photos me or us? Even in my youth people guarded the bathrooms. Life has been good to me, but I’m still caught between genders, preferring the woman I feel I am yet knowing there is a piece of me that is male. My wife loves me the way I am, so the rest of you that want to see me take a leap.

  2. Hannah says:

    I feel the need to make another comment. When I was growing up my life was fine until I failed to mature like the other kids. My body never changed, no attraction to women or men, no sex until I was in my twenties. Sex was a concept that was beyond my grasp. Sounds odd but it is the way my body is built and I know of no other way, in other words it is normal for me. Don’t expect you to understand nor do I care. So I live more or less as a man and think as more or less a woman.
    In other words I cannot be classified in the terms that the world perceives as normal gender, yet I feel normal in my own little world. That is all that matters.

  3. Jeno-Jeno says:

    Yes,I find this whole situation upsetting,I think its just part of a wider scheme of human nature,morbid curiosity. I have both Kallmann’s & Turner’s Syndromes;they did not fully manifest until I was a teenager,or in reality,I was extremely slow to mature physically.I first sought medical attention back in 1978;compared to today, everyone, including me,seemed totally “clueless’ about any kind of gender anomalies!After they poked,prodded, drew blood,had me sit in sessions facing this group of middle-aged doctors with quizzical expressions on their faces(I was only 22 at the time.Then they wanted to take medical photographs of me,meaning I would have to undress and let them take numerous pics of my ambiguous physique…,of course they reassured me that I would remain anonymous,with a black bar inserted over my eyes before they put me in some textbook…,how comforting?!
    I tell people that every individual with any affliction shown in medical books,has a family,a history,and most importantly a heart & soul.In short,don’t let the “piss-ants” bring you down!

  4. Caitlin says:

    Thanks for your comments! I am glad that people are finding this useful and relate to my frustration. I have been getting even more hits from folks searching for intersex genital pictures since I posted it, so hopefully this is helping to educate them and make them think more critically about their desires to see these kinds of pictures in the future.

    Thanks again for reading!

  5. Cici says:

    Thank you Caitlin for this very well written, and informative article. I too have been poked, prodded,gawked at, ridiculed, and otherwise made to feel less than human!At first I was diagnosed as transsexual, and after many years at the hands of these insensitive people, I was diagnosed as intersex.I really hope that these people looking for pictures take heed of your words, and learn something!

  6. Luminis says:

    Caitlin, thanks for this wellconsidered and heartfelt post. I have to admit to being of two minds on this topic. On the one hand, I *absolutely* agree that almost all photos of intersex people’s genitals available on the web are horrific. They display dehumanized, degraded people, often children, being splayed for the camera. To stare at such a photo is to be complicit in abusing an intersex person, whether we wish to be complicit or not.

    On the other hand, I know that as an intersex person who was trying to find out more about people who share my physical status, and thus about myself, I too spent a lot of time looking in medical journals and websites. It wasn’t comfortable, but I needed to know. . .

    There’s an obvious solution, which is to create and make very accessible a collection of images that are nonexploitative for people to look at to learn more about physical variation. It could be just quality drawings, or intersex people who wished to permit someone to take fully human, nondegrading photographs of themselves could contribute. Either way, I think that would be a worthy project.

    Anyway, the point you make is very important, and I thank you.

  7. Caitlin says:

    Hey Luminis,

    Great point! I completely understand the desire for intersex folks to see pictures of other folks like or similar to them. I had thought many years ago that it would be really cool if someone did an intersex version of the book ‘Femalia’ by Joani Blank. I would definitely participate in a project like that! Plus, I can’t help to think what a powerful message something like that could send to doctors and others who think we “defective” and that we should be ashamed of the way our bodies are.

    I also want to thank you for reading and commenting. I have to admit that after discovering your blog last night and reading some of your posts, I have developed a bit of a intellectual crush on you! I often feel lonely and isolated from other intersex folks, so I am always excited to connect with other folks who share experiences and an analysis similar to mine. I am very pleased to make your (internet) acquaintance and look forward to reading more from you!

  8. Katherine V. London says:

    Hello.

    I applaud you for expressing the truth about intersexed individuals and the exploitation, stress, trauma, and humiliation they are forced to experience.

    Many an individual, or multiple individuals, who form a group express anti-discrimination against themselves, and cannot fathom how another individual could treat them with inequality, then do the exact same thing they do not like being treated with to individuals who are intersexed, or transgender.

    It is highly illogical.

    I feel your pain, and thank you for not being afraid to express the truth, as well as your viewpoints.

    Katherine V. London.

  9. […] majority of hits via people searching for pictures of intersex people’s genitals. I wrote a blog some time back addressing the problems with this “curiosity.” Before the […]

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