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Leaver looks forward to a time "when intersexed people are no longer viewed with disdain or pity, and the world doesn't cling so much to 'male' and 'female' ". No one can predict the future, but it does seem as though our culture is becoming, albeit slowly, less rigid about gender roles, and more accepting of unconventionality in general. It can only be hoped that it's a sign that we're beginning to respect, and even learn from, the individuals we would once have relegated to circus sideshows, and later to operating theatres.
As the writer and psychotherapist Amy Bloom sums up: "Not monsters, nor marvels, nor battering rams for gender theory, people born intersexed have given the rest of the world an opportunity to think more about the odd significance we give to gender, about the elusive nature of truth, about the understandable, sometimes dangerous human yearning for simplicity — and we might, in return offer them medical care only when they need it, and a little common sense and civilised embrace when they don't.
Or, in the simple, succinct words of Dr Milton Diamond: "Let's see if we can change society, not nature. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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The Third Sex by Artemis Smith
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