Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the secret of her life

Well, the media has descended on my little country town. Several weeks ago there was a fire at an egg production warehouse in the next (smaller) town down the road and tragically one of the volunteer firefighters was killed when the burning roof collapsed on him, an event worthy of media attention but not the reason the media has descended on us.

No, the reason for all the hoo rah is a lawsuit filed against his widow by his mother and ex-wife trying to block her from receiving any and all benefits (like the $600,000 death benefits, life insurance and joint property). Basically, they want to run her out of town on a rail.  A little tarring and feathering might not be out of order.  Why, you might ask, would they want to do this?

Allegations have been charged and rumors have exploded.

They were getting a divorce, were living apart, property was settled and they were only waiting for the court date. The widow denies this.

The marriage was not lawful in Texas since she is genetically a man, born as a male with a male name. She claims she was born with a birth defect that was surgically remedied later in life.

The deceased husband did not know about her 'history', that it was revealed to him during a child custody hearing and that was why he was divorcing her. She claims he did know, that the surgery happened after they were married.

And on and on it goes.

Pretty hot stuff for a small town in Texas.

Rather than repeat it all, here's a decent report on what's happening. 

And though her parents claim she was born with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome or AIS*, she was obviously a boy at birth and was raised as a boy as she herself admitted in a video she made in her early 20s, a boy who wanted to be a girl and who started dressing and living as a girl in her teens and who admitted to wanting a sex change operation.

*AIS is a condition in XY babies that makes them insensitive to androgen (male hormone) and are born with outward female genitalia (a blind pocket vagina) but no uterus or ovaries and with testes that do not develop or descend. This condition is not usually discovered until puberty. Sometimes a partial syndrome (PAIS grades 2 – 4) results in both a vagina and a micro penis.

It turns out that this type of thing is not so uncommon. It happens in about 1 out every 20,000 births, with PAIS/1 or 2 happening in 1 out of every 200 births. My son knows a woman who was born with this condition, who is genetically a male with a male brain, but because it is easier to change the anomalous genitalia to female than male, that's what the doctors recommend. And so it is done. They don't know, of course, if the baby is male or female unless they do genetic testing or until puberty so they just rely on social conditioning and upraising to make these babies female. It doesn't always work. My son's friend likes girls just like any hetero male with a male brain. That makes her a lesbian in our society, but she is not, not actually.

There must have been a time in our human history before we became so 'civilized' when we did not make these individuals pariahs and accepted them however they saw themselves. It's a shame that as civilized 'religious' human beings we now strive to make these individuals ashamed and undeserving of human and civil rights.

Whether the widow was truly AIS or was simply (if that can ever be called simple) a complete male with a female brain, whether her husband knew before the marriage or not I suppose will come out in the upcoming court case. Regardless, I don't see her having a future in this town. And although the ex-wife and the mother and their lawyer claim that this is strictly a legal affair, citing Texas law that makes same sex marriages illegal, it is definitely about the money and about the hate and about the fear. It's definitely not about love or about who we know we are.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about AIS...it's causes, appearances, socialization, treatments, etc...here's an excellent site. 


  1. Nothing is ever cut & dried where money is concerned - not even (especially not?) gender! What I want to know is what right does the ex have? Do they have children together? I know, I know - read the article Dana! Heh.

  2. WOW! what a tangle- What GREED! As though that poor woman/man/woman/man- didn't have enough to deal with.
    Growing up ,our neighbors had two girls and a boy- the two girls had both "stuff" and no ovaries or uterus - one became a priest and one became a beauty queen with a happy marriage- their boy child was all boy except that he wanted to marry my brother...none of it makes any difference- all good peeps, and that is the thing that matters.Greedy family will loose it all to the lawyer,lucky day for him or her or both...

  3. Wow, what a soap opera! The human species is amazing in the variety that exists. I'm sure there are some scientific journal articles on that family. Unfortunately the guy who died will have his memory trashed by the greed of everyone. Sad.

  4. As you say hot-stuff for a small town in Texas. In the village I lived in an elderly man liked dressing up as a woman - not a sexy transvestite just plain old lady floral frocks, with bare unshaven legs and pumps. He would often go to the local pub dressed like that. After the first few times we saw him we stopped sniggering and just accepted him but it was odd.

  5. Big news in a small town in Texas ... I guess! Gender schmender. Who cares?

    Love your post about it, though.

  6. I saw an episode of "House" less than a week ago where this teen supermodel turned out to be a "male" with AIS. You could tell it was just a made-up tv show, though, cos nobody found it necessary to disown or kill her when they found out.

  7. Have you read Middlesex? Very interesting. It's so sad when someone dies and the family turns on one another.

  8. You are so right. It is all about the money!!!! So sad!

  9. I wonder if society will ever mature past this stuff. Nah.

  10. Wow! Incredible goings-on in a tiny Texas town. Who woulda thought.

  11. How to turn tragedy into a three ring circus! How sad for all involved. Gender identity shouldn't have anything to do with it, but sadly it's used way too often as a weapon against people. That's just wrong.

    Diane already mentioned it, but Middlesex is a wonderful book about this very topic.


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