Ruth, now 60, spent much of her youth questioning the constant medical attention, including surgeries, she received in her early childhood in the 1960s.“Doctors always deflected my questions and stonewalled me when I asked why I had so many appointments,” she said.Healthcare providers are an important source of information and comfort amidst such confusion.But in recent decades, many doctors have defaulted to advising early irreversible surgery on intersex children.He said no, so she waited in the parking lot until he left that night, broke in, and stole them.
Why would you deliberately try to make a person feel like a freak? I’ve got the knowledge and they can’t hide it from me, I can protect myself now. Did she know this and was part of a keep-it-from-Ruth thing? He said her mother had asked him not to tell Ruth, and that he was “just following the standards of care.” Ruth said: “That was when I realized that this way I was treated was never about me—it was about my doctor and my parents and everyone feeling uncomfortable with how my body was….
These operations include clitoral reduction surgeries—procedures that reduce the size of the clitoris for cosmetic reasons.
Such surgery carries the risk of pain, nerve damage, and scarring.
In some cases, doctors instructed parents to conceal the diagnosis and treatment from the child, instilling feelings of shame in parents and children both.
Many intersex people did not learn about their conditions until they accessed their medical files as adults—sometimes as late as in their 50s.