Book: Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simoncategories: Book, Gender, Intersex, Young Adult, Hermaphrodite, Transgender, Memoir, New Adult, Yasaves, Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis, Turner Syndrome, Coming of Age
Lianne Simonabout this book: Mom and Dad always said I could be just like other boys after a few years on testosterone, and after some minor surgery. You know, to fix what was between my legs. When I was born, the doctors couldn't tell what I was just by looking. They thought I had one good testis, though, so they put Jameson on my birth certificate.
Dad told me I was a boy, but I saw an elfin princess whenever I looked in the mirror. I was smaller than all the other kids and had a pixie face. Besides, my cousin Kaylah--she was seven years older than me--she knew I was a girl. She and my sister Alicia called me Jamie. Alicia and I shared toys and clothes and all. It was only Mom, and Dad, and that lady from the school board who thought I had to be Jameson.
A doctor Mom knew started giving me testosterone shots when I was fifteen, so I figured out a way to get early admission to college. At sixteen I was only four-feet-eleven inches tall, and still a soprano, but I did okay in school. Mostly, anyway. The boys in the dorm made fun of me, saying I looked like a girl. Okay, so I had a pretty face, and my hair was long, but it wasn't like I went around in dresses or anything.
At the end of my first semester I got sick, so they had to take my appendix out. Mom made me stay with Sharon and her brother Tyler over Christmas break. Sharon was my roommate's girlfriend. I knew I was doomed then, because she was a nosy medical student. She told me she had watched them examine me when I was asleep for my surgery. They told her I should have been raised a girl. What was I supposed to do? I explained about my childhood. She asked me if she could be Jamie's friend, so I took off my boy mask for a day.
Just one day, but Tyler came home early and met me when I wasn't pretending to be Jameson. Sharon told him I was a girl, so I stayed Jamie for the rest of Christmas break. After that, Sharon kept pushing me toward being a girl all the time. Until Mom and Dad found out. See! I told you I was doomed. All Tyler and I did was kiss, you know, but Mom threw a hissy fit and made me go stay with relatives all summer, to see if I could get the whole gender thing out of my system. Yeah. Dad wasn't happy with me either.
• "Lianne Simon is as much a poet as she is a prose author. This exceptionally sensitive book sings, and in making that choice in her writing Simon has created something far more than a study of gender conflict: she has created a hymn to all young teenagers who face some of the most impossibly difficult decisions and life choices imaginable." — Grady Harp, Top 50 Reviewer, Amazon
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