Barbin was assigned female at birth, but she never felt like she quite fit in with the other girls at school. She was awkward, and not at all graceful or feminine looking like her friends. At puberty, she did not begin to menstruate, her breasts never developed, and some fine, facial hair appeared on her chin and cheeks.
The first time I met Lisa, she was addressing the Palm Springs City Council about a local, neighborhood issue. It wasn’t a Transgender matter, it was a community leader addressing a problem that affected her neighbors.
The next time I met her, it was also at City Hall, where she was sitting on a panel discussing the impact that the newly elected Trump administration might have on the Transgender community.
“I am committed to a Palm Springs that is a welcoming, inclusive and a vibrant community of neighbors. A place where our residents are at home and our visitors don’t want to leave.”
Her success should have opened up a whole, new world for her, but fear of discovery kept her captive in the New York City home she shared with her friend and producer. When George Harrison decided to visit Carlos at her home to discuss the use of synthesizers in his music, Rachel told the ex-Beatle that Carlos was out of town while Wendy painfully listened from her upstairs room. Similar incidents occurred when Stevie Wonder and keyboard player Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer attempted to pay a visit to the reclusive musician.
You can interact with Alyce and not even realize it. It’s almost like walking through the morning mist, and you think nothing of it until you get home and discover that your clothes are damp. It’s only then that you realize the presence.
John Lennon didn’t know me, but yet he perfectly described the life I lived for sixty-plus years. It was somebody else’s life, not mine. I was buried alive, afraid to come out of my coffin, afraid to be me. I knew what it was like to be dead.
Naturally, you told everyone it was just a costume, but you knew that was a lie. You could get away with it the first year, and maybe the second, but suspicions were aroused after a decade of donning drag every October 31st.
An aware society would have recognized the beauty and the wonder of the Intersex child, just as they would any other child. They wouldn’t have tried to erase us from the public consciousness, denying that we even exist. They wouldn’t have mutilated our genitals to make us appear more male or more female. They wouldn’t have forced us to live lives that were not ours to live.
I had it rough, but I’m aware that others suffered far greater indignities than I did. I was spared the physical mutilation that scarred several generations of our community. It must stop now.
The evening ended with an encore by Allison, who performed a sensational version of the standard Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I know, everybody does it; it’s almost a cliché. But her arrangement was new and different, a modern take on an old classic. Plus it was the perfect opportunity for her to show off her incredible vocal range, and it was absolutely thrilling to hear those high notes that few singers could ever hope to reach.
On August 30, 2017, I received notice that my request to correct my birth certificate was approved. I was no longer male; I was Intersex…