By Koushumi Chakraborti
I am a mother to an intersex child.
I have always embraced the fact that my child would need a lot more support from me, having always reassured them that they will have my complete support and unconditional love forever.
Whatever life throws at us, we are a team and will fight it as a team.
The only rule in our team is unconditional love and constant unfailing support. Right from the beginning, I was very open about my child being intersex and that irked a lot of people. They said I was interfering with my child’s privacy and that I should not announce it publicly.
I thought about it very differently though. I always felt that people keep only such information private which they find embarrassing or shameful.
I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed. I am rather proud of my child, and keeping this as a secret from society would only send a wrong message to my child.
When anyone asks me if my child is a boy or a girl. I have a standard response—they are intersex. Some understand, while most don’t. For me, people’s opinions do not matter. My child’s well-being and their self-respect do, and I know my priorities.
Moreover, I hope my answer at least makes them aware that intersex children do exist. My child is just as much a part of society as other children. This is why I am vocal about it on all social media platforms. I want people to open their minds to understand what intersex means and to accept them for who they are, without conditions. At the end of the day, if I can help even one parent connect with their intersex child, I would be happy.
I want to tell this to every parent: Whether your children are intersex or not, they are your children. If you would pause for a moment and think about it, being intersex is just one aspect of your child. There is really a lot that you can do.
Read on the internet, join support groups online or offline. Talk to other parents or other LGBT+ children and/or adults to get a better understanding of how you can help your child. I truly believe that a parent is as old as their child.
There is no need to panic or be too hard on yourself as a parent. It is okay to not know everything or anything, immediately. It is important to be open to understanding, learning and un-learning. It is important to listen to our children and not just hear them.
Excerpt from the book EQUALLY: Stories by Friends of the Queer World. Published by Rupa, the first of its kind anthology put together by Pride Circle is due to be released on 9 April 2021. Find more about the book here.