About a month ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a rather good article about a female police officer who learned that she’s intersexed.
Anger doesn’t live under Darlene Harris’ skin anymore.
It’s melting away — the same way bad memories do — along with the confusion she has carried from a rocky childhood in New York City’s housing projects to her life as an Atlanta police officer.
She now knows why her voice is so deep, why she’s always been attracted to women, why she can grow a full beard.
Harris is intersex — someone whose internal or external sexual anatomy or chromosomes don’t fit the typical definitions of female or male at birth or puberty, according to Sharon Preves, a sociology professor and intersex researcher from St. Paul, Minn.
Genetic testing recently revealed that Harris carries the XY chromosomes of a male while having external sexual anatomy that appears to be a blend of a man’s and woman’s.
And Harris works as “the Atlanta Police Department’s liaison to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.”
But, something else in the article is a bit troubling.
It wasn’t until Harris started dating her current girlfriend in late 2007 that she went to a gynecologist to explore the differences in her body and, in turn, her anger issues.
That visit led Harris to an endocrinologist, who ran a chromosome test in February that offered medical proof to support how she feels: like a man in a woman’s body.
The news made Harris weep.
“It has lifted the burden off me and also released a lot of the anger,” Harris said. “I was angry and I couldn’t understand why.”
Harris said she thought about having a sex change to male, but decided against it.
“For what?” she asked. “God doesn’t make mistakes. I’m just uniquely different.”
She has quickly found peace being somewhere in the middle.
Now, I’m not in any way criticizing her feelings about herself or about what she has chosen to do and/or not do with respect to her own life and sexuality. She didn’t want to transition? Who cares? I don’t. I’m happy that she’s happy.
What does creep me out a bit is her interposing religious authority against the notion of a sex change – not the fact that she herself has some mythological groundings for her own life, but the possibility that she might interpose that same religious authority against people she may happen to come in contact with as part of her official duties (she is, after all, the liason to transgender people as well as GLB folks) who not only may have no religious problem with the notion of transitioning but who may actually be transitioning or have already transitioned.
Yes, it was just one quote.
Yes, it could have been out of context.
But, where there’s smoke…?