Do Pagans Generally Accept People Who Are “Intersexed”?

“I know Pagans are generally accepting of Gays, Lesbians and Bi-Sexuals, but where do Pagans stand on Intersexed people? Do Pagans tend to accept Intersexed people?”

First off, thank you for using the more acceptable term “intersex”. As someone who is in a relationship with an intersex person, I know first-hand (well, second hand) how hurtful popular terminology for the condition can be. But I must say that I thought the comparison with Gays, Lesbians and Bi-sexuals seems a little strange. Being intersex is a physical condition, not a matter of sexual orientation.

As for your question, from the perspective of my partner and I (I posed the question to her, as well), the Pagan community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Sure, there are exceptions, most often from people who are fascinated by her “condition” and objectify her. If there is one negative component in the Pagan community, it most often comes from the same people who are drawn to Paganism partly through the mistaken presumption that being Pagan means lots of indiscriminate sex with hot, horny witches. To these people an intersex woman is a fantasy, much like that of having relations with multiple partners at the same time. One leader in the local Pagan community offered the very same observation, saying that “she’s a like a husband and a mistress all rolled into one, isn’t she?” without realizing how hurtful that statement was.

I mention this because of the reaction to that statement by other members of the local Pagan community. The statement was almost universally condemned, and the woman who said it made a formal apology. The groundswell of support that followed led my partner to tell me that she had never felt more accepted in her life. This feeling had never come to her at the hands of contemporary Christian culture. So perhaps this experience will serve as an answer to your question.

I am, needless to say, of the opinion that the Pagan community is overwhelmingly more supportive and accepting of intersex people than mainstream culture, where they are often viewed as little more than erotic curiosities, if not dangerous influences on “family” and “decent people”. One doctor actually told my partner that he expected that he might “see a unicorn before I met someone like you.”

Of course, I realize as I’m writing this that you might have been asking your question from more of a spiritual viewpoint, wondering how Pagans approach people who are, for all intents and purposes, neither male nor female, but some mixture of the two. It’s hard for some people to understand the condition. For the most part, in my experience Pagans, who are more likely to be accepting of anything or anyone that has occurred naturally, have no spiritual objection to intersexed people. They aren’t as likely to brand them as “abominations” and “freaks” as some in the Evangelical community have done because for Pagans there is no scriptural or dogmatic reason to do so. Pagans tend to revere the Earth and all life on it, and that includes the intersexed. If anything, I have heard some rumblings as to the possibility that the intersexed should be revered as a living mixture of both the God and the Goddess. But, for the most part, they’re just viewed as people, like everyone else. Which is, of course, exactly what they are.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

So, you say “thank you for using the more acceptable term “intersex”.”, this is false and insulting. The term “intersex” is a medical term claiming that we’re not a true gender, but rather, that we are between the true genders. Which is why they’re constantly trying to “fix” us using medical procedures. I for one prefer the term hermaphrodite, as I’d rather be likened to the progeny of a god (see Greek mythology) than be likened to some sort of genetic mutation in need of surgical mutilation to “fix nature’s mistakes”.

I’m no mistake, and it’s time the world stopped viewing us in such a light and enabling such crass abuse with words like “intersex”.

just me
just me
7 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hi Anonymous…I do not know if you will ever read this because this is such an old thread but I totally loved what you said because when I think of Greek myth I always think of Aphrodite and Adonis…I often use their names to express the beauty of attractive men or women…what could be more beautiful than combining them into one breathtaking person and why should I feel ashamed for thinking it? Gender does not define us it is just part of who we are. We define ourselves. People need to stop with labels and just be people. Personally the word hermaphrodite to me brings to mind the beauty that can be in diversity. Thank you!

Yas
Yas
8 years ago

Very interesting how someone one’s opinion can vary so much from another. I was “labeled” as a Pseudohermaphrodite by doctors. I dislike the term. I don’t like to be compared to a Greek myth or a circus show of the 1800 and 1900’s. Because of those shows and fake hermaphrodites, that to many in the general public we are freaks of nature, novelties, mysterious, and even a sexual fantasy for some. Not to mention that the term Hermaphrodite is not correct on humans. There has ne’er been a recorded case of 100% real human hermaphroditism in science history. You can call yourself whatever you want. A hermaphrodite, intersexed, intrasexed, no sexed, multi sex, sex bender, DSD, VSD, etc. The fact is that doctors used, and some still do, the term on humans erroneously. Mainly as the result of folklore. But in reality, all we are to them are “defective” or “abnormal” variations of females and males. They don’t see us as a third sex of sexual variation. If you think they do, then the joke is on you. I personally prefer the term intersexed to hermaphrodite or Disorders or Sex Development. Some want the new term changed to Variations of Sex Development. Until someone offers a better term, I prefer intersexed.

Yas
Yas
8 years ago

Sorry for the typos, it’s hard to type out of the iPhone and I particularly hate the speed check thingy. It sucks big time!

Wicasta Lovelace
8 years ago
Reply to  Yas

Did the speed check thingie give you problems? It really helps us cut down on spam, but I’ll yank it in a heartbeat if it’s causing problems with regular comments.

Danielle
Danielle
4 years ago

This is an old thread but I will still add my two cents in it. I was also told by Dr’s I’m a pseudo hermaphrodite. I have always just felt like what I am, both. I also understand that we are very few and far in between and that most people are not aware of us. So I now tell people to see me how ever they see me. I can understand what it feels like to be both because that’s what I am. Not so much with everyone else they only know what it’s like to be one gender. With all this said, I am also a devout Christian. I totally and completely accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I went searching for a new Church one that from the very beginning wanted to let them know who I was. I ask the Lord to help me find a church and right around the corner was the perfect church a Christian church. I have been totally accepted at the Church. They see me as a man, but know I’m an intersexed woman. So the statement that Christianity is not accepting is false and discrimination isn’t as widespread as you would think. I’ve looked like a male my whole life I also have known Jesus my whole life.

Hermes
Hermes
2 years ago

Hermaphroditus the child of Hermes and Aphrodite why would we throw away this pagan term. I understand it’s been used in a derogatory way by CHRISTIANS just like they turned PAN into Satan. I understand pagans didn’t get everything right in sex and sexuality but I would argue they had much more healthy attitudes than Christians. More pagan terms need to be adopted as a way of culturally pushing out Christianity. Lastly the only being who was perfectly male and female was hermaphroditus who is supposed to be a symbol like Aphrodite. Hermaphrodite should be you have male and female attributes the mix and or quantity either way being unique to you