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Intersex Voices: Angela Moreno (Partial Androgen Insensitivty Syndrome-PAIS)


Angela Moreno has Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS). While she was assigned a female gender at birth, she was subjected to surgeries, misinformation, secrecy, and spectacle by the medical establishment.

When I was twelve, I started to notice that my clitoris (that wonderful location of pleasure for which I had no name but to which I had grown quite attached) had grown more prominent. At least, that's how I perceived it. I can't remember whether I thought anything about it; I just remember that I began to notice it. I'm sure that it was at least three months after I had taken note that my mother caught a glimpse of me as I bathed one day after returning from the dance studio. She tried very hard not to let on how alarmed she was, but of course a twelve-year-old girlchild just senses these things. When the pediatrician examined me the next day she was also obviously alarmed. She referred me to a female pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Illinois Medical School.

Exactly one month later, I was admitted to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for surgery. They told me a little bit about the part where they were going to "remove my ovaries" because they suspected cancer or something like that. They didn't mention the part where they were going to slice off my clitoris. All of it. I guess the doctors assumed I was as horrified by my outsized clit as they were, and there was no need to discuss it with me. After a week's recovery in the hospital, we all went home and barely ever spoke of it again.

Read more: In Amerika, they call us Hermaphrodites by Angela Moreno (Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility)


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