Annabel

milkboys Books 12 Comments

“Boy or girl?” It’s the one question people feel safe asking a new mother, since it can hardly cause offence. But what if the answer isn’t straightforward? Even today, in our supposedly broad-minded age, you’d feel a bombshell had been dropped if the proud parent were to reply simply: “Both.”

In Annabel, an intersex baby – one testicle, a penis, one ovary, a womb and a vagina, since you ask – is born to Jacinta. It’s 1968, and she lives in a remote Canadian hamlet with her husband, Treadway, a trapper of few words but strong principles. It is he who decides that the child will be brought up as a boy, to the eternal sorrow of Jacinta, who, unlike him, is quite capable of encompassing her baby’s male and female identities in her love. She feels she has lost a daughter, and a friend secretly christens the baby Annabel behind the minister’s back. So, with a little help from the doctors, young Wayne unwittingly starts life as a boy with, as he puts it later on, a girl curled up inside him. Read on…

Comments 12

  1. Where’s Annabel’s/Wayne’s bladder hooked up to – his pecker or his pussy? That would decide it for me. I’m sure one gender or the other would tend to dominate during the onset and progress of puberty.
    I have no doubt that were I born a hermaphrodite, I’d’ve ended up the greatest whore that ever lived.

    1. I dunno about that.

      If your body’s sex organs are incompletely male then chances are your brain and hormones are also incompletely male, and you might not be as horny as someone born completely male. That’s also why the bladder is probably irrelevent to the question…

      1. I dunno about that…
        If your DNA can’t decide, your hormones and your head are a mess, as well as your ‘parts,’ maybe leaving it all up to your bladder to make the call might make the most sense. It might be the only organ you have around there that knows what it’s doing.

  2. What is wrong with you?
    He’s a she and she’s a he.
    That is not a laughing matter.

    This is a world that hates uncertainty.
    Are you a Democrat or Republican?
    Are you a Tory or a Labourite?

    What if you are Republican in some instances
    But Democrat in others?

    What if you are male in some instances
    And female in others?
    Or, and this is the problem (not for me)
    What if you are neither male nor female?

  3. Some cultures believed that intersex individuals are born with special gifts. Some legends have it that the famous oracle of Delphi was intersex.

  4. There was a beloved poster on this site who used to dress as a female on occasion, and this book was very important to him. He decided to have gender reassignment surgery and in the process, he found out he was intersex all along.

    To me, these cases add further evidence that while there are variations between people, gender cannot be a social construction based on nothing biological. If it was a social construction not based on anything biological, then I suspect there would be no such thing as gender dysphoria. But equally, if we lived in a society in which everyone openly and happily recognized broad gender differences, I wonder if there would be less gender dysphoria.

    In older cultures, a male who was feminine could be labelled not a ‘man’ but as another category, and everyone knew. Now that we live in culture where gender is supposedly meaningless (even though many people don’t really believe that), we have high rates of gender dysphoria.

    1. See if you can find a book titled “As Nature Made Him” you might find it very interesting.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation. I certainly had heard of the John Money story, but I didn’t know the full details.

  5. -That was a rough one.
    Back in those days doctors were thought to be omipotent​ but many were just narsasectic quacks like this one that basically destroyed two young boy’s lives…

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