Every family has its own unique spectrum of personalities, and in mine, I’ve affectionately earned the title of the rainbow sheep. Unlike the proverbial black sheep, who stands out for notoriously defying family norms, I embody the rainbow—a burst of unexpected light, a prism of identity, illuminating each facet of my true self that has for long existed in the shadows.
If there’s one constant in the ever-evolving journey of self-discovery, it’s the deep-seated affirmation of my womanhood. From the tender years of childhood to the introspective complexity of my adult life, if I’ve ever identified as anything, it’s unequivocally female. My femininity is not a neatly penned script handed down by biology or society, but a lived narrative, an intrinsic truth that transcends the simplistic binary I was expected to fit into.
The revelation that I am intersex was not a detour in my journey, but rather a bridge to understanding the very essence of who I am. In a world obsessed with categorizing everything into boxes, I was born straddling the lines, defying the conventional definitions of male and female. My body chose its path, unique and far more intricate than society was prepared to understand. Although doctors made me aware of this at age 16, it took years to embrace this truth, to proudly say, I am intersex, and I am no less woman, no less human.
And in this spectrum of self that I continue to navigate, I also celebrate my identity as a lesbian. Love, with its boundless fluidity, found its home in my heart, unfurling in the tender, profound connection I share with women. My sexuality, radiant in its intensity, is not an aberration. It’s a heartfelt choice, a resonance deep within my soul that echoes the authenticity of my affections.
Being the rainbow sheep of my family means more than just standing out; it’s about living authentically. It’s about challenging norms, questioning conventions, and breaking free from the expectations that once ensnared my spirit. It’s the courage to live every hue of my truth, to be the woman I’ve always identified with, to love the way my heart chooses, and to embrace the beautiful complexity of my intersex body.
Yes, there are challenges. There are days when the weight of misunderstanding, of prejudice, seems too heavy a burden. Moments when the world isn’t kind, when the whispers, the stares, the outright rejection hurts. But for every night steeped in struggle, there’s a dawn of resilience, for my wife whose rainbow stories intertwines with mine, providing me with courage, solidarity, and hope.
So here I am, the rainbow sheep of my family, basking in the light of my truth. I am a testament to the beauty that flourishes at the intersection of my identities: a woman, intersex, and lesbian. With every day that I breathe authenticity, I remain hopeful that one day I will find understanding, compassion, and acceptance, forever hoping that one day, being the rainbow sheep won’t make me different, but a cherished part of the diverse human condition.
This piece was inspired by a conversation I recently had with my wife, Amelia Phoenix Desertsong.
Review: ‘Every Body’ Sheds Light On What It Means To Be Intersex | Opinion: Being An Intersex Lesbian | Where Intersex Meets Lesbian | This Is What Intersex Means | My Sex Is Not My Gender Identity. | ‘Every Body’ Is An Essential Documentary About The Intersex Community | “Healing Is Foundational To The Work I Want To Accomplish Before I Die:” An Interview With Pidgeon Pagonis