A Single Word: Stop! 
                                   by Deborah E. Brown, Director 
                                 Intersex Support Group International

                       If there were only one word I could give to parents of a  
                       born with ambiguous genitalia (intersexual, hermaphrodite,
                       Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, et al), that word would be:
                       Stop! Repeat after me, ''STOP!'' 

                       When the doctors say, "Your   could never function as a
                       male/female, so we suggest that we cut..." Say ''STOP!'' 

                       When an expert surgeon is brought in to tell you that your  
                       has malformed genitals, that she/he needs adjustment, and now is
                       the best time to do it. Say ''STOP!'' 

                       You have allowed genetic tests, which have come in with extra
                       chromosomes or with a pattern that does not concur with
                       external appearances. Say ''STOP!'' 

                       As much as every parent wants to bring home a girl, or a boy,
                       your   may not be distinctly either. Often immediate
                       corrective procedures are necessary for the life of the  .
                       When well meaning clinicians attempt to make a package deal,
                       say ''STOP!'' 

                       Early invasive treatments literally change the destiny, the identity,
                       the 'me' of your  . It is OK to wait. Gender assignment
                       (mutilation) is NOT COSMETIC SURGERY! It is OK to wait
                       and see who the 'me' your   turns out to be, and then bring
                       your   into the decision loop. 

                       If your   is born absolutely mud-ugly, you would love your
                        , and you would see the wondrous beauty God has created
                       in them. Even more important, you don't have to call your baby
                       'son' or 'girl'. Love your 'dear one'. Hug your 'precious  '.
                       Enjoy their unique life. As their 'me' begins to be revealed, that is
                       the starting point for mainstreaming toward a gender identity, if
                       any. Depending on the diagnosis, that procedure could begin
                       under 4 years old, or later. 

                       It is our belief at I.S.G.I. that a certain degree of social
                       conformity will eventually need to occur. We believe that God's
                       creation of sexuality is a special gift, and the distinctive of 'male'
                       and 'female' are part of His design. Those of us, your  ren,
                       who don't exactly fit the mold will be held accountable before
                       God for our lives. Do not rush to decisions for which your  
                       will forever bear the consequences. 

                       You may ask, "What if we make a mistake? What if we have
                       chosen wrongly?" I was raised as a male, though my 'me' was
                       female. The decision to 'adjust' my gender was not made well.
                       My parents labeled my 'me' as odd, perverse, and as sin. They
                       have missed out on a wonderful woman, Who's Who of
                       American Women, a mom to three quality kids. Because they
                       'sat their minds in concrete' they refused to believe such a person
                       as I could exist. 

                       If you made early decisions to treat/not-treat which your  
                       has voiced as wrong, don't let your pride add to the wall of
                       mistakes. Accept your  , love your  , try to identify how
                       your   is expressing their 'me'. Enjoy the marvelous gift of
                       your 'unique'  , a   designed and built by God.

                       AUG 6, 1998 
                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
                       CONTACT: Deborah E. Brown musicnow@pcez.com, http://www.isgi.org

                       Intersex Support Group International announces a new ministry based on
                       the True Love of Jesus Christ for intersexuals. I.S.G.I. has been
                       established from the recognition within mainstream Evangelical Christian
                       churches of birth anomalies labeled "Intersex" or "Hermaphrodite".
                       Based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., the I.S.G.I. grew out of the godly
                       response of one Conservative Baptist Church as they studied, prayed,
                       and responded with compassion to an adult intersexual within their
                       congregation. From the basic discernment that "being born a
                       hermaphrodite is not sin", to understanding the complex web of life
                       thrust upon the intersexual, I.S.G.I. has blossomed to become an oasis of
                       Christian love and hope. 

                       For too long, the unyielding demands of people claiming the name of
                       Christ have over-ridden the real love and understanding of our Creator
                       and Lord. Acknowledged in scriptures, both old and new testaments,
                       persons born with ambiguous or non-existent genitalia have been
                       promised special blessing, (Isaiah 56:3-5), as well as understanding of
                       their peculiar relationship in a two-gendered society, (Matthew19:11-12). 

                       I.S.G.I. has gathered a highly respected panel of leaders from
                       internationally respected ministries, all serving to keep the lines of hope
                       and support open to intersexuals, their families, and their church
                       communities. The 'Manifesto' of I.S.G.I. has been published at the
                       group's virtual domain on the world wide web, www.isgi.org 

                       In addition to the I.S.G.I. web site, a counseling network has been
                       established on four continents to provide basic triage' of spiritual and
                       emotional conflicts experienced by many who cope with this common life
                       circumstance. (1 in 2000 births) In cooperation with established
                       intersexual activist groups such as ISNA, the Intersex Support Group
                       International has taken the lead to provide insight and understanding
                       toward individuals searching for peace from their Creator, our Lord Jesus

                       As intersexuals we have been created unique by God. 
                       Deus Unicus Creatus

                       Intersex Support Group International 
                       P.O. Box 33150 
                       Portland, OR 97292 (503) 408-1829 

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