Maya Posch, part 3


part 1, part 2, part 4

In the previous installments of my chat with Dutch programmer Maya Posch, we mostly talked about her struggles in dealing with the complications that others have created around her being intersex. In part 3, we talk about other aspects of Maya.

Maya Posch on the Dutch TV show 'Je zal het maar zijn.'
That woman on the right. She has no shame.

Al: I watched the video of you on Vrije Vogels–the one where the lady was asking you about your genitals in a public locker room. (Editor’s Note: That’s the wrong video. I was referencing this one). What kind of feedback did you get from that?

Maya: Mostly people wishing me well and such. The most feedback I got from the magazine articles and the 2010 TV show.

Al: If I were a betting man, I’d put down a few grande that you got a bunch of marriage proposals. I mean you were in a public locker room talking about your genitals.

Maya: In a sense :) There were some older guys offering me a place to live :P

Al: Ew.

Maya: Yeah, there’s a lot of that, sadly.

Al: I’m an older guy, and I know how gross I am.

Maya: :) Continue reading “Maya Posch, part 3”

Maya Posch, part 2

Maya Posch
i kan haz human ritez?

In which Maya gets #$%@ed over by her government

part 1, part 3, part 4

In part one of my chat with programmer Maya Posch, we just barely got to talking about her struggle to be recognized for what and who she is.

Al: So the Netherlands government is willing to say that you can identify as a woman, but it is not willing to legitimize any medical evidence of your intersex biology?

Maya: Yeah, that is the short version of it.

Al: I’m not quite sure what the government is afraid of. Losing votes? Paperwork?

Maya: They use the term DSD or Disorder of Sexual Development, basically calling intersex a birth defect instead of intersex. I think it’s the chauvinistic culture we have in the Netherlands; it’s very binary, black/white.

Al: It also seems lazy: Just lump it in an existing category so we don’t have to make up new stuff.

Maya: It is very lazy–a head-in-sand kinda thing. You can see it with homosexuality, too. On one hand, you can get married as a homo couple, but then you are likely to get beaten up and/or bullied out of your house.

Al: Sounds familiar. What if you had grown up as female but then decided to identify as male–do you think you would be treated differently?

Maya: You mean as a transsexual?

Al: If you were still intersex, but if the vagina were the visible organ and the penis the hidden one.
I’m wondering about the chauvinistic society–would it be more tolerant if you appeared and acted male?

Maya: It’d make things slightly easier, maybe. I’m not sure. People still wouldn’t really understand. They understand transsexuality because it fits in the binary system of male/female, but someone who is okay with not being strictly male/female simply goes beyond what they can comprehend. Continue reading “Maya Posch, part 2”

A Chat with Maya Posch, part 1

Never Netherland.

Maya PoschGoogle+ users, do you ever pay attention to the list of “suggestions” on the right side of the screen? I have precious few real life friends, so I check often. The growing number of people in my circles endows me with the illusion of popularity, and that’s good enough for Al.

Last week, Maya Posch was just another illusion suggested to me by a soulless algorithm. I added her to “Following” and promptly forgot about her.

This morning, a video shows up in the Stream. Check it out. Maya is like an onion, with the layers and all.

She is a geek for sure–with serious game programming skills, a deep love of all things Trek, and (not that I approve) mastery of the emoticon. Maya also happens to have been born intersex–a hermaphrodite. Raised as a boy, she has identified as female for the past seven years.

All of this is a little too inconvenient for the Netherlands government, which seems willing to recognize her gender identity, but not the fact that she possesses both male and female reproductive organs; they call it a “birth defect.” Since identifying as female, her government has made her life hell as constant persecution, bigotry, and bureaucratic bullshit have kept her trapped in an intolerant country that she wishes, more than anything, to leave.

I chatted with Maya from halfway around the world using this Internet thing the papers are always talking about. Presented more or less verbatim. Continue reading “A Chat with Maya Posch, part 1”