Some folks have written to ask why I haven’t had any posts on my blog Intersex and Out for so long, so I thought I’d share the good news with everyone: it’s because I was busy perfecting my memoir proposal so my agent could shop it and sell it to a major publisher! I went with the fantastic Hatchette Book Group, home of bestsellers like I Am Mulala, celebrity memoirists like Steven Colbert and Willie Nelson, and bestselling authors J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Joyce Meyer, Nelson DeMille, and many, many more.
Shortly before my mom went into a coma and passed away in January, 2014, I had a conversation with her about how happy I was that I had found a fabulous literary agent who believed that my memoir would be picked up by a major publisher. I told her that there were no guarantees, as everyone had told me how hard this was to do these days. She said, “Hida Patricia” (as she always called me), “tell yourself it has already happened.”
I responded that I wasn’t going to do that, because that approach hadn’t always worked out for me. I told her that, instead, I just wanted to celebrate exactly where I was at that moment: that an agent who was great at picking books believed in my writing after reading the manuscript I had sent her. She said, “Okay, I understand, but I know it will.”
I am comforted by all those who say that she knows, even from the afterlife, but I still wish, so very, very much, that she was here on this planet for me to share the news with her that she was right. 🙁 🙂
I am honored to have the quality of my writing recognized by such a top-notch publishing house, and incredibly grateful to be able to continue spreading awareness about intersex and gender variant people by sharing my story with the world on this level.
As some of you know, the title of my memoir has changed several times over the years. (And yes, it’s been YEARS. I’m easily distracted by all the important activism to be done, by life, by finding a way to pay the bills, etceteras.) Even now, I’ve been warned by seasoned authors that the title may be changed before publication, but for now, it’s Born Both: An Intersex Memoir.
I chose this title because it addresses what I think is the greatest challenge that intersex people face: the discrimination and/or horrific violence we are subjected to, often as infants, if we are born with sex characteristics that are considered both male and female. Also, it addressed the question, “Are you a boy or a girl?”, which I have been asked over the years as an androgynous, gender fluid person (“gender fluid” means your gender identity and presentation shifts).
This question is often asked unkindly, and the first time I heard it I got pissed. After all, I was raised in a world that rewards those who express binary sex and gender, and I struggled to decide which one of the two options I “really” was. But as my self-acceptance of the fact that I am non-binary– both in sex and gender — grew, I came to the place where the question no longer bothered me. In fact, I almost wanted someone to ask me again, so I could answer, simply, “I’m both.” 🙂
Due to the extensive time given to preparing for book releases, etc., the release date isn’t until March, 2017, but I believe that, as with all things in my life, the timing will be perfect. I’ll be working hard on the final draft in the coming months, but I’ll do my best to put out new essays in the meantime.
I want to extend an ENORMOUS THANK YOU to all those who encouraged me and believed in me over the years, including my mom, who I dedicate this post to. It’s been a long, rocky ride, and I appreciate your support from the bottom of my heart. <3