situation, but on the other it makes me feel so... different, as though every word of explanationfurther distances me from a 'normal' life. All these students here are normal boys and girls. The principal and Mr Kessinger are normal men. Even Catherine is so... regular. I don't know how to fitmyself in amongst it all.Blinking away new tears, I try to focus on Catherine's words, but I find I'm having troubleconcentrating with all these thoughts going on inside my head.
I first met Alice when she was brought into my infirmary by Ms Kessinger, as he just explained. Ihad been informed about her physical condition beforehand, as is proper. What I wasn't prepared for was the person behind the medical details, and the story she told me.”Finally giving up on holding back my tears I let them flow freely, while quiet sobs make my bodytremble. I wrap my arms even tighter around my legs as I bury my face between my knees. It feelsso good that someone is finally telling my story, yet at the same time it hurts so much, because Iknow that it doesn't have an ending yet. Not a good one at any rate.Suddenly I hear footsteps nearing my position. Quickly choking back my tears while furiouslywiping my face to erase any evidence that I have been crying, I look up to see Mr Kessinger standing there, smiling friendly.
Mind if I sit down next to you?” He ask. “It seems I don't have much to do at the moment, and allthis standing around is making me feel kind of tired.”
It's fine.” I say, the words exiting my mouth sounding all weird and choked. I look down at thefloor as Mr Kessinger sits down next to me, not too close nor too far, like the perfect gentleman. Irealize I feel embarrassed.Meanwhile Catherine is still telling my story.
In cold, medical facts what we know about Alice can be summed up as follows: she is intersexual,meaning that her body has both male and female characteristics. No proper medical diagnosis has been performed yet, so there is only the suspicion that she is a hermaphrodite, which is a personwith both male and female reproductive organs.
Now, in the confusing world of human emotions this means that Alice has never known what or who she was exactly. Her environment didn't know or notice that something was out of the ordinary,and just assumed that she was actually a boy, as her birth certificate notes her as such, even whenduring puberty she developed a distinct feminine figure and experienced breast-growth
Although before puberty she had been able to just ignore her body and gender in general, she nowwas forced to acknowledge her body, and realized that she had to find out what was going on, thusshe visited many hospitals in this country over many years to find out the answers to her questions.However she could find no doctor or psychologist who took her seriously. She ended up at variousso-called gender teams who normally only treat transsexual people, where they told her that she was just a feminine-looking boy.
An MRI scan made at a foreign private clinic resulted in the diagnosis that she is a hermaphrodite, but back in this country this was firmly denied, and no further tests were performed. Basically atthis point Alice knows as much about her body as she did before she visited all those hospitals. Theonly thing she has gained is a severe trauma, also known as a post-traumatic stress disorder,something commonly encountered among soldiers and rape victims.”Catherine pauses for a moment. To my surprise I notice that the auditorium remains completelysilent. As Catherine resumes her voice is very soft and has a kind of sad note to it.
In Between and Neither – Part 5