|My name is Amy Hinton. I'm 23 years old from Mississippi. I have recently graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in history and political science. I found out that I am PAIS two years ago. My mother told me the truth after a few years of my own research of wondering why I felt different. In those two years I have come a long way. I was at first shocked, yet felt this complete sense of relief almost because there was an explanation for myself. I have sought out to help others. I am a moderator of a group called intersex group. This group has people with intersex conditions and those just curious about the condition. I make this group open for all wanting to learn about intersex conditions because I know there are groups like this specifically directed to helping only those with intersex conditions. My main goal is to educate others about intersex conditions, and the impact it has on our lives, which I feel is necessary to allow those who are not intersex to understand why some of us value our privacy and support from groups that only have other people like us.
I recently graduated from U of Mississippi, where I was on the campus Gay-Straight Alliance. Most of the time I was in the group, I was on the executive board in different capacities such as Communications Director, Secretary, and Vice-President. This was my most challenging and satisfying work. I was able to support diversity issues all across the board, and I was able to educate others in intersex issues. I know some do not agree with intersex being included in Gay and Lesbian issues; however, being in Mississippi, intersex does not have a strong backing alone (I would have essentially been the only person). During that time we had our most significant event, bringing Judy Shepard to our campus (Mississippi being conservative and not always receptive to diversity issues). Our campus is still opening doors even 40 years after James Meredith was admitted to the campus amid much controversy.
I was able to educate members of my group about intersex issues, and members of the community about the group. I helped form PFLAG Oxford-North Mississippi group, which is the town of my college campus. My work allowed me to meet a wide range of people, and I was invited to speak to a few classes on campus to speak of diversity issues, with my emphasis being on intersex issues and gender identity.
With all this being said, I am telling you all this to say that my above activities were a result of the impact being AIS has had on my life. Not because I felt the need to just tell someone. But because after I found out that I was the "family secret" (being the only one who didn't know about it), I wanted to let people know about this condition. I wanted to put a face on this. I wanted the people I knew to know that you don't just judge a book by its cover, that the true individual is more complex and wonderful. In essence, I wanted to show that I wanted to overcome my personal shame and secrecy, so that I could grow up, intellectually and emotionally. And what really spear-headed all of this off was when I wrote a letter to the editor of my campus newspaper. It's at www.geocities.com/hintonamy/lettertoeditor if you would like to read it.
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Last update: 22 January, 2014
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