Thursday, January 8, 2009

Word of the Gay: "Hermaphroditus Verus"

"Hermaphroditus Verus" is a medical term for intersex people possessing both male and female gonads.


Nat said...

Really? I guess it's basically the same (linguistically) as "true hermaphrodite", which is the term I am familiar with.

Queers United said...

Yep it is another word for "true hermaphrodite"

Anonymous said...


It is a medical term if its 1890... It is also in the same textbooks that call homosexuality a perversion.

Perhaps you could be better served by reading medical textbooks printed about 100 years later than this one was?
Although you are a gay man, and cannot be expected to understand the full nuances of the queer community except when it is exploitable and self serving, I think a trip to
would do you good.

I know it would do your readers some.

Zoe Brain said...

You'll find all sorts of stuff in books from the 50s and 60s, when transsexual women were all defined as "homosexual transvestite males".

So there were cases of transsexual lesbians who wore jeans and shirts where they were described as "gynaphillic homosexual transvestite males who do not cross-dress"

Terms like "true hermaphrodite" and "male pseudo-hermaphridite" etc belong in the same dustbin of history. It's more complicated than that and rather less demeaning.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm intersexed and although I'd never heard or read this latin term it's a funny little fact but not demeaning. However, there is a new term being used by part of the medical community that is VERY demeaning to us. "Disorders of Sexual Development", or DSD is being promoted over the neutral, and descriptive term, "Intersex". Intersexed people have some physical characteristics of both sexes. There are a whole lot of different ways to be intersexed and we're actually very common. To label us with a diagnostic term like "disorder" implies that there is something WRONG with our bodies that somehow must be fixed. Anyone can have health problems with their hormones or sexual anatomy which medicine tries to help cure. But some in the medical field have used fear to sell parents sex reassignment surgery done on babies with terrible results since the early 1960's. I escaped this and am very happy to live in my own body as I was born. Many intersexed people who had these surgeries forced on them have grown up to sexual dysfunction, the wrong sex forced on them so that they have to change later in life, loss of fertility, incontinence and pain instead of orgasm. Intersexed people need allies to help us put an end to this child abuse. Different looking genitals or people whose bodies look a little androgynous aren't freaks - we're just people. We deserve the right to live in our own bodies and to have the final say about what is done to us. We are NOT disordered, just different.

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