I Was Circumcised and I'm a Woman

Hi, I'm Susan.

My story is this: I'm 49. I was born on 26 July 1949 in St. Mary's Hospital in Walla Walla,
Washington, USA. I am female. I have periods and have carried, given birth to, and nursed
one child. My sexual preference is for men.

I've had many intense experiences in life. In the last few years I have done a lot of work
on personal healing. Just this year, 1998, I had confirmed what I had suspected for some time,
that female circumcision had been done to me as an infant, most probably just after I was born.
It was the least hazardous form, simple removal of the clitoris.

At some point, the hospital where I was born destroyed all medical records of people
who had been inactive patients since 1965. That included me. Most family members of my
parents' age are dead - I have no one to ask, unless by a very slim possibility the obstetrician
who performed the delivery, a Dr. Schmeltzer, is still alive and remembers it.

My doctor is helping me backtrack and possibly find the circumstances surrounding
the situation, especially the *big* question, "Why?". I believe there are three possibilities.

1. a sadistic obstetrician (least likely)
2. I had a normal but large clitoris and the obstetrician thought he was doing me a favor
3. I was born with both male and female genitals and the obstetrician thought
he was doing me a favor

I was abused and neglected throughout my childhood. I also suffered from gender dysphoria,
the feeling of being out of synch with one's own physical sexual characteristics.
I do not know if I suffered from gender dysphoria because I really was born with both
types of genitals, or if I suffered from gender dysphoria because of the nature of the abuse.

Needless to say I still have a lot of questions and not very many answers. What I'm doing
right now is conducting research and trying to contact other American women about my age
to whom this procedure was done. I should mention here that I have no interest in taking
legal action against the hospital or any of the people involved.

Please, if you have any information or would just like to talk to another person who has
had some of the same experiences, get in touch with me. I am also interested in knowing if
your sister(s), if intact, have had unexplained, abusive experiences with gynecologists. One
woman I know has described it as some sort of instant fury expressed by male and female
gynecologists upon seeing the woman's clitoris and vagina.

There's an email address below where you can contact me.

I will be adding information, including updates on my own story, titles and authors
of helpful books, and links.

Links to other sites on the Web:

FGM.ORG homepage
Genital Mutilation Survivors' Support Network

Write the author: s_mullen@spu.edu

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