This American Life, an NPR radio show and podcast, recently aired a story titled, 81 Words, that investigates how homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness by the American Psychological Association. You can access the podcast through iTunes (searching for This American Life) or you can click here.
In a recent article by the New York Times, an issue I was previously unaware of is discussed. When a masculine looking woman appears in the international running scene and she begins beating seasoned professionals or perhaps breaking her previous running records, suspicions are raised. One would think that the runner would be investigated for doping, and while that is usually the case, the runner may also be examined for whether or not she is female.
As is briefly explained in the article, what makes us male and female is not as cut and dry as many people believe, making the sex distinction issue in sports a difficult one. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in the Caster Semenya’s position— to have worked so hard, only to be suspected of being male and later perhaps being found to be of the opposite sex than what she has been raised to believe.
Yet another reminder that trauma has many sources and that the world is rarely black and white.