Thursday, September 16, 2010

Intersex: Raw honest poems and essays

Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word)Intersex by Thea Hillman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's easy to tell that Hillman is a poet (she's a San Francisco Poetry Slam champion) and performance artist. I can imagine her reading each of the essays in this book in front of an audience.

Hillman writes of the ache, exclusion, and incredible confusion associated with growing up intersex. I agree with another reviewer who did not like the use of the second person in some of the essays (I too prefer first or third person); however, it raises the constant conundrum of gender pronouns when it comes to people who identify as intersex. Is the person male, or female, or a combination of the two? Second person is so much simpler, I imagine...kind of like when I think of's much simpler to avoid the pronoun.

This book is soaked in sex...Hillman writes freely of her love of sex parties and open relationships, a lifestyle completely alien to me.

Being a monogamous person myself, I preferred the pieces about her struggles in growing up and claiming her own gender identity. This book is a desperately needed piece of literature for a misunderstood community.

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