My name is Maya Posch, I was born September 4th 1983 in Sijbekarspel, a small village near Hoorn in the Netherlands. I currently live in Germany while I try to find my own spot on this planet. I have my own software & game company, Nyanko, which I founded together with a good friend in Canada. We're working hard on it to make it a success.
My favourite colours are purple and pink, my favourite book is 'An Artist of the Floating World' by Ishiguro Kazuo and I watch a lot of anime series and movies. My hobbies including reading (mostly fantasy), playing the guitar, piano and learning the violin, plus I'm crazy about everything technology/science and of course cats :D
My life hasn't been all sunshine so far, though, and I'd even claim that my life knows more cloudy and rainy days than the opposite even now. First of all there is the issue of my giftedness. I have a rare form of giftedness ("Visual-spatial learner with auditory deficiency") which essentially expresses itself in a general increased mental acuity, not focused on a single area, combined with extreme emotional sensitivity and empathy. The visual-spatial part means that I think in 'images' and am able to realize connections between related things very well. It makes people think that I'm scatterbrained and not interested in many things, but in reality the exact opposite is true. It's just that so many things and thoughts are happening inside my mind simultaneously that it takes some effort to sort through. The auditory deficiency also means that interacting with others using spoken words takes a lot more effort than for others. Every word I hear has to go through a lengthy translation process to my internal 'format' before I can process it. This explains my preference for visual methods of interactions, including written words over spoken.
Being gifted has made it very hard for me to find a place in society, as being better than average isn't applauded or approved of in modern society. I nearly dropped out of school a few times due to lack of interest from my side, didn't make any friends, pushed people away because they "just don't understand me", and generally just preferred to bury myself in all the knowledge I could find on the internet.
Then there's the second major issue which has made my life somewhat of a living hell. The thing is that everyone who sees me assumes that I'm a regular female, something which even my passport since early 2012 agrees with. The problem? Intersexuality. My body is primarily feminine, with some secondary feminine characteristics, yet the externally visible reproductive organs are those of a male which has led to me being recorded as being male at birth. What I am exactly or how my body is put together is still somewhat unknown. According to three German MRI scan reports I am a hermaphrodite, yet here in the Netherlands multiple hospitals so far still claim they can't see anything unusual or at least not the presence of female reproductive organs. The past years I have spent trying to find some conclusive answers after I suddenly realized in early 2005 that I had never consciously made the decision to be a boy or girl and had stayed a child emotionally. My environment including my direct family and the female friends of my mother had never treated me as a boy up till that point and I couldn't imagine myself in a masculine role, so I decided to move towards a feminine role.
I began to use female hormones on my own in early 2007 without prescription after a complete lack of cooperation from doctors and psychologists who all seemed to want to brainwash me into believing that I had to be transsexual. The constant insistence by them that I had to be transsexual has led to me disliking that term a lot. I have never seen and still don't see my body as being male, nor has my environment. I have no desire to become female, or male. All I want at this point is to know how my body works and how it's put together so that I can plan how I can best make it fit into the life I desire.
The VUMC, which is the primary hospital with a gender team in this country, has done absolutely nothing for me, even refusing to do a single test in the past years. All I desire are some tests and clarity on the MRI scan, yet even this appears to be too much. The medicines and therapies I undergo now are costing me thousands of Euros each year, which I can ill afford. The UMCG began to prescribe me hormones, however, which saves me a lot of money. They however refused to perform any further examinations or tests, resulting in me being unable to get any medical assistance in the Netherlands.
I also tried to have the John Hopkins Medical hospital, the best hospital in the USA and among the top-rated hospitals in the world, help me, but they refused to do so in the end. Sadly my insurance company has refused to pay for any of this as well. In October 2011 I did get surgery in a German clinic during which it was discovered that I do indeed have both male and female genitals and that I never had a fully developed male side, as a biopsy of the 'testicles' showed. See the overview below.
Another not so nice thing is that I suffer from severe PTSD due to getting raped by a 'friend' in 2006, compounded by sexual assault early 2008 by another guy, a complete lack of treatment for it, many other bad experiences, resulting in me having developed an instinctive hatred against anything related to sexuality and relationships, especially those involving a guy and girl. It hasn't helped to help me value my body one bit more. According to my current therapist I also suffer from PTSD due to the poor treatment of the doctors here in the Netherlands.
An event during the last months of 2010 and early 2011 have further worsened my PTSD, when the new girlfriend of a now former housemate together with a friend of hers decided it would be an awesome idea to bully me into leaving the house, by making use of every single weakness, including my uncertainty about my body and making me feel unwanted in general. This culminated in a suicide attempt which I luckily survived, but which has opened my eyes to the fact that if I ever get help and friends, it won't be in this god-forsaken country.
I have attempted to start up some lobbying efforts among the political parties in this country, but without any success. There is as far as I can determine no interest among politicians to improve the education about intersexuality, let alone work on the creation of any medical protocols on intersex cases. This is all very disappointing and just adds to the realization that there may be nothing for me to be gained in this country.
A major victory I did score in early March 2012 was the recognition of me as a hermaphrodite/intersexed person in the Netherlands by a court, as well as that I can legally change my official gender to 'female'. In July 2012 the three month appeal period for this decision passed and I had the gender changed in my passport. This recognition has also led to the initial media attention for the plight of myself and other intersex individuals. The VUMC hospital subsequently got sued thanks to my personal injuries lawyer, Yme Drost. Unfortunately it was concluded that the VUmc gender team had made no mistakes.
In 2013 I moved to Germany, which is where I am currently living and working. I'm still looking to find proper medical help for my intersex condition, even as my body keeps developing new symptoms. Starting in early 2015 my body began to develop pregnancy symptoms. The underlying cause is still unknown.
I'm looking for friends... support... love... even a relationship, while gradually regaining confidence in my own skills and acknowledging and accepting my own existence. I'm grateful that my condition has been more or less acknowledged, if still not resolved. I'm still at a delicate point, but if I can manage to keep things afloat, everything should be alright from now on, despite the pessimistic and negative tone of most posts in my blog.
Overview Clinical Symptoms & Characteristics
Last update: August, 2015
- Low testosterone level prior to beginning hormone therapy (~2 nmol/L; normal for men 7 - 20, for women <0.7). Using 25 mg Cyproteron a day for suppressing testosterone. With male to female transsexuals 100 mg/day is common. Normal female testosterone levels after orchiectomy in October 2011 and ceasing Cyproteron-usage.
- Feminine formed skeleton including pelvis and skull; no forehead ridge.
- Index and ring finger are equal in length. With men the latter is generally longer due to higher testosterone levels.
- No Adam's apple.
- Relatively minor facial hair, referred to by beauticians as 'severe fuzz'.
- Average female dress sizes and feminine build including muscles.
- No ovaries or womb. Confirmed through ultrasound at Twenteborg hospital, Almelo.
- Presence of prostate renmant. Not functional.
- Presence of testicle remnants: biopsy after orchiectomy showed atrophied tissue with no sperm-producing tissue.
- Presence of a vagina. Further surgery required to make it usable.
- Menstruation-like symptoms since 11th year. Near-complete cessation at the onset of pregnancy-like symptoms
- Formation body and genitalia matching XX/XY hermaphroditism most closely. Examination of white bloodcells and cheek slime cells showed presence of XY in these cells. (unverified)
- Externally the genitals seem male. Right testicle hadn't fully descended, sensations during stimulation do not match those of a male member.
- Experience of orgasm is indicated as being feminine.
- At location of vagina a kind of hole can be felt through the skin, which relaxes and contracts depending on the state of sexual excitement. This is also a very erogenic zone. Penetration of a few centimeters possible, limited by the flexibility of the skin.
- Multiple German private clinics and hospitals determine presence of blind/closed off vagina on MRI scan, in the Netherlands this interpretation isn't shared. The black tube which is visible is either ignored, or described as being air in/outside the rectum. This structure is identical on all three MRI scans. The exploratory surgery confirmed the presence of a vagina.
- Existing vagina requires further surgery to become fully functional.
- 1. What is the structure underneath the skin at the location of a vagina? (answered)
- 2. XX/XY hermaphroditism or other kind of intersex?
- 3. Risks associated with the current physical state without any surgery? (answered)
- 4. Surgery options with regard to creating labia and/or extending the vagina in case it is present? (answered)
- 5. In how far can the existing vagina be turned into a normal functional vagina?
- 6. What is the underlying cause for and possible effects of the pregnancy symptoms, including linea nigra?
- Removal of testicles considering the lack of use for these, both before the hormone therapy as afterwards. Use of Cyproteron for testosterone suppression gives higher risk on thrombosis as side-effect, and also strains the liver. An orchiectomy was performed in October 2011.
- An exploratory surgery is possibly the most effective way to answer research question #1. Also performed in October 2011.
Some medical irregularities have occurred the past few years, see this document for an overview.
Also see the analysis of various medical reports: Analysis of reports in the case Maya Posch