The Western Gazette (University of Western Ontario), Canada
Male and Female – Not Everyone Fits
By Jaela Bernstien
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Jess Surtees likes to play with people’s concepts of gender by giving what she calls “little nudges.”
Some days she performs as a female by showing off her curves; other days she wears more baggy clothing and dabbles in masculinity. Gender is meant to be played with, according to Surtees, and she loves to remind people of that.
“I had this one friend who said to me: ‘I have no idea how large your breasts are.’ Because some days, I do bind [my breasts],” Surtees recalled.
When it comes to fitting into male or female gender roles, Surtees is far from typical. She thinks of gender as more of a spectrum than a choice between two categories.
“I identify in a plethora of ways — be it female or intersexed or transgendered,” she explained.
Surtees, director of print communications at PrideWestern, was born chromosomally intersexed. While typically gender is thought of as being binary — male or female — she said there is a third option.
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This is a service of the Organisation Intersex International