Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Caster Semenya Placed On Suicide Watch

South African runner Caster Semenya, who is at the center of a gender row, has been placed on suicide watch amid fears for her mental stability.

The Daily Star quoted officials as saying that psychologists are caring the 18-year-old round-the- clock after it was claimed tests had proved she was a hermaphrodite.

Leaked details of the probe by the International Association of Athletics Federations showed the 800m starlet had male and female sex organs - but no womb.

Lawmaker Butana Komphela, chair of South Africa's sports committee, was quoted as saying: "She is like a raped person. She is afraid of herself and does not want anyone near her. If she commits suicide, it will be on all our heads. The best we can do is protect her and look out for her during this trying time."

South African athletics officials confirmed Semenya is now receiving trauma counselling at the University of Pretoria.

Caster has not competed since the World Athletics Championships last month when the IAAF ordered gender tests on her amid claims she might be male.


Additional articles:

Activists say Caster Semenya's privacy must be respected and have called for South Africans to inform themselves on constitutional provisions for intersex individuals

Hats off to exemplary lady

Young SA team strike gold

Birth certificate backs SA gender

Caster Semenya faces sex test before she can claim victory

Semenya left stranded by storm

Semenya dismissive of gender row

Caster Semenya row: 'Who are white people to question the makeup of an African girl? It is racism'

Scant support for sex test on champion athlete

Coach: Gender tests not explained to Semenya

Makeover for SA gender-row runner

From clamour to glamour: Caster Semenya sets the agenda of a real golden girl

World Athletics: Caster Semenya tests 'show high testosterone levels'

Semenya 'almost boycotted medal'

Women's world champion Semenya faces gender test

Semenya told to take gender test

Caster Semenya's present and future

SAfrican in gender flap gets gold for 800 win

Shy country girl poised to win gold in Berlin

IAAF must stop casting doubts on our girl Caster

South Africans unite behind gender row athlete

Caster Semenya, South African runner subjected to gender test, gets tumultuous welcome home


  1. My heart is heavy at the news of Caster Semenya. Is it any wonder that she is depressed and thinking of ending it all, the Olympic authorities as well as the media and let us not forget the Gender politicians and their nonces who speak of her as a transgender without knowing anything of her or of what she is going through, all of the above are criminal in my eyes, they are doing this to Caster.
    It wasn't enough when she said she was a female, it wasn't enough when her parents, friends, teachers and others said that she was a young woman. THe sharks had smelled blood, the blood of Semenya, the blood of being born different and they went straight for the jugular, how very noble of them.

    I am so sick of her treatment at the hands of special interest groups and TG movement in particular who jumped on the occasion of adding her to their nonsense. Caster Semenya is a beautiful young woman and i want her to know i have not doubts of who she is, a woman.

  2. Oh, that article made me cry. I feel so sorry for her. I had hoped she could hold up in spite of what has happened to her, but I know I couldn't. When will people understand that she is a human being with real feelings?

    It's just horrible how the media has handled this story. They should be ashamed of themselves. It should have never even become a story. This is a medical condition and her privacy should have been respected.

    The hatred for her seems to be everywhere. I can't believe all the hatred I'm reading on Youtube in the comments section of her videos. I had no idea someone with an intersex condition could stir up so much hostility. Is it any wonder why I keep my intersex condition a secret?

    People seem to deliberately try to dehumanize her by using the pronoun "it" to describe her. This is all so depressing. The media is no help either, by sensationalizing this, and spreading misinformation about her. I have never once heard her called intersex. Mostly I have heard her called transgender, which of course she is not. TV talk show hosts who should know better make cruel comments and lame jokes about her.

    People need to understand that Intersex is a normal variation in human biology, and more importantly, we are caring, feeling, thinking human beings. We contribute to society. We hurt, we cry, and we love. We exist, and we should have the respect and dignity that all people should receive.