Bosart, who identifies as dual-gendered, is a writer and illustrator,
with an interest in philosophy and the occult. Examples of Terra’s
writing and illustrations can be found at 5thaeon.com.
the scientific field of biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism
that has the reproductive qualities associated with both the
male and female sexes. This is, under so called normal circumstances,
associated with certain invertebrate taxonomies of life. Which,
in conventional terms, is often associated with a lower life
is a human construct which we hold onto, it seems, simply because
it the most convenient way to classify the world around us.
It’s a notation of discernment between aspects of a type
of binary existence. Such discernment, over time, results in
various forms of outright bigotry where education might be lacking.
a recent Terasem Foundation survey of Transhumanism, it was
found that given a choice, 12.5 percent of participants would
choose their next body to be hermaphroditic. Due to the controversial
nature of the question, I would suspect that the number is actually
a significant percentage higher, but more than 1 out of 10 is
noteworthy and worth some serious consideration. At the very
least, I suspect the number would be higher if the subject were
explored in greater detail, and the hypothetical process of
achieving such a goal were available.
that is so distant to conventional notions of cultural acceptability,
that it is questioned, should not be the basis of ultimately
subjective notions of acceptability. However, nature and mythology
show us that this is an acceptable and even occasionally glorified
state of being. In terms of historical storytelling, the hermaphrodite
holds a very respected position in many traditions. In Greek
mythology, where the term hermaphrodite gains its notoriety,
the male child of Hermes and Aphrodite fused his physical properties
with a nymph, becoming a being composed of the physical traits
usually assigned or prescribed to the two sexes. While there
are differentiations in the tale, which say that Hermaphroditus
was simply born as a balance between the sexes, the end is the
Greek mythology, similar tales of resolving duality in sexes
can be found in ancient Egypt and even in the Bible: Jesus Christ
had a few things to say about male and female becoming one being
in the gospel of Thomas:
“outside like the inside” portion is spoken of,
in modern terms, of people in transgendered circles. The need
to balance the inner notions of self, with the outer appearance
of self, is a theme often associated with modern transgendered
therapy. On a personal note, the need to forge a balance between
genders can be preferable to migrating into the opposite category.
The idea being that a balance between sexes might be a preferable
state of existence.
occurring hermaphroditic qualities in humans are now referred
to as being ‘intersexed’, to alleviate and avoid
the negative impact of those who would use the former term as
a slur, while giving a voice and community to the ‘intersexed’
population. The term hermaphrodite as a descriptor of intersexed
characteristics, has become a relic from a less-caring age.
Though the concept is the same, across many mythologies, the
questions remains: Is it possible for a functional variation
of humans that will blur the lines between gender? If it is
possible, do we have an obligation to make it reality for those
inclined to make such a personal change?
stories we gravitate toward in our formative years can have
a significant influence upon our personal sense of identity.
In American culture we are saturated in these stories as we
near daily submit ourselves to the media content of other interpretations
of classic tales. These stories make up parts of our programming
and influence our thoughts and decisions. Over time, as we learn
to explore the content of our brains, we can discover that our
sense of self doesn’t always match our exterior body.
ancient story tellings hold the intersexed in a higher standing
as an ideal of many possibilities, and classifications of biological
science tend to hold it in lower evolutionary standing or a
hormonal defect, I would say simply that it appears to be on
the horizon as an evolutionary possibility. Whether gradual
change will allow for three genders to exist side by side, or
that the two gender system will eventually be considered obsolete,
depends upon far too many unknowns. In the spirit of speculation,
it might behoove us to consider the implications of such a change.
our processing technology increases, we are beginning to see
a fusion of usually separated systems. The world forum of the
Internet has become the ultimate melting pot of human ideas
and experience. Every aspect of social, cultural and creative
pursuit is available for perusal. This information sharing powerhouse
which we use daily is based upon the ones and zeroes of absolute
dualism, either on or off.
the emerging field of quantum computing, however, certain parts
can be on and off at the same time. Being influenced by the
tools we use, in subtle ways, can change the conditions of our
lives. If our computers can use ones and zeroes interchangeably,
the excuse of thinking in absolutes becomes a dangerously obsolete
domestic issues of our times have also gone through a metamorphosis,
as we begin to recognize and slowly reject the dualities in
our lives, through increasing awareness of the illusion of false
choices. Dissatisfaction with a two party political system,
the Coke and Pepsi battles, you can have either this or that.
Without third options, the foreign and domestic issues of our
times risk becoming more vulnerable to polarization.
has this been more prevalent than with the first division, of
the sexes. What was once a discussion of Mars versus Venus,
has come to focus on the in-between of Earth.
my own life, I’ve felt the pull from the extremities of
the gender issues over my few decades of existence. I can attest
to my own desire to cease being pulled in one direction or the
other, by individual people or societal notions of acceptability,
that I might simply exist in between the polarizing forces of
gender. The dualities of the human condition can breed their
own forms of dogmatic behaviour, further compartmentalizing
individuals into one of two boxes, for the convenience of those
with less vision.
long felt that if one must be identified by a category, there
should be more than two options available, to mitigate the tendency
toward polarized thinking. There is more diversity on the planet
now than before, so it comes down to personal identifications,
and asking oneself the hard questions; finding one’s way
has never before been so complex and challenging.
look to our symbols to point toward a middle grounds, the between
of extremes. Symbolic art, for example, can make an intersexed
population seem like an eventual likelihood, but symbolism alone
can’t alter attitude or behaviour. It long and winding
road had to be traversed before the sitting vice-president -
Joe Biden - was ever heard to say that being transgendered was,
“the civil rights issue of our time” in November
of 2012. It’s not too far of a stretch to suggest that
transhuman hermaphroditism may be the next of several civil
IT MIGHT WORK
the sake of example, I refer to the Terasem Foundations’
theoretical approach of transferring consciousness into a prepared
‘empty’ body, as was the case in the 2009 film Surrogates.
best method would be growing a body from scratch, using the
patient’s own stem cells as a base, instructing the growth
and division of the undifferentiated cells from the very beginning.
the brains function and the development of a conscious thinking
mind via chemical brain preservation, the brains physical development
could keep pace with the growth of the body while no conscious
knowledge of self would be mentally born. All perceptual stimuli
would have to be effectively muted in the new growing body,
leaving an empty brain for the consciousness of a person to
move into. To be ethical in this process, no other biological
option would be acceptable. This process could be reminiscent
of the scene in the movie, The Fifth Element, when
Milla Jovovitch’s character is first introduced.
hormone balance for maintaining the functionality of both pairs
of reproductive organs might be tricky. Humans already have
both hormones in various levels, maintaining an approximate
equilibrium under normal circumstances, causing a person to
appear more male or female and allowing the respective sexes
their native characteristics.
hormone levels should be allowed to increase and decrease, exchanging
percentages to allow for alternating the functioning genitalia
at timed intervals, resulting in a hormone induced perpetual
androgyny. The end result would describe an intersexed body
comprised of two sets of separate, fully functioning genitalia
with both male and female reproductive capacities.
simultaneous hermaphrodite is only one potential betterment
to consider. Timothy Leary famously said that we should “find
the others,” and in Transhumanism we have found the others
who wish to augment the human condition, a melting pot of the
imagined, where we have found room for our diversities.