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Vol. 12, No. 2, 2013
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are you a closet

Terra Bosart


Terra 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

In 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 form.

Hierarchy 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.

In 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.

Something 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 hermaphroditic being.

Besides 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:

Jesus said to them, When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside, and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the female one and the same, so that the male be not male, nor the female . . . then you will enter (the kingdom).

The “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.

Naturally 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?

The 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.

Though 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.

As 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.

In 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 convenience.

The 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.

Nowhere 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.

In 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.

I’ve 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.

We 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 rights issues.


For 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.

The 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.

Inhibiting 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.

The 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.

The 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.

A transhuman 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.


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