Emi’s discussion of intersex bodies was really fascinating and valuable, I thought, especially the discussion of intersex vs. DSD classification. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend her intersex lecture, however I did make it to the one on transnational and transracial adoption, and I thought that was really interesting. I had never really problematized the act of adopting across different lines, and I always used to assume that all adoption is positive because it gives someone “a better home.” Even seemingly superficial adoptions like those done by the Hollywood elite of late seemed, to me, to at least be promoting some sort of global community, even if it is through a racist or objectifying means.
Some of my parents’ best friends, though, have twice adopted transracially, the potentially hazardous situation of identification has never occurred to me, and, as with the information I did hear about intersex people, the problem occurs with the parents as well as with the children. Neither really knows how to define the child’s identity in our culture of binaries and absolutes, and both sides have trouble dealing.
My immediate reaction is that race/nationality shouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with one’s identity, and identity is self-constructed based on one’s personal history, but of course this is kind of naïve. People are treated a certain way based on the normative identities societally ascribed to them, and Emi helped bring some facets of this to my attention.