If I’m at all like a flower

If I’m at all like a flower

If I’m at all like a flower

Mari Wrobi

My body is intersex.

And no, that does not mean that my body is broken, abnormal or diseased.

Still the context of my body has been defined and rewritten in and out of existence so many times that I don’t know what it is or where I stand.

They compare me to flowers, as if our reproductive systems and parts are the same, only what’s in a name? If I’m at all like flowers, it’s only in what I—to get here—overcame.

But how does one heal in a body that was surgically constructed to conform to pain?

They whisper words about “your future husband” because the theoretical pleasure and existence of a man—your groom—and of your own heterosexuality and submission is somehow more important than letting you bloom.

The word “necessary” has all but lost its meaning, ringing through my ears—used in a way that implies that the procedures and medications and treatments are unavoidable when my body was unbroken from the start.


Like the mirror that reflects there are no horns on my head or targets on my back.

Like the picture-perfect definition of diversity that accepts red hair and green eyes as natural, beautiful, true—but not you who shares the same percentage—2%—of the population too.

And for all its late-night, prime-time recognition, the word “intersex” evokes the same amount of concern and confusion as a highway travelled upon so seldom that no one seems to understand it at all… Only those who do travel upon it write into their science books that hermaphrodites are small, biological mistakes too rare to even bother discussing in much more than hushed voices and disgusted tones as if my body was nothing more than a biological exception from its conception in their laboratories where I don’t belong.

But my body is whole.



My body planted a garden inside me that reminds me that we are not as binary as they made us out to be. That if I’m at all like a flower—by any other name—it’s in the fact that my body and my mind are vibrant, and thriving, and alive with the same refusal to be subjugated as dandelions growing through the cracks of concrete that say, “you will not stop me from growing”.

So don’t confuse me for someone on the outside looking in, at the categories I have defied, wishing to be defined by just another check mark in a box.

My body is intersex.

And my lips know it.

So, read them when I say:

You can never hope to contain me.

You cannot change me.

And you do not know me better than I know myself.

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