Dr. Tiger Devore on AIC’s Landmark Lawsuit

Dr Tiger Devore is a well known psychologist, sex therapist, activist and educator with over 30 years of experience in advocacy for people who are sexually different from the mainstream. Dr. Devore has worked in sex research clinics at both the Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical School and the Human Sexuality Program at UCLA, wrote a sex education program that was adopted by counseling center and health center staffs at the university and college level nationally, worked for NIH as a crisis counselor at their AIDS treatment and evaluation center at UCLA, even worked with incarcerated sex offenders and been an expert witness in court.

 He has also been sought out by all forms of media as an expert and has appeared on the Today Show, Oprah, Dr OZ, Montel, Sally, Leeza and in documentaries for Discovery Channel, PBS, National Geographic television, New Zealand State television, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and BBC. Some of these documentaries have been shown in film festivals around the world, one of them, XXXY, winning the highest awards. Dr. Devore is also featured in the acclaimed film Intersexions, which screened at Frameline in San Francisco on June 22nd.  You can contact Dr. Devore here.

 

Dr. Tiger Devore

I had already had several surgeries, most of them failures, by the time I was 13 years old.   A famous and highly regarded urologist was going to do a simple, one day in the hospital surgery,  a stretching of the urethra to widen it to improve urinary flow.  I came out of that surgery with a full reconstruction.  I had to miss two months of seventh grade having not planned for that kind of recovery period.   My family wanted to sue the doctor.   I learned several important lessons:  the release for surgery includes not just permission for the planned procedure, but also allows discretion of the surgeon to do more if he deemed it “necessary.”  My family thought the doctor should have at least come out of surgery and asked permission to do a full reconstruction, which he would not have received.  The attorney back then told us that there was no standard of care for these rare and unusual surgeries, these procedures were considered “experimental” and that we would lose in court.

Now having had over 20 surgeries and four full reconstructions I remain very angry, because the fact remains that I never needed any surgeries at all.  Certainly I didn’t sign on to be dependent on them for the rest of my life,  as previous procedures break down over time and require further repair.  I resent that I was experimented on for most of my childhood,  and now I have to pay in pain and suffering for the profession “practicing” on me and many others like me who are near my age.  The surgeons gained skills and likely ‘acclaim’ at my expense,  and when I see a doctor now for the help they made me need, they all shake their heads and say they can’t do much for me, adding  “well what do you expect after so many surgeries?”

I am tired of the perpetration of great harms against infants and babies with perfectly healthy genitals that happen to look different from what the doctors think is standard.  Intersex genitalia are not unhealthy, they just look different than some ideal of male or female genitalia.  The experiment to reshape intersex genitals early in a child’s life has failed.   People should have the right to determine if they want reshaped genitals or not, when they are old enough to decide for themselves.   That’s informed consent; when the person them self has the information necessary to decide if they want a treatment of any kind, or not.  My genitals are mine, they are on my body, no one else should ever have had the right to decide if I needed cosmetic surgery.   Unfortunately for me and far too many others, some doctors convinced my parents that making my genitals “normal” would be easy to do, and done before I would ever know about it.  That lie has cost me dearly for my entire life, and I have worked hard to see this mistake end within my lifetime.

That is why I have continued to support AIC over the years, and enthusiastically made a substantial donation specifically in support of winning justice for M.C. and other kids like him.  Please donate to AIC to help my lifelong dream, and sadly,  the future dream of too many unborn others,  come true.   Together, we can stop these doctors from doing these unnecessary surgeries now.