Tales of intersex people

Wilson Muringi is an intersex person from Vihiga. He / she was speaking at the celebration of Intersex Day on October 26, 2021.

Wilson Muringi was born Millicent Kasoya.

The name change wasn’t because he didn’t like it, but because he identified as intersex.

He / she was born in Vihiga County in a family of eleven people and he / she has a twin sister.

All of his siblings are normal and only he is intersex

Muringi, now 32, grew up identified as a girl by society.

He / she was admitted to a primary girls’ boarding school after the environment at home and the village became hostile.

Despite the discrimination she faced, Muringi passed her exam, and in 2006 she joined Goibei Girls’ High School in Vihiga.

Muringi’s sexuality was not a problem for the other students as he / she kept it a secret until the teens came in.

“I joined high school and everything was fine as I had not reached the teenage stage and my appearance was just that of a normal girl. I was forced to bathe late at night because I was afraid my genitals would be seen by my classmates, “Muringi says.

Her secret was revealed when she decided to join the soccer team.

Her prowess in the game made everyone wonder if she really was a girl.

“I had to confide in a teammate of mine. I thought she would help but she ran to our classmates and told them about my sexuality. Eventually my teachers found out,” Muringi said.

At this point, Muringi was flagged as a threat to the other girls, and the teachers asked his classmates to avoid him altogether.

His face had changed, he was trying to keep his chin clean, to avoid unnecessary attention.

An intersex person is a person born with sexual characteristics that include genitals, gonads, and chromosome patterns that do not correspond to binary notions typical of the male or female body.

In Muringi’s case, speaking her voice to her would lead to the conclusion that she is a woman. He / she has hips and a small waist.

After the high school found out that she was intersex, the teachers asked her to sleep alone in a cube away from the girls.

Once a teacher, while teaching a religion lesson, told his classmates that intersex was a curse.

“Things have gotten difficult for me ever since, I have been profiled, mocked and mocked by both the teacher and the students,” Muringi said. “I felt the stigma.

One day in 2008, when she was in third grade, the school administration called Muringi’s mother and told her that she would not be allowed to stay in school.

That day, he was in class when a prefect came to call him.

“I was told that I was no longer wanted in school and they clarified that it was because I was a boy in a girls’ school,” Muringi said.

Muringi sobbed as she parked her things and took a long walk with her mother among hundreds of students looking out the windows.

“It was heartbreaking, I remember crying walking with my bag to the door, the people I had lived with for three years had become enemies in a very short time because I was different in terms of sexuality, ”Muringi said.

This would mark the end of studies for Muringi who wanted to be a lawyer after completing his studies.

Two years after being kicked out of school he changed his name as the appearance of his face showed he was a man and people laughed at her when he told them his name was Millicent.

“I ended up taking the name Wilson Muringi, by the blessing of my mother who always supported me, my siblings started calling me by my new name,” Muringi said.

Muringi said the first person to accept that she was intersex was mother, Philis Nasimiyu, who even when faced with the dilemma of whether her baby was male or female, she continued to love her.

“Honestly people ask me if I have both organs, it bothered me initially, but now I have accepted who I am because I have no control over nature,” Muringi said.

Muringi jokes that he has a girlfriend and a boyfriend stating that he has the same feelings as a normal person and wants to get married and start a family.

The reality among many intersex people is finding a job because people see them as frauds because their names don’t match their looks.

“I once wanted to go to Saudi Arabia for a job but at the airport there was a problem with my name on my certificates and my appearances, my name suggested that I am a girl yet on the surface I am a boy, ”Muringi said.

Jane Anyoso, 32, is also an intersex person from Emuhaya to Vihiga. He / she lived with the stigma and had to drop out of school after the pressure and teasing became too much for him / her to handle.

Anyoso grew up as a boy but around puberty his female organs became dominant.

“In Kenya living as an intersex person is a big challenge because you face stigma in the community as a lot of people don’t understand who we are,” Anyoso said.

He / she has visible breasts and both male and female genitals, although he / she feels very much like a woman.

She was even married once, but the husband left her after people started to laugh at him for marrying a man.

Parents in Kenya often rush to have their children operated on at a young age to avoid ridicule, but Muringi and Anyoso advise against the same.

Muringi and Anyoso were among the intersex people who marked this year’s day to commemorate their “third sex” on Tuesday in Vihiga County.

The Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNCHR) had organized the event which 30 intersex people from Vihiga attended.

Those who attended the function appealed to the government for help in recognizing intersex as a third gender.

KNCHR’s deputy coordinator for the Western region, Beryl Orao, said she wanted Kenyans to end discrimination against intersex people.

“We need to educate members of the public and even the government about intersex people and how to stand up for their rights,” Orao said.

She noted the two incidents of Muringi and Anyoso who are among the thousands of intersex children who are suffering at school.

The human rights body is pushing for the implementation of a report that recommends amending the Registration of Persons Act, Chapter 107, to include intersex in the definition of sex.

About Roberto Frank

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