California bill would ban early surgery to ‘fix’ intersex children

SACRAMENTO — David Cameron Strachan never knew he had an extra female X chromosome until a doctor told him at age 29.

He did realize there was something different about him. His smooth, hairless body didn’t fit binary notions of gender. He had small breasts and tiny testicles.

Strachan’s doctors persuaded him to have testosterone injections, and his body began to change into what he calls his “ape suit.” He refused their recommendations for breast reduction surgery and testicular implants, but the hormones alone caused a transformation he found jarring.

Now 72 and a longtime advocate for others who are intersex — people whose sex anatomy doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male — Strachan backs a bill by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco that would make California the first state to outlaw operations on young children to “normalize” their genitalia.

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