The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life/Chapter XII

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CHAPTER XII.

Is the Uranian a Higher or a Lower Sex and Type in the Scale of Humanity?



A vital Question.

Probably the reader will say, as he reaches this short concluding chapter, that its title presents the most vitally interesting question that can be part of such a study; a query not well left for the last. But not so. The present writer has wished to emphasize certain practicalities of the Intersexual problem and condition, and throughout these pages considerably to subordinate cross-currents of the theoretical; as also to avoid concepts essentially in dispute among psychiaters. If the supremacy of the Uranian—when at his best—were indisputably accepted by science, if in his finest examples he were popularly received in the human scheme as the much-advertised "Overman"—then his complex problem would be solved. But that is not yet the result of arguments. The Intersexual, psychically and psychiatrieally, is a disputed equation. His friends do not too often agree with each other as to his status; even his enemies do not. Sometimes he would be glad to be saved from both.

Two Scientific
Theories.

Beyond doubt, much suggests the high-natured Uranian as representing a noble and gifted species of mankind; in touch with deeper and finer secrets of human—not to say Divine—personality. The enthusiastic theorist who admires certain races eminently similisexual, who recalls the greatest names and noblest figures in the catalogue of homosexual men, is impatient that Uranistic supremacy" in the world be not conceded at once. But cautious psychology wisely keeps the interrogation-point at the end of the tempting question set at the top of this chapter. Most psychiaters will insist on keeping it there; in spite of all the amiable wishes that one could answer the query by a clear and direct affirmative.

Two great camps, so to say, yet exist in the specialists study of similisexualism. One group ( including many strong names in scientific medicine and medical psychiatry) declare that the Uranian is a morbid human product, an aberration, an "abnormal." To hundreds of jurists he is indisputably a criminal; except if insane. Another group, equally dignified and firm, holds to the theory that uranianism is the manifestation of a species of natural intersex; not technically pathological. Such views, as thus outlined, naturally consider the average Uranian, in his intellectual, moral, sexual, psychic and physical attributes, not as to what is generally called vicious, decadent or degenerate, etc. In each faction the arguments are sharp. Needs not to be said, that there are numerous contingents of psychiatric observers, whose judgments halt between the two extremes, exhibiting various differences.

"Who Shall
Decide When
Doctors
Disagree?

"Who shall decide, when doctors disagree?" The question in Shakespeare's familiar phrase is applicable here. The layman is not acccepted as arbiter, nor is often capable thereto. At this stage of our study of Uranianism, and of tracing its psychic cartography, one may do well, either as physician or layman, thoughtfully to hesitate. Far more important than analysis is giving to the unhappy intersexual man or woman the sympathy, protection and freedom that the worthy types of them deserve. The future may be trusted to decide the wrangles of science; let us imitate the Good Samaritan. The most hesitant theorist at least can care for the Intersexual meriting aid on the roadside; can drive away the prowlers that have stripped and beaten him; can bind up his wounds; can help him to continue his life-journey; all this often without stopping to discuss his place in the human or divine scheme—much less in crowning him an exiled King of Men.

The Puzzling
Distinction.

This brief study will-have been written to no sufficient purport, and many far more extensive studies can be read with indifferent results, if the observer does not realize that the ranks of indisputably similisexual mankind (over and above all clearly detractive or doubtful examples) present a great list of what we call superior types, including geniuses; in their moral mental and other dignity. The world owes a vast debt to men who have been homosexual. But in contrast to these, we have an equally indisputable and disconcerting array of similisexual human beings so marked out by weakness, by depravity, by vice and crime, that the aggregate in such a review chills even a discriminating tolerance.

A summary of just this confusion and contrast may be cited here from the psychological romance already referred to in this study several times, on account of its aim at serious suggestiveness—"Imre: A Memorandum": The passage is a part of the narrative of one of the two protagonists (Oswald) in the tale, as to his bewildered reflections on contrasts in uranian types:

"… We walk the world's ways as men. We hew our ways through it as men, with vigour, success, honour .. one master-instinct unsuspected by society for, it may be, our lives long! We plough the globe's roughest seas as men, we rule its States as men, we direct its finance and commerce as men, we forge its steel as men, we grapple with all its sciences as men, we triumph in all its arts as men, we fill its gravest professions as men, we fight in the bravest ranks of its armies or we plan out its fiercest and most triumphant battles as men … in all this, in so much more, we are men! Why, (in a bitter paradox!) one can say that we always have been, we always are, always will be, too much men! So super-male, so utterly unreceptive of what is not manly, so aloof from any feminine essences, that we cannot tolerate woman at all as a sexual factor! Are we not the extreme of the male? its supreme phase, its outermost phalanx?—its climax of the aristocratic, the All-Man? And yet if love is to be only what the narrow, modern, Jewish-Christian ethics of to-day declare it, if what they insist upon be the only natural and pure expression of "the will to possess, the wish to surrender" .. oh, then is the flouting world quite right! For then we are indeed not men! But if not so, what are we? Answer that, who can?"

"The more perplexed I became in all this wretchedness (for it had grown to that by the time I had reached my majority) … the more perplexed I became because so often in books, old ones or new, nay, in the very chronicles of the criminal-courts, I came face to face with the fact that though tens of thousands of men, in all epochs, of noblest natures, of most brilliant minds and gifts, of intensest energies .. scores of pure spirits, deep philosophers, bravest soldiers, highest poets and artists, had been such as myself in this mystic sex-organization (or sex-disorganization) that nevertheless of this same Race, the Race-Homosexual, had been also, and apparently ever would be, countless ignoble, trivial, loathesome, feeble-souled and feeble-bodied creatures!—the weaklings—the very rubbish of humanity! Did not the widest overlook of the record of Uranianism, the average facts about one, suggest that the most part of homosexual mankind had always belonged, always would belong, to the worthless or the wicked?

"Those, those, terrified me, Imre! To think of them shamed me; those types of man-loving-men who, by thousands, live incapable of any noble ideals or lives. Ah, those patently depraved, noxious, flaccid, gross, womanish beings! perverted and imperfect in moral nature and in even their bodily tissues! Those homosexual legions that are the straw-chaff of society; good for nothing except the fire that purges the world of garbage and rubbish! A Heliogabalus, a Gilles de Rais, a Henri Trois, a Marquis de Sade; the painted male-prostitutes of the boulevards and twilight-glooming squares! The effeminate artists, the sugary and fibreless musicians! The Lady-Nancyish, rich young men of higher or lover society; twaddling æsthetic sophistries; stinking with perfume like cocottes! The second-rate poets and the neurasthenic, précieux poetasters who rhyme forth their forged literary passports out of their mere human decadence; out of their marrowless shams of all that is a man's fancy, a man's heart, a man's love-life! The cynical debauchers of little boys; the pederastic perverters of clean-minded lads in their teens; the white-haired satyrs of clubs and latrines!"

"What a contrast are these to the heroes and heroic intellects of Greece and Rome! To a Themistocles, an Agesilaus, an Aristides and a Kleomenes; to Socrates and Plato, and Saint Augustine; to Servetus and Beza; to Alexander, Julius Cæsar, Augustus, and Hadrian; to Sweden's Charles the Twelfth, to Frederick the Great, to indomitable Tilly, to the fiery Skobeleff, the austere Gordon, the ill-starred Macdonald; to great Oriental princes; to the brightest lyrists and dramatists of old Hellas and Italia; to Shakespeare, (to Marlowe also, as we can well believe) Platen, Grillparzer, Hölderlin, Byron, Whitman; to an Isaac Newton, a Justus Liebig—to the masterly Jérôme Duquesnoy, the classic-souled Winckelmann; to Mirabeau, Beethoven, to Bavaria's unhappy King Ludwig;—to an endless procesion of "exceptional men," from epoch to epoch! As to these and innumerable others, whose hidden, and inner lives have proved without shadow of doubt (however rigidly suppressed as 'popular information') or by inferences vivid enough to silence scornful denial, that they belonged to Us."

"That redeeming Rest of us! That Rest, over and over again, typified! Uranians so high-minded, often of such deserved honour from all that world which has either known nothing of their sexual lives, or else has perceived vaguely, and with a tacit, reluctant pardon! Could one really believe in God as making man to live at all,and to love at all, and yet at the same time believe that this love is not created, too, by God? is not of God's own divinest Nature, rightfully, eternally—in milions of hearts?… Could one believe that the eternal human essence is in its texture today so different from itself of immemorial time before now, whether Greek, Latin, Persian, or English? Could one somehow find in his spirit no dread through this, none, at the idea of facing God, as his Judge, at any instant?… could one feel at moments such strength of confidence that what was in him so was righteousness?—oh, could all this be?—and yet must a man shudder before himself as a monster, a solitary and pernicious being—diseased, leprous, gangrened—one that must stagger along on the road of life, ever justly bleeding and ever the more wearied, till Death would meet him, and say "Come—enough! Be free of all! Most and best thing of all, be free of—thyself!"

"Is our Race gold or excrement?—is it rubies or carrion? If that last be true, why then all those other men, the Normalists—aye, our severest judges—those others whether good or bad, whether vessels of honour or dishonour, who are not in their love-instincts as are we—the millions against our tens of thousands, even if some of us are to be respected—why they do right to cast us out of society! for, after all, we must be just a vitiated breed!.. We must perhaps be judged only by our commoner mass."[1]

The Accent of
Aesthetics
Rather Than
of Ethics in
Uranians.

Moreover the student remarks that, admitting all more solidly valuable traits and of Ethics in gifts of the Uranian, he tends to shine brightest most frequently in merely what is æsthetic, ornamental, superficially intellectual; rather than in the deepest mental or highest ethical life. Certainly now and then we find the example that counts for much in ethics. Some Uranians are ethically on a supreme human plane. But intellectually great, superbly gifted, the Uranian tends to be not morally well-poised, not morally aggressive, not altruistic. The Uranian susceptibility in fact seems a part of the unsolveable riddle of the moral value of the Beautiful in our human life; of the eternal duel between our merely human ideals of Beauty and of Good.

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The question of the Uraniad as tending—at her best—to present an advance toward a superior and idealized development of humanity has naturally largely the same aspects, pro and contra, as in the case of. the Uranian. The transference of the problem to the feminine Intersex has however many considerations that cannot find place in the present study.

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The Uranian
Himself, as
Arbiter?

To put our query to some experienced, thoughtful, dispassionate and philosophic Uranian is not to be much enlightened. Such a type is most conservative—often. He too is likely to be gravely asking "—What is my place in the plan of Humanity?" He too reflects; and more than he asserts. Many Uranians of course never think about the matter at all; and those who do think the most are in disaccord. An extravagant confidence of being close in touch with the much-talked of "Overman," "Over-Soul" of human superiority, will be met from one enthusiast; and the humility of doubt, if not sharp deprecation, from some other intersexual equally reflective. So much depends on the personal experiences, on the individual equation—as in almost all of this Life.

The Uranian as
as
a Philosopher
and Christian.

Fortunately, the Uranian does not often claim too proudly to decide his world-riddle; nor to arrogate to the masculine Intersexual, even at its best, more than is prudent; however alluring the arguments. Instead, we find his highest type anxious to make of himself the best being, morally and socially and intellectually, that he can; to live in the world and to pass from it feeling that it has been good for him and the world to be of it. The philosophic (or elementarily Christian) spirit is no uncommon thing in the male Intersex; from Socrates as from Christ, through all the ages. Instances are legion. The hours of suffering and bitterness, of relative solitude, of punishment because of the intersexual nature's Workings—all these should not weaken the Uranian's striving to live as a creation near to a Divine Oversoul. Human intolerance of him when society is plainly unjust, can even make him look forward to death with a calm sense of trust in it, with a philosophic welcome for it; while that mood and attitude need not urge him toward any rash act to end his mortal career. So come to the higher Uranian, and so stays, at least faith in himself and his existence, and a respect for it. Often he can live a troubled life through, and can die, with a conviction that he—or his betters in the same intersexual fellowship—are born and live nearer to the Heart of Existence, are placed for their happiness or unhappiness higher on the mystic ladder of Life, than is even the finest-natured and loftiest-lived Dionian.

Is he right? Is he wrong?

Perhaps He Is
Right—?

Perhaps he is right. Let us not fillip that chance from him, so far as the heterosexual's ironical smiles, scorn, or too impatient arguments, can do so—clear and decisive as may seem the opposition of various systems of logic and inference and analysis that deprecate the philarrene's higher ideas of himself. We know—the wisest, the best of us—too little of man, we guess to cloudily at a God, we are too uncertain of any abstract Right, of any abstract Wrong, of finalities in heights or depths in this life or any other, to determine such a complex and profound human and social problem. In exploring the long chain of creation that stretches out between Perfection and Imperfection, let us he willing to leave as superfluous our certitude of the relationships of the Uranian as to what is ultimate in the vast scheme of cosmic organization. Instead, let us make it our practical business, as individuals and fellow-mortals, whether Uranians ourselves or not, to climb higher with all our best wills and works—and everywhere and eternally to help human nature to climb.


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  1. cf: "Imre: a Memorandum: by Xavier Mayne.