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Mark Tobey (1890-1976),

famous artist, dedicated and devout Baha'i, was gay. His life and work were commemorated.. More

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Treatment of an Intersex Person

I could never have imagined a website like this!
Congratulations.
I was born as a male child in Melbourne. From
the age of four I wanted to dress as a girl and was happiest playing
with girls. As I grew older the conflict in my perceived sex and my
legal sex was to lead to decades of confusion and emotional pain.
During the years 1956 to 1961 I lived in Israel.
In March 1957 I visited the Shrine of the Bab. A Persian gentleman
met me in the gardens and showed me into the Innermost Shrine of the
Bab. There I experienced something I cannot describe other than I had
found something that was to be important to me. The gentleman was
Lotfullah Hakim who had been with Abdu’l-Baha on his European
journeys. This is going back a long way isn’t it? Indeed, I met two
who had been in the presence of Baha’u’llah Himself.
Eventually I made my Declaration in London in
March 1961 and pioneered several new Assemblies in the UK. In 1963 I
attended the First International Baha’i Convention in London. I
took the opportunity to introduce myself to Lotfullah Hakim who not
only remembered me, five years later, but informed me “You were
expected.”
I became a Registered Nurse while in England and
married. My wife was a beautiful lady from India, Also a Registered
Nurse. We sought permission to marry from the London LSA. Wow!
I could supply all the ID they demanded, but as
for my wife-to-be it was impossible and very upsetting emotionally.
We made every effort to find her birth info in India, but
unsuccessfully. Her mother had been unwed and my wife-to-be was
raised in an orphanage. Later she gained admission into an Anglican
school where became school Captain and captain of the netball team.
When she decided to train as a nurse, the school
Principal managed to have a fake birth certificate issued to her.
Eventually, years later when in India I did find a record of her
birth and parents. Anyway, I was rather annoyed that the LSA was
imposing Baha’i requirements upon my non-Baha’i wife, so we went
ahead and had a civil wedding. The outcome was the removal of my
voting rights, which, to Baha’is, was much as if one was a Covenant
Breaker.
After the election of the first UHJ in 1963 I
appealed the ‘sentence’ handed down by the British NSA. The UHJ
instructed the NSA to restore my voting rights. We return to OZ in
1971.
We had two beautiful children and have four
grandchildren.
My wife accepted my conflict as to whether I was
a male or a female. When the children were independent I sought
medical advice and, after many tests and assessments I was diagnosed
with an Intersex condition – a congenital sex identity disorder –
probably due to ovarian tissue on my kidneys. I went ahead with the
medical and surgical sex change procedures and become emotionally,
physically and legally a female.
I was kicked out of the Faith. Not the NSA or
the UHJ would respond to my emails enquiring about my status. 
It is years since I have had any info. About the
Faith which seems to have gone beneath the radar. It does seem to
have acquired the characteristics of a fanatical sect. 
Gayle, Perth, WA

 

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