While there are people out there who are shouting that biological sex is a binary (female/male), medically and scientifically speaking, it’s not true. Throughout all of history, intersex people have existed—and they always will.
In one of the more interesting—and famous—examples of this, the skeletal remains of the renowned Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski have been identified as intersex.
If you don’t know who Casimir Pulaski is, he was a Revolutionary War hero who gained fame when he saved George Washington’s life and became a general in the Continental Army.
While Casimir died in 1779, his skeletal remains were analyzed a few years ago by forensic scientists and determined to be “female”. At first, the researchers though this couldn’t be possible, but DNA tested from a material relative positively ID’d the skeletal remains as belonging to Pulaski.
As more specialists joined the investigation—including a medical examiner, a genealogist, forensic anthropologist, historian, and others—it became clear that Pulaski was intersex.
While Pulaski’s skeletal remains were biologically female, the general also had traits that caused him to live as male during his lifetime, including a little bit of facial hair, male pattern baldness, and some being baptized as male—so he had genitals that at least somewhat resembled male genitalia.
Given the evidence, it appears likely that he had an intersex condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, also called CAH.
@cadehildreth Did you know the Revolutionary War Hero, Casimir Pulaski, was #intersex? ♬ original sound – Cade Hildreth (they/them)
To sum it up, the outcome of the Revolutionary War – and the life George Washington himself, depended on the contributions of an intersex general.
While intersex and trans have not been well represented in the history of the United States, they always have and always will exist.
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