GIRL COMET MAY 2013 - SEPT 2021
Girl Comet May 2013 - September 2021
Girl Comet was an 'I understand' emotional support project for people born with differences of sex development and their families. We had a special focus on the Latin community. GC was born in the heart of Artist and former Fashion Designer Dalea in 2013, driven by her personal experiences growing up in a difficult environment and born with health complications due to androgen insensitivity.
Why Do Differences Of Sex Development Occur?
No one really knows why DSDs in babies occur (DSD = Differences of sex development), in her specific case, in the past there had been an inclination to link it to the medication Dyethilstilbestrol, which her mother took due to previous miscarriages. This drug was discontinued once it was found to have health harming side effects in babies and mothers. Unfortunately once exposure happened, it stays in the body. Dalea's mom passed away from cancer of the stomach, some doctors attribute it to her intake of the medication.
In 2018, Dalea's 74 year old aunt shared with her that she was also born with a DSD. Very surprising that she waited so long to do this, when it would have been so helpful back when Dalea was a teen. Through Dalea's work with GC she met families with siblings or extended family born with various forms of DSDs, so without being a medical doctor, it is more than logical to deduce that it is something that can run in families.
Girl Comet and Dalea are not MD's or Geneticists, if you want to learn more about this topic, it's mechanisms or which gene mutation(s) are involved in the many DSDs (also known as intersex) Variations that exist, consult an MD Specialist. Dalea once quoted a doctor’s explanation for her condition without confirming, and it turned out to be the wrong gene. Do not assume a general doctor has fail proof knowledge in this area, unless they state that they posses a medical specialty.
Aspiring to be of service as moral support to those with DSDs and their families while also keeping some private things private to the general public was not easy. In the beginning, before Girl Comet (14+ years ago) being young and naive she begun speaking about her case openly. Back then she even attempted to self publish a book, one that she took out of the market as it came out because it was not done right. Her inexperience as writer combined with editors twists and marketing edits turned it and her in to a circus meant to generate book sales, rather than to reflect her life; she felt it was garbage, so to the garbage it went.
Over time and negative experiences with morbid, intrusive minds and questions which triggered her trauma, Dalea began to shift focus on uplifting people rather than on detailing specifics about her body or sharing details of the medication suspected to be part of the mix in her case. She also stopped sharing harsh portions of her childhood, including her mother's mental health, which was a critical part of her struggles. There was (and still is) much trauma and shame. For Dalea (and in Latin cultures) respect for parents is very important, children do not speak ill of their parents. “Honor thy father and mother, so that it may go well with thee and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6.
What can be said, is that her mother suffered from a mental situation that was further triggered by stress, the stress of having a child young and alone and her daughter being born with a DSD was too much. Archaic, provincial medical advise did not help, it further snowballed her mom's emotions and shame. It all led to neglect and periods of abandonment of her child, also deciding what gender she wanted Leah to exist as. There were challenging periods of Dalea's childhood when she had to live as the opposite sex when under her mom's care or entrusted to the care of others who had no say or power in the matter.
Dalea is grateful to her grandmother, as she was able to go live normally when taken back in to her care and housing. Her grandmother was of humble beginnings and lacked resources, but she loved Dalea deeply. It was her grandmother who taught her to have Faith, to believe in God and in the energy in everything. Dalea always emphasizes that she loves her mother very much (RIP), she understands her mom's own struggles.
It is easy for some to judge and even hate those who are different, but not so easy to place yourself in their shoes. The psychological shock-waves of living through and surviving things like this can't be quantified. Yet, not understanding does not grant or excuse cruelty, hate or mistreatment. Unfortunately, this is what happens much too often, this is what she and others like her must learn to raise above.
Dalea lived at four different family members homes growing up, interchangeably. Health challenges, a non present dad, the lack of protection of a mother, ignorance and lack of dignity, it's unsurprising that her self esteem growing up was non existent. Some terrible things happened to her, things she endured in silence. She almost ended her own life at 14.
A couple glimpses: Having a mother who was a nurse, there is no excuse -other than neglect- for Dalea to have contracted Rheumatic Fever as a little girl, simply because she did not have a permanent guardian or supervision to notice she had been coughing, feverish and weak for more than a year. She was finally taken to the hospital, once she became delirious with fever and her grandmother could not control it with her home remedies. She spent weeks in convalescence with daily Penicillin injections. Dalea survived, but heart scarring is one of the sequels of surviving RF. She was close to losing her life at 12, it could have been easily prevented with penicillin.
When she was hospitalized to have corrective surgery, on the afternoon before intervention there was a conversation between her bio father and her doctors -all male-, discussing that her (normal ) 34B breasts were too small (for their standards of beauty) and "since she will be already under anesthesia" why not put implants? She listened to them discuss her as if she were not in the room, as if they were about to fix a broken car. And so they did it, adding a new layer of trauma to her life. It took years for Dalea to finally find a doctor who assured her that it was possible to remove the implants without having to reconstruct her breasts. And what do you know? It was a woman. Dalea experienced a little miracle, over a few months post surgery, she saw her body recover to what it was before, this is very uncommon. She thanks God and Dr Chong.
There is PTSD and sadness which Dalea chooses not to spend her life focusing on, never mind go out and actively re-live her past experiences again and again by sharing everything with the world. Her struggles are no one's business but Dalea and her family's.
One thing is worth pondering about, why does it seem to be those who have been hurt and broken, the ones who display the most compassion and empathy for those hurting? The ones who feel the need to help others heal?.
Dalea learned from her experiences before Girl Comet that even though she is now healthy, detailing her in utero and congenital DSD complications would always turn her in to a show or a fetish. She had experienced how her entire existence begun to be reduced to that alone, she did not want her new efforts with Girl Comet to be a continuation of that, she wanted to use her focus to help uplift minds and do her part in persuading youth born with DSD's from having harsh thoughts or thoughts of self harm when faced with a DSD or hardship. She did share her medical journey and childhood -privately- over the years, especially when the person's situation merited, as a way of saying, I can understand what you may be feeling.
Being a Latina minority, there are enough difficult mountains to climb already, no need to also make the depth of her despair and struggles a centerpiece of her life. So she streamlined her message.
Girl Comet was a way to be first shoulder to someone, it was dedicated to uplift, it was never intended for the entertainment of people without any connection to DSD's. It was not intended to be included in gender discussions, or to be a morbid pass time for idle minds. GC was meant as a ray of light and faith served in a non-judgmental, non-extreme environment. This is why she was never a YouTuber with Girl Comet (YouTuber = Someone who profits or monetizes from their channel ) and also why she never charged anything at all for lending moral support to families or those in distress in the too many hours to count phone calls that she did throughout the years. Although she herself, did have to pay emotionally after each phone call. Indeed, people who monetize or exploit the pain of others are evil.
After 8 long years, on September 2021 it was announced that Dalea was retiring Girl Comet and closing it's doors.
She wants to focus on her personal life, family, career and to continue healing her life. It is in her nature to want to be of service and aspire for her life to count beyond herself, so she will focus on doing charity projects and started by launching a YouTube Series titled 'The Treasury of Life', which consists of writings and fables meant to inspire and invite reflection. She suggests donations to either one of these charities: C.A.S.A. LA, for Children in the dependency system or DSDFamilies.Org, a support organization for children, teens and families affected by DSDs. The Treasury of Life premiered February 2022.
Dalea believes that purpose in life is the antidote to sadness, bitterness and anger.
Final Message From Dalea:
If you have a child born with a DSD:
Please do not think that you are guilty somehow, for your child's health challenges. Or worse, think that God is punishing you for something you may have done -as many parents believe in some underdeveloped communities and countries-. Seeking fault yields nothing positive or good for you or your beautiful baby. Remember, an intersex child is part of the natural diversity of life, not a tragedy.
We are all children of God and deserve love and dignity. We all deserve equal opportunity for success and the glory of attaining noble goals pursued with our own efforts. We all deserve equal rights to walk this earth and to create happiness.
No one is above another simply by virtue of the way they were born or their ability to procreate. Just as there should not be levels of superiority implied simply by virtue of which shade of skin color we were born with or whom anyone loves... no one is superior to another based on the details of their birth, ethnicity or anything that is unrelated to character.
If your child was born with a variation of sex development (or anything out of the ordinary), please focus on loving and helping your baby optimize their health, not on 'Fixing' them with unnecessary surgeries or placing them in roles that they may not be suited or born for.
With your love and protection, your baby will grow up with healthy self esteem which is critical to have in order for them to find the right path in life. Confidence, love, joy and fulfillment in life can only be attained if we believe that we deserve it. As the wise Frederick Douglass said: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
If you were born with a DSD or are in any way different than average people:
Please do not let shame or imaginary corrupted scenarios in your mind make you believe that you are a second class citizen of the world, as I mistakenly did it for so long. Please don't wait to start falling in love with yourself unconditionally, it is the key to everything. I promise I am working hard to let go and do the same.
Being born different does not mean being born broken, we deserve equal dignity and opportunities just as every other single human being walking this earth. Please know, when we overcome and conquer our challenges without rancor, it is impossible for our soul not to be transformed for the better in many ways. The best parts of me exist only because of what I overcame; have faith that the same is true for you.
I am cheering for you.
If you need help, visit the wonderful people at the not for profit DSD Families Org: https://dsdfamilies.org they have a terrific, fair and balanced team, ready to support and guide you.
There are also many various other entities around the world that support those born with DSD's or also known as 'Intersex.'
A simple internet search will yield many results. Explore whichever entity's philosophy makes you feel most comfortable.
GRAPSIA, Asociación Española de Apoyo a favor de las personas afectadas por Variaciones De Desarroyo Sexual.
+34 653 57 78 17
+34 960 08 88 12
GRAPSIA Pagina Web: https://grapsia.org/que-es-grapsia/
Specific to USA, if you were born Intersex AKA born with Differences Of Sex Development, you can visit InterConnect: https://interconnect.support/
They are inclusive and ready to support and guide you.
They even have annual conferences around USA where you can meet other Intersex people.
If you are having an emotional crisis and are having difficulties coping, please know there is love in this world and people who care, emotional support is available to you for free!
A Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across the United States.
In English: 1 (800) 273-8255
En Español: 1 (888) 628-9454
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Website: Lifeline Network
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ young people.
They are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are not alone, reach out!
Link to speak on the phone, text or chat: CONTACT TREVOR PROJECT
Trevor Project Website: Trevor Project
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