MAY 2013 - SEPT 2021
Girl Comet May 2013 - September 2021
Girl Comet was born in the heart of Artist and Fashion Designer Dalea in 2013, driven by her personal experiences being born with health complications related to androgen insensitivity and growing up in a challenging environment. Girl Comet was an 'I understand, here is my shoulder' project, specifically for people born with differences of sex development (aka Intersex) and their families. It had a special focus on the sensitivities of the Latin community, as Dalea is Hispanic.
Why Do Differences Of Sex Development Occur?
No one really knows for sure why DSDs in births occur (DSD = Differences of sex development) or why it seems to run in families. In her specific case, in the past there was speculation to link it to the medication Dyethilstilbestrol, which her mother was exposed to due to previous miscarriages. This drug was discontinued once it was found to have negative side effects in babies and mothers. Dalea's mom passed away from cancer of the stomach, some doctors attribute it to her intake of the medication as exposure tend to stay in the body.
In 2018, an elder aunt shared with Dalea that she was born with a DSD. It was surprising that she waited so long to speak out; it would have been so helpful back when Dalea was a teen.
Through Dalea's work with GC she also met families with siblings or extended family members 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 variations of of DSD cases that exist, consult a specialist. Dalea once quoted a doctor’s gene 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, go to doctors who posses a medical specialty.
Aspiring to use her struggle to offer moral support to women with DSDs while also striving to keep some semblance of privacy from the general public was not easy. In the beginning, before Girl Comet (14+ years ago) she was young and naive, she begun speaking about her life 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 did not end up the way she intended. Her utter inexperience as writer combined with low-end editors and subsequent re-edits turned it -and her- in to a circus meant to generate book sales, rather than to reflect her life. In the end, she felt it was garbage, so to the garbage it went shortly upon release and taken out of the marked; to someday -perhaps- write it properly.
Over time she experienced various interviews plagued with intrusive and tactless questions about her body which she was not mentally mature to handle. Dalea began to shift focus on uplifting people rather than on detailing specifics about her body. She also stopped sharing harsh portions of her childhood, including her mother's emotional health, which was a critical part of Dalea's struggles; there was (and still is) much trauma to digest. For Dalea -and very common in Latin cultures- respect for parents is critical, children do not speak ill of their parents.
What can be said, is that her mother suffered from emotional health challenges that were triggered by stress. The stress of having the father of her child leave, being too young to be a mother and having a child perceived as broken from the get-go by doctors was too much. Archaic, provincial medical information, terms and stone-age advise did not help, it only snowballed her mom's negative emotions towards her daughter. It all led to neglect and periods of abandonment. Misinformation led her to want to decide what gender she felt Leah should exist as. There were challenging periods of Dalea's childhood when she had to live in drag as the opposite sex when under her mom's care or while entrusted to the care of others who had zero say or power in the matter.
Dalea is grateful to her grandmother, as she was always allowed to live normally when taken into her care and housing. Her grandmother was a seamstress/designer of humble beginnings, she lacked many resources, but she loved and cared for Dalea deeply. It was her grandmother who taught her to have Faith, to believe in a merciful God and to focus in the good energy of life.
It is easy to judge and even hate those who are different, but not so easy to place yourself in their shoes, never mind surviving and raising above circumstances. The psychological shock-waves of living through and surviving things like this can't be quantified. Yet, not understanding does not grant permission or excuse cruelty, hate or mistreatment. Unfortunately, this is what happens much too often, this is what Dalea and many, many others like her must learn to raise above.
Dalea lived at various family members homes growing up, interchangeably. With health challenges, non-present parents, medical ignorance and lack of dignity, it's unsurprising that her self-esteem growing up was non-existent.
Some terrible things happened to her, as they often do to the young and weak when predators can so very easily identify them. She endured in silence, and almost ended her own life at 14.
Some unnecessary health issues also occurred due to neglect. With a mother who was a nurse, there was no excuse -other than neglect- for Dalea to contract Rheumatic Fever at 12, simply because she did not have a permanent guardian who could notice she had been coughing, having recurring fever and weakness for more than a year. She was only was taken to the hospital, once she became too ill with fever and her grandmother could not no longer control it with her home remedies. She spent weeks in convalescence with daily Penicillin injections. Dalea survived, but has sequels from having RF; it could have been easily prevented.
As a teen, when she was hospitalized to have corrective surgery, before intervention there was a conversation between her biological father and her doctors -all male-, discussing that her (normal ) 34B breasts were too small -for their standards of beauty- and "since she would be already under anesthesia" why not put implants in? She listened to them discuss her as if she were not in the room, as if they were discussing 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 take her breast apart and reconstruct them. Dalea experienced a little miracle that Christmas. Over a few months post surgery she saw her body revert to what it was years before, this is very uncommon. She thanks God and Dr Chong for this.
There is PTSD and sadness which Dalea chooses to not spend her life focusing on publicly, never mind go out and actively re-live her past experiences again and again by continuously sharing everything with the world. Her struggles are no one's business but Dalea and her family's.
One thing is peculiar, why does it seem to be those who have been deeply hurt 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 health complications would always turn her into a side show by interviewers or a fetish for some. Many years ago she experienced how her existence begun to be reduced to that alone when she begun sharing details about her DSD and life, she did not want her new efforts with Girl Comet to be a continuation torture, she wanted her focus to be in uplifting minds and to do her part in persuading girls and women born with DSD's away from having harsh thoughts or visions of self harm. She did indeed share her full journey and childhood candidly in private -one on one- over the years, to the depth that the person's situation merited it. It was her way of saying, I can understand what you may be feeling or going through, it is going to be OK.
Being a Latina minority, there are enough 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 and limited the sharing of physical problems or harrowing experiences publicly.
Girl Comet was dedicated to uplift, it was never intended for the entertainment of people without any connection to DSD's. It was never intended to be included in gender wars 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, non-political 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 those in distress in the too many hours to count phone calls that she did throughout the eight years she was doing Girl Comet's work.
It must be mentioned, she herself indeed had to pay emotionally after each phone call, being unprepared to protect her own heart, as her own untreated PTSD was triggered again and again. There was no monetary gain, except the feeling of doing god's work and attempting to help another human being in need. Indeed, people who monetize or exploit the pain of others for personal gain are evil.
After eight long years, on September 2021 it was announced that Girl Comet and Dalea were retiring all efforts.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR DALEA?
Dalea wants to focus on her personal life, family, career and to continue healing her life via therapy, which she started in 2022. 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 charitable projects focused on children and encouragement. She started by launching a YouTube Series titled 'The Treasury of Life', which consists of writings and fables meant to inspire and invite reflection. She supports the efforts of charities such as C.A.S.A. NY for children, which helps children in the dependency system. Also she asks for donations to DSDFamilies.Org, a peer 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.
FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM DALÉA:
If you have a child born with a Difference of sex development:
Please do not think that you are guilty somehow for your child's health challenges or believe for a second that God is punishing you for something you may have done (as too 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 not a tragedy, unless you make it so for them. With your love and protection, your baby will have a chance to grow up with healthy self esteem, which is critical in order for them to find the right path in life. If you do not choose love, if you do not protect your child's mind, you are starting a chain of negativity that will impact the rest of your child's life. Not only that, you will make your child vulnerable and easy to identify by evil people and predators.
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 planet and to honorably create happiness as we see fit.
Contrary to what extreme minds will say. No one is above another simply by virtue of the way they were born or their ability to procreate. There is no superiority embedded within, 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 any detail unrelated to character. Honorable tenacity to pursue one's worthwhile goals, a constructive life, a kindness of spirit, that is the one thing that can be counted as an acme of human excellence.
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 to live. Confidence, love, joy and fulfillment in life can only be attained if one believes that one deserves 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 for entirely much too long. Please don't wait to start falling in love with yourself unconditionally, because it is the key to everything. I promise I am working hard on this and on letting go of my nightmares and unprocessed mind debris.
Being born different does not mean being born broken, when and if desired, now a days almost anything can be corrected. Regardless, we deserve equal dignity and opportunities just as every other human being walking this earth.
Please believe this, when we overcome and conquer our challenges without rancor or vendettas, it is virtually impossible for our soul not to be transformed for the better in countless ways.
The best parts of me exist only because of what I overcame. Have faith that the same is absolutely true for you.
I am cheering for you from the sidelines, beautiful being, wherever you may be.
"Take heart, gentle soul, you may not be like the rest of them, but you are still whole."
- Morgan Harper Nichols
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/
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
¿Te encuentras en crisis?
Envia un mensaje de texto con la palabra AYUDA al 741741 para comunicarte de manera gratuita con un Consejero de Apoyo de Crisis gratuito las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana, siempre al alcance de tu mano.
Visita la Pagina Web Aqui:
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
If you were born with Differences Of Sex Development (They call it just Intersex). Visit their website for resources.
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