However even as a child he identified as a girl. During an appendectomy at age 17, his uterus and womb were discovered, which led to his fully-intact female internal organs being removed the next year, without his being properly informed. He was also subject to attempts at penis construction and prescribed male hormones.
The surgeon wrote to the German military authorities that Thomas should be excused military service because he was “genotypically female” and “has not been fully informed about the extent of his condition”.
Thomas has worked as a nurse in Düsseldorf, and has been working towards a change to female, but has been treated as transsexual rather than as intersex. Völling did not understand that she was intersex until 2006 when a urologist gave him a questionnaire as part of a national study on intersexuality.
In 2007-8 Christiane sued the surgeon who removed her organs, and sought €100,000 in compensation. The Cologne Justice, Dietmar Reiprich, ruled that the surgeon had acted illegally. She is also applying to have her name and id changed.
- “Gender Warrior Wins Case Against Surgeon”. Deutsch Welle 06.02.2008. www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3111505,00.html.
- “German Gender-Assignment Case Has Intersexuals Hopeful”. Deutsch Welle 12.12.2007. www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3000902,00.html
- "Christiane". Organization Intersex International. http://www.intersexualite.org/Christiane.html#anchor_11
- Curtis Hinkle. "The Chatty Cathy Approach to Intersex Activism". Intersex Pride. April 22, 2008. http://intersexpride.blogspot.com/2008/04/chatty-cathy-approach-to-intersex.html