I was very moved by Nthabiseng Mokoena’s piece on the IAD website:
This is a lovely piece and I know a little bit about how this person feels.
It is a thankless job, and one I could not afford to keep doing after ten years of self-supported advocacy work – both financially and because of my health.
Looking back, I spent quite a bit of time talking to Sally over the ten years before she died – more often about spirituality than intersex – but because of the demands on her, I tried not to add to the workload she had. Having both experienced life in religious community, and an interest in Christian Mysticism, Meister Eckhart as well as Mahayana Buddhism, we had a lot in common beyond intersex.
I was in touch with her right up to the point where she fell silent. I too approached Mani to try and help, but I now realise that by that time it was already too late. Her experience towards the end, as somebody who had given so much, and the lack of concern shown by some in the international organisation she was associated with, was a wake-up call for me. I had seen this happen on a number of occasions before.
My life turned around in the year after Sally died, because I walked away from intersex activism that focused almost entirely on children, and was not that interested in the plight of adults (which had always been my primary focus), and especially not sick or aging intersex people. I guess some aspects of our lives just aren’t as appealing as others. Since then I have grown and developed as a person, and started to leave the disillusion behind me, let go of a lot of my anger, and moved on to live my life again.
So, I will always cherish what I learned from Sally during her life, but I will also cherish what I learned from her in her death. For me she, she will never be a paper saint or martyr, somebody to stick on a wall of remembrance to rally the faithful. She will always be Sally, unique, gracious, and somebody who will always be missed by all whose lives she touched.