Dustin Marquardt: “I feel such a sense of loss”

Dustin Marquardt shares his thoughts about circumcision after visiting the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project's Foreskin Awareness Booth at Victoria Pride, where the unique performance artist Glen Callender made live demonstrations about the wonders of his foreskin.

(slightly modified)

Before the show

Glen Callender

Step inside the Foreskin Awareness Booth! You'll see foreskin like you've never seen foreskin beforeskin! Right here! In the Foreskin Awareness Booth!

OK! You're here! You want to see the show? Step inside!

After the show

Dustin Marquardt

I was cut as a child—circumcised—and just coming out of [the show], I feel such a sense of loss knowing exactly what it is that was taken from me; sometimes it's best not to really focus on—it's obvious: I'm a male, and I'm 30, and my penis just doesn't function like it's supposed to, and that's a tremendous injustice, really—it really is.

I mean, [the show] was funny and informative, but [at the same time, it's] heartbreaking that we have to experience this in our “modern”, “scientific” culture, you know?

[This issue] has been a struggle for me. In our western society, we're fed the lie that [the foreskin] is a meaningless piece of tissue, and [that] we're losing nothing [by having it cut away], but the reality is—like the gentleman says—we've lost 50% of our sexual experience for the rest of our [lives], and it's only going to decline as we get older. So… I definitely think I might reconsider the idea of foreskin “restoration”; I got educated!

My boyfriend is intact, and I felt that being with a partner who [has] an intact foreskin would make me feel somehow a bit better about my own situation, but it only serves to remind me that I'm never going to have his experience.

I'm a social worker in training, actually, and my plan is to get involved with people like this project here—and any other organization in Canada that wants to support this movement, because I think it's vital—I really do. The way the gentleman in the tent put it was: This is the next major Human Rights issue that's going to take the stage, and knowing that now, I feel more empowered to do this work for sure.

I've saved a couple kids from foreskin removal. I think it's important that as a society, we redefine this: It's not “cut” and “uncut”; it's “mutilated” and “intact”. There's no euphemism that can redefine what it means to take away a boy's foreskin; it's irrecoverable.

I'm proud of the small contribution that I've made [to the Intactivist Movement], but I'm hoping that someday they're going to grow me a foreskin in a jar and like—[laughter]—I can figure it out, you know?

Thank you for affording this opportunity to share my experience.

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