Michael B. Wicks chose for himself to undergo adult circumcision when he was 30 years old; he was suffering from phimosis, which is a relatively rare and frequently inappropriate diagnosis.
Today, Michael laments the fact that he didn't investigate—and wasn't informed about—less invasive alternatives to treating his condition, and he's been inspired by the way the Intactivist Movement has pushed the conversation around circumcision into the light of the mainstream, where the foreskin is finally being defended as a valuable part of a person's body.
The following conversation took place between shows in the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project's Foreskin Awareness Booth during a Vancouver street fair on Davie Street.
What comes to mind when you see a display like this [Foreskin Awareness Booth] on the street?
Michael B. Wicks
Well, first of all, I just get it—[I understand] that [circumcision] is torture, and how easy it is to say:
I love my foreskin!
I wish I could say “I love my foreskin”; I had it cut off because of what I thought was a problem; I had trouble pulling the foreskin back. It didn't really hurt, but it was very uncomfortable, and I got the idea [in my head] that all I [needed] is a “little bit” of surgical procedure to loosen it up; I didn't know anything about lubrication or massaging [or stretching] or anything like that, because I had nobody to talk to or I chose not to get help or whatever—it wasn't something that was being talked about very much.
So, when I look at this tent—“Foreskin is Fabulous!” and “I Love My Foreskin!”—I wish I could say that; it's engendering in me an understanding—a consciousness—of the entire rationale that we've had [as a society]:
All this stuff—all these lies for the last many thousands of years or hundreds of years or even in the last 50 years. And then when Glen [Callender] uses the word “intact”, it's a positive; I chose not to be intact, so I can take responsibility for what I chose to do. But, [then] I see people with foreskins cut off badly (I mean, not that any of them are cut off well, you know what I mean? A botched job); the fact that this person is not able to express and feel what [he] was born to feel is just—it's a sin; it's a crime; it's torture.
So, that's how I feel when I see this tent: I go from elation to deep sorrow in a very short time.
I can speak about [this subject] now because first of all, I see Glen doing his work and it's inspiring, and it also gives everybody permission to talk about it. When I went to the show in this tent and saw a number of lesbians and a number of straight couples, I realized the ripple effect [that occurs]: A couple [that came] in here [has] a baby and the doctor says:
“Well, we'll circumcise him tomorrow.”
and I can see both of them say:
“[No way!] You're not doing that. You're not touching my son.”