Mani’s Story

"Mani's Story" was shown Monday 7 April 2003 on TV One.

Copies of Mani’s Story are available from the receptionist at There is a charge for the DVD.

Mani Said:

The ‘perfect’ documentary would be beautiful.

Beautiful like a coffee table book, not beautiful in the sense of being ‘chocolate box’ this is a story that includes real, pain, real sadness. So beautiful in the treatment, in the care of production, attention to detail.

Well crafted.

It would be human, warm, real, gentle, fun in a serious kind of way it would focus on hope and change and a construct of learning from the past.

It would go behind the obvious and ask the why questions? Why are people so afraid, scared, ashamed of about the birth of intersex children. Why?

It would ask what do we need to change - to make a difference - change things. It would not sensationalize.

It would pull forward the detail that it is: shame, fear, lies, secrets, covering up/hiding THAT does the damage. That is, it is the NEGATIVE ATTITUDES towards difference rather than difference itself which is so threatening to the intersex child, person.

It would inform.

At best it would assist in being part of the change/paradigm shift process. Of helping create a world that is safer - more respectful. A world that seeks to honor diversity difference, in all its forms in families, in communities, in countries. On the planet. It would remind us all of the preciousness of life. It would challenge the ‘ugly’ - abuse, violence, prejudice, homophobia. Xenophobia in a way that engages/moves people.

If this perfect documentary used my story as the vehicle then it would weave the complexities together in a way that was not ‘horrific’.

I have been given the chance, by some very special people to be my own alchemist turn most of my own shit into gold. I have also struggled, struggled hard to find a way to ‘carry the past’. The elements: trauma, scars (literal and psychological), the story, stay. THEY CANT BE CHANGED.

I would be given the chance to talk about this in a way that does not ‘fudge things’.

Living with trauma is not easy - it is possible....

Recovery takes time. Shame and fear, lack of information, unreal expectations (self-society) are the great cripples.... they have been my ugly shacklers/ankle tappers.... Change is possible.....

That is my story....

My dad came out of 5 years of human hell in a Nazi labor camp still able to see Rainbows. I consider myself ‘blessed’ to despite everything like my dad able (for most of my life) to see the Rainbows.

The perfect documentary would be a collaboration, an honoring, a celebration, a melding of skill, knowledge, story of all involved. We would work as a team - dance ideas together. It would respectful, safe leaving no new trauma’s, injury, injustice, lies or scars.

i.e. it would walk the talk in its construction......

Mani Bruce Mitchell


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That's an intlilegent answer to a difficult question xxx

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