Today is Intersex Awareness Day!!! Like on every other awareness day, it is important that we learn about each other and grow as a community, so from its start to the causes it fights for today, here is the guide to Intersex Awareness Day!
What does intersex mean?
- “Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male,” according to the Intersex Society of North America. There is not one “intersex body,” as every intersex person is born different. By the same hand, intersex is not a sex either: intersex individuals can identify as male, female, or other.
The start of the journey
- Intersex Awareness day marks the first public demonstration by intersex people in the United States, but it actually did not begin as such. On October 26, 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. At this point, their long held belief had been that “corrective treatment” should be applied before a baby is one and a half years old. The operation is composed of surgically creating body parts in order to assign the baby to a specific gender. It was here that intersex activits Morgan Holmes, Max Beck, and others headed to deliver a speech "on long-term outcomes and to challenge their still-prevailing opinion that cosmetic surgery to ‘fix’ intersexed genitals was the best course of action." However, their ideas were not welcomed at all, and they were escorted out by guards. But while others might have viewed that as the end of their movement, they made it the beginning. A few hours later, the group of activists gathered outside with signs saying “Hermaphrodites With Attitude,” in what became known as the first public intersex demonstration.
- Those protestors went on to found the Intersex Society of North America, whose followers demonstrate in major cities in the U.S. and around the world.
A Cause to Fight For
- Besides assigning gender, “corrective” treatment often leaves terrible scars on those who it is performed on. According to the Intersex Society of North America, “it sets in motion a lifelong pattern of secrecy, isolation, shame, and confusion.” Furthermore, intersex individuals often face violation of trust, lack of honest communication, and punishment for asking questions.
- “When “corrective” treatment (hormones and/or surgery) is used beginning in infancy, a child is robbed of the opportunity to develop naturally with the release of hormones that accompanies puberty. During puberty, the body changes and develops in ways that may help a child more clearly define how s/he identifies his/her gender,” according to Intersex Innitiative Portland.
Raise awareness and demonstrate your support for the intersex community by getting your Intersex Pin today!!!