Trigger Warning: This blog post covers the topic of Genital Mutilation among the intersex community.
Happy Intersex Day of Remembrance, Pride Palace community! Intersex Day of Remembrance, also known as Intersex Day of Solidarity, is honored annually and internationally on Nov. 8 to highlight the continued need to advocate for intersex and human rights. Intersex Solidarity Day was first observed in 2005 and has been honored every year since then. If you would like to learn more about what it means to be intersex, check out this blog.
Intersex Day of Solidarity is observed on Nov. 8 to honor the birthday of Herculine Barbin, a 19th-Century French intersex person whose memoirs were later published by philosopher Michel Foucault. Barbin was put in the spotlight after doctors found them to be intersex. Barbin’s short and difficult life shed light on the need for increased awareness and acceptance of intersex people.
Intersex Day of Remembrance is dedicated to emphasizing the need to stop Intersex Genital Mutilation. The awareness day is also committed to promoting equal access to prenatal medical care, solidarity, upholding intersex rights to dignity and equality, and educating the community. Speaking of educating, here’s what you need to know to be the best intersex advocate and ally you can be:
- Intersex people of all ages face many issues, including Intersex Genital Mutilation, because of the medicalization of intersex bodies.
- Intersex Genital Mutilation, or IGM, is non-consensual, harmful, and unnecessary medical intervention in which doctors perform “corrective” genital surgery with the goal of making a person’s body, often a baby or child, conform to the chosen assigned gender, eliminating the chances of that person choosing what to do with their body in the future.
- Forms of IGM include but are not limited to “corrective” genital surgery, forced sterilizing procedures, imposition of hormones (including prenatal “therapy”), forced genital exams, vaginal dilations, human experimentation, selective (late-term) abortion, and denial of needed health care.
- IGMs can cause lifelong severe physical and mental pain and suffering.
- The United Nations has declared surgery of this form an outright form of torture.
- Three retired United States Surgeons-General have declared it inappropriate when done without informed consent. Prior Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein stopped Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM) part of her campaign.
- Final thoughts: Intersex rights are human rights. Pride Palace stands with the intersex community and invites you to do the same. Make sure to use your voice and be a supportive ally not only on Intersex Day of Remembrance but every single day of the year. Happy Intersex Solidarity Day, Pride Palace community!
For more information and support, please visit: https://interactadvocates.org/resources/intersex-organizations/