I feel it is now time to create more allies, create more supportive organizations, and give a way for organizations that want to become intersex inclusive direction on how they can help us end these atrocities that intersex people face. These human rights violations are in regards to aborting healthy intersex fetuses, and ending non-consenting cosmetic corrective surgeries that are not medically necessary that are being done to intersex infants and children. Surgeries that often fail miserably, create genitals with poor sexual sensitivity. Surgeries that often assign us the wrong gender, are not reversible, take away our fertility, and sadly lead to repeat surgeries. All of this leading to psychological and physical trauma throughout our lives.
Many organizations such as PFLAG are now showing they are welcoming to intersex, and many PFLAG chapters are wanting to become more inclusive to intersex. However, adding the “I” needs to be done with great care and I personally can be contacted to make sure that this is done responsibly.
Here is my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and a page dedicated just to PFLAG chapters who are ready to become intersex inclusive: Intersex Inclusive PFLAG Chapters.
Below I will talk about the reason to add the “I” to the acronyms LGBTQ+. Below I show why I am for this inclusion of intersex:
Reasons to add the “I”:
- Hida Viloria, the Executive Director of Intersex Campaign for Equality shares how intersex people often identify, and how some of us will appear simply either male or female or queer: How Intersex People Identify. Co-authored with Dana Zzyyn.
- Statistics show that over 50% of us intersex people identify with a sexual orientation that appears gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, asexual and more. Statistics from: Demographics from Oii-Australia
- Statistics also show that an intersex person can have any gender identity. Some intersex people are cis-gender (agree with birth assignment) and conform to either male or female. Some of us are simply queer, intergender, non-binary or gender nonconforming. There are also a few of us who identify as transgender and intersex both. Statistics from: Demographics from Oii-Australia
- Cary Costello Ph.D. talks about how some of us who are intersex sometimes appear as transgender or identify and call ourselves transgender: Cis Gender, Trans Gender, and Intersex Cary also shares how homophobia is often behind genetic experts suggesting to terminate and abort healthy intersex fetuses: On Eugenic Abortion of the Intersex. An LGBTQ organization is going to have the sensitivity to deal with transphobia and homophobia.
- When a person, like myself, realizes that they are intersex instead of a disorder and that their biological sex is intersex, finding a safe space among other sexual minorities is important. I know it was for my family, especially if we may also appear LGBTQ+.
- For me being a part of the LGBTQ+ groups showed me it was ok to be a sexual minority. It allowed me to feel ok with my appearing gay and transgender. Thus helping my self-determination and not having shame. I feel it could give this gift to other intersex people who may also naturally appear LGBTQ+
- If an organization takes the time to educate themselves about intersex, it could create more safe spaces for us LGBTQ+ intersex people. Especially those of us who also identify as transgender, non-binary, nonconforming, or queer. I see how this happened when the “T” was added to LGB. Although some trans appear heterosexual, some also now appear lesbian, gay or queer, just like some of us intersex people and this inclusion was very helpful to the transgender community.
Reasons to not add the “I”:
- The fear of intersex being mixed up as a gender identity or a sexual orientation problem. Which can be easily resolved by educating.
- Some intersex people consider themselves a disorder of sex development still, or a medical condition, and are happy with their intersex diagnosis and don’t feel their diagnosis has anything to do with being LGBTQ+ or being a sexual minority.
- The way I see it, it could simply be a case of Homophobia, Transphobia, Queerphobia, Intersex phobia that keeps people from wanting to add the “I”.
- Some intersex people are cis-gender (agree with their birth assignment) and also appear heterosexual. They don’t have any reason to need to be affiliated with LGBTQ+, pride parades or any of it.
My solution to those who don’t want the “I” added:
To alleviate confusion, it is important to educate that intersex is about biological sex and biology, and that the biggest problems we face are the forced assignment of gender, surgically, or hormonally. Intersex advocates, activists, and educators are trying to end our being aborted when detected in-utero and the non-consenting surgeries on infants and children. When adding the “I” to your organization it is my hope that you will also make it a part of your effort to make this a safer world for those of us born intersex. Last, it should be always educated that some intersex people do not appear LGBTQ+, nor need to.
Further, for those intersex people who do not even feel they are intersex, that is their right to not declare it and to embrace their diagnosis or conditions as not intersex. However, just because they don’t feel they have a variation of intersex, nor want LGBTQI+ support, doesn’t mean that over half of the intersex community won’t benefit from it. Which again, is a person’s right to self-determination and should always be respected.
With all this said:
I personally feel that it is time to include the “I”, but only if it is done with great responsibility and education about ending non-consensual genital corrective surgeries on intersex infants and children. While also guiding people to the correct organizations to support genital integrity.
Important Organizations to Include on your website if you add Intersex to LGBTQ+:
Below are links that will ensure that parents in the USA, Australia, and other countries, are guided to informed and safe people that will reinforce the self-determination of gender, and that “No Body is Shameful”, and can support genital integrity:
Two PDF Files to print and distribute:
Links to add and make available on your websites or social media:
Facebook Support Group: Intersex Support for Parents (Closed FaceBook Group)
For those outside of the United States:
9) A list of: Wold Wide Advocacy and Support for Intersex People.
References: Important articles and data that shows me it is time to include intersex to LGBTQ:
- The Forgotten Vowel: How Intersex Liberation Benefits the Entire LGBTQIA Community By Hida Viloria
- How Intersex People Identify By Hida Viloria and Dana Zzyym
- Cis Gender, Transgender, and Intersex By Cary Costello Ph.D.
- On Eugenic Abortion of the Intersex By Cary G. Costello Ph.D.
- THEIR TIME After generations in the shadows, the intersex rights movement has a message for the world: We aren’t disordered and we aren’t ashamed
- Demographics of intersex people in Australia borrowed from Oii-Australia:
Quote: An independent 2015 survey of 272 people born with atypical sex characteristics has provided us with good statistical information for the first time. The survey was led by Dr. Tiffany Jones of the University of New England, and it was published in February 2016. It shows very diverse understandings of intersex bodies, sexes, and genders.
Graphics below borrowed from Demographics from Oii-Australia:
Assuming that human sexual behavior is similar to Australia globally, as you can now see, the evidence from Oii-Australia shows the need. Thus helping all infants and children be taught that they are ok being born into the bodies they are born into, regardless of how their sexual orientation, gender identity, or actual biological sex is recognized by this world when they become adults. Adults who may or may not even need marriage equality, if we grow up to appear gay or lesbian. Here is a personal blog that shares about how my family needs intersex inclusion: Are my Husband and I Gay Men Now? How We Became Sexual Minorities, Our Intersex Love Story.
Regardless of how us intersex people appear to this world when we grow up, the self-determination of gender and our genital integrity is our human right.
Here are Helpful LGBTQIA+ Definitions that help to explain Human Sexuality.
If you would like guidance on adding the “I” responsibly to your organizations’ acronyms please contact me:
In this Rainbow Talk at the 2016 ILGA World Conference, Mani Bruce Mitchell speaks about intersex human rights, and reminds us why we must not leave out the “I” in our advocacy efforts
Important blogs I have written that support adding the “I” to LGBTQ+:
- Adding the “I” responsibly to LGBT
- Examples of Transphobia and Intersexphobia
- Intersex is what it is….
- Seven Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, and Clitoromegaly.
- If this is not eugenics and genocide what is it?
- Five ways I show that the Male/Female Binary is a Myth, and a Social Construct. Nature has always Created Sexual Variety and Diversity.
- Once assigned female: I am very proud to be a little man now!
- I am an Intersex Person. I never felt like a Cisgender Person and I Relate to Some Transgender Men.
- INTERSEX Erasure Hurts! Examples of Misguidance from Doctors.
- Doctors, Please Stop Lying to Our Parents. Intersex people are lovable without being fixed. WE ARE HUMAN
- Is my husband gay, now that I appear a man? I will use “Intersexual” as a Sexual Orientation.
- How I was medically, and psychiatrically violated as an intersex person.
- Doctors call us a disorder, defect, or syndrome when we are born. We are simply INTERSEX.
- The FEMALE PENIS and the MALE VAGINA; and explaining this to our children.