What is intersex?

Intersex is an adjective that describes people born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of ‘female’ or ‘male.’

It’s important to realize that intersex anatomy isn’t always discovered at birth! Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until puberty, or finds themselves infertile as an adult, or even until a post-mortem autopsy. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing they are intersex.

From @IntersexJusticeProject’s “26 Ways Allies Can Support Intersex Awareness Day”

Update your vocabulary and stop gendering anatomy.

Don’t suggest intersex folks “aren’t normal.”

Learn about nonconsensual intersex surgery and how it violates bodily autonomy. (Keep reading.)

Read the rest here.

What is intersex surgery?

When a baby is born, the doctor looks at their genitals. If the baby has what the doctors deems a “normal” penis, the baby is assigned male (M); if the baby has what the doctors deem a “normal” clitoris, the baby is assigned female (F). If the baby’s genitals do not fit either of these two categories, doctors often perform surgery on the baby’s genitals to “normalize” the baby’s genitalia.

Note: When we talk about ending intersex surgery, we are not talking about intersex folks who elect and consent to get surgery. We are talking about the surgery babies are subjected to at or soon after birth to “fix” ambiguous genitalia.

Why end intersex surgery?

IT IS NONCONSENSUAL

The baby cannot and does not provide consent for the surgery, nor is the baby able to describe their gender because they are often less than a month old.

INCORRECT GENDER ASSIGNMENT

By performing surgery on a baby’s genitals and thereafter assigning them a gender according to the reconstructed parts, doctors and parents can assign an incongruent gender to the baby. (This is also perpetuates the misconception that a person’s genitalia decide their gender, which is false.) Additionally, many intersex babies are not told that they were born intersex or that they received surgery to “fix” their genitals. This can result in mental illness such depression, gender dysphoria, and even suicide.

LOSS OF SENSATION

Intersex surgeries can result in loss of future erotic sensation or all genital sensation altogether.

And follow intersex accounts, here are some to start:


FURTHER READING

Click to access 4intersex-Ally-Dos-and-Donts.pdf


Archived: 

SIGN THE PETITION 

More information: http://www.intersexjusticeproject.org/.