Celebrate Intersex Awareness Day!
Intersex Awareness Day is the (inter)national day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children. We intend to create a "day of action" similar to Take Back the Night, National Coming Out Day, or International Women's Day in that it will focus on grass-roots activism organized by local activists.
To learn about intersex issues/experiences in general, please see any of the following websites:
- Bodies Like Ours
- Intersex Initiative
- Intersex Society of North America
Frequently Asked Questions
What is intersex?
Intersex refers to a series of medical conditions in which a child's genetic sex (chromosomes) and phenotypic sex (genital appearance) do not match, or are somehow different from the "standard" male or female. About one in 2,000 babies are born visibly intersexed, while some others are detected later. The current medical protocol calls for the surgical "reconstruction" of these different but healthy bodies to make them "normal," but this practice has become increasingly controversial as adults who went through the treatment report being physically, emotionally, and sexually harmed by such procedures.
Beside stopping cosmetic genital surgeries, what are inter sex activists working toward?
Surgery is just part of a larger pattern of how intersex children are treated; it is also important to stop shame, secrecy and isolation that are socially and medically imposed on children born with intersex conditions under the theory that the child is better off it they didn't hear anything about it. Therefore, it's not enough to simply stop the surgery; we need to replace it with social and psychological support as well as open and honest communication.
What's so significant about October 26?
On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from intersex society of naughty america (carrying the sign "Hermaphrodites With Attitude") and our allies from Transexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, where American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. The action generated a lot of press coverage, and made it difficult for the medical community to continue to neglect our growing movement. That said, events related to Intersex Awareness Day can take place throughout October and does not necessarily have to be on the 26th.
It's great! How can I help?
First,join our email discussion list (we suggest the digest format if you want to keep the number of emails you receive under control). Then, look at our Get Involved section to see if there is already any IAD events scheduled for your area. If so, go and help them; if not, find a local organization that will sponsor the event--for example, try LGBT group in your city or college campus--and help them bring IAD to your city! We have suggestions for what activities to do, but what you will do is entirely up to you and your neighbors (and please tell us if you think of any great idea!)