Saturday, February 28, 2009

Word of the Gay: "Intersex Pride"

"Intersex Pride" is about recognition of the unique status of intersex people, and a dedication to recognition, awareness, and acceptance of sex-variant individuals.


Laurie said...

I think it's important to recognize all of
them :) So I think it should be LGBTI and I'm
gonna start doing that... :)


Anonymous said...

No it would be a very bad idea to add I to the LGBT crap.

First, some people fear that adding the "I" would give people the wrong impression that all or most intersex people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/ or transgender. Obviously, some intersex people are, and some aren't--but when we are dealing with intersex people, were dealing young children and their parents. There is a concern that the association with LGBT would drive away parents of intersex children who would otherwise seek out information and resources about intersex conditions. Worse, the misconception might push parents to demand more surgeries to ease their concern about the child's future sexuality or gender identity.

Second, there is already a lot of conflation between LGBT and intersex in the society, and constantly being combined with LGBT might prevent intersex from getting its own visibility, or make it hard for intersex people to find intersex-specific resources. For example, if you search for the word "LGBTI" on the internet, most articles that would come up deal with LGBT issues--marriage, discrimination, hate crimes, etc.--with no mention of any issues that actually apply to intersex people.

Similar to this, there is also a concern that adding the "I" would make it appear as if what intersex people need is the same thing that LGBT people need. For example, adding intersex to the non-discrimination ordinance or hate crime law is completely insufficient to address the human rights issues faced by intersex people, but it gives the false impression that intersex people's rights are protected.

Lastly, the model of organizing is very different. People with intersex conditions generally do not organize around the "identity" or "pride" of being intersex; "intersex" is a useful word to address political and human rights issues, but there is yet to be an intersex "community" or "culture" the way we can talk about LGBT communities (although this may change in the future). In other words, adding the "I" does not necessarily make the organization appear more welcoming to intersex people. For many people, "intersex" is just a condition, or history, or site of horrifying violation that they do not wish to revisit.

davidhenry said...

Great point about Intersex inclusion, even many trans groups don't acknowledge Intersex people as part of their little world. Don't forget many groups are starting to extend the term to various variations LGBTQ or GLBTQ and LGBTQIA, LGBTU - and there's queer, gender-queer, questioning, undefined, asexual, pansexual, polysexual and several other social identities that under the alt/minority gender and sexuality spectrum that are just as real and valid and are growing self-definitions for people who in the past felt excluded by the persistence in avoiding using the terms people feel comfortable with beyond "trans" and "lesbian" and "gay". Personally I feel "Queer" is a term that encourages and welcomes in a wide variety of groups too.

Hopefully with the growing awareness around Intersex issues and the Intersex Solidarity Day now being an international event hopefully the rest of our queer-community will become more educated on the issues and feel more equipped in empowering Intersex people with all their experience and resources that should be supporting a wider variety of people disaffected by gender-based discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Better yet stop grouping everyone together and trying to make every gender-fringe abide by the same policies.

Anonymous said...

That I can agree to. We need people to stop and especially the LGBT community to stop grouping everyone together and every gender fringe group out their and forcing everyone to abide by their policies. It's just so wrong and it makes people more confused than ever

Anonymous said...

I Think What we need is a third gender that is what some of us is. I legally carry female but was a signed male after birth. I feel i should have been raised as a female but i identify as gender neutral. I thing i and in between male and female and don't really fit into the straight or LGBT communities. I am very active in the LGBT community but feel i and in between the two. Some of us can really identify with gender or gender orientation. I would be hard to but some of us in and category but our own.

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