The intersex people included in our wonderfully diverse queer and trans* family are often overlooked or misunderstood. This comes from a combination of social stigma, lack of information and positive visibility.
Our friend Mani has helped us compile a few links together which can shed light on the challenges that intersex people face, as well as providing useful info and hopefully answering some nagging questions!
Mani was also involved with the documentary ‘Intersexion‘, which is a film that sets out to de-mystify a variety of conditions that used to be broadly called “hermaphroditism”. It screened as part of the Documentary Edge Festival 2013, where it won Best New Zealand Documentary and Best Editing. Mani popped in to Rainbow Youth earlier this year and signed an Intersexion poster for us.
Inter/Act: Second Wave Interview Series, Vol. 1 – This is a cool video where the young voice of Inter/Act, Pidgeon Pagonis interviews pioneer in intersex activism and founder of Intersex Awareness New Zealand (IANZ) Mani Bruce Mitchell (the first wave). They discuss Mani’s life, memories and Pidgeon gets tips from Mani for the second wave of young intersex activists.
“The place we’ve got to is wonderful…and lets just carry it on!” – Mani.
Bodies Like Ours– A forum that provides intersex information and peer support.
Inter/Act Youth – This is a place for young people with intersex conditions or DSDs to come together and weave their individual stories into a voice for a new generation. Content on this website includes life stories, like this one about Emily, who is a 20 year old 46 XY female with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS).
Intersects Zine – A Zine which sets out to untangle the misuse of words such as ‘sex’, ‘gender’, and ‘sexual orientation’ to create more understanding, and less oppression.One great piece is an interview with intersex activist Pidgeon (interviewer in the earlier mentioned Inter/Act Interview Series) who is working on issues that affect intersex people. I’ve pulled out a couple of particularly striking quotes:
“In the beginning when I found out, I was really upset with them (Pidgeon’s family). I couldn’t believe they had let some doctor cut up their child. But now I see that they’re a victim of the same society that we’re all victims of, whether you’re genderqueer or whatever. They scared the fuck out of my family. My family wanted what was best for me, and (the doctors) presented what was best for me as normalization surgeries and hormones. My parents don’t have the privilege of Women’s and Gender studies background like I do. There’s not an education out there for most people.”
“It (being interssex) allows you to really understand gender in a way that many people do not. You understand that there aren’t just two genders, like the doctors and other people want to tell you. I like being intersexed. I just wish they didn’t do surgeries because I don’t like being numb. I don’t like having scar tissue. I don’t like that part.”
If you have any extra links that are related to intersex issues, throw a comment down below so we can add them to the article!
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