Intersex Rights are Human Rights

I’ve been working on intersex activism for about five years now, and it’s been one of the most rewarding turns in my career. I’ve met amazing intersex adults, even more incredible intersex children, and listened to medical horror stories that would make your hair curl.

So it was an incredible, humbling thing to be asked to participate in the launch this past Tuesday of Human Rights Watch‘s landmark report on intersex genital surgery. Here’s a trailer of the full report, which is available for free online, and is a must read for anyone who likes complex tales with a devastating emotional impact:

Here is a video of the full launch event, featuring Kimberly Zieselman (interACT’s Executive Director, Eric Lohman (a professor who is a parent of a child with CAH), Lynell Stephani Long (intersex activist and interACT board member), and Bo Laurent (widely regarded as the founder of the intersex movement).  My part starts at around 26:00 if you’re interested.

Thank you to the press who have reported on this subject and cast an important light on one of modern medicine’s greatest failures, including the AP, TeenVogue, and Reuters with more to come, including NPR affiliate KPCC, where I’m going to be on AirTalk today (2:39 EST/11:39 PST) with intersex activist Hida Viloria and pediatric urologist Larry Baskin.

I’ve been thinking about intersex for five years, and in addition to being rewarding, it’s frustrating to realize how much more needs to be done. Thank you to Bo and Lynell and Anne & Suegee Tamar-Mattis, and Morgan Holmes, and to the countless people who have been fighting this fight for twenty-four years, for sparking the spark so long ago, and for continuing this often exhausting, sometimes angering, but always important fight.

Things need to change. Here’s hoping that the tide is starting to turn.

More comments and analysis to come.

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