(via Intersex 101)
What do intersex activists want?
One of the main concerns of intersex activists is to transition from concealment-based treatments of intersex infants to one that is patient-centered. Often, intersex children are subjected to medically unnecessary procedures and surgeries in order to make their genitals appear normal. The child is then often raised without any idea of their intersex condition. Some of these surgeries create children with genitals different than their eventual gender, prompting sexual reassignment surgery which could otherwise have been avoided. Many surgeries and procedures are also experienced as sexually and/or psychologically abusive by intersex children, especially those used for research purposes or requiring sexually invasive treatments. Intersex activists now advocate that only medically necessary treatments be performed on intersex children, and that support and education should prevail instead of shame and concealment.
Some other demands of intersex activists include:
- Not being fetishized or over sexualized
- To be treated as real, diverse people rather than convenient examples for sex and gender theorists
- Some wish to be allowed to legally identify as intersex instead of, or in addition to, male or female
- To end stigma against intersex persons
- Better education among medical professionals
- Appropriate and knowledgeable health care
- More psychological and social support for intersex children and their families
- To consider medical necessity and sexual function as important factors in intersex care, as opposed to ‘normalcy’