The United States affiliate of the Organization Intersex International (OII)

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Category Archives: Human Rights

Former U.S. Surgeon Generals Call For Moratorium on  Medically Unnecessary Intersex Infant Surgeries!

Former U.S. Surgeon Generals Call For Moratorium on Medically Unnecessary Intersex Infant Surgeries!

In a stunning victory for intersex advocates, three former United States Surgeon Generals published a paper yesterday, titled “Re-Thinking Genital Surgeries on Intersex Infants,” which calls for a moratorium on performing medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children! The paper’s authors, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Dr. David Satcher, and Dr. Richard Carmona, the 15th, 16th and 17th Surgeon Generals of the United States, respectively, conclude that:

“…cosmetic infant genitoplasty is not justified absent a need to ensure physical functioning, and we hope that professionals and parents who face this difficult decision will heed the growing consensus that the practice should stop.”

The doctors recommend an end to the practice based on three rationales:
1. insufficient evidence that growing up with atypical genitalia leads to psychosocial distress;
2. evidence that the surgery itself can cause severe and irreversible physical harm and emotional distress; and,
3. the fact that the surgeries violate an individual’s right to personal autonomy over their own future.

This is an important win not just nationally but globally, as these harmful practices were pioneered in the United States, and U.S. medical institutions have been slow to question them and instrumental in exporting them throughout the world. Intersex activists across the globe have been calling for an end to medically unnecessary intersex infant surgeries (also known as Intersex Genital Mutilation, or IGM) for over two decades—first by only a handful and today in droves. In 2004, our parent organization, OII, the Organization Intersex International, became the first international intersex organization and began growing an international community. Today, the international intersex movement is thriving and has been working to educate human rights bodies such as the UN about OII’s mission to attain human rights for intersex infants, children, and adults, particularly the right to bodily integrity and self-determination.

Today, we celebrate hearing these rights echoed and supported in the words of the former U.S. Surgeon Generals!

“Clitoral reductions and the removal of healthy gonads clearly infringe on the child’s right to physical integrity, preservation of sexual and gender identity, and procreative freedom.”
— Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Dr. Dr. David Satcher, and Dr. Richard Carmona, 15th, 16th and 17th Surgeon Generals of the United States

We also thank the many intersex activists around the world–many of whom have been working for decades on these changes, often unpaid and recognized–for their hard work and dedication to making this shift a reality. We’ve all been taking the steps necessary to usher in changes in how intersex people are viewed and treated, and today we can celebrate this huge one together!

http://www.palmcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Re-Thinking-Genital-Surgeries-1.pdf

Fight for Non-Binary Passport Continues!

Fight for Non-Binary Passport Continues!

    As reported in a press release yesterday, Lambda Legal has filed a motion to reopen the case of Dana Zzyym, our Associate Director, for non-binary gender recognition on their passport. Zzyym, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them/theirs pronouns, is the first non-binary American to sue for the right to accurate federal gender… Continue Reading

NYC Issues Second Intersex Birth Certificate!

NYC Issues Second Intersex Birth Certificate!

    New York City has issued its second intersex birth certificate, and the second known in the nation, to our E.D. Hida Viloria, and we are thrilled to see a government body once again acknowledging that sex comes in three categories: male, female and intersex! This is fantastic news given the medical industrial complex’s… Continue Reading

California Bill Pushes for Non-Binary Option on Driver’s Licenses!

  We are so happy to share this news, as reported by Buzzfeed, about California Bill SB 179, which aims to allow California residents to choose a non-binary gender on their driver’s licenses. We are also immensely grateful to intersex activist Sara Kelly Keenan for initiating non-binary gender recognition in California, and to non-binary youth… Continue Reading

Portugal Seeks To Ban Sex Reassignment Surgeries on Intersex Infants!

Portugal Seeks To Ban Sex Reassignment Surgeries on Intersex Infants!

As reported in the Gay Star News, as part of the discussion earlier today at the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), celebrated on May 17th, Forum this week in Brussels, Portugal announced legislation aimed to ban medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex babies. Brava Portugal! If passed, Portugal will become the third country… Continue Reading

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA community in observing the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia, and although there is not consensus, we also support the inclusion of Interphobia as Intersex people suffer greatly due to anti-queer prejudice. #idahobit2017 #idahot2017 Continue Reading

Nevada Bill SB 408 Seeks to Ban Nonconsensual Intersex Surgeries!

Hurray for Nevada Bill SB 408, which seeks to ban Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM), aka nonconsensual sex reassignment surgeries on intersex babies! Thanks also to activist and scholar Dr. Georgiann Davis, author of the fantastic Contesting Intersex, for speaking out in favor of it on Las Vegas Now News. Boo, however, to the doctors who… Continue Reading

Boisseau Lobbies for Easily Accessible Non-binary Passports

OII-USA’s New England Director Vickie Boisseau, pictured above with Senator Elizabeth Warren, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, recently brought the issue of the need for accurate gender recognition of non-binary people to the Senator’s attention. We are strong supporters of everyone’s right to have their gender accurately legally recognized, and thank Boisseau for… Continue Reading

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