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

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Category Archives: Publications

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!

Oregon becomes first state to offer non-binary driver’s licenses!

Oregon becomes first state to offer non-binary driver’s licenses!

As reported in Time, Oregon has become the first state to offer a non-binary gender option on driver’s licenses. Effective July 1st, residents will be able to select an “X”, representing “not specified”, instead of an M or F as their gender—with no doctor’s verification needed! According to reports, those speaking in favor of adding… Continue Reading

Intersex Memoir Praised in The New York Times, Washington Post & More!

Intersex Memoir Praised in The New York Times, Washington Post & More!

  “[A] poignant and powerful story.” – The Washington Post “Viloria does us the even greater service (it’s more of a gift, really) of showing us what it means to live not just as both a man and a woman but also as a third gender that eventually emerges as the right one.” — The… 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

E.D. Hida Viloria in Psychology Today

E.D. Hida Viloria in Psychology Today

“I want parents to know that intersex kids can decide who they are for themselves and have that turn out beautifully.” — Hida Viloria Our E.D.’s interview Born Both: Intersex and Happy, in Psychology Today, covers bodily autonomy, parental decision-making, positive identity and much more. Enjoy and please share with parents and stakeholders in particular.… Continue Reading

Doctors Reevaluate “Disorders of Sex Development”!

“Based on their results, the authors recommend that the DSD term be updated through a collaborative effort between the medical, research and advocacy communities.” — from “Term ‘Disorders of Sex Development’ May Have Negative Impact” OII and OII-USA have advocated against the stigmatizing, harmful term “Disorders of Sex Development/DSD” since it was introduced in 2006,… Continue Reading

Sex-Positive = Intersex-Positive in Huffington Post

Sex-Positive = Intersex-Positive in Huffington Post

    Our E.D.’s latest essay, “Remember: Sex-Positive = Intersex-Positive,” in Huffington Post Queer Voices, examines the intersectionality of feminism and intersex issues by exploring medical and social views towards clitoral reduction surgeries on intersex baby girls and future women. Enjoy and please share widely to educate about how intersex issues are feminist issues. Continue Reading

Our E.D. Hida Viloria in Rolling Stone magazine!

Our E.D. Hida Viloria in Rolling Stone magazine!

  We are thrilled to report that our E.D. Hida Viloria was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, in an interview about he/r new memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life, which hit stores last week on March 14th. Viloria discusses issues of gender, racism, non-binary identity, discrimination, love and more. Please enjoy and share widely! Continue Reading

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