TransLash’s Guide To Intersex Awareness Day

Happy Intersex Awareness Day from Team TransLash! We’ve compiled some resource for our intersex siblings, as well as recommendations for allies.

Intersex Awareness Day, celebrated annually in the US on October 26th, started as a grassroots effort to get people to listen for what seemed like the very first time. That day, 25 years ago, members of the (no longer active) Intersex Society of North America, along with allies, made a presence at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston, MA in 1996. The group demonstrated and advocated for themselves, sharing pain publicly while denouncing the practice of non-consensual infant genital surgeries, making demands that the medical industry pay attention, and change things before more people get hurt and are forced into lives that are not their own.

Human Rights Watch published its first report on the consequences of these medically unnecessary surgeries in June of 2017, working closely with consultant Dr. Suegee Tamar-Mattis, who is intersex, a physician, and a parent, as well as with our partner organization, interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth. Along with the report, Human Rights Watch produced a video, featuring a Chicago intersex activist, Pidgeon Pagonis. In October of 2017, they published another report, focusing on the discomfort of US medical providers with the continued use of these surgeries.

In a long-fought for victory for intersex people, a hospital in Chicago pledged in 2020 to stop performing medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital also became the first hospital in the United States to publicly apologize for the harm these surgeries caused intersex people, who are born with traits that don’t fit conventional expectations of female or male bodies.

There is a long way to go when it comes to safety, justice, and equality for intersex people, but intersex activists such as Sean Saifa Wall are leading the way. Below you can find intersex-affirming books, videos, and other resources helpful to both members of the community, and to allies and families. Happy reading, and happy Intersex Awareness Day!

Articles

Books

Resources

Videos

Submit any useful Intersex Awareness Day resource links that we may have missed here.

[Top Image Description: a purple background holds a cartoon graphic of a tan hand with pink nail polish, holding an intersex flag – which is a bright yellow background with a hollow purple outline of a circle in the center – along with the hashtag #IntersexAwarenessDay and the TransLash logo]

[Botton Image Description: a yellow background holds text that says “Learn More: interactadvocates.org | intersexjusticeproject.org | #EndIntersexSurgery hashtag on IG and Twitter | Follow @saifaemerges, @pidgeon, @rivergallo, and more on IG” – along with the hashtag #IntersexAwarenessDay and the TransLash logo]

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