Intersex Awareness Day

Happy Intersex Awareness Day!

Did you know that Intersex people comprise approximately 1.7% of the population? (If you want to grock the numbers, there is an excellent discussion on OII Australia’s website.)

Next time you hear someone ask an expectant parent, “Is it a boy, or a girl?” you can point out that there is 98% chance that the answer is, “yes.” And then, perhaps have an

Hida Viloria's memoir, coming March 2017
Hida Viloria’s memoir, coming March 2017

interesting discussion about sex vs. gender, socially constructed binaries vs. the actual diversity of the natural world (including humans). How interesting is up to you and the person who defaults to such an old-fashioned question…

In checking out the history of this day, my biggest surprise was finding the US State Department’s statement of recognition. A snippet:

We recognize that intersex persons face violence, discrimination, stigma, harassment, and persecution on account of their sex characteristics, which do not fit binary notions of typical male or female bodies.

Intersex persons routinely face forced medical surgeries that are conducted at a young age without free or informed consent. These interventions jeopardize their physical integrity and ability to live free.

If you want to learn more about how to be an ally, there is time before Intersex Solidarity Day, November 8th. You can find out more about what’s happening in your country by visiting the Organization Intersex International‘s website.