Intersex…the forgotten minority

Its probably just as well that i have lizard blood pressure. Either that, or the fact that i can get angry without seeing red.

Still, this morning got me off to a very angry start when i read this honest, poignant, desperate post by Maya Posch. She is Dutch – and intersex – and as she writes (and documents) very clearly, her country and its medical system seem incapable of even recognising the possibility that such a condition exists, let alone doing anything remotely helpful to deal with it.

I posted on her blog to express both my sadness at her plight, and a commitment to campaign, when i can, to support the rights of intersexed individuals.

There is so much i just don’t get about these issues: maybe i am just too simplistic in my approach; or maybe it is just that i found politics and political activism long before i discovered my own trans nature. I was actively campaigning for gay rights in the 1970’s, at a time when it was seriously untrendy – and when the consequences of that activism could be quite brutal (back then, “police responsibility for hate crime” meant something very different indeed).

I’ll bang the drum for women’s rights and trans rights when an issue comes along worth making noise about. And i’ll just as readily get out there for people like Maya.

Because i don’t get and do not understand the exclusivity that goes on within some sections of the LGBT(QI) movement: why some minorities think it OK to gain their rights – and then draw the ladder up behind them.

I was bemused when i was first told that as a trans person i was “appropriating” intersex issues. Why? Well, that’s what we do. Although i’ve since understood that a little better, having been enlightened as to some of the horrors perpetrated by a few in the trans community against those who are intersex.

No. The score right now is that people who are Lesbian and Gay have been winning rights over the last thirty years, have made good progress, but still have a way to go. Rights for trans people pretty much left the starting blocks about ten years back, and have rapidly been catching up: but we too have further to go.

And rights for intersex people aren’t even on the scoreboard.

Note the commonality? Its about PEOPLE: not “lesbians”, “gays”, “trans”, “intersexes” or however you wish to mangle the language to cover it. And if people are getting shafted by the system, they deserve help.

And of course, it isn’t all about the Netherlands. One case i have been able to help with far less than i would have liked was happening, over the last few months in the UK. An intersex individual nearly died as a result of crap treatment by the various systems supposed to help her: one reason for the poverty of treatment was that those supposedly helping her took issue with the idea of intersex as a condition, insisting on insulting her by calling her male or trans – and labelling her as truculent when she, not unnaturally, took exception to her treatment.

Sorry, folks: its an absolute utter scandal that when the last government took some very positive steps in respect of trans rights, it couldn’t bring itself to even recognise intersex as having existence. That means people like Maya suffer every day, not just in countries far far away (like Holland?) – but also today, now, in the UK.

That bloody well needs to stop!



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] to today’s piece about Maya Posch…i’ve added link in the sidebar to a petition for intersex […]

  2. 2

    […] Update: By the way, if you are interested in doing your bit for intersex people in our world, as opposed to in imaginary ones, there’s a petition on that’s trying to get the UN to take notice of the problem. (Hat tip to Jane Fae Ozimek.) […]

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