November 8, 2005 marks the beginning of Intersex Solidarity Day. Organizations and leaders come together on this day to bring awareness to genital mutilation, and other forms of non-consensual surgeries.
People have the right to make consensual medical decisions for their bodies based on fully-informed consent, yet this right is often taken away from intersex folks.
Intersex is the medical reference term for people who are biologically in between the currently-accepted medical definitions of male and female gender classification system. This can be through variations of expected hormones, chromosomes, internal or external genitalia, or any combination of any or all primary and/or secondary sex characteristics.
While some individuals are identified or diagnosed as intersex at birth, many are not. As intersex is only about biological sex, it is distinct from gender identity and sexual orientation.
To this day, many doctors still encourage unnecessary and non-consensual cosmetic surgery on/for intersex people, specifically young children, infants, and babies.
The goal of these surgeries is often only to make the child’s body conform to preconceived notions of what one’s genitalia should look like for their assigned sex. These surgical procedures are also a form of forced sterilization, as the child’s testes and/or ovaries are often removed in the process.
Both sex and gender are not binary! We seek to stand in solidarity with intersex folks today and always.