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It is extremely important to spread the word of what intersex is and what we experience due to society’s ignorance, negligence and outright discrimination towards any person who supposedly differs from the “norm.” Akhtar’s experience reminds me of a “trans youth” (25 and under) consultation at the Government Equalities Office during the autumn of last year; part of the process that eventually led to the creation of the trans action plan.
There’s a long history of the people within the trans rights movement co-opting intersex issues for their own ends or erasing intersex experience by claiming that trans and intersex issues are “basically the same”. What we can do is be there for intersex activists when they ask for help, just as trans people would like cis allies to without telling us how we identify or how to run our campaigns.
When UK LGBT organisations attended the House of Lords LGBTI event, why did they not join intersex activists in asking the Government Equalities Office to get its act together?
An article posted yesterday on The Intersex Network highlights intersex erasure* at a recent House of Lords event.
Report on the intersex inclusive House of Lords LGBTI event ‘Human Rights for Sexual Minorities’ on 24th January 2012 Activist Anis Akhtar explains how this “LGBTI” event focused almost exclusively upon the “LGBT”, with LGBT groups speaking and topics of discussion including LGBT History Month, homophobic and transphobic hate crime in the EU, the forced sterilisation of trans people in countries such as Sweden and the complex intersection of LGBTI experiences and religion/faith.
Akhtar concludes: “I was not surprised that the focus was LGBT but glad that a few people did say LGBTI on the day.