Skip To Content

    10 Awesome Things Intersex Activists Are Doing Around The World

    Supported by the Astraea Foundation's Intersex Human Rights Fund, these activists fearlessly push for our collective gender liberation on the daily–and look good doing it.

    1. Defending the most vulnerable

    Southern Poverty Law Center / Via splcenter.org

    While he was in state care, the Medical University of South Carolina performed an unauthorized sex reassignment surgery on an intersex child named M.C. to make his body “look female.” This type of procedure comes with countless risks, including sterility, altered sexual functioning, and incorrect gender assignment. Now eight, M.C. identifies and presents as male.

    In response to this violation, M.C.’s parents have teamed up with the intersex organization Advocates for Informed Choice to sue the state of South Carolina.

    2. Fighting for political recognition

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com / Via youtube.com

    In 2014, the intersex organization Beyond the Boundary successfully convinced the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission to consider and acknowledge intersex lives when reviewing the country’s anti-discrimination policies.

    ...A particularly impressive feat, as Beyond the Boundary does not have a membership of fifty, twenty, or even five. The organization is an army of one: Small Luk, an intersex woman from the community.

    Small represents the large impact that a single voice, bravely raised, can have on an entire city.

    3. Demanding accessible hormone treatment

    Bilitis Resource Center / Via bilitis.org

    Hormone therapy is an important part of all intersex treatment. For some variations of intersex such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a condition that disables the body’s ability to produce cortisol and aldosterone), hormone supplementation is a matter of life and death.

    The Bilitis Resource Center Foundation in Bulgaria understands that every intersex individual should have access to proper healthcare regardless of income. The organization is currently lobbying its Ministry of Health for state-sponsored hormone treatment for intersex people.

    4. Translating vital information

    Brújula Intersexual / Via Facebook: Brujulaintersex

    Much of the important resources written for and about intersex people are written in English, making them inaccessible to a majority of the international community.

    On her Facebook page Brújula Intersexual, the pseudonymous intersex activist “Laura Inter” is working to make this information widely available. Inter regularly posts Spanish translations of articles, highlighting the first-person perspectives of intersex people around the globe.

    5. Telling their stories

    vimeo.com / Via vimeo.com

    Atlanta-based artist-activist Sean Saifa M. Walker was assigned female at birth, but later transitioned to male. His father, who was incarcerated for four years during Walker’s young adulthood, died in prison from AIDS-related complications.

    In his multi-media performance project Letters to an Unborn Son, Walker uses the letters he exchanged with his father to take an intersectional look at institutional racism and non-normative bodies.

    6. Building community

    aisdsd.org / Via aisdsd.org

    The AIS-DSD Support Group was founded in 1996 by Sherri Groveman, a woman with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Each year, the group’s annual meeting draws 200 intersex individuals and allies from across the United States.

    7. Making movies

    Samantha Richardson / Via facebook.com

    Based in New York City, Arisleyda Dilone just finished her short film Mami, Y Yo Y Mi Gallito which revolves around her first conversation with her mom about her body. She is currently working on a feature length film (title-in-progress) that will include the voices of outside forces (her boyfriend, her friends, the medical field and, most importantly, her family) as she seeks to understand her identity.

    8. Researching

    cesdorg.wordpress.com / Via cesdorg.wordpress.com

    In Italy, activists and lawyers with Centro Europeo Studi sulla Discriminazione are creating informative yet easy-to-read materials on intersex for the general public.

    9. Pressuring politicians

    intersex.samtokin78.is / Via intersex.samtokin78.is

    In Iceland, the organization Intersex Ísland has worked tirelessly to educate politicians about intersex lives.

    10. Engaging with the media

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com / Via youtube.com

    In 2007, Intersex Campaign for Equality executive director Hida Viloria appeared on Oprah. In front of an audience of millions, Hida spoke about what it means to be intersex and the importance of ending sex reassignment operations on children.