Written by Beth, staff member, Captain William Spry Public Library
October 26 is Intersex Awareness day! A time of protest and celebration, this day marks the anniversary of the first public demonstration held by intersex folks in the US. Much of what they were demonstrating against was the medical intervention performed on intersex folks—especially children. It is non-consensual on the part of the child, and the parents are often strongly encouraged by medical professionals to agree to these unnecessary surgeries. According to the group InterACT, opens a new window, this is because of trans- and homo- phobias: "This is connected to a historical belief that changing intersex bodies will stop kids from growing up gay or transgender."
Intersex activism involves questioning and critiquing the binaries society takes for granted as a biological fact. These ideas about gender and sex binaries are devoid of socio-historical context and are very harmful to intersex people. An intersex identity is simply another way to exist in the world, and it is to be celebrated—not medically altered.
When it comes to the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym, we know it covers a broad range of experiences and identities. Some, however, end up privileged over others. The "I" stands for intersex, and there must be more shared knowledge, understanding, and resources available to support the intersex community and to educate allies. The following is a list of intersex non-fiction, ranging from memoirs to guidebooks and more.
Check out some more great 2SLGBTQIA+ content here!