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NHS ‘a world pioneer’ in treating intersex babies

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  1. This is a genuine question. How does intersex relate to homosexuality? Why is there now an I at the end of GLBT? As a gay man I am at a loss to see why I am being grouped with people who are intersex. Genuine question – I’m not running anyone down here.

  2. Jessica Geen 19 Nov 2009, 6:19pm

    PinkNews has always covered trans issues as well. Some people may well argue that intersex shouldn’t be grouped with trans. I figured some readers might question why we covered this, but I found the story very interesting and it made sense as we covered the Caster Semenya (South African runner) case.


  3. The NHS are world leaders at mutilating intersexed children that’s for sure. They do not allow intersexed children to work out what gender they are themselves. Instead they operate as soon as possible and chose the child’s gender based on the most easiest surgical option and parental choice.

    The way how the NHS treats intersexed people is a major human rights issue we need to address in this country.

  4. Hey Jessica,

    My comment wasn’t directed at Pink News for covering the issue, it’s more a wider query really. I don’t understand why Intersex and indeed Transsexuals are all grouped together under GLBTI.

    It certainly wasn’t a criticism of PinkNews :)

  5. In answer to your question Dan P, I suppose it is all to do with being discriminated against based on something you cannot change, in the same way that I feel racism to be the same as homophobia. The trans community have a long history in relation to lesbian and gay people, so perhaps in their fight to stand up for us, they should also be included in our fight and we should also stand up for them.

  6. Not that it was the most interesting news today but it was interesting
    And to brag after a boring day, i too have amBIGuous genitals

  7. Pumpkin Pie 20 Nov 2009, 1:19am

    This treatment of intersex children is barbaric and it is baffling that it is not completely illegal in this country. Rigidly enforced gender binaries are so bloody ridiculous. And so very fragile that babies have to be butchered in order to maintain the status quo.

    Why not wait until they’re old enough to tell you who they are themselves? Oh, that’s right, they might give an answer that the public and those in power don’t want to hear.

  8. Eh, Abi did you actually read the article?

    “. . .the NHS is the first health service in the world to begin treating intersex babies on the assumption that they should not automatically be operated on. . .”

    So while admittedly the treatment in the past was to operate on at birth, the NHS specialists in this field have agreed not to do so now. Making them world leaders in this change in practice. . .

    It may have taken them longer than necessary to make this decision, but at least they are changing their practices.

  9. Who knows how the field of sex works, it’s all interesting though!

    I’d quite like to see other news sections unrelated to sexuality, it’d be interesting to have a “gay opinion” about current affairs, world events etc.

  10. I can’t help feeling a little cynical reading this article. I personally know of an intersex child that was rushed off for surgery very soon after birth. Obviously, I couldn’t ask all the details, but, whatever the child’s condition, it seemed to me to be very strange to perform surgery so quickly. I got the impression that there was a huge rush to assign a gender to the child, and that surgery would get rid of any ‘visual incongruities’. Maybe things vary from area to area? Or maybe individual doctors have different ideas? Or, possibly, the parents feel rushed into surgery by the attitude of society? I don’t know.

    Does anyone know if there’s information following up intersex children as adults to see how happy they are with the gender assigned to them as children?

  11. Good for the NHS! I’m rather proud that they’re embracing a policy of not forcing kids into the gender binary. I have plenty of transgender, transsexual and genderqueer friends, and knowing them has indeed made me question sex, gender, and gender identity – not to mention orientation. And that’s been good for me.

    As to why we’re “lumped together”, I reckon that sex, gender, gender identity and orientation are very strongly linked in terms both of personal identity and the way the dominant culture reacts to them. We challenge mainstream ideas about these things, we disrupt the safety of the assumptions that people have held for a while (not forever – attitudes have changed drastically over time and cultures) about their bodies, sexualities and identities. And there is safety in numbers, not to mention a greater chance of success when we drop our need to be more important or more right and get down to working together.

  12. so their ‘world pioneers’ by not automatically MUTILIATING BABIES…

    that is f-ed up.

  13. Xaria has made by far the best comment in terms of common sense here
    How do other countries choose what gender the baby will be?
    Doesn’t the kid get any choice in the matter?

  14. It’s a great thing. But imagining you grow up with the wrong designated sex then have to go for sex reassignment surgery/therapy for something you used to have because of your parent(s)’ or the attending’s biased opinions .

  15. David Spector 5 Mar 2010, 4:14am

    Many people are offended or judgemental about people different from themselves. This has always baffled me, as I have no trouble putting myself in other people’s shoes.

    Why must everyone be either male or female? There are some intersex people (admittedly not many) who do not identify as either male or female (I saw an interview with one such person on TV). I admire such people for the polarity and discrimination they must face every day. (Note: I am a heterosexual male, if it matters.)

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