Activists call on UK Government to recognise indeterminate sex

Rochelle Sampy December 3, 2013
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Campaigners from Intersex UK are lobbying the government to fight for the recognition of an indeterminate sex.

Speaking to the Independent, Holly Greenberry of Intersex UK, said: “Most intelligent human beings would be completely surprised and utterly dismayed at the civil inequality and human rights abuses that healthy intersex children and young adults are facing.

“I’ve never been completely male nor completely female in my genetics. I didn’t masculinise the way a male was expected to, and my body feminised in certain areas. I didn’t have the words to express myself; I didn’t know how I fitted in. It left me feeling really isolated and, while I tried to identify as male, I couldn’t do it.”

She continued: “It was like having a series of repetitive panic attacks. Surgery was horrifically damaging and led to huge number of follow-up surgeries. It all could have been prevented if there had been more medical understanding and if there had been less haste in trying to guess which label best fitted. I should have been allowed to be an ambiguous teenager with the freedom to express my natural gender.”

It is estimated that one in 2,000 babies have an intersex condition which is equal to 30,000 people living in the UK.

Over the weekend 34 activists from 30 intersex organisations participated in the Third International Intersex Forum in Malta, which was organised by the International Lesbian and Gay Association and ILGA-Europe to end discrimination against intersex people.

Their public statement, developed at this meeting, included certain demands for intersex people such as upholding their human and citizenship rights such as the right to marry and form a family and full access to medical records, putting an end to infanticide and killings and building effective anti-discrimination legislation that acknowledges past injustices and offers options for redress and the right to the truth.

A UK Government spokesperson said to “We are committed to tackling the causes of inequality.

“These issues are very complex and should be approached sensitively and with great care.

“We will shortly be launching a Call for Evidence to understand the remaining barriers for LGB&T equality. While we recognise that people with Intersex conditions may not associate themselves with this community, we would nonetheless welcome their views as part of this process.”

Last month Germany allowed parents to withhold the sex of their child on their birth certificate. Birth certificates in Germany have the option of selecting “blank”, as well as “male” or “female”.


More: Europe, gender identity, gender identity discrimination, gender identity disorder, ILGA, ILGA-Europe, intersex

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