intersex

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More updated from "One Day, One Struggle"

We are still documenting the events that took place during the One Day One Struggle campaign and we wanted to inform you about a few updates.
 
Campaign updates including the seminar on the new Aceh law that violates Islam and women’s right to bodily autonomy in Indonesia. 

The launch of a campaign for the abolishment of a penal code article that discriminates against women’s right to control their own sexuality in Malaysia.

A queer-straight alliance meeting in Pakistan.
 
Campaign updates from Bangladesh include:

     The national launch of a pioneering research on sexuality and rights;

     A discussion on the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Koran,

     A panel and cultural show on what it means to be a hijra (transgender) in Bangladesh.
 
We hope this information is helpful and once again, thank you very much for your support!

Best, Iraz & Emre

BANGLADESH

A pioneering research on sexuality and rights in Bangladesh

The Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS (CGSH) at the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) of BRAC University shared the findings of a pioneering research project on sexuality and rights in urban Bangladesh.  This exploratory study, the first of its kind, maps the manifold and changing understandings of sexuality, identity and rights among university students, factory workers, and sexual and gender minorities in Dhaka city.

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Ins Kromminga: Gender Binary is Absurd

By Ponni Arasu (mailponni@gmail.com)

First Published : 07 Nov 2009 [express buzz]

Ins Kromminga has been in Delhi for the past few days.  He/she was the guest artist at the Nigah Queer fest ‘09.  The fest, which has partially collaborated with the Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi for the past two years has had one artist from Germany every year.  Ins Kromminga is an artist and activist who works on a range of issues concerning intersex persons.  He/she is the German spokesperson for the Organisation of Intersex International.

I whisked him/her away for a while during the Nigah picnic, at Nehru park in Delhi, the closing event of the fest this year.  Below are Kromminga’s opinions on intersex persons’ issues and the role of art in the same.

What is “intersex”?

I will try and explain this complex aspect in as simple a form as possible.  It is a biological reality where a person’s body integrates parts that are usually considered to be “female” and “male”.  This can be at multiple levels.  It can be in the genetalia, chromosomes, and the genetic system on the whole and so on.  There are many variations in this continuum.  Medical signs has identified eight categories to determine any human being’s sex and all persons have to fit within these to make a clear cut call on a person’s gender.  And thus, presumably, most people will not fit perfectly within these minimalistic paradigms. 

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Update: Statement on Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism in the DSM-V

Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
GID Reform Advocates
www.gidreform.org

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is regarded as the medical and social definition of mental disorder throughout North America and strongly influences the The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).  The current psychiatric classifications of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and Transvestic Fetishism (TF) in the Fourth Edition Text Revision of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR) inflict great harm to gender variant, and especially transsexual, people in three ways:

Unfair Social Stigma. The GID and TF diagnoses falsely label identities and expressions that differ from assigned birth sex as mental illness and sexual deviance. Behaviors and emotions considered ordinary or even exemplary for other (cisgender) people are mis-characterized as madness for gender variant people.  Transwomen (those who identify as women and were birth-assigned male) are consequently maligned as crazy and sexually suspect “men” by this stereotype and vice versa for transmen.  The defamatory classification of Transvestic Fetishism particularly targets transwomen, including a great many transsexual women (whose gender identities are dramatically incongruent with born physical sex characteristics), as "paraphiliac" or sexually perverse. 

Across North America, these diagnoses are cited directly when gender variant people are denied human dignitiy, civil justice, and legal recognition in their affirmed gender roles.  Gender variant people lose jobs, homes, families, access to public facilities, and even custody and visitation of children as consequences of these false stereotypes.

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Intersex Solidarity Day: 11-08-09

Sunday 8th November is Intersex Solidarity Day and Herculine Barbin’s Birthday.

All human rights organizations, feminist allies, academics and gender specialists, as well as other groups and individuals interested in intersex human rights, are invited to show their solidarity by organizing workshops, lectures, discussions and other activities which deal with any or all of the following topics:

  • The life of Herculine Barbin.
  • Intersex genital mutilation.
  • The violence of the binary sex and gender system.
  • The sexism implicit within the binary construct of sex and gender.
  • Human rights. Intersex issues are feminist issues.

 

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Officer Dani Lee Harris is first intersex person to lead Pride parade

By DYANA BAGBY (SoVo)

AS A GRAND MARSHAL of this year’s Atlanta Pride parade, Officer Dani Lee Harris, the LGBT liaison for the Atlanta Police Department, had hopes to wear her uniform proudly despite the controversy surrounding the APD’s recent raid of the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar.

But when activists became angered again this week over her participation in Pride, and the concern she said her son had for her safety is she wore her uniform, she decided on Tuesday not to wear her uniform.

“My biggest concern is the safety of my son and out of respect for him I will swallow my pride,” she said. “I’m flabbergasted,” she said Tuesday. “Why people can’t realize this is about 21 officers out of 1,700 officers, and [the raid] is still under investigation.  But I will come out of uniform.

"They got this one,” she said of those angered by her being a grand marshal.

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SIPD Uganda contests III World Congress in Toronto

As an intersex African and a rights activist for intersex children and people in Uganda, it concerns me greatly that convenings aimed at discussing intersex issues never have intersex representation - except of infants, who are paraded as specimens rather than human beings.

The time is ripe that a human rights approach is applied when addressing intersex people and issues and that we - as intersex people - are involved in these discussions and intervention strategies.

Intersex may not be the typical but how 'disorderly' it is, is a debatable subject. SIPD Uganda challenges the 3rd World Congress on Hypospadias scheduled for November 12-15 2009, to consider intersex in its entirety and to desist from painting a medically biased and stigmatising picture of the body politics involved in intersexuality. 

We strongly contest the live non-consensual surgical demonstrations of intersex infants as part of the congress activities.

Julius .K. Kaggwa
Program Director
Support Initiative for People with atypical sex Development (SIPD) Uganda

Physical Address: Plot 1, Block 342 Albert Cook Rd. Rubaga-Wakaliga.
Postal Address: P.O. Box 31762, Namirembe Rd, Kampala. Uganda.
Tel: +256 757386740.
Email: aissgeastafrica@gmail.com
Website: www.sipd.webs.com

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"Two Spirits" World Premier, Nov. 21

Two Spirits, the documentary directed by Lydia Nibley and produced by Say Yes Quickly Productions, will have its world premiere on Saturday, November 21 at the Starz Denver Film Festival.

The film will screen at 12:30 p.m. in the 520-seat King Center Concert Hall on the University of Colorado at Denver’s downtown Auraria campus. The film will be followed by a panel discussion and reception, and the event will be hosted by the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Fred Martinez was nádleehí—someone who possesses a balance of masculine and feminine traits—a special gift according to his traditional Navajo culture. But his determination to express his truest identity tragically cost him his life.  At age sixteen, he was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was murdered in Cortez, Colorado.

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(Re)Figuring Sex: Somatechnical (Re)Visions

(Re)Figuring Sex: Somatechnical (Re)Visions

A conference organised by the Somatechnics Research Centre, Macquarie
University

20-21st November 2009
Sydney Australia

Recent theory has thoroughly critiqued traditional ways of imag(in)ing sex/gender and sexuality, challenging its tendency to render invisible those ways of being in the world which undermine such normative structures.  Such critiques have developed sophisticated ways of understanding embodiment and its representation, investigating perception/s, issues of visibility and visuality, and the effects on the lived experiences of those both within and without the norm: the effects of sexed imaginaries shape the experiences of the unusual and anomalous, and the everyday and conventional.

This conference, the 5th international Somatechnics Conference, takes as its central concern, then, the interplay between visuality and embodiment, and seeks papers engaged across a variety of areas extending from critical engagements with representations of sex and/or bodies, through to analyses of the shaping of perception/s as one facet of bodily being-in-the-world.

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Intersex: Designing the Margin of Feasible Bodies

By Silvia García Dauder and Nuria Gregori [Eurozine]

Truths and binary oppositions in the construction of sexes-genders-sexualities.

The controversy around the gender of the South African athlete Caster Semenya is by no means unprecedented. As Nuria Gregori and Silvia Garcia Dauder write, the world of sport is a social microcosm that reveals much about the role of assumptions concerning biological sex in a psychosocial logic in which gender identity, sexual orientation or sexual practice exerts maximum authority.

    I recall one night lying in bed after having made love to my partner.  I remember that my clitoris still felt the heat and the dampness of the inside of her vagina.  I felt good.  But I wondered, perhaps I will be the only woman who will have done this?  Am I the only woman lucky enough to have a clitoris which knows the feeling of penetrating? (Kim, 1999:99). [1]

It is in this very clear and provocative way that Kim introduces her contribution to the anthology Intersex in the Age of Ethics, one of the first publications to talk about the experiences of people who were previously stigmatized and condemned to silence.  Kim's transgression lies not only in the fact that she reveals and narrates her lesbian relationship, but in that, as a woman, she narrates how her clitoris is capable of penetrating a vagina.  Biomedicine considers Kim's clitoris to be "ambiguous", "deformed", "abnormal", or "offensive"; it is treated as a hypertrophic clitoris, a mega clitoris or a phallic clitoris.  All of these terms imply that there is something unacceptable about the fact that their size exceeds the limits of what is expected of a woman in our society.

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"Hermaphrodites Are An Imperialist Concept" - Julius Malema

Yesterday in an interview, the ANC Youth League president - a 28 year-old man called Julius Malema, often ribbed about his clearly ignorant and nonsensical statements, once again opened his mouth to let out a glorious clanger.

Julius Malema claimed "hermaphradites" do not exist because there is no word in Sepedi to describe the intersex condition. He also claimed the concept of hermaphroditism was an "imperialist" plot being "forced" onto South Africans.

Hehehe.

For me there are three mysteries surrounding this man. The first is, he's twenty-eight years old - how can he STILL be president of the "youth" league? The second, how can he still manage to actually top his previous ignorant statements with something significantly more stupid with each successive blunder? And thirdly, how does he keep getting away with it?

He has been ridiculed, reviled and even dragged to court numerous times for his utterances, and still he doesn't seem to have come away from it any wiser.

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