Friday, November 22, 2013

Intersex Activist Event (On the Internet!): Huffington Post Live Panel on Intersex Issues

Hi, everyone! This afternoon, I had a fantastic experience participating in a live discussion on intersex issues via Google Hangout. The panelists included folks I've linked to on this blog before, including Hida Viloria - Chairperson of OII-USA - and Cary Gabriel Costello - sociologist and blogger at The Intersex Roadshow (which I love). Also present were Sean Saifa Wall and David Cameron Stratchen, who were both featured in the documentary film 1 in 2000, focusing on raising awareness about intersex issues.

If you're interested in checking the video out, you can do so here!

Thank you to Huffington Post (especially Alex Berg for getting us set up and our awesome interviewer, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin), the other intersex activists on the panel, and a HUGE thanks to the NYU LGBTQ Student Center for giving me space and a laptop to do the interview! (My laptop is on its last legs - the Center's help was so appreciated!)


  1. Hi, My daughter is intersex. We were told she had AIS but recently found out she has 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency. It's similair to AIS but her voice has changd in the past year like a typical adolescent male, she has acne, and physically she resembles her father. She is embarrassed by her voice and her physique. She doen't like to talk about it and has no interest in meeting other intersex girls. We want to support her but are not sure of the best way to do it. There is very little information about 17 beta on the Internet and it is much less common than AIS. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hello! I posted this question to the Facebook group "The Commons," which focuses on intersex issues, and is run by/for intersex people and intersex allies.

    You can follow along here:

    As far as support goes, I think the best thing is to take cues from your daughter. There have been periods in my life where I did not want to talk about intersex, and would not do it, and there were other times when I absolutely had to talk about it and sought that out. It is extremely difficult to deal with knowing you have a body that's recognized as "different" (= bad), feel confused about the social dimension of being an intersex person ("How does society view me? Who do they expect me to be? Does this change who I know myself to be - who am I?"), and to deal with medical trauma that doesn't just leave physical scars, but often emotional and psychological ones.

    If your daughter is not ready to talk, the best way you can support her is to let her know that you do support her, and will support her how she needs to be supported. When she is ready to seek out information, talk about intersex, contact other intersex people, she will know that you'll support her in that. And if she chooses not to do so, that that's okay, too.

    Thank you for caring about your daughter's emotional needs. This is fantastic parenting. <33

    1. Thank you! I am so glad I found your blog. It's hard to know what to do but I will follow her lead. I will also check out the Facebook group.