Last week, Inter/Act youth decided to write an open letter to Fox News to express our concerns with how they made fun of our lives in response to Facebook’s new gender options. (see video below)
This is what happened next… (be prepared to be shocked!)
Yes, that’s right. Fox new’s just (kind of) apologized to intersex people. I know, I can’t believe it either! We would like to thank everyone at glaad.org and advocate.com for working with us and publishing our open letter. We’d also like to give a shout-out to AIC’s Sean Saifa Wall (Board President) and Dr. Georgiann Davis (Friend and AIS-DSD President) for writing their open letter as well!
To have Fox News’ cruel words about intersex people acknowledged on air sends a strong message to the intersex community. While they may not understand the realities of our lives, they know that their words have the power to harm us. I hope that we can continue to educate Fox, as well as the American public more about the realities of our lives.
…When viewing the on screen reaction, we felt disregarded as a butt of a joke. We felt when watching the clip that not only did your team not know what intersex was, but they also didn’t find it worth while to learn more. People with intersex conditions face challenges everyday…
AP: Facebook is rolling out a change to its 159 million US users that will give them more options than ever before when it comes to choosing their gender.
A new, customizable option gives users about 50 different terms to identify their gender, including androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.
This is cool and all, but the thing is intersex isn’t a gender (it’s not a gender identity). In fact, intersex has nothing to do with gender, rather it is a term used to describe people (like myself) who have physical sex characteristics that are different from the norm. While some intersex people use intersex as their gender identity (something which only people with intersex traits can do), most people identify as male or female, while some identify as something else (genderqueer, androgynous, agender, etc. - all which are in the minority, like the rest of the population).
Its great that its there for those who do identify as such, but I’m concerned that people will think that intersex is a gender when in actuality its not, or that they’ll think that anyone can identify as such.