interactyouth:

 More intersex FAQ’s

interactyouth:

 More intersex FAQ’s

"Intersex babies are not having difficulty with sexual identity or self-image. The parents are, and parental anxiety about the appearance of a child’s genitals should be treated with counseling, not with surgery to the child."

— We couldn’t agree more, except to say not just parents, but everyone involved has a stake in this. Check out our FAQ for more info on intersex Elizabeth Weil (via reproductivejusticeatsfsu)

(via interactyouth)

interactyouth:

Inter/Act has been working with MTV’s Faking It on building a (more) true-to-life intersex character, Lauren (played by Bailey Buntain). We anticipated a few new people to our page, wondering what exactly intersex is. The following intersex FAQ was compiled by the members of Inter/Act. It is intended to be a living document that we will continue to tweak, change, add-to and subtract from. Please feel free to reference it, re-blog it, and ask us questions (at inter.act@aiclegal.org)
What is intersex?
Intersex is an umbrella term that describes people born with intersex conditions or DSD (Differences of Sex Development). There are over 30 different conditions that cause intersex people to have physical differences inside and/or outside their bodies, making their sex neither purely male or female. Biology class has always taught us that sex is merely black and white, “male” or “female,” but now we know that’s not true. There are a lot of awesome gray areas in the middle!
What are some intersex conditions?
There are over many conditions that fall under the intersex umbrella including, but not limited to: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Klinefelter Syndrome, Hypospadias, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH), Swyer Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency. Please see the ISNA (Intersex Society of North America) website for more information on specific conditions.
How common are intersex people?
Intersex people are roughly 1 in every 2,000 people. That’s as common as natural born redheads! We’re not rare, just invisible.
So how come I’ve never heard of intersex before?
The intersex community has a long history of shame and secrecy, for so many reasons. For starters, many doctors have told patients that they’ll never meet anyone like themselves. Sometimes they’ll even tell them not to talk about their conditions to anyone! On top of that, doctors and parents often try to “fix” intersex kid’s bodies with unnecessary surgeries, trying to make them fit into their idea of “normal.” Not to mention each condition is different, so educating the general public is hard when there is so much information to talk about.
It sounds like intersex conditions can be hard to care for!
They can be. Finding a good doctor that you can really connect with is so important for intersex people. Sometimes doctors don’t know the best way to handle each specific person. We all need to be informed about our bodies, our options, and the research that’s been done so we can make the best decisions possible. Making an informed decision is the most important thing an intersex person can do, so please don’t rush into anything. 
How does gender fit into intersex?
Not quite as simply as you might think! Intersex relates to biological sex and a person’s genetic traits, internal and external reproductive organs, hormones, and secondary sex characteristics. Gender is more about the way somebody feels or identifies. This means intersex individuals identify as female, male, man, woman, or a multitude of identities just as non-intersex individuals do. Some examples include genderqueer, agender, third gender, two-spirit, intergender, and the list doesn’t end there.  It’s important to remember that gender is fluid, not stagnant, possibly alternating its course during a person’s journey 
How does intersex differ from transgender?
Intersex is often confused with transgender, but they are actually very different things. Intersex is when your biological sex doesn’t neatly fit into the male/female binary, but transgender is when you feel as if your assigned sex does not match your gender identity. Someone can be both intersex and transgender!
What terms can I use to talk about intersex people?
Intersex and DSD are the two current terms that most people use interchangeably. However, they both are controversial for different people.  Some of our youth feel more comfortable with DSD as it might be the only term they are familiar with, while others prefer intersex over DSD. All intersex folks have the right to self define themselves at any particular point in their journey. It’s better for people to come to their own conclusions about how they want to identify, rather than be told or pushed into identifying a certain way. If you don’t know how someone identifies, feel free to ask!
Can I use the word hermaphrodite?
No. Hermaphrodite is a harmful term that is widely considered a slur, please don’t use it. It’s a stigmatizing word that people associate with having both sets of working genetalia, which is rarely possible in humans, if at all. Some intersex folk have started reclaiming the term, but that is for them to decide and use, not for you. 
What are some other terms I should know?
Ambiguous Genitalia - Genitalia that doesn’t look clearly “male” or “female.” However, no genitals look the same, and nobody’s genitalia is “ambiguous.” It’s all just genitals!
Dyadic - Some intersex people have started using dyadic to describe those who are not intersex (meaning, they fit the “male” or “female” binary)
Cisgender- When a person’s gender identity matches their assigned sex. For example, a person assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman is considered cisgender. This term can get confusing with intersex individuals - some use it, some don’t.
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)  - This is an important tool in an intersex person’s tool box. HRT ensures that an intersex person’s physical and emotional health needs are properly maintained. If someone’s hormone needs (for things like development, body regulation, or bone growth) aren’t being met, they may go on HRT to figure out the best hormone levels for their bodies.
Informed Consent - This term gets thrown a lot, especially when talking about surgeries of intersex people. Basically, it means that nobody should be operated on without their full knowledge of circumstances, repercussions, reasoning, etc. For example, babies and children are too young to fully understand and give informed consent.
Preferred Pronouns - Many people (intersex or otherwise) don’t identify as a binary gender, especially when their bodies don’t line up in a typical binary box. Ask someone what their preferred gender pronoun is. They’ll love you for it!
What are some other intersex resources?
We have an ever-growing list of resources on our page. Please check there for more information on support groups or legal help.
What can you do as an ally?
Call out others when they say harmful things. Be our advocates where you can, but also give us a chance to educate. Don’t speak over an intersex person, as chances are we’re a lot more familiar with these issues than you are. Listen and try to understand our stories, as we’re pretty incredible people. :)

interactyouth:

Inter/Act has been working with MTV’s Faking It on building a (more) true-to-life intersex character, Lauren (played by Bailey Buntain). We anticipated a few new people to our page, wondering what exactly intersex is. The following intersex FAQ was compiled by the members of Inter/Act. It is intended to be a living document that we will continue to tweak, change, add-to and subtract from. Please feel free to reference it, re-blog it, and ask us questions (at inter.act@aiclegal.org)

What is intersex?

Intersex is an umbrella term that describes people born with intersex conditions or DSD (Differences of Sex Development). There are over 30 different conditions that cause intersex people to have physical differences inside and/or outside their bodies, making their sex neither purely male or female. Biology class has always taught us that sex is merely black and white, “male” or “female,” but now we know that’s not true. There are a lot of awesome gray areas in the middle!

What are some intersex conditions?

There are over many conditions that fall under the intersex umbrella including, but not limited to: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Klinefelter Syndrome, Hypospadias, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH), Swyer Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency. Please see the ISNA (Intersex Society of North America) website for more information on specific conditions.

How common are intersex people?

Intersex people are roughly 1 in every 2,000 people. That’s as common as natural born redheads! We’re not rare, just invisible.

So how come I’ve never heard of intersex before?

The intersex community has a long history of shame and secrecy, for so many reasons. For starters, many doctors have told patients that they’ll never meet anyone like themselves. Sometimes they’ll even tell them not to talk about their conditions to anyone! On top of that, doctors and parents often try to “fix” intersex kid’s bodies with unnecessary surgeries, trying to make them fit into their idea of “normal.” Not to mention each condition is different, so educating the general public is hard when there is so much information to talk about.

It sounds like intersex conditions can be hard to care for!

They can be. Finding a good doctor that you can really connect with is so important for intersex people. Sometimes doctors don’t know the best way to handle each specific person. We all need to be informed about our bodies, our options, and the research that’s been done so we can make the best decisions possible. Making an informed decision is the most important thing an intersex person can do, so please don’t rush into anything.

How does gender fit into intersex?

Not quite as simply as you might think! Intersex relates to biological sex and a person’s genetic traits, internal and external reproductive organs, hormones, and secondary sex characteristics. Gender is more about the way somebody feels or identifies. This means intersex individuals identify as female, male, man, woman, or a multitude of identities just as non-intersex individuals do. Some examples include genderqueer, agender, third gender, two-spirit, intergender, and the list doesn’t end there.  It’s important to remember that gender is fluid, not stagnant, possibly alternating its course during a person’s journey

How does intersex differ from transgender?

Intersex is often confused with transgender, but they are actually very different things. Intersex is when your biological sex doesn’t neatly fit into the male/female binary, but transgender is when you feel as if your assigned sex does not match your gender identity. Someone can be both intersex and transgender!

What terms can I use to talk about intersex people?

Intersex and DSD are the two current terms that most people use interchangeably. However, they both are controversial for different people.  Some of our youth feel more comfortable with DSD as it might be the only term they are familiar with, while others prefer intersex over DSD. All intersex folks have the right to self define themselves at any particular point in their journey. It’s better for people to come to their own conclusions about how they want to identify, rather than be told or pushed into identifying a certain way. If you don’t know how someone identifies, feel free to ask!

Can I use the word hermaphrodite?

No. Hermaphrodite is a harmful term that is widely considered a slur, please don’t use it. It’s a stigmatizing word that people associate with having both sets of working genetalia, which is rarely possible in humans, if at all. Some intersex folk have started reclaiming the term, but that is for them to decide and use, not for you.

What are some other terms I should know?

Ambiguous Genitalia - Genitalia that doesn’t look clearly “male” or “female.” However, no genitals look the same, and nobody’s genitalia is “ambiguous.” It’s all just genitals!

Dyadic - Some intersex people have started using dyadic to describe those who are not intersex (meaning, they fit the “male” or “female” binary)

Cisgender- When a person’s gender identity matches their assigned sex. For example, a person assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman is considered cisgender. This term can get confusing with intersex individuals - some use it, some don’t.

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)  - This is an important tool in an intersex person’s tool box. HRT ensures that an intersex person’s physical and emotional health needs are properly maintained. If someone’s hormone needs (for things like development, body regulation, or bone growth) aren’t being met, they may go on HRT to figure out the best hormone levels for their bodies.

Informed Consent - This term gets thrown a lot, especially when talking about surgeries of intersex people. Basically, it means that nobody should be operated on without their full knowledge of circumstances, repercussions, reasoning, etc. For example, babies and children are too young to fully understand and give informed consent.

Preferred Pronouns - Many people (intersex or otherwise) don’t identify as a binary gender, especially when their bodies don’t line up in a typical binary box. Ask someone what their preferred gender pronoun is. They’ll love you for it!

What are some other intersex resources?

We have an ever-growing list of resources on our page. Please check there for more information on support groups or legal help.

What can you do as an ally?

Call out others when they say harmful things. Be our advocates where you can, but also give us a chance to educate. Don’t speak over an intersex person, as chances are we’re a lot more familiar with these issues than you are. Listen and try to understand our stories, as we’re pretty incredible people. :)

interactyouth:

Today marks Inter/Act’s 3rd Anniversary on Tumblr ::woot!:: To celebrate, Inter/Act member Karly (who sometimes goes by ‘mermaid’) wanted to share her thoughts on labels… especially the intersex and DSD (difference of sex development) ones…
What is positive and empowering to one person can feel negative or derogatory to someone else. In intersex conditions/DSD,  unfamiliar and potentially hurtful words are everywhere.  People can read words like “pseudohermaphrodite,” “testicular feminization, “true hermaphrodite” and other words that are unfamiliar like “intersex” in medical records and medical articles.  These words seem shocking to some people and are even considered by experts as out-dated.  After all, “hermaphrodite” comes from the name of a mythical creature.  While it may apply to animals who are able to reproduce by themselves, it isn’t scientifically accurate to use it to refer to people with intersex conditions or a DSD.  
However, the term “intersex” feels upsetting to some people too.  Other times, like for me, I feel like intersex describes who I am.  When I reference myself and my condition as “intersex”, I don’t feel average or regular, I feel extraordinary— special and unique!
But it’s not the label alone that has helped me accept and understand my body.  Organizations like Inter/Act and the AIS-DSD Support Group have connected me with others and helped me feel that I am just me—and that’s more than okay to be! With support, I know that I deserve love, and it is wonderful to share my difference as an intersex person with the world.
Sometimes, I feel sad when I see people giving words and labels power over us. I want everyone to know, if you feel a word does not represent who you are, you don’t need to use it.  You can share your difference however you are most comfortable sharing it.  Talk about yourself in a way that feels true to who you are and what your intersex condition/DSD means to you.
Also, remember the power of humor! Sometimes, it can feel good to laugh about your body, your difference, and your experience with friends who understand you and your difference. 
Life is a journey, and  remember that only you have the power to write your story! Don’t let labels or words hold you back. Find ways of talking about your DSD that feels right for you, because life is too precious to spend time dwelling on labels that don’t fit. Call yourself intersex… Or say you have a DSD… Or say you have a difference that caused your body to grow differently.  Or say each of them—whenever it feels right to you.  Whatever you say, remember that only you can decide what your DSD means and how you share it with others. 
 You’ve got the power!

interactyouth:

Today marks Inter/Act’s 3rd Anniversary on Tumblr ::woot!:: To celebrate, Inter/Act member Karly (who sometimes goes by ‘mermaid’) wanted to share her thoughts on labels… especially the intersex and DSD (difference of sex development) ones…

What is positive and empowering to one person can feel negative or derogatory to someone else. In intersex conditions/DSD,  unfamiliar and potentially hurtful words are everywhere.  People can read words like “pseudohermaphrodite,” “testicular feminization, “true hermaphrodite” and other words that are unfamiliar like “intersex” in medical records and medical articles.  These words seem shocking to some people and are even considered by experts as out-dated.  After all, “hermaphrodite” comes from the name of a mythical creature.  While it may apply to animals who are able to reproduce by themselves, it isn’t scientifically accurate to use it to refer to people with intersex conditions or a DSD.  

However, the term “intersex” feels upsetting to some people too.  Other times, like for me, I feel like intersex describes who I am.  When I reference myself and my condition as “intersex”, I don’t feel average or regular, I feel extraordinary— special and unique!

But it’s not the label alone that has helped me accept and understand my body.  Organizations like Inter/Act and the AIS-DSD Support Group have connected me with others and helped me feel that I am just me—and that’s more than okay to be! With support, I know that I deserve love, and it is wonderful to share my difference as an intersex person with the world.

Sometimes, I feel sad when I see people giving words and labels power over us. I want everyone to know, if you feel a word does not represent who you are, you don’t need to use it.  You can share your difference however you are most comfortable sharing it.  Talk about yourself in a way that feels true to who you are and what your intersex condition/DSD means to you.

Also, remember the power of humor! Sometimes, it can feel good to laugh about your body, your difference, and your experience with friends who understand you and your difference.

Life is a journey, and  remember that only you have the power to write your story! Don’t let labels or words hold you back. Find ways of talking about your DSD that feels right for you, because life is too precious to spend time dwelling on labels that don’t fit. Call yourself intersex… Or say you have a DSD… Or say you have a difference that caused your body to grow differently.  Or say each of them—whenever it feels right to you.  Whatever you say, remember that only you can decide what your DSD means and how you share it with others.

 You’ve got the power!

Inter/Act

neutrois:

interactyouth:

Welcome to the new Inter/Act Blog! As you may know, Inter/Act is a safe place for young people with intersex conditions or DSD to come together, express themselves, and unite their individual stories to develop a voice for a new generation. We have revamped our site to get ready for some exciting changes over the next few months. Feel free to poke around, ask some questions, tell your friends. We’re so glad you are here!

Check out this awesome resource for youth.

(Source: gameraboy, via fuckyeah1990s)

lefthandriseabove:

I want all of them.

lefthandriseabove:

Yeah, what about us? You literally do not give a flying fuck about us until we’re convenient to make a point regarding gender identity politics. Then we’re the magical third sex, the proof that people can be female while being male or vice versa. Only THEN are we worth mentioning.

The thing that…

(via lefthandriseabove-deactivated20)

(Source: motomotox, via motocrossonly)