Intersex and LGBT
|Human rights and legal issues|
|Medicine and biology|
|Society and culture|
|History and events|
|Rights by country|
|Part of a series on|
|Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people|
|Academic fields and
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies".
LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The initialism has become mainstream as a self-designation; it has been adopted by the majority of sexuality and gender identity-based community centers and media in the United States, as well as many other countries.
The relationship of intersex to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans, and queer communities is complex, and many intersex people are not themselves LGBT, but intersex people are often added to LGBT to create an LGBTI community.
- 1 Intersex and homosexuality
- 2 Intersex and transgender
- 3 LGBT and LGBTI
- 4 Alternative terms
- 5 Other intersectionalities
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Intersex and homosexuality
Intersex can be contrasted with homosexuality or same-sex attraction. Numerous studies have shown higher rates of same sex attraction in intersex people, with a recent Australian study of people born with atypical sex characteristics finding that 52% of respondents were non-heterosexual, thus research on intersex subjects has been used to investigate means of preventing homosexuality. In 1990, Heino Meyer-Bahlburg wrote that:
The prenatal hormone theory of sexual orientation is derived from research on lower mammals, and draws limited corroboration from human research on endocrinological abnormalities associated with physical manifestations of intersexuality... human studies of the effects of altering the prenatal hormonal milieu by the administration of exogenous hormones lend support to a prenatal hormone theory that implicates both androgens and estrogens in the development of gender preference ... it is likely that prenatal hormone variations may be only one among several factors influencing the development of sexual orientation
In 2010, Saroj Nimkarn and Maria New wrote that, "Gender-related behaviors, namely childhood play, peer association, career and leisure time preferences in adolescence and adulthood, maternalism, aggression, and sexual orientation become" masculinized in women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Medical intervention to prevent such traits has been likened by Dreger, Feder and Tamar-Mattis to a means of preventing homosexuality and "uppity women".
Intersex activists such as Morgan Carpenter have sometimes talked of intersex bodies as "queer bodies". Activists and scholars such as Carpenter, Morgan Holmes and Katrina Karkazis have documented a heteronormativity in medical rationales for the surgical normalization of infants and children born with atypical sex development. In What Can Queer Theory Do for Intersex? Iain Morland contrasts queer "hedonic activism" with an experience of insensate post-surgical intersex bodies to claim that "queerness is characterized by the sensory interrelation of pleasure and shame".
Intersex and transgender
Intersex can also be contrasted with transgender, which describes the condition in which one's gender identity does not match one's assigned sex. Some people are both intersex and transgender. A 2012 clinical review paper found that between 8.5% and 20% of people with intersex variations experienced gender dysphoria.
Recognition of third sex or gender classifications occurs in several countries, however, it is controversial when it becomes assumed or coercive, as is the case with German infants who may not be assigned to male or female categories. Sociological research in Australia, a country with a third 'X' sex classification, shows that 19% of people born with atypical sex characteristics selected an "X" or "other" option, while 52% are women, 23% men, and 6% unsure.
Alex MacFarlane is believed to be the first person in Australia to obtain a birth certificate recording sex as indeterminate, and the first Australian passport with an 'X' sex marker in 2003. On September 26, 2016, California resident Sara Kelly Keenan became the second person in the United States (after Jamie Shupe) to legally change her gender to 'non-binary'. Keenan cited Shupe's case as inspiration for her petition, "It never occurred to me that this was an option, because I thought the gender change laws were strictly for transgender people. I decided to try and use the same framework to have a third gender." Keenan later obtained a birth certificate with an intersex sex marker. In press reporting of this decision, it became apparent that Ohio had issued an 'hermaphrodite' sex marker in 2012.
much of the existing work on cultural systems that incorporate a 'third sex' portray simplistic visions in which societies with more than two sex/gender categories are cast as superior to those that divide the world into just two. I argue that to understand whether a system is more or less oppressive than another we have to understand how it treats its various members, not only its 'thirds'.
- To register intersex children as females or males, with the awareness that, like all people, they may grow up to identify with a different sex or gender.
- To ensure that sex or gender classifications are amendable through a simple administrative procedure at the request of the individuals concerned. All adults and capable minors should be able to choose between female (F), male (M), non-binary or multiple options. In the future, as with race or religion, sex or gender should not be a category on birth certificates or identification documents for anybody.
The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions states that the legal recognition of intersex people is firstly about access to the same rights as other men and women, when assigned male or female; secondly it is about access to administrative corrections to legal documents when an original sex assignment is not appropriate; and thirdly it is not about the creation of a third sex or gender classification for intersex people as a population but it is, instead, about self-determination.
LGBT and LGBTI
The relationship of intersex to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans, and queer communities is complex, but intersex people are often added to LGBT to create an LGBTI community. This initialism is used in all parts of The Activist's Guide of the Yogyakarta Principles in Action.
Julius Kaggwa of SIPD Uganda has written that, while the gay community "offers us a place of relative safety, it is also oblivious to our specific needs". Mauro Cabral has written that transgender people and organizations "need to stop approaching intersex issues as if they were trans issues" including use of intersex as a means of explaining being transgender; "we can collaborate a lot with the intersex movement by making it clear how wrong that approach is".
Pidgeon Pagonis states that adding an I to LGBTQA may or may not help increase representation, and may increase funding opportunities for intersex organizations, but may also be harmful to intersex children due to stigma associated with being LGBTQA. Organisation Intersex International Australia states that some intersex individuals are same sex attracted, and some are heterosexual, but "LGBTI activism has fought for the rights of people who fall outside of expected binary sex and gender norms."
Protecting intersex people in law
Emi Koyama describes how inclusion of intersex in LGBTI can fail to address intersex-specific human rights issues, including creating false impressions "that intersex people's rights are protected" by laws protecting LGBT people, and failing to acknowledge that many intersex people are not LGBT.
South Africa protects intersex people from discrimination as part of a prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex. Organisation Intersex International Australia successfully lobbied for inclusion of a legal attribute of "intersex status" in anti-discrimination law, stating that protection on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity was insufficient. Following 2015 legislation in Malta, an attribute of sex characteristics is now more widespread.
Multiple organizations have highlighted appeals to LGBT rights recognition that fail to address the issue of unnecessary "normalising" intersex medical interventions on intersex children, including by using the portmanteau term "pinkwashing". In a 2001 paper for the (now defunct) Intersex Society of North America, Emi Koyama and Lisa Weasel stating that teaching of intersex issues is "stuck":
This indeed seems to be a common problem within women's, gender and queer studies: discussions about intersex existence are "stuck" at where it is used to deconstruct sexes, gender roles, compulsory heterosexuality, and even Western science, rather than addressing medical ethics or other issues that directly impact the lives of intersex people. But perhaps this is an inaccurate way to describe the situation: the truth is not that these discussions are "stuck" prematurely, but that they are starting from a wrong place with a wrong set of priorities".
In June 2016, Organisation Intersex International Australia pointed to contradictory statements by Australian governments, suggesting that the dignity and rights of LGBT and intersex people are recognized while, at the same time, harmful practices on intersex children continue.
In August 2016, Zwischengeschlecht described actions to promote equality or civil status legislation without action on banning "intersex genital mutilations" as a form of pinkwashing. The organization has previously highlighted evasive government statements to UN Treaty Bodies that conflate intersex, transgender and LGBT issues, instead of addressing harmful practices on infants.
Alternatives to LGBTI
The United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) have framed LGBT, others "whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity varies, those who may not self-identify as LGBT" and also intersex populations (as persons with disorders of sex development) as "sexual and gender minority" (SGM) populations. This has led to the development of an NIH SGM Health Research Strategic Plan.
Variations on LGBT
Intersex and children's rights
Kimberly Zieselman of interACT has described how the LGBT community has helped open doors, but how intersex rights are broader: "at its core this is a children’s rights issue. It is also about health and reproductive rights, because these operations can lead to infertility".
Intersex and disability
Multiple authors and civil society organizations highlight intersectionalities between intersex people and disability, due to issues of medicalization, and the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In an analysis of the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis to eliminate intersex traits, Behrmann and Ravitsky state: "Parental choice against intersex may ... conceal biases against same-sex attractedness and gender nonconformity."
A 2006 clinical reframing of intersex conditions as disorders of sex development made associations between intersex and disability explicit, but the rhetorical shift remains deeply contentious. Sociological research in Australia, published in 2016, found that 3% of respondents used the term "disorders of sex development" or "DSD" to define their sex characteristics, while 21% use the term when accessing medical services. In contrast, 60% used the term "intersex" in some form to self-describe their sex characteristics.
In the United States, intersex persons are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2013, the Australian Senate published a report on the Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia as part of a broader inquiry into the involuntary or coercive sterilization of people with disabilities. In Europe, OII Europe has identified multiple articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including on equality and non-discrimination, and freedom from torture, and protecting the integrity of the person. Nevertheless, the organization has expressed concern that framings of intersex as disability can reinforce medicalization and lack of human rights, and do not match self-identification.
- UN Committee against Torture; UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities; UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Juan Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; Dainius Pῡras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Dubravka Šimonoviæ, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children; African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights; Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (October 24, 2016), "Intersex Awareness Day – Wednesday 26 October. End violence and harmful medical practices on intersex children and adults, UN and regional experts urge", Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- United Nations; Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2015). Free & Equal Campaign Fact Sheet: Intersex (PDF).
- "NLGJA Stylebook on LGBT Terminology". nlgja.org. 2008.
- Dreger, Alice (4 May 2015). "Reasons to Add and Reasons NOT to Add "I" (Intersex) to LGBT in Healthcare" (PDF). Association of American Medical Colleges. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- Jones, Tiffany; Hart, Bonnie; Carpenter, Morgan; Ansara, Gavi; Leonard, William; Lucke, Jayne (2016). Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia (PDF). Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1-78374-208-0. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- Furtado P. S.; et al. (2012). "Gender dysphoria associated with disorders of sex development". Nat. Rev. Urol. 9 (11): 620–627. PMID 23045263. doi:10.1038/nrurol.2012.182.
- United Nations; UNDP; OHCHR; UNAIDS; ILO; UNESCO; UNFPA; UNICEF; UNHCR; UN Women; UNODC; WFP; WHO (September 2015), Ending violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
- Meyer-Bahlburg, Heino F.L. (January 1990). "Will Prenatal Hormone Treatment Prevent Homosexuality?". Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 1 (4): 279–283. ISSN 1044-5463. doi:10.1089/cap.1990.1.279. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- Dreger, Alice; Feder, Ellen K; Tamar-Mattis, Anne (29 June 2010), Preventing Homosexuality (and Uppity Women) in the Womb?, The Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, retrieved 18 May 2016
- "New publication "Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia"". Organisation Intersex International Australia. February 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
- Nimkarn, Saroj; New, Maria I. (April 2010). "Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1192 (1): 5–11. ISSN 1749-6632. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05225.x.
- Dreger, Alice; Feder, Ellen K; Tamar-Mattis, Anne (June 29, 2010), "Preventing Homosexuality (and Uppity Women) in the Womb?", The Hastings Center Bioethics Forum
- Carpenter, Morgan (18 June 2013). "Australia can lead the way for intersex people". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-29.
- Carpenter, Morgan; Organisation Intersex International Australia (January 2017), Submission on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill
- Holmes, Morgan (May 1994). "Re-membering a Queer Body". Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Ontario: 11–130.
- Karkazis, Katrina (November 2009). Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822343189.
- Morland, Iain, ed. (2009). "Intersex and After". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 15 (2). ISBN 978-0-8223-6705-5. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
- "Children's right to physical integrity, Report Doc. 13297". Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. 6 September 2013.
- "Trans? Intersex? Explained!". Inter/Act. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Basic differences between intersex and trans". Organisation Intersex International Australia. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Cabral Grinspan, Mauro (October 25, 2015), The marks on our bodies, Intersex Day
- "Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, 30 May 2013". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Holme, Ingrid (2008). "Hearing People's Own Stories". Science as Culture. 17 (3): 341–344. doi:10.1080/09505430802280784. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "New Zealand Passports - Information about Changing Sex / Gender Identity". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Third sex option on birth certificates". Deutsche Welle. 1 November 2013.
- "Intersex: Third Gender in Germany" (Spiegel, Huff Post, Guardian, ...): Silly Season Fantasies vs. Reality of Genital Mutilations". Zwischengeschlecht. 1 November 2013.
- "Sham package for Intersex: Leaving sex entry open is not an option". OII Europe. 15 February 2013.
- "‘X’ gender: Germans no longer have to classify their kids as male or female". RT. 3 November 2013.
- "X marks the spot for intersex Alex" (PDF). West Australian, via bodieslikeours.org. 11 January 2003.
- "Neither man nor woman", Sydney Morning Herald. 27 June 2010
- O'Hara, Mary Emily (September 26, 2016). "Californian Becomes Second US Citizen Granted 'Non-Binary' Gender Status". NBC News. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- O'Hara, Mary Emily (December 29, 2016). "Nation's First Known Intersex Birth Certificate Issued in NYC". Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- Holmes, Morgan (July 2004). "Locating Third Sexes". Transformations Journal (8). ISSN 1444-3775. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
- 3rd International Intersex Forum concluded, ILGA-Europe (Creative Commons statement), 2 December 2013
- Global intersex community affirms shared goals, Star Observer, December 4, 2013
- Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum, Advocates for Informed Choice, 12 December 2013
- Public statement by the third international intersex forum, Organisation Intersex International Australia, 2 December 2013
- Öffentliche Erklärung des Dritten Internationalen Intersex Forum, (in German) Intersex Austria, 8 December 2013
- IntersexUK consensus paper.3rd International IntersexForum concluded..., Intersex UK on Twitter, 3 December 2013
- (in Dutch) Derde Internationale Intersekse Forum, Nederlandse Netwerk Intersekse/DSD (NNID), 3 December 2013
- Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum, IVIM/OII-Germany, 1 December 2013 (in German)
- (Chinese) 2013 第三屆世界陰陽人論壇宣言, Oii-Chinese, December 2013
- Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (June 2016). Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in relation to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics. ISBN 978-0-9942513-7-4.
- William L. Maurice, Marjorie A. Bowman, Sexual medicine in primary care, Mosby Year Book, 1999, ISBN 978-0-8151-2797-0
- Aragon, Angela Pattatuchi (2006). Challenging Lesbian Norms: Intersex, Transgender, Intersectional, and Queer Perspectives. Haworth Press. ISBN 1-56023-645-0. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- "Yogyakarta Principles in Action, Activist's Guide". Ypinaction.org. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- Kaggwa, Julius (September 19, 2016). "I'm an intersex Ugandan – life has never felt more dangerous". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- Cabral, Mauro (October 26, 2016). "IAD2016: A Message from Mauro Cabral". GATE - Global Action for Trans Equality. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- Pagonis, Pidgeon (June 2016). "7 Ways Adding ‘I’ to the LGBTQA+ Acronym Can Miss the Point". Everyday Feminism.
- "Intersex for allies". 21 November 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "OII releases new resource on intersex issues, Intersex for allies and Making services intersex inclusive by Organisation Intersex International Australia". Gay News Network. 2 June 2014.
- Koyama, Emi. "Adding the "I": Does Intersex Belong in the LGBT Movement?". Intersex Initiative. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- Carpenter, Morgan; Organisation Intersex International Australia (2012-12-08). Submission on the proposed federal Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill. Organisation Intersex International Australia. Sydney.
- "Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013, No. 98, 2013, C2013A00098". ComLaw. 2013.
- "On the historic passing of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013". Organisation Intersex International Australia. 25 June 2013.
- Malta (April 2015), Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act: Final version
- Koyama, Emi; Weasel, Lisa (June 2001). "Teaching Intersex Issues" (PDF). Intersex Society of North America.
- "Submission: list of issues for Australia’s Convention Against Torture review". Organisation Intersex International Australia. June 28, 2016.
- ""Intersex legislation" that allows the daily mutilations to continue = PINKWASHING of IGM practices". Zwischengeschlecht. August 28, 2016.
- "TRANSCRIPTION > UK Questioned over Intersex Genital Mutilations by UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - Gov Non-Answer + Denial". Zwischengeschlecht. May 26, 2016.
- Alexander, Rashada; Parker, Karen; Schwetz, Tara (October 2015). "Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at the National Institutes of Health". LGBT Health. ISSN 2325-8292. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2015.0107.
- "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center". University of California, Davis. September 21, 2015. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- Stewart, Philippa (2017-07-25). "Interview: Intersex Babies Don’t Need ‘Fixing’". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
- Holmes, M. Morgan (June 2008). "Mind the Gaps: Intersex and (Re-productive) Spaces in Disability Studies and Bioethics". Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 5 (2–3): 169–181. ISSN 1176-7529. doi:10.1007/s11673-007-9073-2.
- Behrmann, Jason; Ravitsky, Vardit (October 2013). "Queer Liberation, Not Elimination: Why Selecting Against Intersex is Not "Straight" Forward". The American Journal of Bioethics. 13 (10): 39–41. ISSN 1526-5161. PMID 24024805. doi:10.1080/15265161.2013.828131. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- Houk, C. P.; Hughes, I. A.; Ahmed, S. F.; Lee, P. A.; Writing Committee for the International Intersex Consensus Conference Participants (August 2006). "Summary of Consensus Statement on Intersex Disorders and Their Management". Pediatrics. 118 (2): 753–757. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 16882833. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-0737.
- Hughes, I A; Houk, C; Ahmed, S F; Lee, P A; LWPES1/ESPE2 Consensus Group (June 2005). "Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders". Archives of Disease in Childhood. 91 (7): 554–563. ISSN 0003-9888. PMC . PMID 16624884. doi:10.1136/adc.2006.098319.
- Cornwall, Susannah (April 2015). "Intersex and the Rhetorics of Disability and Disorder: Multiple and Provisional Significance in Sexed, Gender, and Disabled Bodies". Journal of Disability & Religion. 19 (2): 106–118. ISSN 2331-2521. doi:10.1080/23312521.2015.1010681.
- Koyama, Emi (February 2006). "From "Intersex" to "DSD": Toward a Queer Disability Politics of Gender". University of Vermont.
- Davis, Georgiann (11 September 2015). Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis. New York University Press. pp. 87–89. ISBN 978-1479887040.
- Holmes, Morgan (September 2011). "The Intersex Enchiridion: Naming and Knowledge". Somatechnics. 1 (2): 388–411. ISSN 2044-0138. doi:10.3366/soma.2011.0026. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Menon, Yamuna (May 2011). "The Intersex Community and the Americans with Disabilities Act". Connecticut Law Review. 43 (4): 1221–1251.
- Senate of Australia; Community Affairs References Committee (2013). Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia. Australian Senate. Canberra. ISBN 978-1-74229-917-4.
- OII Europe (April 2015). Statement of OII Europe on Intersex, Disability and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (PDF).