Tiger Devore

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Tiger Devore
Born Howard Devore
Nationality American
Occupation Clinical psychologist and sex therapist
Known for Intersex activist and educator
Television Oprah (1984)[1]
Website www.tigerdevorephd.com

Tiger Devore, previously known as Howard Devore and Tiger Howard Devore, is a clinical psychologist, sex therapist, and spokesperson on intersex issues. He is a board member, and former president, of the Hypospadias and Epispadias Association, and a former member of the now defunct Intersex Society of North America.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Tiger Devore was born with severe hypospadias and has experienced over 20 surgeries and four full reconstructions. He says that, "all the surgeries I suffered up to age 19 were unnecessary failures."[5]

Devore believes that sex assignment surgeries, eliminate intersex differences and reinforce a sex and gender binary. He argues in favour of fully informed consent by intersex people to genital surgeries. He states:

I am tired of the perpetration of great harms against infants and babies with perfectly healthy genitals that happen to look different from what the doctors think is standard. Intersex genitalia are not unhealthy, they just look different than some ideal of male or female genitalia. The experiment to reshape intersex genitals early in a child’s life has failed. People should have the right to determine if they want reshaped genitals or not, when they are old enough to decide for themselves. That’s informed consent; when the person them self has the information necessary to decide if they want a treatment of any kind, or not.[6]

Devore has also argued against the use of disorders of sex development, as a term that is "more scientific," and "more medical," but also more treatable, and more of a stigma.[7] In a statement in November 2015, Devore called for an end to unnecessary surgeries and "recognition of the rights of the child to bodily integrity and self determination", stating "that medicine and the research community continue to co-opt patient advocates in order to silence them by giving us the impression that we had access to influencing medical practice and research."[8]

Education and career[edit]

A clinical psychologist, sex therapist, activist and educator with over 30 years of experience in advocacy for intersex people and others who are sexually different from the mainstream, Devore has worked in research clinics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical School, and the Human Sexuality Program at UCLA. He has also worked for NIH as a crisis counsellor and worked with imprisoned sex offenders.[6]


Devore has been an educator and media spokesperson on intersex issues for twenty years.[4] He appeared on the Oprah show in 1984, considered to be the first television appearance by an intersex person talking about their experiences and identity.[1] He has appeared in documentaries for Discovery Channel (2000),[9] PBS, National Geographic Channel television, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the award-winning short movie XXXY by Stanford University.[10] Devore is also interviewed in the 2012 documentary Intersexion. In 2013, he was interviewed by Time Magazine on the then-new German birth certificate laws, and called for a global ban on "normalizing surgeries."[11]


External links[edit]