Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia

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Organisation Intersex International Australia have announced a forthcoming book titled ‘Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia‘. Written by Tiffany Jones, Bonnie Hart, Morgan Carpenter, Gavi Ansara, William Leonard, and Jayne Lucke, the book draws on stories and statistics from the first Australian national intersex study.

From the publisher:

Sex is complex. Humans are simultaneously more similar in their sex development, and more diverse, than is commonly appreciated or understood. Females and males are not made of wildly different ingredients. The potential to have intersex variations—to be born with atypical sex characteristics—exists for all humans in the first few weeks of their prenatal development. 1.7% of people actually go on to be born intersex.
However, most of us know little about intersex variations. This is only partly due to their occasional invisibility. Intersex people have historically faced deep social stigma—the assumption that they were simply bizarre aberrations from the human norm. Furthermore, intersex infants have been widely subjected to systematic institutional mistreatment, particularly within medical settings. Finally, some people with intersex variations have simply tried to integrate themselves unnoticed into the socially accepted categories of male and female.
Drawing on stories and statistics from the first national study of intersex the book argues for a distinct ‘Intersex Studies’ framework to address intersex issues and identity—foregrounding people with intersex variations’ own goals, perspectives and experiences. Collected in 2015 and arranged in thematic chapters, the data presented here on 272 individuals gives a penetrating account of historically and socially obscured experience. This book is an important and long-overdue contribution to our understanding of human sexuality and a must-read for people with intersex variations, health practitioners, psychologists, advocacy groups, students, and anybody interested in knowing more about our diverse human make-up.
For further information:

Five Things You Can Do For Your Intersex Child

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Georgiann Davis is an intersex person, activist and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Georgiann has written a great article for The Parents Project on five helpful things that parents can do to support their intersex child.

“Intersex is only one aspect of your child’s life. It might be something that they need your help navigating, or it might be the least of their concerns. They might be bullied at school for something completely unrelated to their intersex trait, and need your help navigating that. They might struggle in math class. They might fall and sprain their ankle at soccer practice. Their needs will vary throughout their life, and might even vary across any given day. What’s important is that you are always listening to their needs and doing whatever it is you can do to assist, support, and love them throughout their lives.”

 

What does it mean to be Intersex? UN Free and Equal Campaign

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The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner have released a new video and factsheet entiteld ‘What does it mean to be Intersex?’ as part of the UN Free & Equal campaign.

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Being intersex is much more common than most people think – according to experts there are as many intersex people as there are red haired people.
Because their bodies are seen as different, intersex children and adults are often stigmatized and subjected to multiple human rights violations, including violations of their rights to health and physical integrity, to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and to equality and non-discrimination.

Want to know more? Visit the site, check out the video above and download the factsheet [PDF]!

Intersexion: A Documentary About Being Intersex

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Intersexion is a 2012 film by Grant Lahood, John Keir and Mani Bruce Mitchell.

The first question any new parent asks… “Is it a boy or a girl?”

But what happens when doctors cannot answer that question?

1 baby in 2,000 is born with genitalia that is so ambiguous that noone can tell if the child is male or female.

“I was amazed to discover just how common intersex conditions are in the world”, the documentary director Grant Lahood says. “Yet it was something I, probably like a lot of people, assumed was incredibly rare. Why is it that none of us know any of the 1 in 2,000 people who might be intersex?”

The award winning filmmaker came to the subject through Mani Bruce Mitchell – New Zealand’s first “out” intersex person. Mitchell is a common sight in Wellington with he/r small goatee beard, which she describes proudly as “my moko”.

Together Lahood and Mitchell set out to make a film that would de-mystify a variety of conditions that used to be broadly called “hermaphroditism”.

“Intersexion” looks beyond the shame and secrecy that defines many intersex births, and explores how intersex people “with their very different bodies” navigate their way through childhood, adolescence, relationships and adulthood, when they don’t fit the binary model of a solely male and female world.

Read more at the film’s website where you can also purchase the film. Working It Out also has a copy of the film in our library.

 

Information for Parents of Intersex Children – OII

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Organisation Intersex International Australia – Parents

Organisation Intersex International Australia’s website has an extensive list of resources and information for parents and families of intersex people. Resources include a handbook for parents, recorded parent talks and links to films by and about intersex people’s experiences.

Organisation Intersex International Australia (OII)

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Organisation Intersex International (OII) (Australia)

Organisation Intersex International (OII)

Organisation Intersex International is a network of Intersex organisations worldwide. OII is represented in Australia by OII Australia, “an independent support, education and policy development organisation, by and for people with intersex variations or differences. Our work focuses on human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination, and on evidence-based, patient-directed healthcare”.

“Intersex people are born with atypical physical sex characteristics, so that our bodies do not fit typical definitions of male or female. We have diverse bodies, identities and life experiences.

OII Australia is a national body by and for people with intersex variations. Our goals are to help create a society where our bodies are not stigmatised, and where our rights as people are recognised.” — OII Australia

The OII Australia and OII International websites have an extensive range of resources, publications and multimedia.

Monash Gender Clinic

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Monash Gender Dysphoria Clinic (http://www.monashhealth.org/page/gender_dysophoria)

This website provides a summary of the services provided by the Monash Gender Dysphoria Clinic based in Melbourne. It also provides a clear description of what is meant by ‘gender dysphoria’.

About The Clinic

“The Gender Dysphoria Clinic is part of the Monash Health network, in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. It also has links with the Monash University Department of Psychological Medicine. The clinic is the only government-funded clinic of its kind in Australia, and it also receives referrals from neighbouring States. The clinic aims to provide an assessment and treatment service for patients experiencing Gender Dysphoria.
The clinic’s primary client-base are those patients who have a strong and persistent wish to live as their non-birth-assigned gender, as well as a desire to make their body as congruent as possible with their affirmed gender. The clinic assesses patients and, where appropriate, assists them with the “transition process” from one gender to another, often through various gender reassignment steps including psychotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery.
The clinic has several permanent part-time staff members, as well as several clinical associates. All clinical staff, including associates, meet regularly in order to evaluate the progress of patients.
Procedures within the clinic are consistent with the Standards of Care guidelines published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and endorsed by ANZPATH (Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health – www.anzpath.org).”

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