One interesting thing about being a member of a very small minority group is that we are only recognized by very small minority political parties. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have ever made a stand on intersexuality or made intersex rights a part of their platform or agenda. However the Green and Socialist parties have included intersex on their platforms of issues they would fight for if they ever got into office. This is not to say that intersexuals should become socialists or greens, but that they should be aware of this fact, and encourage Democrat and Republican leaders to support intersex issues. Ideas, like music and fashion, originate on the fringes and become more mainstream. As such, as intersex becomes more well known, it is inevitable that the mainstream parties will recognize us and eventually we will get our full human rights. For your reading pleasure, I have included these parties statements on intersex:
Green Party 2008 platform:
"We support the right of all persons to self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex. We therefore support the right of intersex and transgender individuals to be free from coercion and involuntary assignment of gender or sex. We support access to medical and surgical treatment for assignment or reassignment of gender or sex, based on informed consent.
We support the inclusion of language in state and federal anti-discrimination law that ensures the rights of intersex individuals and prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, characteristics, and expression. We are opposed to intersex genital mutilation."
Socialist Alliance 7th National Conference:
Intersex people are people born with physiological differences that may be seen as being both male and female at once, not wholly male or female or as neither male nor female.
Intersex people are subjected to discrimination in employment, in housing, in the provision of medical services, and the provision of government services.
There are no laws preventing discrimination against intersex people.
Intersex children may be subjected to non-consensual surgery so that their bodies conform to dominant ideas of what constitutes a ‘male’ or ‘female’ body. Non-consensual genital surgery is particularly controversial and where there is little debate against prohibitions on female circumcision, similar procedures on intersex people happen with little community comment.
The Socialist Alliance rejects pathologising definitions of intersex such as “disorders of sexual development”. The difficulty for Intersex is not differences in anatomy but rather how those differences are perceived by the community.
Social prejudice against non conforming bodies such as intersex, are the issues that needs attention. Intersex people should not be compelled to change their bodies, their behavior, or themselves to meet mainstream social expectations.
The Socialist Alliance stands for:
1. All non-consensual surgery on children, where the child is denied the informed and cognizant right to consent or reject) ceasing immediately save for those cases where surgery is life preserving.
2. Children being able to declare their sex, even if that is none, when they are fully informed and able to understand those concepts.
3. Any individual having their passport marked with X rather than sex or gender if they so desire.
4. An affirmative action policy in public housing, work opportunities, education, and the provision of medical and government services.
5. Education campaigns to be conducted in schools and wider society to debunk the myth of sex and gender binaries, informing individuals about sex and gender diversity, and opposing bigotry because of perceived sex and gender differences.
6. Intersex athletes like Caster Semenya not being publicly outed. That there are no compulsory sex testing procedures in sport.
7. Legislation that provides protection against discrimination and vilification and promotes equal opportunities for intersex people.
8. Access to appropriate medication and surgery when and if required based on the needs of the individual and not on the expectations of diagnostic protocols. This includes the abandonment of the diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” for those intersex who reject their birth assignment.
9. All people, particularly legislators and medical professionals, acknowledging that sex and gender is more than men and women , male and female.