Hello from Solidarity Foundation. We are pleased to invite you to a public consultation as below, on intersex persons’ issues, that we are organizing in collaboration with NIMHANS, on October-23-2017, in Bangalore.
We have learnt through community consultations and our other work, that while broadly mentioning the ‘LGBTQIA’ community in India, very little is known about the ‘I’ in the movement. We realized this further, through one of our fellows, Manjesh, a passionate activist and intersex person, whom we sadly lost to cancer in December, 2015. Also, Astraea published a report We Are Real; The Growing Movement Advancing the Rights of Intersex People and recently launched the world’s first Intersex Human Rights fund. All these enthused us about this consultation.
- Discuss what is considered a ‘normal body by birth’.
- Increase the visibility of intersex persons, hoping that this will enhance their acceptance.
- Help participants understand that the medical fraternity sometimes forces genital mutilation on congenital intersex persons as their bodies rarely fit the boxed understanding of female and male anatomy.
- Discuss the Malta Declaration, a statement of the Third International Intersex Forum affirming intersex persons’ existence, demanding ending discrimination against intersex people and ensuring the right to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination.
We have contacted intersex persons from some South Asian countries willing to discuss their experiences and contextualize other discussions. Touching issues of the community wanting to reclaim their identity, would be beneficial. We will try understanding the social support system available for the ‘I’ persons of the movement when little is known about them.
At the consultation, health professionals will also orient the audience on what ‘intersex’ means, physiologically and share experiences of working with intersex individuals and their varied physical and emotional problems. Law and policy professionals will share perspectives on legal platforms for intersex persons to claim an identity and initiate discussions on ‘The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016’ and its implications for the intersex community. We hope to discuss separating intersex persons from transgender people, to ensure they benefit from facilities offered to the latter.
The consultation will screen the documentary ‘Intersexion’, directed by Grant Lahood, that follows Mani Bruce Mitchell, an intersexual person, travelling globally talking to other intersexual people. The film explores the lives of intersexual individuals whose bodies are between male and female, answering “why is this relatively common condition so unknown?”
This consultation will be an information sharing forum and help intersex individuals network with organizations and healthcare and legal professionals. It could lay the brickwork for a larger national meet on intersex issues and encourage intersexual persons to openly identify themselves. We will initiate a learning process for ourselves and improve and expand our work with the community, entering unexplored areas. To document learnings culminating from the panel discussions, we will release a report that individuals interested in intersex issues across India can circulate and refer.
Please let us know if you are interested in joining the consultation as an intersex person or a family member of an intersex person or a researcher, activist, legal/policy or healthcare professional working with intersex persons or can contribute resources, ideas or contacts on intersex issues. Do ask Pushpa and the rest of the Solidarity Foundation team (+91-80-40990154) if you need further information.