Intersex people in conversation with other intersex people

Intersex people are either not a part of public discourse or, they are used as examples to show that, legal, medical and social categorization into men and women is not working properly. So what do inter* people have to say about their own lives?

A healthy body made to feel in need of treatment by putting it through unnecessary medical interventions. Years of silence and misinformation until one gains some clarity about one’s intersex traits. A strained relationship with parents, and for a long time, the feeling of not belonging anywhere.

These are some key findings from interviews conducted by Lynn, who documented biographies of many intersex people. From these stories, Lynn also shows how good a life a self-confident inter* person with a supportive environment can have and what she wants for intersex babies today.

For example, Maxi, a mid-thirties farmer asks how his/her life would have been if doctors had not removed parts of his/her body without consent. These testimonies include a portrait about friendship, search for one’s place in society, coming out on the big screen, being a "Tonkel" (an aunty and uncle at the same time) and about the freedom of not being (only) a man or (only) a woman.

Intersex people are often led to believe that there is something wrong with them or that they are alone in this world with their "particularity". Therefore, a central concern for inter* movements has been to make intersex people visible, so their voices can be heard.

The "Interface Project" is working towards this very objective. They collect short videos in English in which intersex women, men or people identified as different from different age groups and places of residence present their stories.

Also the volume "Inter – experiences of intersex people in a binary gender world" documents stories of intersex people from across the globe. Apart from stories of violence, external control, loneliness and shame, authors provide an insight into the diverse survival and resilience strategies of intersex people—e.g. their involvement in activism, in politics and jurisprudence, film making, networking and solidarity, action art and taking an attitude of self-love and self-assertion in societies that had no space for them.

Art is an important form of activism and resistance that intersex people use to speak out against injustice and invisibility. Photography, painting and other art forms become individual or collective expressions against the violence and absurdity of gender normativity and in support of diversity and intersex. The works of Alex Jürgen are an example from the German speaking world.

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