OII Australia and ‘ISGD’ – a response to the debate

This is a response to an article by Tracie O’Keefe and Indi Edwards Roughsedge, What is intersex and how does it fit into ISGD?, published on 31 May 2011.

That article is a response to an article by OII Australia, ‘ISGD’ and the appropriation of intersex published on 22 May 2011.

Both are worth reading before reading this.

Of course it’s ok to be trans. Of course some intersex people are trans. Of course it’s ok to be intersex and, at the same time, be sex and gender diverse.

Within OII Australia there are married people, there are queer campaigners for marriage equality (which has a big impact on trans issues as the government want to avoid any possibility of people with the same legal gender being married), and there are queer people who find the whole march to marriage equality far too homonormative to be comfortable with.

None of us are comfortable being depicted simultaneously as some heteronormative bastion of intersex separatism.

We’re sick of this ‘tit for tat’ debate. We’re over it being perceived as a ‘balanced debate’. We’re frustrated by the notion that we should “all just get along”, when that requires a level of mutual respect that is completely absent. Mutual respect takes two parties, and we’re not even regarded as people with our own distinct, legitimate issues.

We’re sick of a pretence that there’s some game where we’re all trying to “outdo each other” in being intersex. In any article which has to make an appeal to Re: Kevin, the court case that found that transsexuality is a form of brain intersex, that answer is obvious.

That notion is so seductive when it fulfils so many people’s need for validation.

The fact that homosexuality could equally be described as brain intersex is conveniently ignored. If we’re all – LGBTIQ – intersex, how useful is the concept, and what agenda is in control? O’Keefe and Edwards Roughsedge simply don’t want to be associated with LGB or queers.

Well, we simply don’t want the trans agenda to dominate in any discussion on intersex. There are plenty of places for trans people to make their case, to obtain support. There are few enough places for intersex people to make their voice heard. Our distinctiveness is always lost when the two are combined, as it was in the Still Fierce call for implementation of The Sex Files. An agenda based on trans demands can be damaging to intersex people. This alone makes nonsense of intersex in ISGD.

Also published on Facebook with comments.