My name is Candice and I’m here tonight as a representative of OII Australia which is a human rights and peer support organisation for people who are intersex.
I would like to thank Queer Screen for allowing us the opportunity to introduce Arianna and hopefully raise some awareness amongst you of what intersex entails.
But first, our presence here tonight follows a series of emails back and forth amongst the organisers concerning Monash IVF, which is one of the major sponsors of this event. Our concern was (and still remains) whilst Monash IVF are very supportive of the L, G, B & T in their efforts to have children, the “I” in that acronym is something they try to eradicate, particularly chromosome variations such as XXX, XXY, XXYY, XO, and also XY (including 5-ARD and AIS); these variations are deemed not worthy.
Well I have one of those variations, and I am here to tell you that I am am worthy, as indeed are all variations. The “problem” is not one of our making but, rather that of society.
You might be wondering about intersex, what it means, well it’s really not all that complicated and simply describes a natural variation of life, present and thriving amongst all living things. There are more than thirty different ways to be intersex but, unfortunately, we humans have a tendency to view all of them as being disordered “something that needs fixing”. This fixing can begin in a test tube, or at conception, in the womb, postnatally as infants, as adolescents, and as teenagers. What we all share in common is that these fixes were carried out without the informed consent of the individual.
I suspect all of you present tonight would be horrified if this were allowed to happen to you, indeed I am pretty certain you would be. Worse still is how doctors may convince parents that “normalising” their child to is the right approach.
And so it goes that the child is subjected to a regime of mind and physical transformation, a regime, not of their choosing, yet one they will have to bear the consequences for the remainder of their lives. They don’t have a voice. We intersex activists are that voice.
Thank you for being here and we would hope Arianna will broaden your awareness of all thing life and living.