New York, NY Today, on Intersex Awareness Day, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice announced the first grant recipients of the new Intersex Human Rights Fund. They awarded $187,000 to 29 intersexed grantee partners, based in 20 countries.
"In a world where intersex activism has been resourced on a wing and a prayer, the significance of the Intersex Human Rights Fund can not be overstated," said Morgan Carpenter of grantee partner OII Australia.
The first of its kind in the world, the Intersex Human Rights Fund supports organizations, projects and campaigns led by intersex activists working to ensure the human rights, bodily autonomy, physical integrity and selfdetermination of intersex people worldwide.
Intersex issues and people are starkly underfunded. With the generous support of seed donors Kobi Conway and Andrew Owen and a leadership gift from the Arcus Foundation , Astraea launched the Fund to honor the resilience, creativity and growth of intersex activism and to address the dearth of funding for intersex individuals and communities.
"Astraea is thrilled to support the brilliant and visionary activism led by intersex people demanding their rights around the world," said Sarah Gunther, Astraea's Director of Programs. "As a funder committed to gender justice and LGBTQI liberation, we are proud to support their uncompromising demands for respect, dignity and autonomy."
Intersex people face invisibility, stigma, discrimination and violence in all regions of the world.
Medical frameworks continue to dominate discussions of intersex issues, leading to support for "normalizing" interventions that violate the human rights of intersex people. Intersex babies and children are widely subjected to nonconsensual, medically unnecessary and harmful surgeries and other medical treatments with lifelong consequences, including sterilization and genital mutilation.
These interventions are often recommended to parents by doctors to address social anxiety and fear of stigma rather than a concern for an intersex person's wellness and rights. Astraea joins intersex activists in resisting the entrenched practice of organizing the world into the sex and gender binary.
"The Fund reflects the mobilization of intersex people at international, regional, national and local levels, and is informed by decades of intersex activism, research and advocacy work," stated Ruth Baldacchino, Intersex Fund program officer at Astraea. "It is through such work that isolation is broken and intersex people's lives are validated and celebrated."
Representing a movement in the making, intersex activists are leading a push for rights and recognition around the world. These organizations represent an emerging, multistrategy international intersex movement. They are:
- Reaching out to intersex people, parents and health professionals with critically needed information in local languages.
- Raising awareness and visibility of the lives of intersex people through arts and media.
- Conducting research on current, rights violating medical procedures intersex people face.
- Educating medical professionals advocating with national governments to end harmful, medically unnecessary, genital surgeries.
- Engaging with international human rights bodies, cultivating alliances with broader justice movements and
- Building activist and organizational leadership, wellness and sustainability.
On October 26th, Intersex Awareness Day, Astraea is honored to further its support of activists and movements who dare to envision a world in which gender justice is not merely an idea but a reality.
For more information on Astraea's 2015 Intersex Fund grantees and an informative toolkit on intersex human rights, please visit our website .
Note on terminology: Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases intersex traits are visible at birth while in others they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.
About Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. We support grantee partners in the USA and internationally who challenge oppression and seed social change. We work for racial, economic, social and gender justice because we all deserve to live our lives freely without fear and with dignity.
Read more at the link: astraeaintersexfund.tumblr.com/ .