Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Intersex Activist Discusses Recent Controversy
by Amy Wooten
2007-06-01

This article shared 4256 times since Fri Jun 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Intersex activist Emi Koyama made an appearance at the University of Chicago on May 11 to discuss a controversy within the community regarding new medical terminology.

Koyama is director of the Intersex Initiative in Portland, Ore. In her presentation, 'Intersex at the Intersection of Queer Theory and Disability,' Koyama not only provided the basics, but also discussed the debate surrounding the recent introduction of the new medical terminology 'disorder of sex development ( DSD ) ' to replace the term 'intersex.'

Intersex, or DSD, is when an individual's genetic sex ( chromosomes ) or genital appearance ( internal or external ) differs from the 'standard' male or female.

Currently, medical protocol calls for surgery to make the bodies of children born intersex 'normal.' The child is assigned a gender at birth. According to Koyama, current protocol can be painful and harmful, both physically and emotionally. There are several issues involved, such as the fact that the child may grow up to later identify as trans because he or she has been assigned the wrong sex. Also, many of these children are not informed of the surgery—it is kept an isolated secret. Some of these children have also been put on display for the benefit of the medical community, bringing a sense of humiliation and shame to these individuals.

'It's always better to avoid surgery if you can,' Koyama said. She supports giving children a choice and a voice when it comes to this type of surgery. Trans individuals, she said, elect to have sexual reassignment surgery and know the risks involved. These children do not have a choice, and parents are often coerced into having the procedure done by doctors who play on their fears that the child won't grow up to be 'normal,' or will grow up to be gay.

'There are many parents fearing the child becoming gay so much, they get talked into it,' Koyama said.

In most cases, she said, this kind of surgery is not medically necessary, and can be held off until the child can participate fully. Current protocol, Koyama added, holds 'normalcy' in higher regard than the health and well-being of the child.

'Traditionally, medicine has acted as the enforcer of normalcy on the body,' she said.

People often confuse 'intersex' with 'transgender/transsexual,' which is about how someone identifies. However, Koyama says that while many intersex individuals view it as a medical condition, many also view it as an identity—hence, LGBTQI ( the 'I' standing for 'intersex.' )

According to her, although there is debate over the term DSD; it 'is pretty much set, because the intersex term is misleading because gender is not in question,' she said. 'Usually, most people view it as a condition.'

A term that implies a child is beyond the 'gender norm' creates what Koyama dubs a 'panic response' from doctors and parents. 'Rather than raising a 'sexual freak,' they want their child to suffer from a developmental condition,' she added.

In her opinion, using the term 'DSD' to describe these individuals will hopefully leave more time for parents and doctors to learn the risks of surgery and make more rational decisions.

Yet, there are those in the intersex community who find comfort with the identity aspects of the term 'intersex,' Koyama said, adding that many of these individuals may also indentify as transgender or queer. Or, some people find more comfort in using the term as an identity, rather than use a term that describes intersex as a disorder or disability.

Rather than fighting the new terminology, Koyama hopes that creating a medical category will help provide much-needed resources and tools for people.

'Medical categories shouldn't be horrible, but should be used to identify needs and provide funds to provide for these needs,' she said.


This article shared 4256 times since Fri Jun 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Caribbean ruling, Pussy Riot, Russian raid, Canadian warning, anti-trans bar 2024-02-23
- The top court in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines dismissed a challenge to colonial-era anti-gay laws, Reuters reported. Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish—two gay men who had pushed to decriminalize ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Chuck Schumer, anti-marriage bill, drag event back on, military doctor 2024-02-23
- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)—and, as a result, several LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations dropped their opposition to it, The Hill ...


Gay News

Oklahoma non-binary student dies after being assaulted 2024-02-21
- Officials acknowledged there are unresolved questions about a 16-year-old non-binary Oklahoma student who died one day after a fight in a high school bathroom, NBC News noted. Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit 2024-02-19
- Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...


Gay News

WORLD South Africa murder, lesbian couple, Brianna Ghey, Eurovision 2024-02-16
- In South Africa, LGBTQ+-rights groups condemned the brutal murder of Diego Jacobs, a queer man in Cape Town, The Washington Blade reported. Reports indicate Jacobs, 21, was brutally murdered (reportedly by a former neighbor) on Feb. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan 2024-02-16
- Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign report releases new data on experiences of Black queer youth 2024-02-14
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a report in ...


Gay News

Col. Jennifer Pritzker comments on military museum move 2024-02-13
- Local transgender philanthropist Col. Jennifer Pritzker commented to Windy City Times about the impending move of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library (PMML), which she founded in 2003, to Wisconsin. "At the end of the day, ...


Gay News

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros' 2024-02-12
- Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages ...


Gay News

Coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates, health care providers release Project RAINBOW report 2024-02-12
--From a press release - SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of more than two dozen LGBTQ+ advocate organizations and health care providers are releasing a new report aimed at addressing the challenges and discrimination that ...


Gay News

Republicans file bill to ban trans women from U.S. Olympic teams 2024-02-12
- Republicans in both houses of Congress have launched another effort to ban transgender women and girls from female sports teams—and this time, they are attempting to ban trans women from competing on U.S. Olympic teams ahead ...


Gay News

New US Trans Survey highlights importance of gender-affirming care and societal acceptance 2024-02-11
- After surveying 92,329 people in 2022, the early insights gleaned from the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) have been released—and they highlight just how much impact gender-affirming care can have. The USTS, which was last completed ...


Gay News

Quantum Leap reboot springs into LGBTQ+ representation 2024-02-09
- Through the magic of television, Quantum Leap is once again jumping into the past to bounce back into the future—and in a recent episode, "The Family Trasure," non-binary artist and performer Wilder Yuri and writer Shakina ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Texas court, police chief, Gentili memorial, Philly controversy 2024-02-09
- The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging Senate Bill 14, the ban on gender-affirming care that went into effect last September, KERA reported. SB 14 blocks trans minors from accessing gender-affirming medical care, such as ...


Gay News

GLAAD remembers Cecilia Gentili, transgender Latina, actress, activist, health care activist, journalist 2024-02-06
--From a press release - (New York, NY - February 6, 2024) GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to the death of transgender actress and advocate Cecilia Gentili and elevating voices of transgender and political leaders honoring ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.