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 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Intersex Activists Demand End to Unnecessary Surgeries
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Sydney Boles
2017-10-31

This article shared 810 times since Tue Oct 31, 2017
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Three Intersex activists of color spoke on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Center on Halsted, announcing that their request to end genital surgeries on intersex children was becoming a demand.

Intersex people are born with reproductive or sexual systems that don't easily fit traditional categories of male or female, and they number 0.5-1.7 percent of the population. That's the same percentage of people who are redheads, said activist Pidgeon Pagonis. But since the advent of gender reassignment surgeries in the 1950s, intersex babies were, and often are, subjected to invasive surgeries to make their bodies confirm to male or female norms.

For intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall, the violence that doctors do to intersex bodies is connected to and sanctioned by the state. When Wall was 13, his doctor told his mother that Wall's undescended testes could cancerous and needed to be removed. His mother, lacking what she needed to make an informed decision, gave consent. As a result of the surgery, Wall would be dependent on regular hormone injections to prevent early-onset osteoporosis for the rest of his life.

"Trump has decided to gut the Affordable Care Act," said Wall. "And I'm one of those people that fall in the Medicaid gap. I'm a working artist based in Atlanta. And so essentially, without medical care, I don't get access to hormones. And without hormones, I'm at risk for early onset osteoporosis. A decision that [Trump] is making is directly effecting my life. To deny people health care is a human rights violation, and it's a form of state violence."

"We're against medically unnecessarily surgeries," Wall continued. "These surgeries have traditionally been done to make sex - to make biological sex - align with societal norms of gender. And it's always for the comfort of the parents and for the doctors, but not for the patient."

The discussion was tied to Thursday's Intersex Awareness Day protest at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, which continues to promote invasive genital surgeries on infants with intersex characteristics.

Lynnell Stephani Long suffered under those same policies. Long's body does not naturally produce male or female hormones, and beginning at the age of 8, Long was treated as a "guinea pig" at the University of Chicago Hospital. The 10 years she spent in and out of that hospital, sometimes staying for months at a time, left Long with nightmares and PTSD from being treated like an experiment. "You've seen those pictures of [naked] kids spread like this with their eyes blacked out? One of those is me."

"This is what the doctors told me: 'Don't you want to be a better man? Don't you want to be a real man?'… It wasn't about what I wanted; it was what my mom wanted, what the doctors wanted." The doctors started giving Long testosterone to "make me into a boy," but all it did was make her sick.

"This has been happening since the 1950s, and it's in medical textbooks telling them to treat us how they do," said Pagonis. "They know what intersex is. They can list you 26 variations and tell you what the phenotype is and go on and on. But they will not tell you that we have human rights. They'll tell you that only females exist and only males exist, and what we need to do is use our surgical technology to push this body into a female or male thing because we don't believe that this person has human rights and bodily autonomy."

The event's approximately 35 attendees were enthusiastic in their support for the speakers. Meme Salazar Rodriguez, an attendee whose passion for intersex justice inspired them to pursue medicine, said, "Some people shouldn't be doctors. If you are going to treat humans like machines, go study computers or robotics. Honestly, there should be a bigger component of sociology in med school and pre-med programs."

The Center on Halsted hosted the event. "The intersex community is a fairly misunderstood community," said Vanessa Sheridan, Director of Trans Relations and Community Engagement at the Center. "I felt like it was important for us as an organization to create an opportunity for the intersex community to come in and share information about their situation, about people who are intersex, and about some of the issues and concerns surrounding that community. And I think tonight we were able to provide a forum for that to happen."

In addition to an end to medically unnecessary surgeries, intersex activists want intersex children to be raised with a gender, but with the understanding that they may change their sex and gender identity one day. They also ask that intersex people be supported in accessing hormone treatment and surgery if they so choose.


This article shared 810 times since Tue Oct 31, 2017
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HHS awards $48M to health centers to expand HIV prevention, treatment
2021-09-16
On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and ...


Gay News

National groups kick off #BiWeek to celebrate bisexuality+ visibility
2021-09-16
Sept. 16 marks the start of #BiWeek, an annual digital campaign to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, unlabeled, etc.) community, according to a joint press release from the organizations The Bisexual Resource ...


Gay News

COVID Southern Illinois reports it has zero ICU beds available
2021-09-15
Amid a COVID-19 surge, Illinois' southern region reported Sept. 13-14 that it ran out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds—which has delayed surgeries and resulted in longer waits for appropriate care, The Chicago Tribune reported. In ...


Gay News

Howard Brown hosting Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium on Sept. 29-30
2021-09-15
Howard Brown Health will host its 2021 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium in a virtual format Sept. 29-30. The conference, presented by the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research and ...


Gay News

COVID Connecticut, D.C., removed from Chicago's travel advisory
2021-09-14
On Sept. 14, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state—Connecticut—and the District of Columbia off its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes 48 states and three territories, as daily COVID case ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

SAVOR Sunny Bowls
2021-09-11
Looking for a comforting, healthful option for lunch? Then look no further than Sunny Bowls: Souper Food (theMart, #201.; https://sunnybowls.com/), which specializes in various soups? Part of the food court at theMART (which some also call ...


Gay News

COVID Chicago's travel advisory now includes all states outside Illinois
2021-09-08
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), on Sept. 8, added one state—Vermont—to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes every state and territory in the country, as COVID continues to surge across the ...


Gay News

New safety precautions announced for 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago Oct. 2
2021-09-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO — AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) has announced proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of event will be required for all in-person participants for the 30th annual AIDS Run & ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll
2021-09-05
In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, OutInPerth.com reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...


Gay News

COVID Rev. Jackson's wife out of hospital
2021-09-04
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s wife, Jacqueline, was released from the hospital Sept. 3 after being treated for symptoms of COVID-19 along with the minister, NBC Chicago reported. "Our mother is leaving the Northwestern Memorial Hospital and ...


Gay News

Chicago pro-choice activists outraged by SCOTUS' refusal to overturn Texas abortion ban
2021-09-03
--From a multi-organization press release - Calling it a blow to women and all abortion rights supporters nationwide, coalition calls for reversal of the Texas Law SB8, and demands "No Abortion Bans Anywhere: Not Now; Not Ever! Defend Roe!" Several Chicago groups ...


Gay News

United Center to require COVID-19 vaccination or negative test to attend all events
2021-09-02
--From a press release - The United Center will require all event attendees, including fans at Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks games, to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain access to the arena. The decision ...


Gay News

HIV AT 40: Global activist Phill Wilson talks Chicago, the '80s and vaccines
2021-09-01
Phill Wilson is one of the best-known HIV/AIDS activists/educators around the globe. The Chicago native was the co-founder of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. He ...


Gay News

Chicago now has 48 states in travel advisory
2021-09-01
On Aug. 31, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) added five states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Hampshire, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam—to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. Vermont ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.