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National Black Justice Coalition Commemorates Intersex Awareness Day

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

Statement from Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the leading civil rights group focused at the intersection of Black and LGBTQ+ identities, commemorating Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, 2021: 

“Sex, like gender, has always had more than the two traditional options of male and female. One in every 2,000 babies is born with variations that make it difficult for a doctor to assign male or female on their birth certificate. Too many doctors have made surgical decisions on behalf of the baby and its parents to force the newborn into the sex of their choosing to avoid marking the birth certificate with intersex due to stigma in society. This should be medical malpractice and we should all do what we can to reduce the stigma that too many deal with because of assumptions about sex not based on science. 

“Laws that seek to ban transgender people from participating fully in society; especially our kids, often also ban people born intersex as well. We saw this play out in the Olympics this summer when several Black women with intersex variations were not able to compete due to increased natural levels of testosterone. Black intersex people are a part of centuries of medical experimentation based on race and sex which makes the Black community an even more necessary part of the conversation to ban unwanted medical intervention. 

“Unfortunately, the U.S. is so wedded to the non-biological notion of there being only two sexes and genders that we have sought to make invisible and pushed to the margins of society people we claim to love. This Intersex Awareness Day and every day let’s recommit to learning more about the diversity of humanity and seek to create equality for all of us.”

Nearly one in every 2,000 people is born with variations in reproductive or sexual anatomy or has a chromosome pattern that doesn’t fit with what is typically considered male or female. Such individuals are “intersex” — the “I” in LGBTI — and can identify as male, female, or neither.  Because intersex people are born with unique biological characteristics, they are different from transgender people, who do not identify with their assigned gender identity. Ironically, many intersex people receive unwanted surgeries and hormone treatments that transgender people have to fight for.

You can learn more about intersex people and the social challenges they face from support groups such as the Intersex Society of North America and InterACT

You can learn more about top advocacy needs for Intersex people HERE.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.