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by Rex Wockner
Oct. 26 was International Intersex Awareness Day. That’s the ‘I’ in LGBTI.
ILGA-Europe – the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – said the day aims “to raise awareness on intersex issues, generate greater understanding and challenge the prevailing medical pathological approach to the bodies of intersex people.”
“Across Europe, hundreds of babies who are born intersex, or those children who are identified as intersex later in their lives, are being subjected to inhumane ‘corrective gender surgical operations’ in order to align them with the binary male or female sexes,” ILGA said. “Such intrusive and unnecessary surgeries have devastating effects on intersex people who very frequently report to be tormented mentally, sexually, physically and psychologically by such ‘treatment.'”
ILGA-Europe incorporated intersex issues into its mandate in 2009 and is building linkages with European and international intersex organizations.
“We are fully committed to bring the concerns of intersex people to the European institutions with a view to challenge existing human rights breaches in practices of ‘gender correction surgeries’ and the long-term physical and psychological effects that they have on intersex people,” said Executive Director Evelyne Paradis. “We are very pleased with our fruitful cooperation with Organisation Intersex International’s European members and hope that together we can bring an end to the inhumane gender-correction surgeries of intersex babies, prejudice and discrimination intersex people face in Europe.”