[Press Release] ILGA-Europe: Today is the International Intersex Awareness Day

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ILGA-Europe supports the initiative to mark 26 October as the International Intersex Awareness Day. The first ever public demonstration by intersex activists took place in Boston (USA), on 26 October 1996,

ILGA-Europe believes this day is a great opportunity 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. 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 ‘treatments’.

In 2009, ILGA-Europe has incorporated intersex issues in its mandate and has since started to build links with International and European intersex organisations with the hope of developing a long-term partnership.

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said: “We support the International Intersex Awareness Day and we are fully committed to bring the concerns of intersex people to the European institutions with a view to challenges existing human rights breaches in practices of ‘gender correction surgeries’ and the long term physical and psychological effects that they have on intersex people. We are very pleased with our fruitful cooperation with OII’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.”

Notes for editors:

  1. ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans & intersex people in Europe: www.ilga-europe.org
  2. OII is Organisation Intersex International: oiiinternational.com