Here we are again folks, with yet another week having passed us by! This week i’m giving a second chance to my tweet from Wednesday about what it means to be intersex, and so my #TOTW is:
“…the immediate work to be done is to educate people on what it means to be .” +http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/intersex-celebrating-the-beauty-in-difference-a7339656.html
“Human bodies don’t all fit the binary system of male and female. It’s not freaky, it’s just something that happens. It’s nature.”
Now it is a long article, but one I feel is worth the effort. I enjoyed reading it, and came out the the other end of it knowing more than I did before!
Go on, give it a go! #ReadLearnShare
Good week? Weekend? Hope so! Now I popped this tweet out on Friday afternoon and I don’t think it was seen by as many people as I think it should be seen by – hence my choice for #TOTW is:
Know what they mean?
As I said in my reply to the tweet, a lot of people may not feel that this is important and fair enough, each to their own. I however, would respectfully disagree. It *IS* important if you are one of the minority groups that is trying to get your message out there and to educate others as to who you are and how you feel.
The link above takes you to a really good webpage that explains the whole abbreviation thing and how it has evolved. I too used to think that we should stop at ‘LGBT’ and the other minority groups would come under that umbrella. However, as I have learnt more about the issues of equality and diversity, I feel that it is important to represent the ever-growing number of individuals that do not feel they are either lesbian, gay, bi, transgender or intersex. This we can most easily and fairly do I believe, by adding either a ‘+’ or a ‘*’ after the the abbreviation LGBTI – hence giving you the title of this blog!
It would be great if we lived in a world where a person’s gender and or sexuality wasn’t an issue. However, we don’t, and so it is important that people of a minority group feel suitably represented. Agree or disagree, but thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂
The majority of you reading this will probably be able to answer yes to being either male or female, certainly with regards to your sex at birth. Some of you may also have transitioned from male-to-female or female-to-male, with others of you having been born with both male and female genitalia. What happens however, if you are born either male or female but you don’t feel like either of these “fit” your gender? This morning on my way into work I took the time to listen to the following programme:
Called ‘Beyond Binary,’ it’s only 30 minutes long and if you are at all interested in gender, it’s definition and evolution, then I can thoroughly recommend it. It looks at the concept of gender and how it is traditionally defined as binary, either male or female, with nothing in between. It explores the concept of gender as a spectrum. Why should a person’s gender have to be either male or female? OK, so birth sex may be either of the two, but a person’s sex does not define their sexuality or gender.
Confused? Yeah, OK so maybe you are, but it’s not rocket science and if you take some time to listen to the programme you’ll most likely find that you learn something about gender and how it’s not the binary construct that the majority of us are educated to believe.
“We’re all learning along the way.”
These are the words of Dr. Polly Carmichael, the Director of the Tavistock Clinic, the gender identity clinic to which people are referred. This is how it should be. Just because you might not understand how it is that there are people who associate as being both male and female or any such variations on the gender spectrum, does not make such people any less real or worthy of the respect you would afford to someone who is comfortable being either male or female.
Food for thought? I hope so 🙂
So I guess before you think of an answer to the question posed above, a more appropriate one would be, ‘have you heard of intersex?’ If so, what do you know? This week’s #TOTW is a great article about intersex with some facts and figures about how many intersex people there are:
“For about one in 2,000 people binary notions of male and female are particularly problematic”
One of the most striking passages from the article I found was:
“For about one in 2,000 people binary notions of male and female are particularly problematic. Research has found between 0.05% and 1.7% of the global population (pdf) are born with intersex traits – biological sex characteristics that don’t conform to typical notions of male or female. The upper estimation is around the same number of red haired people, yet intersex people are far less visible.”
Another striking (and pretty sad) quote I thought was:
“complete indifference [is shown] to life-threatening genital mutilations and infanticide that intersex children suffer”.
Read the full article and make your own mind up. Even though i’ve tweeted about intersex before, I wasn’t aware of the stats and the torture that children in some countries go through. It’s pretty upsetting to be honest, but a worthwhile read and one that will hopefully provide you with a basic understanding of how difficult it is for those people that don’t fit into the rigid male/female label we like to assign at birth.
As always – thank for reading!