Equal Rights Trust publishes testimony on intersex issues

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Equal Rights Review, Volume 10
The UK Equal Rights Trust has just published testimony by OII Australia president, Gina Wilson, in The Equal Rights Review, Vol. 10.

Gina talks about her personal background, her work as an activist, and the issues we face in seeking human rights, including intersex and the sex binary, the medical model, invisibility in human rights law, and regulation of family life.

In talking about the future, Gina says:

We have moved intersex rights more in the last four years than they have moved in the last four hundred. OII Australia continues to lobby and advocate for rights for intersex people.

To speak of just one recent positive example: OII Australia has been heavily involved in campaigning and advocacy around the proposed Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 which is currently being reviewed before its introduction into parliament in Australia. Legislators initially did not have a clear understanding of what intersex was, but having given evidence to Senate Committees and spoken with legislators individually we are hopeful that intersex will be a protected attribute under the Bill…

However, there is more to be done both in terms of cultural change and in terms of legal change. Most discrimination against intersex people is not as a consequence of us identifying as intersex, but on the basis of our physical appearance and difference. It will ultimately be important to get us out of the frame of intersex “identity”. Intersex people have all kinds of identities – the same broad spectrum of identities that the rest of humanity has. Prejudice is not about how we see ourselves, but how others see us – and this is based on a visible physical reality. There is a lot more to be done to eradicate this prejudice…

Although legal change to protect intersex people is vital, it is only the first step in what must be broad and deep social change that accepts diversity of every kind.

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