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Intersex Awareness Day - 26 October 2017

Intersex Awareness Day - 26 October 2017.


ILGA Oceania represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.

Today marks Intersex Awareness Day and is the anniversary of what was considered the first public demonstration by intersex people in North America, on October 26, 1996, outside the venue in Boston where the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference after being meet with hostility and were escorted out of the conference by security guards when they tried to participate peacefully in raising awareness to Intersex issues.

Since then, activists and community supporters have raised intersex awareness with a particular interested in providing relevant medical care and supporting other intersex people develop a sense of community.

Mani Mitchell said that, "In Aotearoa we have vocal and passionate intersex people who are working within their own communities and with each other, educating, sharing their stories and integrating the experiences intersex people face day to day".

Mitchell continued saying that, "I am so proud of my global intersex community - the people who stand beside and work with us in Aotearoa - we look forward to changing the current medical model so that it respects bodily autonomy and supports intersex people and their whanau".

Tony Briffa from Australia said that, "we still have so much work to do to get governments prohibiting unnecessary and irreversible intervention on intersex children, to have intersex groups funded and to increase society's awareness and understanding of intersex people. Intersex Awareness Day is a great opportunity for conversations to take place and for allies to help support our cause".

Briffa also said that, "please visit OII Australia's website and read stories of the lived experiences of intersex people. Incredibly inappropriate interventions are still routinely inflicted on intersex children in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand today".

Intersex activists, Mani Mitchell and Tony Briffa are both members of the ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association) Oceania board.

Rawa Karetai, ILGA Oceania Co Convenor said that, "As an allie, it is great to be able to help raise the awareness of intersex issues not only in New Zealand but across the Oceania Region and around the world. I am very fortunate to work closely with Intersex activists and community leaders and have just finished a meeting in Malta where we were able to raise Intersex issues with the Maltese Government.

Karetai continued saying that, "back here in New Zealand, I raised the conversation with St. John ambulance service last night about how they could help make intersex people feel comfortable. One such way was for self identification rather than forcing a gender binary on society.

ILGA Oceania represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.

END

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