July 22, 2015

Interviews with Organisation Intersex International Europe (OII)


IGLYO Interviews Activists from OII Europe

In our continuing efforts to represent the interests of LGBTQI youth, we recently held an Intersex Capacity Building Seminar in partnership with ILGA Europe. This was aimed at finding ways to address human rights issues faced by intersex people and to explore what the LGBTQ community can do to better support intersex people. It’s crucial to identify ways we can work together with partners, organisations and activists to support campaigns for equality and ending discrimination. Dan and Miriam from Intersex International Europe (OII) were invited as our event experts, insuring that the full training was informed and guided by intersex activists. They offered some fantastic insights so they both kindly agreed to take part in a short interview so we could share some of them with you. We hope you find them as inspirational and insightful as we did.

Interview: Ugla with Dan Christian Ghattas from Intersex International Europe (OII)

 Dan Christian Ghattas’ message to intersex youth:

“You exist, I think that is one of the most important things to know…what you experience with your body, that’s the truth… you’re okay as you are and you are real.”

Dan Christian Ghattas is the co-author of ‘human rights between the sexes: A preliminary study on the life situations of inter* individuals’, one of the first international studies into intersex rights and issues of discrimination worldwide and you can find the full journal here.

Interview with Miriam from Intersex International Europe (OII)

Miriam van der Have:

“We are completely invisible in society and I think that is the first thing that has to change”

Being recognised by society is a critical issue for intersex people. In 2013 in Malta, 34 activists from 30 intersex organisations from all continents came together in the third international intersex forum and produced a call to action. You can see the public statement by the forum, which Miriam refers to here. The recommendations from this document should be used by LGBTQ organisations as the foundation for campaigning and advocating on intersex rights.

The statement calls for an end to invasive and mutilating surgical procedures, psychological and other medical treatments as well as an end to non consensual sterilization of intersex people. It further advocates that children be registered as female or male with the awareness that like all people, they may grow up to identify with a different sex or gender. It also highlights the need to ensure that intersex people enjoy human rights and citizenship rights, including the right to marry and form a family.

An important principle is the need to empower intersex people to make their own choices about their lives, bodies and identities.

How can we take this further?

Miriam’s and Dan’s message is clear: sharing information on intersex issues and making them as visible as possible is a key action we can all take to help promote inclusion and foster a society in which intersex people can fully express themselves.

For intersex international definitions and further information see – OII

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