Clinton asked to not forget intersex community
Advocates for the intersex community have written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to congratulate her recent landmark speech on LGBT rights, while also calling upon her to include the intersex community in her “quest to protect the dignity and rights of all humans”.
Earlier this month, Clinton (pictured) had addressed the United Nations for International Human Rights Day with a speech focused on global LGBT issues.
“Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” Clinton said at the time.
While lauding Clinton’s speech, the United States branch of Organisation Intersex International (OII) has urged the politician to add “I” to the LGBT acronym when advocating for the LGBTI community and also to the State Department’s LGBT Task Force.
“As you so eloquently stated in your address at the UN, ‘those who advocate for the expansion of the circle of human rights were and are on the right side of history,’” OII US chairperson Hida Viloria wrote.
“Intersex people should be fully and equally included in this ‘circle of human rights.’”
Viloria added that many intersex people continue to live closeted lives due to ongoing marginalisation and discrimination.
“Countless members of our community have been medically altered in infancy and childhood, through non-consensual cosmetic surgeries and hormone treatments, in efforts to hide and eradicate our differences, as they trouble the notions of what males and females are supposed to look like,” Viloria said.
Speaking positively of changes announced by Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd earlier this year that now allows intersex and transgender passport holders to employ an “X” sex designator rather than an ‘M’ or ‘F’, Viloria said that further improvements in the lives of intersex people could only occur if LGBTI organisations around the world are intersex-inclusive.
“This could quickly change if they are receiving funds from the US that are allocated for ‘LGBT’ only.
They may feel compelled to drop intersex issues from their agenda and stop working on intersex human rights for fear that the funds they are receiving are only for ‘LGBT’ use,” Viloria added.
“In short, there is a very real danger that if the United States excludes intersex, it will be exporting intersex exclusion across the globe and participating in the erosion of our human rights gains.”