More than 150 intersex activists marched in New York last weekend, calling for an end to unnecessary operations on intersex people.
Demonstrators targeted New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College calling for it to end non consensual surgery on intersex youth.
The protest was led by activist groups Voices4 and the Intersex Justice Project, supported by prominent queer activists and influencers.
They included intersex supermodel Hanne Gaby Odiele, actor/model Nico Tortorella, and social activist Munroe Bergdorf.
Action followed Intersex Awareness Day and Trump leaks
The action came after Intersex Awareness Day, which marks the date of the first public protest in the United States by intersex individuals. That event took place in Boston outside an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in 1996.
The protest came days after a leaked Trump administration memo that attacked the lives of trans and intersex people.
The groups want hospitals to end the practice of operating on babies and young people with visible intersex traits.
The vast majority of these surgeries are not medically necessary, the groups said.
‘I was castrated at New-York Presbyterian Hospital by Dr Terry Hensle when I was 13 years old,’ said Sean Saifa Wall, co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project.
‘As an institution, this Hospital has and continues to harbor practitioners that continue to advocate for intersex genital mutilation…and it needs to end.’
Hanne Gaby, who has worked for Chanel, Givenchy and Prada, says perceptions need to change.
‘Intersex people, who are born healthy, don’t need to be fixed. We need to fix the Binary.’
‘By the time I was old enough to relive what was happening It was already too late I got surgeries all I got was shame.’