Trans Role Models #4 #intersex

TRANS ROLE MODEL #4 The fourth trans role model is @byvioletteskye.

Jonny Violette Skye is an intersex nonbinary person. Their visibility and awareness raising is rare in a community that is stigmatised into silence and shame.

The truth is, as Jonny’s visibility and knowledge-sharing proves, that intersex people are proof that there are more than two sexes, and by extension, more than two genders, hence Jonny being nonbinary (some intersex people live as women or men and not all identify as nonbinary or agender).

As such, intersex people are as important in the fight against heterocispatriarchy and the revolution of gender, which is now led by transgender people.

The transgender community can therefore no longer exclude intersex people in the leadership of this fight. While at the same time acknowledging that just as the T in LGBT has human rights issues that are separate to the LGB, intersex people have rights issues that are separate to the T. So the acknowledgement needs to be that like the T, the I is not silent, and that while our human rights battles overlap, they are also extremely different.

But this is not acknowledged and in cisgender and transgender communities alike, intersex people are misunderstood, stigmatised and pathologised, often undergoing Intersex Genital Mutilation (similar to Female Genital Mutilation, except that the mutilation is performed in hospitals by people in white coats, without the same international awareness and outrage). This surgical intervention is carried out on infants and children so that they fit the binary (male:female) conception of sex, often without informing the parents, and just as often consented to by parents.

These surgical interventions on intersex bodies are a gross human rights violation as they are mostly cosmetic and mostly not medically necessary, and are irreversible. Such surgical interventions are often not free, not informed and not with the full consent or even informed consent of the intersex people themselves. In some cases, these interventions lead to dysphoria, which in some cases leads to severe emotional and physical distress, incidences of suicide and in some cases the seeking of hormonal and/or surgical gender reassignment surgeries.

People often misunderstand intersex people as being externally both male and female, having the genitalia of both, an incorrect understanding of intersex stemming from Greek Mythology (the hermaphrodite) and the pathologisation of intersex bodies. There are many variations of intersex, including the presence of chromosomes that are scientifically characterised as ‘male’ or ‘female’, but are in fact chromosomally, hormonally and physically indicative of more than two sexes, further proving that not only is gender a social construct, but that the understanding of sex as only female and male is scientifically incorrect.

 Another misconception is that intersex people are rare, are anomalies. The fact is that there are as many intersex people as there are redheads, and probably more, as no one knows what their genetic sex make up is until DNA is tested. So the next time someone asks you whether you’re a boy or a girl, tell them: “Like you, I haven’t had my sex genetically tested. Have you?!” Thank you, Jonny, my sibling, for your visibility, which is not easy to do, and for being at the forefront of re-understanding gender and sex. Follow @transrolemodels on Instagram for more trans role models.

HUGE thanks to Nthabiseng Mokoena, intersex person and intersex activist in South Africa for co-authoring this, for the input and dialogue with me in order to get this information right. Thank you for your patience with me and willingness to educate me, Nthabi! Much love to you, sibs!

@transrolemodels’ FAVOURITE FOLLOWER FRIDAY #FFF  Let’s make this a thing. It’s a Twitter thing, but SO necessary in the trans community. Let’s share our favourite and most inspiring trans siblings who inspire us not just physically, but because of who they are, the inspiring views and thoughts they share about being trans, and human. 

Nominate your most inspiring trans role model by tagging @transrolemodels in a post of someone you find inspirational, and tell me why you’re nominating them and follow the page for more inspiring people in our community every Friday. #transrolemodels #transrevolutionary #revolutionisetrans #transgenderrolemodels #FFF #FavouriteFollowerFriday #intersex #trans #transgender #FTM #MTF #nonbinary #genderqueer #genderfluid #agender #intersectionality #TPOC 


One thought on “Trans Role Models #4 #intersex

  1. Pingback: What is Feminism for me as someone who appears male? #transgender #diaryofaqueerfeministgenderfucker | life writ large

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