“Intersex people are like refugees, while refugees have no right over land, intersex people have no right over their body, surgeries are done when they are infants, others take the decision.”
So said Gopi Shankar, founder, Srishti Madurai, at a recent conference in New Delhi. The conference demanded the end of this violative act, where intersex persons shared their experiences and difficulties in starting their own families. The conference aimed at spreading the message on a ban of such forced surgeries on infants and let them decide at a decision-making age about their preference of gender. Moreover, the conference highlighted the problems or damages that could occur as the after-effects of the surgery.
Intersex people are born with genitalia or reproductive organs that cannot be classified strictly as male or female. In medical terms, it is known as Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs) and, thanks to our society, this makes parents and doctors and most people lose their mind. So they actually ‘correct’ the baby’s ‘gender’ with surgery soon after birth! According to researchers such surgeries can lead to psychological damage later in life. Also, according to United Nations, 0.05% to 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits and the numbers can be more because many people don’t even register their babies if they are born intersex and that is why intersex people are the least visible in our society.
There is a need for many more such conferences to be held regularly and the reasons ranges from spreading awareness to making a change in the thinking of the society and how they interact with intersex people. People are very much ignorant towards intersex people and, tend to alienate this community.
Intersex surgeries must be banned as they are against the rights of any human beings, in this regard, Tamil Nadu has taken a very brave step by banning intersex surgeries of infants back in April 2019. People must understand and accept the way they are gifted with babies of any gender. They must not try to dedicate a gender to them as they are born because as an individual they have all the rights to choose what they want to lead their lives as.
We must embrace the beauty of God’s creation.