[Boston, MA - October 26, 1996] It was the *first* public demonstration by intersexuals in modern history, as 26 gender activists from across the spectrum gathered on this unseasonably warm fall day to protest the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) for their continued support of Intersexed Genital Mutilation (IGM). The protest, outside the AAP's annual meeting, was jointly called by Hermaphrodites With Attitude (HWA) and The Transexual Menace.
IGM, touted by some as helping intersexed bodies achieve "normal genitals," has been roundly denounced by hermactivists as the moral equivalent of giving homosexuals electroshock and lobotomy and help them achieve a "normal heterosexuality."
Indeed, an astonishing statement issued to the attending media by the AAP's PR department coolly observed that "6 weeks to 15 months seems the optimal period for [IGM]." Unable to find any medical justification, it relies entirely on concern for the infant's "body image" and emotional development as the basis for IGM. [See AAP Statement excerpted below].
Conference attendees were by turns shocked, bewildered, and defensive as they emerged for lunchtime to face a battery of hermactivists armed with fliers, banners proclaiming "Hermaphrodites With Attitude!", and brandishing posters demanding "Keep Your Scalpels OFF Intersexed Bodies!" A number of pediatricians stopped and chatted with protesters about their concerns. [See Flier text below].
Said spokes-herms Cheryl Chase and Riki Wilchins, "Queer sexuality, queer gender or queer genitals -- medicine is obsessed with policing, regulating and suppressing difference. Cutting into an infant's flesh and removing its genitals only to force it into an acceptable body image has *no* place in a civilized society; it is barbarism - there's simply no other word."
Perhaps the protest's most poignant moment came when one HWA member who had lost all erotic sensation to IGM, was informed that her pediatrician was inside, chairing a panel on "managing" intersexed children. "That [deleted] cut off my clitoris, put it in formaldehyde, and has it in a jar" she cried, and then broke down in tears.
...The Academy is deeply concerned about the emotional, cognitive, and body image development of intersexuals, and believes that successful early genital surgery minimizes these issues.
Research on children with ambiguous genitalia has shown that a person's sexual body image is largely a function of socialization, and children whose genetic sexes are not clearly reflected in external genitalia can be raised successfully as members of either [sic] sex if the process begins before 2 & 1/2 years.
...From the viewpoint of emotional development, 6 weeks to 15 months seems the optimal period for genital surgery.
[AAP RELEASE ENDS - Excerpted]
American Pediatricians cut into 5 intersexed infants every day to make their genitals cosmetically "normal."
Most will lose their genital sensation, some will later commit suicide.
Did you know...
Pediatric surgeons admit they cut off our genitals just to make them "look better" and not for any medical reason.
Intersexed Genital Mutilation (IGM) is not medicine!
Did you know...
Pediatric surgeons operate on non-complaining intersexed children as young as 2 weeks to 2-3 years of age? Have they ever heard of "informed consent?"
Did you know...
The AAP cravenly takes no stance on the surgical removal of infants genitals simply because a clitoris is "too large" or a penis "too small," and it is our bodies which must pay the price.
We're not quiet.
We're not well-behaved.
And we're not going away.
From Hermaphrodites With Attitude:
We're here. We're queer. Stop cutting into our goddamn bodies!
[FLIER TEXT ENDS]