Great news out of Germany on Intersex Solidarity Day! As reported by AP News early today, “Germany’s highest court has decided that people must be allowed to be entered in official records as neither male nor female, saying in a ruling published Wednesday that authorities should create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.”
This news is a victory for non-binary adults and intersex adults who are non-binary, unlike the “indeterminate” status placed on intersex babies by Germany’s 2013 birth certificate law. By the letter of that law, babies who “cannot be determined to be male or female cannot be registered as such.” It was highly criticized by German intersex activists, other intersex activists worldwide, and prominent LGBTQ allies, as creating a situation wherein intersex babies might be even more susceptible than before to being subjected to Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM) by parents wishing to legally designate them as male or female, but being unable to do so if the babies’ bodies appear neither male nor female.
Today is observed as Intersex Solidarity Day (ISD), aka Intersex Day of Remembrance (IDR) in honor of Herculine Barbin’s birthday. Nearly 150 years ago, in 1868, Barbin committed suicide in Paris because she was legally reassigned male by the court when discovered to be intersex and a lesbian, and could not adapt to the forced gender reassignment. Today, we remember Herculine and all those who have suffered and perished under efforts to enforce a heterosexual, male/female only sex and gender system and keep them in our thoughts.
We are commmitted to dismantling this scientifically false and socially oppressive and violent system, and congratulate the government of Germany for acknowledging intersex and non-binary adults’ right to live legally as our accurate gender accurately.
We stand in solidarity with the greater LGBTQIA+ community–who are targets of homophobia and transphobia, which IGM and intersex oppression is facilitated by–particularly our non-binary siblings. Many of us have non-binary gender identities which match our non-binary bodies, and
everyone has a right, regardless of their sex or gender, to be recognized as who are and treated equally as such!
We also urge the U.S. State Department to take note, and stop denying our associate director Dana Zzyym, a passport because they won’t falsely identify their sex/gender (the words are often conflated in law) as male or female. Zzyym fought six tours of duty in Beirut as a Navy officer for their fellow American citizens and for their country– they should, at the very least, be allowed their constitutional right to leave and re-enter it!
#thirdgender #intersex #nonbinary #ISD2017 #IDR2017 #LGBTQIA