The City of West Hollywood recognizes Intersex Awareness Month in October, including Intersex Awareness Day on October 26. The City will raise awareness about Intersex Awareness Day in the city’s social media platforms, @wehocity, on October 26.
Intersex, the “I” in LGBTQIA+, is an umbrella term for differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy. Intersex people are either born with these differences or develop them in childhood.
Despite the lack of media representation, intersex people make up approximately two percent of the population. There are many possible differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, or chromosomes, compared to the usual two ways that human bodies develop. Some intersex traits are noticed at birth while others don’t show up until puberty or later.
Intersex people often face shame — or are forced or coerced into changing their bodies, usually at a very young age. Intersex persons are regularly subject to violence, discrimination, and abuse based on their sex characteristics. Many intersex persons, including children, experience invasive, unnecessary, and sometimes irreversible medical procedures.
Recently, there have been advances for intersex persons in the United States and abroad. In 2007, Australian Tony Briffa became the first openly intersex elected official in the world. In 2021, the US State Department issued its first US passport with a gender neutral “X” marker to an intersex and non-binary activist, Dana Zzyym. Despite these advances and recognitions, there is still much to be done to further support Intersex people in our culture.
Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has proudly championed human rights, with a strong emphasis on the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. Intersex Awareness Day provides an opportunity to support people who are intersex while also advocating against the plight so many intersex people face from society and the medical field. Learn more about Intersex Awareness Day by visiting the Intersex Day website.
For more information or for questions, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Government Affairs Liaison Hernán Molina at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6364.