Inter/Act – supporting young people with DSD/Intersex conditions

Feminist Conversations is a regular series here at Feminists For Choice. Today we are talking to Jim Bruce, Communications and Youth Coordinator for Advocates for Informed Choice, about the program Inter/Act. Inter/Act is the first intersex youth leadership development program in the world and is a project of Advocates for Informed Choice. Inter/Act encourages young people with DSD or intersex conditions to share their opinions and experiences.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about Advocates for Informed Choice and Inter/Act.

Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC) is the first, and only, organization in the U.S. to undertake a coordinated strategy of legal advocacy for the rights of children with intersex conditions or DSDs (differences of sex development). AIC uses innovative legal strategies to advocate for the civil rights of children born with variations ofreproductive or sexual anatomy. Our project engages parents, doctors, attorneys and intersex activists in strategy discussions; stimulates legal dialogue about the fundamental rights of children born with intersex conditions or DSDs; and employs traditional and non-traditional legal tools to ensure justice for children born with intersex conditions or DSDs. These activities are grounded in a sense of respect and compassion for the children, parents, doctors, and intersex adults involved.

Inter/Act is the first intersex youth leadership development program created exclusively to facilitate tomorrow’s intersex advocates. Inter/Act is a place for young people with intersex conditions or DSDs the world over to come together, express themselves, and unite their individual stories to develop a voice for a new generation. Inter/Act’s goal is for peers, parents, doctors, scholars, and supporters to gain a better understanding of the varied experiences and perspectives of young people with different bodies. Inter/Act’s blog presents the unique voices of members in the Inter/Act community. Inter/Act welcomes young people with intersex conditions/DSDs no matter how they identify.

2. How important is it for people with DSDs or intersex conditions to represent themselves?

The right to self-determination and bodily autonomy has always been a political goal of the intersex community. The progress made toward winning these rights is largely a result of brave intersex individuals being public, speaking up and demanding accountability from caregivers, policymakers and other intersex activists. More to the point no matter how someone born with an intersex condition identifies it is vital that parents of children with intersex conditions see intersex adults taking responsibility for their own lives.

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