Today is Intersex Awareness Day! If you don’t know what intersex is, check out these amazing videos here or here. Or read None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio.
If you do know what intersex is, but aren’t sure why it matters, well, I’ve asked some awesome authors to help me explain why intersex is important to them.
Intersex is awesome because it’s proof positive that there is not a 1:1 correlation between one’s chromosomes, one’s sex, one’s gender, and one’s sexual orientation.
As a queer woman, I’ve come to understand that the future for both the LGBT and intersex communities will depend on the understanding that gender identity and biological sex are more complicated and more beautiful than pink versus blue.
-Anna Marie McLemore, author of The Weight of Feathers
Understanding intersex allows us to find our identity outside our chromosomes, and the illusion of the gender binary.
-David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland
I am not binary, because I am much more than the sum of all my parts.
-Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
I am not binary, because I’m way too badass to let my chromosomes define who I am as a human being.
-Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Intersex is awesome because intersex people are awesome.
Intersex is not “an issue,” and None of the Above is not “a lesson”; it’s a very real story about a very real person I laughed with, cried for, mentally high-fived, and would love to hang out with in real life.
-Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights
Intersex people are awesome because we all bring the most to the world when we are our truest selves.
-Alex Gino, author of George
Intersex is awesome because together we all make up a gorgeous rainbow, and the more shades there are to see, the better.
-Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves
Intersex awareness is important because intersex people aren’t rare – they’re just invisible. If you’ve been to a football game, chances are at that a few people in that stadium were intersex.
Intersex awareness is important because…
…only by shining a light on things we don’t know much about can we help to remove the harm that can come from ignorance.
-Michelle Falkoff, author of Playlist for the Dead
…it can teach us about self-definition, finding our place, and figuring out that we are all more than one thing.
-Marcy Beller Paul, author of Underneath Everything
…we need to eliminate the secrecy and shame—1 in 2,000 people are intersex!
–Natasha Sinel, author of The Fix
…the voice of the voiceless needs to be heard, and space needs to be made for the marginalized to speak for themselves.
-Kristin Elizabeth Clark, author of Freakboy
…books can be windows that help us begin to understand–to some extent–the experience of others.
-Randy Ribay, author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes
…secrecy leads to shame, stigma, and confusion, and our kids deserve better.
-Stacey Lee, author of Under a Painted Sky
…because it is evidence that we need to think and reevaluate how we define and perceive gender.
-Valerie Tejeda, author of Hollywood Witch Hunter
…when we try to understand concepts like gender and identity as binaries, we misunderstand them. Our world is not binary but rather includes a whole spectrum of experiences. It’s a wonderful thing when our stories reflect that.
-Mariekek Nijkamp, author of This is Where it Ends
Finally, intersex awareness is important because the girl next door could be intersex. Or the boy down the road that you have a crush on. Or your best friend, or your co-worker or teammate. And all of these intersex people have the right to be seen, to be known, and to not be ashamed of who they are.
Blog preview photo credit to @Paperfury on Instagram.