Release: 11 September 1998
Inside Edition Gets It Right and Presents Out,
Unashamed Intersexed People: Their Words, Their Lives and No Disguises
On Monday, Sept 11 1997 the television news magazine Inside Edition
presented candid interviews with four out, socially and politically aware
intersexed people in its segment addressing intersexuality,"Caught In The
Middle". Unlike another story addressing intersexuality presented earlier
in the month by ABCs Prime Time Live, Inside Edition chose not to focus
on the medical establishment's view of how best to deal with the problem
of an intersexed child or its debate over how best to "medically manage"
the birth of an intersexed neonate with surgical intervention. Instead,
viewers heard the forthright statements of four intersexed people, three
of whom are living with, and recovering from, the results of the current
treatment methodology which requires that intersexed people be "fixed"
by means of surgery and other medical interventions which intersexed people
experience as physically and psychologically harmful.
Until quite recently it was not possible to learn how intersexed people
felt about their lives, how they fared after a history of childhood medicalization,
because of the personal trauma that kept
intersexuals silent. In the words of intersex activist Max Beck: "What
was going on inside of me didn't have very much to do with sex or gender;
what was going on inside of me was about shame." In simply presenting intersexuals
as real people with a voice of their own, Inside Edition has aided in our
effort to halt unconsented surgery and remove the socio-medical stigma
associated with being born with non-standard biology. Hida, an intersexed
person who was not subjected to surgery, sums it up: "For most of them
it doesn't even get to formulating a new identity; it's recovering."
Also interviewed was Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of molecular
biology at Brown university, whose unbiased research has figured strongly
in the efforts of intersex activists to demythologize the social and medical
misconceptions surrounding intersexuality.
We would like to commend Inside Edition for its sensitive and appropriate
treatment of intersex experience. Though imperfect, intersex surgery is
not "gender reassignment surgery" for instance,
and it seems that the need for sex dichotomy was manifested in defining
Max Beck as "a man"... Inside Edition's "Caught In The Middle" succeeded
admirably in presenting the voices of intersexed
people, heretofore unheard.
Contact: Kira Triea 410.235.5146 firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Beck 404.523.5792 email@example.com
Hermaphrodites With Attitude
Society of North America
- Intersex Voices
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