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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 343 > Intersex Education

Intersex Education

Earlier this year a UN committee report noted deep concern that ‘medically irreversible and unnecessary sex assignment surgery and other treatments are reportedly performed on intersex children’ in Ireland. Although the numbers of intersex people here are significant, little is known about the issues they face, even within the LGBTI community, as Chris O’Donnell reports.
Kitty Anderson Co-chair of OII Europe Organisation of Intersex International

In 2016, the Programme for Government gave a commitment to a National Youth LGBTI+ strategy, spearheaded by Minister Katherine Zappone. Out of the 3,710 young people who took part in the survey upon which the strategy will be based, only one identifi ed as intersex. This could be due to both stigma and the fact that many people with intersex variations are unaware of them.

Not much is widely circulated about the unique biologies and needs of people in the ‘I’ part of the LGBTI community, and yet it is estimated that intersex variations occur within 1.78% of the population. That’s over 5,000 people, more than the population of Galway city. Nonetheless, rarely has intersex been taken on as an issue or given any signifi cant discussion in the Irish context.

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It’s our bumper Pride issue and we’ve got so much in store for you, we hardly know where to start! First up on our cover are the gorgeous Glória, Dublin’s lesbian and gay choir and star donators to our GCN30 exhibition Fundit campaign, who talk to us about being one great big alternative family. It’s appropriate, since the Dublin Pride theme this year is ‘We Are Family’ and in keeping we talk to groups of friends who consider each other kin, while Justin McAleese talks about our need for solidarity as the Pope’s visit to the World Meeting on Families excludes LGBT families. We remember the tragic murder of Declan Flynn, which sparked the first gay rights march in Ireland, and reflect on the situation facing LGBTs in Latin America, where brutal murders take place every day. We get educated on Intersex issues and talk to Minister Katherine Zappone about the governments LGBTI+ Youth Strategy, the first of it’s kind in the world. Plus Rupert Everett talks to us about his love for Oscar Wilde and growing older as a totally out actor. And that’s just the beginning of what’s on offer. Get reading now!