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*** Launch of our Testimonial Publication #MyIntersexStory – Personal accounts by intersex people living in Europe ***
Today, on the International Intersex Solidarity Day, also known as the Intersex Day of Remembrance, we publish our 108-pages strong brochure «#MyIntersexStory – Personal accounts by intersex people living in Europe» with fifteen testimonies by intersex people and their families and with fifteen colourful illustrations by intersex artist and OII Europe staff member Ins A Kromminga. This book also includes a text by intersex scholar and sociology professor Janik Bastien Charlebois «On our own terms and in our own words»: The value of first-person accounts of intersex experience.
With this publication we aim to raise awareness and compassion to the realities and human rights abuses intersex people in Europe face. Our testimonies are the evidence that the prevailing medical practices are indeed harmful and a human rights violation.
«Intersex first-person accounts are at the forefront of intersex activism, along with intersex-made essays and academic articles. This book embodies this», writes Janik Bastien Charlebois in their text. «We hope that these first-person accounts, in providing the tools or hermeneutical resources for understanding intersex experiences and perspectives, will help overcome internal exclusion and ensure intersex people’s right to decide what to do with their own bodies and lives.»
Ins A Kromminga, Awareness Raising & Campaigns Officer of OII Europe, states in their foreword: «In combining the texts with images this brochure provides an additional non-textual layer of reflection, rest, and stimulus. Telling our stories is an emotional endeavour, can be a challenge, and definitely is a huge step out of invisibility. Deciding on what and how much we want to share with the world is part of reclaiming dignity, integrity, autonomy in our lives, our human rights, and it’s also about recognizing beauty in our lives.»
«The power of first-hand intersex experiences and stories allows people to learn what our community is going through on a personal level and often can make a bigger impact than just unnecessary surgery statistics», says Irene Kuzemko, Executive Board member and Secretary of OII Europe. «The fact that there are people of all ages sharing their traumas and stories in this book show us that intersex human rights violations have been happening for far too long. It’s time to listen to the intersex community and join us in our fight for our human rights.»
«This book is an extremely valuable piece of evidence for the intersex human rights violations happening in Europe», says Audrey Aegerter, Executive Board member and Treasurer of OII Europe. «I could not thank enough all the people who participated and testified for this brochure in such a humble, raw and vulnerable way as this is not an easy exercise and goes to show the importance of the work OII Europe is doing since now four years. I join Irene Kuzemko in asking governments and politics to listen to the intersex community and join us in our fight for integrity and respect.» OII Europe