To better educate our audiences, we’ve updated the FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions). To take a look, just go to www.isna.org/faq.
A number of spiffy navigation tools have also been added to make your “travel” around the FAQ’s easier.
Those of you who are teachers will be especially pleased to hear that we’ve also included a way to access an printer-friendly version of the revised FAQ’s. Feel free to print that and use it in your classes with attribution to ISNA.
To continue to serve the thousands of visitors we get each month—new parents, adults who have just learned they have an intersex condition, clinicians, students, and teachers—we’ll keep augmenting, editing, and updating FAQs. (For example, we still need to complete the section on intersex conditions, and provide a segment on the biology of sex development.) But if you know an FAQ we should consider posting, please send it along to us.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology meeting in San Francisco on Monday, Oct. 11, showed evidence that just about every aspect of intersex care is now in question, but that, despite theoretical turmoil, many medical centers are continuing to provide scientifically and ethically questionable care.
Most notably—as we detail below—even though several leaders in pediatric urology urged colleagues to employ less invasive cosmetic genital surgeries, several presenters sent the troubling message that early, aggressive surgeries are necessary (despite a black hole of supporting evidence or ethical analysis).
Urges local V-Day productions to raise awareness about
Emi Koyama, Intersex Society of North America
In her early 30s, Betsy Driver learned why she had never felt totally comfortable in her high school locker room.
When she four months old, Driver’s doctors removed her entire clitoris because it was unusually large for a baby girl, and, following doctor’s orders, her mother never told her. As a teenager, Driver never fully developed breasts and had to undergo a second surgery to reconstruct a vagina that was never there in the first place …
Llerena, Kim. 2004. Living in between, but no longer living in silence. Washington Square News, October 26.
This past weekend I gave the keynote address at the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association meeting in Chicago. My talk was entitled "Facing History: Understanding Craniofacial Care in a Broader Cultural Context." I spoke about how there are common threads running throughout the personal narratives of people born with atypical anatomies, one of them being that what others see as simple "deformities" or sources of stigma are often experienced as livable, integral parts of subjects' lives.
The meeting was great; I learned so much from talking with the professional care providers for craniofacial anomalies! Here are a few of the things they know that those of us working to help families dealing with intersex need to know:
What’s ISNA up to at the moment?
- Under the leadership and technical wizardry of our Executive Director Cheryl Chase, we are continuing to make our website ever more useful and accessible for the 60,000+ visitors we host each year. We know the massive quantities of material on our site can be challenging to wade through! Regular users will already have noticed our new and improved FAQ and search system. This work is generously funded by the Arcus Foundation, the Gill Foundation, Kicking Assets, the Small Change Foundation, and individuals like you. (Hint, hint!).
- Our Director of Medical Education Alice Dreger is busy revising and sending out for review our clinical and parents handbooks, texts originally drafted for us for Medical Advisory Board member Sallie Foley and Chris Feick. After the handbooks are revised and polished, ISNA staff will be presenting them to major medical centers in California. This work is generously funded by The California Endowment and the Arcus Foundation.
- ISNA’s Director of Community Relations Jane Goto continues masterfully to triage inquiries coming into our helpdesk from parents, adults with intersex conditions, clinicians, researchers, and reporters. Jane and other members of our Board of Directors and our Medical Advisory Board are also busy giving talks around the country at medical centers, medical schools, universities, religious institutions, and libraries. Many of these events include the screening of our film, The Child with an Intersex Condition: Total Patient Care. (Check out our events column at the right.)
In 2004 ISNA’s energies are focused on reforming U.S. medical education with regard to intersex.
In a world where representations matter and many young intersex and/or queer people seldom see themselves reflected in characters in literature or film, Fool for Love centers Jami’s experience with her intersex condition, highlighting her loving relationships with her parents and her partner as well as her struggles against people’s homophobic attitudes and misunderstanding of what it means to have an intersex condition. In addition, Fool for Love weaves references to ISNA, Hermaphrodites with Attitude, and PFLAG throughout its narrative, offering young readers useful information about where they might learn more about these issues and even find support and allies.