Part intersex 101, part storytelling, and part film screening, this presentation explores what’s at the root of intersex oppression–fear of the unknown. For centuries, mythology, not actual intersex people’s stories, has shaped the public’s perception leading to dire consequences. Some of the key events and players in intersex history, whose groundbreaking activism in the early 90s helped lay the groundwork for today’s dynamic movement, are introduced to help participants understand why intersex activists across the globe—who were forced to conform—are uniting to demand that society conforms instead. Audiences will get a chance to think critically about the ways in which seemingly binary concepts such as sex and gender are actually diverse and mysterious.
The film ties together narration, conversations with family, and medical records to paint a portrait of how medicine’s current protocol rooted in binaries effected one intersex child and their family. Viewers leave with a tangible understanding of why the UN recently declared that intersex people’s treatment amounts to human rights violations.
Geared towards middle school and high school students, this presentation’s goal is to illuminate how each and everyone of us is unique—or, something else. Concepts of biological sex, gender roles and intersex are broken down in age appropriate ways. Using elements of a children’s story book titled Something Else, students are asked to look at the ways in which we all experience feeling left out – whether it’s because of our biological sex, gender or other reasons. Students leave with the message that we all exist on a spectrum, and no one is located purely at one of the extreme ends of any binary—we’re all something else! And this should be celebrated, loved and enjoyed—not made fun of, isolated, surgically changed, etc.