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Intersex people and the federal election 2022

Though pre-polling has already started for this federal election, many of us will be going to the polls this Saturday to vote for the next government of Australia. We are at a time where federal action is needed to help plug the gaps across reforms currently being developed in leading States and Territories to regulate harmful medical practices and improve resources to support individuals and families. The outcome of this election could help in the implementation of the Australian Human Rights Commission's recommendations in its report on ensuring the health and human rights of people born with variations of sex characteristics. 

To help inform people with innate variations of sex characteristics and our families, we have invited statements by the main federal political parties on their positions in relation to our health and human rights. Read our federal election page here.



Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. It day intended to provoke discussion around the discrimination and violence people face in the LGBTQ+ community. It does this firstly by acknowledging the depathologisation of homosexuality by the World Health Organization, through the removal on this date of homosexuality from International Classification of Diseases. Secondly it promotes public events designed to provoke conversations in workplaces, schools, and community groups while fundraising for relevant causes.

For us, the day produces some complex feelings and positions. The date is often used to acknowledge human rights challenges faced by the intersex community, and these can often come up short. In recognising the depathologisation of homosexuality - and increasingly the needs of transgender people - there's frequently no recognition as to the ongoing impact that unnecessary forms of pathologisation have on the intersex community. Worse, misrepresentation of intersex issues as matters of sexuality, gender, or diversity of sex categories, have harmful effects on engagement by people with innate variations of sex characteristics. This statement IHRA released on IDAHOBIT day 2019 remains largely true today.

This being said, today is an important day of observance to the broader idea of a LGBTIQA+ community, there are some merits worth recognising today. The opportunities to participate in IDAHOBIT day events across the country can elevate intersex voices and be used as an opportunity to better recognise and understand the violence and stigma that intersex people face. It is also an important opportunity to recognise the impact of homophobia and transphobia on intersex people - whether due to intersectional identities that are vulnerable to lateral violence, or how intersex is often conflated and misidentified in our society. It is our hope that in time and with nuance and careful consideration, IDAHOBIT can present a less problematic context for discussing intersex issues.

Until next time, please take care!
-- Morgan, Cody, and Clare.
Copyright © 2022 Intersex Human Rights Australia, All rights reserved.

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