I’m sure you’ve all heard about the sex verification debacle that South African track start Caster Semenya was forced to undergo. Shortly afterwards, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began holding meetings with panels of medical experts to deliberate the fate of intersex female athletes. After one of these meetings in January, 2010, physician Maria New recommended that the IOC force these athletes to “have their disorders diagnosed and treated” in order to compete. New York Times link >>
These medically unnecessary “treatments” would consist of hormones and/or surgeries which would alter their physiological balance in unforeseen and potentially very damaging ways, as witnessed in the cases of others who have experienced them. Doth one detect shades of Nazi Germany? It’s no surprise: Dr. Maria New has recently come under fire for promoting the use of an unapproved drug on pregnant women suspected of carrying babies with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH.) This is the intersex variation which I have, and the drug is encouraged specifically to lessen the risk of the babies growing up to be lesbians. The Hastings Center link >>
I wrote my petition in response to Dr. New’s recommendations to the IOC, and hundreds around the world have already signed. As a result, the IOC has invited me to attend their next panel of experts meeting October 19-20th. I am thrilled that they have decided to include the opinion of those they are making these decisions about, and honored to represent intersex people. I know that the more signatures I have to show, the more powerful our voice will be. Please join all those who want to put an end to discrimination by signing!
Countless male athletes are known to possess physical conditions which give them proven “advantages’ over their competitors. However their advantages, unlike any intersex women may have, are celebrated. I say “may” because, to this day, Semenya hasn’t broken the female record for her event, and her times are nowhere near male speeds. Thus the accusations that running with her is like “competing against a man’ are not based on fact but on discrimination against her for looking “too masculine.”
Some doctors are falsely framing their demands for “treatment” as a “medical issue” when in fact these women are in such good health that they’ve become Olympic athletes. The fact is this is really a human rights issue: the right for people to express themselves wherever they feel comfortable on the feminine-masculine continuum without having rights taken away or medical alterations forced upon them to maintain those rights.
Please help me show the IOC that we don’t agree with this! And don’t forget to include any titles or affiliations you may have as it makes the petition stronger.
Here’s the link:
With infinite love and gratitude,