Intersex civil society organizations

Intersex civil society organizations have existed since at least the mid-1980s. They include peer support groups and advocacy organizations active on health and medical issues, human rights, legal recognition, and peer and family support. Some groups, including the earliest, were open to people with specific intersex traits, while others are open to people with many different kinds of intersex traits.


Intersex peer support and advocacy organizations have existed since at least 1985, with the establishment of the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia in 1985.[1] The Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (UK) established in 1988.[2] The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) may have been one of the first intersex civil society organizations to have been open to people regardless of diagnosis; it was active from 1993 to 2008.[3]

In May 2019, more than 50 intersex-led organizations signed a multilingual joint statement condemning the introduction of "disorders of sex development" language into the International Classification of Diseases, stating that this causes "harm" and facilitates human rights violations, calling on the World Health Organization to publish clear policy to ensure that intersex medical interventions are "fully compatible with human rights norms".[4][5][6][7][8]


Intersex organizations are poorly resourced. An international report on The State of Trans* and Intersex Organizing by GATE and the American Jewish World Service in November 2013 found that, globally, "just over $40,000 addressed intersex issues" in 2010. At that time, "6% of all funding for human rights work went to promote LGBTI rights globally ($72.6 million out of $1.2 billion in total)."[9]

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice established the first Intersex Human Rights Fund in 2015, in an attempt to address resourcing issues.[10][11]

International Intersex Forums

International gatherings are known to have begun in the mid-1990s, including an ISNA retreat in 1996 that brought together activists from North America and New Zealand, and also a summer school organised by OII-France in 2006. The retreat is documented in a short movie entitled Hermaphrodites Speak[12][13] and the film Intersexion, and the summer school in a book, A qui appartiennent nos corps? Féminisme et luttes intersexes.[14][15]

International Intersex Forums have taken place since 2011, organized by ILGA. These have brought together intersex activists and organisations from around the world, resulting in joint statements about human rights and bodily autonomy. The Malta declaration of the third forum called for an end to 'normalising' practices, prenatal screening and selective abortions, infanticide and killings, and non-consensual sterilisation. It also made recommendations on sex assignments of intersex children and adults.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

List of intersex organizations

This list contains both intersex-led organizations and some active allied organizations.




Latin America

North America



See also


  1. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia; Briffa, Anthony (22 January 2003). "Discrimination against People affected by Intersex Conditions: Submission to NSW Government" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  2. "Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG)". Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  3. "Dear ISNA Friends and Supporters". 2008. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  4. Intersex Human Rights Australia (2019-05-23), Joint statement on the International Classification of Diseases 11
  5. Crittenton, Anya (2019-05-24). "World Health Organization condemned for classifying intersex as 'disorder'". Gay Star News. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  6. Leighton-Dore, Samuel (2019-05-28). "World Health Organisation drops transgender from list of mental health disorders". SBS. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  7. Barr, Sabrina (2019-05-28). "Transgender no longer classified as 'mental disorder' by WHO". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  8. Wills, Ella (2019-05-29). "Campaigners hail changes to WHO classification of trans health issues". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  9. Eisfeld, Justus; Gunther, Sarah; Shlasko, Davey (2013). The State of Trans* and Intersex Organizing: A case for increased support for growing but under-funded movements for human rights. New York: Global Action for Trans Equality and American Jewish World Service.
  10. "Introducing the Intersex Fund team at Astraea!". Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. June 16, 2015. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  11. "Boost for Intersex activists and organisations". SOGI RFSL. January 16, 2015. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  12. Hermaphrodites Speak!, Intersex Society of North America, 1997.
  13. Hermaphrodites speak, WorldCat, 1997.
  14. (in French) A qui appartiennent nos corps? Féminisme et luttes intersexes Nouvelles Questiones Féministes, Vol. 27, No. 1/2008, Université de Lausanne.
  15. 1ères Universités d’été des Intersexes et Intergenres d’Europe Paris - du 16 au 19 août 2006, OII-France, 1 August 2006.
  16. 3rd International Intersex Forum concluded Archived 2013-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, ILGA-Europe (Creative Commons statement), 2 December 2013
  17. Global intersex community affirms shared goals, Star Observer, December 4, 2013
  18. Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum, Advocates for Informed Choice, 12 December 2013
  19. Public statement by the third international intersex forum, Organisation Intersex International Australia, 2 December 2013
  20. (in Dutch) Derde Internationale Intersekse Forum, Nederlandse Netwerk Intersekse/DSD (NNID), 3 December 2013
  21. (in German) Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum Archived 2013-12-26 at the Wayback Machine, IVIM/OII-Germany, 1 December 2013
  22. (Chinese) 2013 第三屆世界陰陽人論壇宣言, Oii-Chinese, December 2013
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