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intersex erasure

the acts and attitudes of ignoring, removing or falsifying intersex people and people with intersex variations and their identity. In its most extreme form, it could be the belief that intersex identity is non-existent, and that people with intersex variations are biological dysfunctions that need “correcting” and “normalising” (e.g. through “corrective surgery“).

Intersex erasure has been commonplace both in society and in the medical community, where the bodies of infant people with intersex variations have been cosmetically altered through surgery to “normalise” their appearance and bodies, rather than to allow intersex individuals agency over their own bodies and identities.

In more subtle forms, intersex erasure could be the act of propagating myths and stereotypes about intersex individuals.

Although it may not involve overt antagonism, intersex erasure is often the result of interphobia. The invisibility and misconceptions of intersex identities, people and topics has a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of individuals with intersex variations.

Originally published: 9th December, 2020
Last modified: December 9, 2020