This weekend, from September 3 through 5, Brussels played host to the first-ever International Intersex Organizing Forum. According to Global Action for Trans Equality, 24 activists from 17 different intersex organizations attended the forum, which was facilitated and sponsored by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
An ILGA press release from July sheds light on more about the purpose of the forum:
The aim of the forum is to increase the awareness of intersex issues, and to agree on the advocacy priorities using a human rights position. It is hoped the forum will contribute to movement building, development of working relationships between the allies and drawing up an agreed action plan to advance on the key priorities.
These are some of the areas that will be explored:
- The various perspectives on intersexuality - gender queer, human rights, medical.
- Needs of the intersex community - what are the priorities?
- How might these needs be met and who is best placed to meet these identified needs?
- What are the various approaches to advancing equality for intersex people?
- Who do we need to work with - and at what level of intervention?
- How might the organisations work together to advance the identified priorities?
- Social change requiring intervention at various levels - who can do what?
- Working with each other and working with other organisations.
- Agreeing on a programme of work to further intersex equality and inclusion in LGBTI movement.
Although the intersex community has seen some joint international effort to compare goals and discuss objectives within the movement - like with the now-defunct Intersex Society of North America and other cross-national organizations - the IIOF afforded one of the first opportunities for intersex activists from around the globe to talk about the most effective advocacy strategies and approaches.
The next International Intersex Organizing Forum is expected to be held in late 2012.