As this year is coming to a close, the intersex people of color movement has seen triumph and setback. M.C., a young Black intersex child whose genitals were mutilated by the state of South Carolina while in foster care, received a court victory when his case settled out of court for $440,000. Although the sum is a pittance for the trauma that this young person has endured and what he will face in the future, this is the first time that the state has recognized the sovereign rights of an intersex child, let alone a Black intersex child. M.C.'s bravery allows us as intersex people of color to assert ourselves and claim our rightful places in the movement for bodily sovereignty. Thank you M.C.
Although not a person of color, we also recognize Scout Schultz, a white nonbinary intersex person who was murdered by Georgia Tech police. Scout Schultz was a passionate leader who advocated for those who were marginalized because they knew that no one is inherently free until the most vulnerable among us are able to live in peace and dignity. Their willingness to speak on social justice issues in the deep South provides an example to white intersex people that in order for our movement to be successful, we must be willing to work not just as allies but as co-strugglers across social justice , movements.
For IAD 2017, we want to reclaim and reaffirm the life of Anarcha.
Anarcha is our patron saint.
Anarcha is one of our movement mothers.
We uphold her life because, like us, she was unjustly exploited by the medical industrial complex. Anarcha was an enslaved African woman in Alabama during the mid-1800s. Similar to many enslaved African women, she toiled in a heinous environment where her body was under constant attack from the lechery of the fields, overseers, mistress, and master of the plantation. Because of complications during childbirth, her value as a slave sharply decreased and she was sold to J. Marion Sims, who used her and two other enslaved women, Betsey and Lucy, to perfect his gynecological instruments and techniques. In the course of him perfecting his technique, Anarcha's body was violated over 30 times without anesthesia. Recently, Black Youth Project 100 demanded the removal of Sim’s statue from Central Park stating that the "memorializing of imperialist slaveholders, murderers, and torturers like J. Marion Sims is white supremacy." We agree, and as for intersex people, we too share that humiliation and trauma and can relate to the experiences of having our bodies desecrated by the medical establishment for their gain, not ours.
On this day, in solidarity with reproductive justice movements led boldly by women of color, we reclaim our sovereign right to our bodies, and through our activism we will atone for the pain and sacrifice of our ancestors.
We believe in intersex people.
We especially believe in the power and magic of intersex people of color to protect and defend ourselves from the medical industrial complex.
We are a just movement that has our vision set on attaining bodily autonomy for all.
We will win.
Intersex People of Color for Justice