Dear friend of AIC,

I am writing this from the airplane home from Geneva, where I represented Advocates for Informed Choice at a consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO). My partner, Suegee, is sitting next to me.

We are both exhausted from our adventure, but I’m feeling so proud and encouraged after this meeting that I wanted to share my experience with you first as one of AIC’s strongest allies. I’m sure after I get home and have time to fully take it all in there will be more to say but I didn’t want to wait to tell you about it.

The consultation at WHO was in preparation for their upcoming statement on Involuntary Sterilization. From the time they invited me to participate, I was very excited to think that such a prestigious international organization might recognize the involuntary sterilizations imposed on many intersex people and people with DSD alongside similar human rights abuses faced by other communities. Too often, this community has been invisible, or has been relegated to a “fringe” status.

Not at this meeting.

For two days, I sat at a table with health advocates from around the world representing many different communities affected by involuntary sterilization — people with disabilities, women with HIV, Roma women, indigenous communities, transgender people, and others. We talked, listened, shared stories, and worked together to craft the strongest possible document that would reflect the experiences of all of these groups. It was a real honor to be part of such a group, and our children’s rights were valued in that space just as much as all other people’s. The statement isn’t expected to come out until Spring 2013, but I expect it to be very strong and to address intersex/DSD concerns explicitly.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without allies. AIC has always worked to maintain and nurture a strong network of alliances in many communities, and this pays off. In particular, allies from the transgender and disability communities worked to make sure that intersex/DSD rights were fully included at the WHO meeting. The AIC funder that sponsored the meeting, Open Society Foundations, helped us make key connections. We are very grateful for all those who are willing to help make sure intersex/DSD has a place at the table.

And, of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without you. Your generous support has helped to keep AIC going while we laid the groundwork for success. Because of you, we are making historic change on the national and international level, and we are poised for even more. Thank you, for all you do.

With gratitude,

Anne Tamar-Mattis
Advocates for Informed Choice