"Gender-normalizing" Surgeries Are Not Necessary For Intersex Babies

Intersex Babies Should Not Be Forced To Fit The Gender Binary

It is a human rights violation for intersex babies to not be able to decide for themselves what their gender identity is.


As I get older, I realize just how little I was taught about gender in school. It was not until the beginning of high school that I realized that there are intersex people. In case you are not aware, "Intersex" is an umbrella term for people whose bodies do not match the strict definitions of male or female. Dozens of intersex variations exist, affecting the reproductive organs in ways that may or may not be visible."

In middle school, I had heard people make problematic comments saying that someone was "a boy and a girl" for not following the stereotypes of their gender, and would then resort to calling them an intersex slur. I will not be saying this word, but I will link you to a page on the Intersex Society of North America's website where they explain what the slur is.

In my health classes, we only spoke about males and females and the possibility of someone being intersex was never mentioned. I continued believing that intersex people did not exist, and it was not until I started doing my own research about the LGBTQIA+ community in high school that I was able to learn about them. I recognized that the slur being used by my classmates in middle school was not only offensive but inaccurate because it implies that the person was born with both "male" and "female" genitals. This is not possible. (And yes, I put quotations around male and female because a person's genitals do not define their gender).

While learning about the intersex community, I found out that parents of intersex babies are often forced to have "gender-normalizing" surgeries performed on their children. Some doctors see being intersex as something that needs to be fixed, even though the babies are perfectly healthy because our society wants to force everyone to follow the strict gender binary we have created.

I want to share Ori Turner's story in the hopes to change the minds of those that think it is necessary for intersex babies to go through surgery.

When Ori was born, the doctors told the parents that they were a girl and was going to need cosmetic surgery because they were intersex. Ori has partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, which means that they have both XX and XY chromosomes and that their genitals do not fit what we believe to be "male" or "female."

Thankfully, Ori's mother refused for her child to have surgery because there is no way she could guess what gender her child would identify as. There are many stories of intersex people that have been forced into the "gender-normalizing" surgeries and have grown up and realized they were assigned the wrong gender, or have experienced sexual dysfunction and infertility because of the surgery.

Ori's parents decided to raise them as a girl because that was the gender the doctors told them that they would identify as, but they still gave Ori the option to explore their gender identity. At age seven, Ori told his mother that he felt like a boy and then went several years going by the name Alex and wearing masculine clothing. Ori then began to act and dress in the ways that we associate with boys and girls. In 2017, Ori went to a meeting of intersex people in Phoenix and came to the realization that they wanted to stop going by the name Alex and use they/them pronouns.

It is a human rights violation for intersex babies to not be able to decide for themselves what their gender identity is. "Gender-normalizing" surgeries are unnecessary and only further the outdated view that only two genders exist.

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20 Rules Of A Southern Belle

It is more than just biscuits and grits.

These unwritten rules separate the people that move to the South and were born and raised in the South. If you were born and raised in a small southern town, you either are a southern belle or hope you get to marry one. Their southern charm is hard to dislike and impossible to be taught.

1. Adults are to be answered with "Yes ma’am" and "Yes sir."

Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, or the person that checks you out at the grocery store, always say yes ma’am.

2. Always write a thank you note.

For any and everything. No gesture is too small.

3. Expect a gentleman to hold the door open and pull out your chair.

Chivalry is not dead; you just need to find the right guy.

4. All tea is sweet.

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, tea is made no other way.

5. Don’t be afraid to cook with butter.

I’ve never met a good cook that didn’t giggle a little.

6. “Coke” refers to all sodas.

Here in the south, this means all types of sodas.

7. Pearls go with anything — literally anything

And every southern belle is bound to have at least one good set.

8. "If it’s not moving, monogram it."

9. Pastels are always in fashion.

And they look good on almost everyone.

10. And so is Lilly Pulitzer.

11. Curls, curls and more curls.

The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus.

12. If you are wearing sandals, your toenails should be done.

13. Never ever ever wear white shoes, pants, dresses, or purses after Labor Day or before Easter.

Brides are the only exception. Yes we actually do follow this rule.

14. Never leave the house without lipstick.

A little mascara and lipstick can work miracles.

15. Always wear white when you walk down the aisle.

Weddings are taken very seriously here in the South, and they should be nothing but traditional.

16. Southern weddings should always be big.

The more bridesmaids the better.

17. Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football.

Whether you spend it tailgating in that college town or watching the big game from your living room. You can guarantee that all southerner’s eyes will be glued to the game.

18. Sunday is for Jesus and resting.

19. Learn how to take compliments curiously.

20. Have class, always.

Cover Image Credit: Daily Mail

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.


We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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