Great news for European LGBTI activists! Germany recently became the first European country to allow infants born with indeterminate characteristics of sex to be registered as an “indeterminate sex.” This will lessen the pressure to choose one sex or another viasex assignment surgery on parents, which have lasting consequences for intersex individuals.
As far as numbers go, as many as one in 1500 people are born with some characteristics of both sexes. In the past parents were pressured to choose a sex as soon as possible so the child could be registered with authorities as a male or a female. If necessary, this choice would include serious surgery to push a child as far towards one sex as they could, but botches and mixups have often ruined lives and made things difficult for intersex adults. possible in one direction or the other, our correspondent says.
Of course, many LGBTI advocates say it doesn’t go far enough, and I couldn’t agree more. This new law, while a step in the right direction, doesn’t address the surgeries that take place at all. There is also no mention on how this could affect partnership and marriage laws in Germany. According to Silvan Agius, from IGLA-Europe, a LGBTI advocacy group:
“While on the one hand it has provided a lot of visibility about intersex issues… it does not address the surgeries and the medicalisation of intersex people and that’s not good – that has to change.”
I seriously hope this is just a stepping stone on the path to full rights and protections for intersex people, not only in Germany but in all of Europe. It would be great to see some of this spread to the US as well. Bravo, Germany, bravo.