Meet our Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 

Today, on Intersex Awareness Day, it is with great excitement that we share our fourth cycle of the Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners.

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 65% of these grants are to existing partners, affirming our commitment to providing long-term support and promoting sustainability. While the intersex movement is growing across all regions, in this cycle, 35% of the grants are to new groups from intersex-led organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These are some of the fiercest intersex activists and advocates who are addressing human rights violations and stigma faced by intersex people, and collaborating with other intersex organizations, human rights organizations, educational and healthcare institutions, and allies.

This past year, intersex rights activists held regional meetings across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The regional meetings—several of which were supported by the Intersex Human Rights Fund—were the first intersex spaces that many activists in the Global South had experienced. Activists emphasized the criticality of movement-building and the need for increased visibility for the intersex community as a whole.

2018 is Astraea’s largest-ever pool of Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners, signaling a major growth in the global intersex movement and advocacy efforts. However, the lack of funding for intersex rights continues to be a major barrier in realizing those rights and shifts in norms.

Our grantee partners have been instrumental in:

  • Organizing to end the pathologization and medicalization of intersex bodies by providing accurate and positive representations of the intersex community: Collectif Intersexes et Allié-e-s was formed on Intersex Awareness Day in 2016 as a collective that provides peer support but also to act politically and be a representative voice for intersex rights in France. The group takes a firm stand against pathologization of intersex people, working to end mutilations and non-consensual treatments, removing gender in legal documents, and including intersex variations in educational resources across the country.
  • Raising awareness about intersex human rights violations by establishing regional networks to end discrimination and protect the rights of intersex people: Intersex Asia was born out of the Asia regional meeting in 2018, to affirm intersex peoples’ rights to bodily integrity, physical autonomy, and self-determination. The network was created by 14 activists across 10 countries in Asia and reflects the growth of the movement in the region.
  • Serving as catalysts for information dissemination, awareness raising, and advocating for the rights of intersex people: Intersex South Africa (ISSA) was revived in 2017 after a South African meeting of intersex activists highlighted major gaps concerning intersex issues in the country. ISSA’s works to ensure that intersex people have the right to accurate information and access to medical records concerning their bodily autonomy, as well as providing support to and awareness around the intersex community in South Africa.

Please join us in celebrating the work of these powerful grantee partners and read more about their work and the work of this global movement, in the links below*:

AIS Suport Group Australia Inc. // Associação Brasileira de Intersexos // Association of Russian-Speaking Intersex (ARSI) // Beyond the Boundary // Bilitis Resource Center// Brújula Intersexual // Campaign for Change // Collectif Intesexes et Allié-es// Comité Visibilité Intersexe // Egalite Intersex Ukraine // Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela // The Houston Intersex Society // Intersex And Faith // Intersex Archive Project // Intersex Asia // Intersex Danmark // Intersex Human Rights Australia // Intersex Ísland // Intersex Persons Society of Kenya // Intersex South Africa // InterAction // IntersexUK // ITANZ // Ivy Foundation // Mulabi // NNID // Oii Chinese // OII Deutschland/IVIM // OII Italia // OII Sverige // Organization Intersex International Europe (OII-Europe) // Rainbow Identity Association // Srishti Madurai LGBTQI+// SIPD Uganda // Trans Bantu Association Zambia // Trans Smart Trust // TZK’AT, Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario // Verein Intergeschlechtlicher Österreich (VIMÖ/OII Austria) // Vivir y Ser Intersex // XY Spectrum

*We do not publicize some of our courageous grantee partners because of the security threats they face in their local contexts, so groups may be missing from this list.

P.S. By supporting Astraea you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. We are answering the call of this moment. We will win. And we will do so because of your support.

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Watch a video about our Intersex Fund grantee partners’ recent work:

Tz’Kat Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminsmo Comunitario, Territorial desde Iximulew – Guatemala

TZK’AT, Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario, is an initiative initially built in October 2015 by a lesbian Kiche Maya woman and a Q’eqchi’-xinka Mayan, and was initially composed of 11 Maya and Xinka women from various indigenous territories nationwide in Guatemala.

English:

TZK’AT, Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario, Territorial desde Iximulew – Guatemala, is an initiative initially built in October 2015 by a lesbian Kiche Maya woman and a Q’eqchi’-xinka Maya, and was initially composed of 11 Maya and Xinka women from various indigenous territories nationwide in Guatemala. They are women who claim their own epistemology and their bodies as pluridimensional spaces.

Español:

La Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario territoriales en Guatemala, Territorial desde Iximulew – Guatemala, es una iniciativa construida inicialmente por una mujer maya Kiche lesbiana y por una maya q´eqchi´- xinka, que fue articulando a 11 mujeres mayas y xinkas de varios territorios indígenas a nivel nacional en Guatemala, y nacen como colectiva el 12 octubre del año 2015. Para diciembre 2017 son mujeres que se reivindican desde su propia epistemología, e interpretación de sus cuerpos como espacios pluridimensionales.

 

Trans Smart Trust

Trans Smart Trust is an organization focused on intersex and transgender persons.

Trans Smart Trust is an organization focused on intersex and transgender persons. It was founded in 2012 and registered as a Trust on the 16th of July 2016 after a long struggle in an environment where there is limited appreciation and acknowledgement of the existence of intersex and transgender persons. Trans Smart Trust works to promote the identification, inclusion, integration and assimilation of human rights issues affecting Intersex and transgender persons within different social groups of the larger Zimbabwean community. Through Trans Smart’s strategic focus, the organization’s participatory methodologies have become the fulcrum for integrated inventiveness in developing intersex and transgender person’s livelihoods. To date the organization is continuously working on improving Health, Human rights, Life Skills, Capacities and participation in governance processes. Trans Smart Trust manages a portfolio of projects targeting intersex and Transgender persons who constitute intersex and transgender people living with HIV and albinism within urban and rural areas. The organization’s activities bridge the knowledge gaps through information dissemination and provide capacity building for rural and urban populaces, facilitate platforms for the community and its leadership to interrogate as well as take action in promoting human rights.

The Houston Intersex Society

The Houston Intersex Society aims to empower and enrich the lives of intersex people while working to end shame and discrimination through education, outreach, and support.

The Houston Intersex Society was formed on June 27, 2012. Both co-founders knew each other as teenagers in an LGBT youth group but because of shame, stigma, and secrecy neither one was open about their intersex status. They reconnected as adults at a local community center and upon learning that they both felt the same isolation while sitting next to each other every Friday night for years as teenagers, they decided to create an organization that very day. They created the organization with the intention to be visible to other intersex people, to advocate for those intersex individuals unable to advocate for themselves, to influence legislation to protect intersex bodies, and to educate medical providers so they can provide adequate care to intersex people.

The Houston Intersex Society aims to empower and enrich the lives of intersex people while working to end shame and discrimination through education, outreach, and support.

Srishti Madurai LGBTQIA+ Student Volunteer Collective (Srishti Madurai Educational Trust)

The mission of Srishti is to create a space for gender-/ sex minorities and to provide guidance and support for these people and their families.

Srishti Madurai is a space which explores the interrelations of nature, human and society via the conscious or unconscious sediments of the members who constitute Srishti Madurai in a parallel, interdisciplinary, multiple and universal approaches. Srishti Madurai was established on 2nd September 2011 by Gopi Shankar in Madurai as The first Intersex, Genderqueer & LGBTQA+ student volunteer group designed to target specifically to the problems of queer people in non-metro cities of Tamil Nadu. Apart from creating awareness, Srishti also started to educate both the community and the public about Gender Politics and issues regarding Sex, Gender & Sexuality. It is one of the inclusive groups of its kind which has involved academicians, Independent scholars, Human rights activist, Environmentalists, Animal rights activists and genderqueer activists to protect the human rights of LGBTQIA+ people. Srishti Madurai urged Indian parliament to include intersex people in a bill protecting trans rights. Gopi Shankar also launched an official complaint to National Human Rights Commission of India to ban the forced sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants, also to ensure their fundamental constitutional rights in India for which the NHRC issued directions to the Secretary Union Health Ministry Government of India to respond Srishti Madurai within 8 weeks. Image credit: Srishti Madurai Archives

OII Sverige

OII Sverige envisages a world where the diversity of the human body is both recognized and celebrated beyond our current system which only validates people with bodies and genders which conform to male or female.

Before OII Sverige was formed in February 2018, its members were part of a loosely formed network called Intersex Scandinavia. OII Sverige envisages a world where the diversity of the human body is both recognized and celebrated beyond our current system which only validates people with bodies and genders which conform to male or female. OII Sverige as an organization offers support and advocacy for people with intersex variations. OII Sverige also offers information to families, patient support groups, and concerned health professionals through presentations by group members.

Ivy Foundation

Ivy Foundation was formed to give a voice to those willing to speak and those unaware of the abuse intersex persons are going through, so intersex persons can understand who they are.

Ivy Foundation was formed to give a voice to those willing to speak and those unaware of the abuse intersex persons are going through, so intersex persons can understand who they are. They formed to create awareness and advocate for intersex people, to create brochures that can be distributed in public spaces to bring more awareness to intersex issues and intersex people. Their mission is to demystify the myth that intersex people are demon babies or bad luck to local communities.

Intersex South Africa (ISSA)

Intersex South Africa (ISSA) is dedicated to raising awareness of intersex issues in South Africa while advocating and supporting all intersexed South Africans.

Intersex South Africa (ISSA) is dedicated to raising awareness of intersex issues in South Africa while advocating and supporting all intersexed South Africans. The organization was formed to act as a catalyst for information dissemination, awareness raising, and advocating for the rights of intersex people in South Africa. Unfortunately, in February 2014 Sally passed on, which led to the organization becoming dormant until 2017 when the organization was revived by South African activists. Their mission is to spread knowledge about intersex, to provide support for the intersex community, to ensure that intersex people have the right to full information and access to their own medical records and history combating discrimination on the grounds of intersex, to put an end to infanticide and killings of intersex people led by traditional and religious beliefs, to put an end to non-consensual sterilization of intersex people, to put an end to infanticide and killings of intersex people led by traditional and religious beliefs, to include intersex variations as healthy manifestations of bodily diversity in the foundational stages of education curricular

Intersex Persons Society of Kenya (IPSK)

IPSK is a new initiative that started its project in Nairobi county in October 2016 by providing support and creating awareness, as well as gathering data to establish the identifiable presence of intersex people and identifiable presence or practices or beliefs that threaten the human rights, dignity or lives of all such persons.

IPSK is a new initiative that started its project in Nairobi county in October 2016 by providing support and creating awareness, as well as gathering data to establish the identifiable presence of intersex people and identifiable presence or practices or beliefs that threaten the human rights, dignity or lives of all such persons. They therefore work to develop tools and information suitable and effective for advocacy towards intersex children, people and their families. Their mission is to advance human rights protection and support of intersex children and through public Education and community engagement, enabling their community to access relevant information, access to appropriate healthcare, and to challenge discriminatory and oppressive cultural practices and laws relating to sex development variations, and resulting gender variance. They also support research and documentation on intersex healthcare, especially on HIV/AIDS.

Intersex Asia Network

Intersex Asia is a network that was formally established by all the participants of the first Asia Intersex Forum on Feb 10, 2018.

Intersex Asia is a network that was formally established by all the participants of the first Asia Intersex Forum on Feb 10, 2018. They are intersex activists representing the diverse region of Asia, working together to end discrimination and promote and protect the human rights of intersex people. Intersex Asia aims to work towards the promotion and protection of human rights of intersex people in Asia, to be a representative voice for Asian intersex people and communities, and to ensure that the rights to bodily integrity, physical autonomy, and self-determination of intersex people are promoted and protected everywhere.