Intersexesiste was formed in 2016 as a collaboration between intersex organizer Claudia Balsamo (AISIA; Agedo; IntersexEsiste) and academic allies (Daniela Crocetti and later Marta Prandelli) with the primary goals of addressing the significant lack of non-medically driven information on intersex in Italian and creating bridges between different intersex realities (including patient associations).
They developed two strategies: an online platform that would provide easily understandable non-stigmatizing information on intersex experience and rights issues; and a series of interactive workshops oriented at a mix of educator and medical students and professionals (other intersex organizers participated in giving these workshops, even if not formally part of the group). The online platform included links to all Italian intersex activist groups and variation specific associations that gave us their permission to list them. In the course of 2019 and 2020, their mission has expanded in the arena of creating bridges between intersex realities, and fostering dialogue in intersex only spaces. This activity was spearheaded by the entrance of a new lead intersex member, Manuela Falzone (AISIA; IntersexEsiste; Intersex Italia FB; Intersex/dsd Italia FB) who also had experience with the patient association AISIA but wanted to expand her political reach. Manuela helped moderate two intersex only closed FB groups “intersex italia’ and ‘intersex/dsd italia’, and is interested in creating productive collaboration between different intersex realities and voices. The overall mission is to promote accurate non-stigmatizing information about intersex in Italian, in this manner also promoting bodily integrity and autonomous decision-making for intersex people in medical settings and institutions. This has taken many forms in order to reach both the general public and specialist professionals such as teachers and health care professions that have significant impacts on intersex lives. With the name ‘IntersexEsiste’ they hope to affirm the idea that if more people learn what intersex is, is a bodily variation that shouldn’t imply shame or modification, the social pressure on medics and families to modify children’s bodies will decrease. They formed the group with the intent to combine the experience of the intersex people with the knowledge of academic allies who have conducted respectful and agency-based work in the intersex field.