Tag Archives: justice

Intersex Awareness Day For Families

October 26 is intersex awareness day. What is intersex? Here is the medical definition of being intersex. What is the legal definition of intersex?intersex awareness day Regardless of our race, color, birth, gender, caste, religion, sexual orientation, we all have to deal with the laws. Depending on each person’s circumstances, to provide a “complete life”, one needs to understand all definitions pertaining to them. Sometimes lack of laws destroys lives like no other crimes can. As a society, we have a history with social justice issues like gay rights, interracial marriage rights, civil rights, women rights, and so on. Do intersex families have rights? If intersex causes infertility and an intersex family opts for IVF to have children, do IVF families have rights? Do IVF children have rights and deserve compassion also? While October 26 is about intersex awareness day, let us make it complete and also include the issues facing an intersex family which is reproductive rights and IVF children rights and immigration rights. Unless, we as a society think that intersex people do not deserve an equal opportunity to have a family with a spouse and children? Or we as a society think that a person who dares to have a family with an intersex person has committed such a grievous crime that not only he but also his innocent IVF children should be punished by splitting them? With gay rights movement on the upswing, will there be basic human rights if not equal rights for intersex families with IVF children? With the turn of the 20th century, there is lot of continued animosity against an immigrant, IVF father and a spouse of intersex resulting in a thousand lies, defamation and stereotyping. Our motivation is to save IVF children and get basic rights if not equal for IVF children and families of today who may also become IVF parents of tomorrow, whats your motivation for the continued animosity, secrecy and abuse? Like water, truth always finds a way – education and awareness is the right path while secrecy and lies creates only more victims including innocent children – IVF or intersex.

LGBT refers to more of a sexual orientation of a person and should be respected. As per IGLHRC, they added the “I” for intersex in LGBTI to include their human rights also although intersex is not a direct reference to sexual orientation. For most people, due to lack of awareness, they may not discern the difference between “sex” and “gender” at first shot. I was like that. It takes a few discussions and some interest in understanding the difference between “sex” and “gender”. It is ironic that laws do not make the same distinction and as a result there are more inadvertent victims. Asian countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan have long recognized the “third gender” legally and moved away from the colonial British definition of “binary gender”. While human rights may not be great in these countries overall, the fact that they give an opportunity to the “third gender” to be honest and live truthfully is liberating. Maybe in this one area, the west can learn something from the east. Australia started offering the “third gender” as a legal option in 2011 followed by New Zealand. In 2013, Germany will become the first country in Europe to offer the “third gender” as a legal option. Progressive countries like US, UK, Canada and so on are waiting but it is inevitable just like “same-sex” marriage rights eventually have to be granted.

Two things – if intersex people are either men or women, then why a legal “third gender”? Are governments like India, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and so on who make laws wrong or are they doing the right thing? By recognizing the “third gender” legally, is the next logical step to address other issues that specifically impacts intersex families who have lived in secrecy and in lies for years and the issues have never been addressed? A spouse of a gay person is also gay, a spouse of a lesbian person is also lesbian meaning the laws or “lack of laws” impact both individuals the same way. Do the lack of laws for intersex marriages also affect both individuals in an intersex marriage the same way? If an intersex person wants to recognize themselves as a “male”, or a “female” or a “third gender”, it is their choice. However, having no laws for addressing the specific issues of “third gender” is victimizing people. If there are laws for “male”, “female”, then why not equal laws for “third gender”? Do a spouse of intersex and children of an intersex marriage deserve equal rights? Or are their crimes so heinous in supporting an intersex person that they should be ostracized and silenced? Ironically, thats been the traditional way to deal with intersex for centuries and only now in the 21st century, we have truth and transparency. Do the spouse of intersex and children of an intersex marriage have to wait a few more centuries and be victimized before getting basic human rights, if not equal?

A spouse of intersex is not gay but from a legal perspective is treated as “gay” and the anti-gay laws are applicable to a spouse of intersex and his children. We look forward to a time when we will have equal rights for IVF children and families, equal intersex rights, and equal caregiver rights. More importantly, every human will be allowed to live with the truth and freely instead of in secrecy and lies – it is every individual’s basic human right (if not equal) regardless of their religion, race, color, caste, sexual orientation, gender, birth type (natural or IVF) – or is it?

Dehumanization – IVF Siblings Split Due to Lack of Laws

Anyone who has followed this story of two IVF siblings being split as personal is missing the point. Yes, its personal like every law that has been dehumanizing IVFwritten by humans is also based on someone’s personal experiences. But the point is to have equal laws for IVF children and families. The innocent, voiceless IVF siblings are SPLIT because of lack of laws and someone judiciously and cleverly manipulating the system to their advantage by breaking the laws. It is one thing to claim to love a child but to trample on the rights of another innocent child takes a whole new meaning. How many other IVF children are being affected due to these lack of laws? How many other families of IVF children think this is only “personal” and lack of laws is not an issue? By not giving “equal rights” to IVF children who are also human beings, are we dehumanizing them as some “property” to feel saddened for or feel sympathy for the situation. What we need is compassion AND equal rights so that IVF children are truly treated as humans with a guarantee of protection of their fundamental human rights.

  • Denial of existence of IVF children is “dehumanizing” them like when they are not declared in a divorce proceeding and the best interest of the child is withheld from the court.
  • Denial of state issued legal identity like Passport is “dehumanizing” them. Do people with “no legal identity” have any “legal rights”?
  • Denial of their basic human dignity and respect is “dehumanizing” them.
  • Denial of protection of their fundamental human rights and child rights is “dehumanizing” them.
  • Creating stateless IVF children due to no fault of their own and not providing any legal recourse is “dehumanizing” them.
  • Continued discrimination of IVF children and families without any legal recourse or any relief for victims is “dehumanizing” them.

Empowered girls grow up to be empowered women. They grow up to be empowered mothers, leaders, and innovators. They grow up to move their communities forward and make the world a better place.” – said US Secretary of State John Kerry on International Girl Day 2013

Where are the rights of an IVF girl child? a sister? a daughter? a woman of tomorrow? and a mother of tomorrow? We need the rights today to avail of the tomorrow. How many “dehumanization” events have to occur before criminality kicks in?

  • It is one thing to illegally abduct an IVF child, but to do it at the cost of “dehumanizing” their IVF sibling and denying them their basic human dignity and respect takes on a whole new criminality.
  • It is one thing to be denied basic human rights as an intersex person but to repeat that to an innocent, voiceless IVF children takes on a whole new criminality.
  • It is one thing to be denied equal marriage laws and immigration laws as an intersex person but to use the very same anti-gay, anti-LGBTI, anti-IVF immigration laws to SPLIT innocent, voiceless IVF siblings takes on a whole new criminality.
  • It is one thing to be born infertile and IVF is here to help but to abandon an IVF child and denying their rights takes on a whole new criminality.
  • It is one thing to be “dehumanized” as an intersex person due to lack of laws but it takes a whole new criminality to knowingly and deliberately impose the “dehumanization” on unsuspecting victims.
  • It is one thing to live in secrecy, lies and breaking laws as an individual but to impose abuse and silence under threats to others to also live with secrecy, lies and as a criminal for life takes on a whole new criminality.

The cycle of secrecy, lies and breaking the laws has to end. The cancer of secrecy, lies and breaking the laws eats one up alive seeing their innocent, voiceless IVF children being punished for crimes they did not commit. No more. The right answer is education, awareness and equal laws

Was it wrong to help an intersex, immigrant and infertile person for whom laws itself fall short in extending and protecting their human rights? Is the social conscience misplaced where even laws fall short? If you are in a gay marriage, are both spouses equally affected by the presence or lack of laws and issues of a gay marriage like immigration, IVF children, and so on? Should the lack of laws now extend as punishment in legal limbo to IVF children also? What are the lessons learnt from living in secrecy, lies and relentlessly breaking laws for a decade? Do we repeat the mistakes or do we learn from them? A young, male, spouse caregiver of intersex overcomes a lot of challenges repeatedly in silence and then repeats it as an immigrant IVF parent with lack of laws, why should the IVF children also suffer in silence due to lack of laws? The thought process is the same – equal rights, first it was intersex, then immigration, and now it is IVF children and families. Social justice and social equivalence are the hallmarks of this case – and no one deserves justice more than innocent, voiceless IVF children who have committed no crimes by UNITING them.

The Ethos of USA

“Zinda, hain toh, pyala, poora bhar le” translated as “Since you are alive, fill up the whole glass”. Isethos of living the glass half full or half empty or completely full? How do we want to LIVE?

The American ethos is strong. Not to take anyone’s sides but we are all human beings and we all make mistakes. What America does is bring in transparency to the process. It may not be perfect but it REDUCES any further victimization. We are humans, humans make mistakes, we admit our mistakes, learn from our mistakes, we move FORWARD. This is easier said than done. It is tough for many HUMANS to follow this ethos at an individual level let alone do it at a systemic level. Thats where the USA differs in it brings transparency to the process. It builds CREDIBILITY.

Open and sharing for greater good

If there is any seismic movement in the world, like an earthquake or a nuclear test, any news report you read will always have a reference to USGS. It is NOT like other countries do not have similar technology BUT the USA has the technology and OPENLY SHARES the information for all. And that too for territory which is NOT EVEN in the USA.

If there is any weather related event, a tsunami or a major hurricane or snowstorm or typhoon, again the above story is REPEATED.

USA fights many wars across the globe. It does take a toll, just ask any tax-paying American citizen in addition to any military personnel and if you have benefited from these wars, be thankful for the freedoms. Sadly, we are humans and we make mistakes and whether it is “friendly fire” or accidental bombs going off, USA will announce the deaths AND take responsibility for it so we can ALL move forward including victims and survivors. Recently, bombs were dropped in the Great Barrier Reef, an ecologically protected area and the US reported the mistakes and stated the FACTS. They could have stayed silent. Is there any noise when a tree falls in a forest and NO ONE is around?

Some great technological companies have started out on this ETHOS of open internet, open information, open sharing. Some may have started out with the right intent but made some mistakes along the way to this ETHOS. What is important to recognize is the ETHOS of transparency pervades from the humans to a systemic level.

What are the disadvantages of LIES, NON-TRANSPARENCY, SECRECY where national security is not threatened?

1) People who may be innocent VICTIMS have to first overcome the BURDEN of the complex web of secrecy, lies, false documentation – things that court of law calls evidence. If the VICTIMS are somehow able to overcome these multiple burdens including STRONG forces opposed to the TRUTH getting out AND they SURVIVE, they can take the NEXT step. The NEXT step is to get RELIEF as VICTIMS and not necessarily JUSTICE. In the meantime which may have lasted years, decades or even lifetimes, they are only VICTIMIZED further. They have survived and so tired from it all that they may be CONTENT with just getting RELIEF as VICTIMS and may not even CARE about JUSTICE for the wrongs done to them in the first place. And the wrongs that were REPEATED because there was strong opposition to the TRUTH coming out because it may place some very powerful and influential people in precarious positions.

2) As humans, we ALL want to MOVE FORWARD. As long as there is NO HOPE for RELIEF for VICTIMS or JUSTICE, it is very difficult to move forward. Years ago and is still probably true today, rape VICTIMS were NOT taken seriously and even if a case began, the VICTIM had to relive the trauma and tragedy – if lucky only once or sometimes relive it multiple times and even after that the perpetrator(s) may get away. Where is the relief for victim or justice? Recently, a woman in UAE was imprisoned just for daring to report a RAPE! When will relief for victim and justice arrive?

3) IVF children and families are living this trauma and tragedy EVERYDAY when natural families are SEPARATED. There is relentless secrecy, lies, fraud, manipulation of laws, and so on REPEATED on innocent, voiceless IVF children just to SEPARATE them from the natural families. When will the victimization END and rule of law applied? When will RELIEF for VICTIMS arrive and is JUSTICE for the CRIMES a foregone conclusion? Is it illegal to REPORT the CRIMES against innocent IVF children and families?

Learning the ETHOS of USA and applying it when giving human rights to someone where laws itself fell SHORT has created a STRIPPING of our rights AND SEPARATION of innocent, voiceless IVF children. Let us see if TRUTH prevails and allows us our rights and stops PUNISHING the innocent, voiceless IVF children in being forced to grow up separately. We are humans, we made mistakes, we admit mistakes, can we MOVE FORWARD especially the innocent, voiceless siblings who have a life AHEAD of them?

Attitudinal Change Holds Answers

“Be the change you want to see in this world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Change is constant. Resistance to change is also constant. Especially, when one thinks about social justice issueschange me like slavery, women suffrage, civil rights, and now gay rights, there is a lot of resistance to change. In all cases, we see that eventually change does occur sometimes at the cost of lives of people proposing change. How dare someone propose us to change? They must be quietened up. Lives can be shattered in multiple ways, oppression, abuse, violence, lack of basic freedoms, torture, and the ultimate, death – either a suicide or murder. As humans, we realize that change is something ingrained in us. It is our thirst for challenges, innovation, knowledge that brings change. So change is never going away. What we may work on instead is to reduce the resistance to change. For which education and spreading awareness about the subject is key. That is the attitudinal change – the willingness to LISTEN to issues facing OTHERS and not necessarily you.

The Intersex Theory

Most people are still clueless about existence of intersex. Slowly in the past few years, advocacy for intersex rights and its existence has started and questions are being asked. Does the medical community have the “right approach?” Who are the intersex? What is its occurrence? It is naturally occuring meaning it is not in the person’s control. In a way, it reminds me of the way HIV/AIDS was first dealt with in the 1980s – taboo and ignorance. Once people got educated and had true information, slowly the change started happening. Then a few celebrities started speaking up and that set the tidal wave. Currently, the intersex theory only includes treatment for intersex patient and their parents. The spouse or children of an intersex family are NOWHERE in the picture. Is it because intersex marriage is NOT legal yet? If spouses of breast cancer or leukemia or other traumatic conditions are allowed to speak up, then why not spouses of intersex? Or is it a crime to be married to an intersex person and forever hold your breath even if it means suffering abuse and reckless violation of laws? If an unnecessary surgery on an intersex child is ILLEGAL, what is it to render an IVF child stateless? If it is torture to secretly lie about unnecessary surgery on an intersex child, what is it to lie to an IVF child about their birth? And are secrecy and lies a solution? There are women with MRKH but they do not lie and are accepting of their truth. In fact, in the Miss USA pageant for 2013, a MRKH woman competed and almost won. She is a lady not because of MRKH but because of her courage and strength to be honest and truthful acting as an inspiration to us all – with and without MRKH. There are intersex people who are honest and truthful about their condition. There is more RESPECT not because they are intersex but again because they have strength and courage to be honest and serve as an inspiration to us all. These “truths” also serve as a “gauge” to the change and acceptance in our society as a whole. We are not anti-intersex, let our actions speak for themselves. We are ANTI-LYING and ANTI-ABUSE of innocent, voiceless children and PRO for RESPECTING the laws. We want RELIEF as VICTIMS.

Justice Vs Relief for Victims

Is there a difference between justice Vs relief for victims? For example, the thousands of refugees who have been displaced from the war in Iraq or Rwanda or Lybia or Syria or Afghanistan and so on and some are rendered stateless. Is justice for them to be able to file a “legal suit” against someone in their resident country for their situation? OR are they just looking for RELIEF to be able to get a “legal status” so they can go about their lives and try to forget the past as much as possible? We want to move FORWARD – we just want to be able to see our IVF son, have an opportunity to participate in his day to day life, enjoy the moments together, playing catch, or making lego puzzles or looking up at the sky and wondering what do all those stars mean sprinkled with an appropriate amount of hugs and kisses and celebrate the moments. Why is my IVF son being DISALLOWED this opportunity with his father, with his sibling that he wanted, with his biological family? What crime has he committed to be DENIED to be with his biological family and what are his rights?