interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth
interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth is seeking an experienced Youth Program Director
Approximately 1.7% of children are born with intersex traits. This means they are born with
bodies that fall outside the notion of binary male and female sex. These traits may involve
physical differences in the internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes, and/or external
genitalia. Many of these children are faced with unconsented, irreversible, and medically
unnecessary surgeries in attempt to “fix” or “normalize” their already healthy bodies. This
treatment, including the possibility of multiple surgeries on the genital and/or reproductive organs, unnecessary medical display, and traumatizing genital photography, often causes extensive psychological trauma and physical harm. Ending these common instances of medical abuse and human rights violations is the core mission of interACT, and our interACT Youth play a key role in raising awareness and advocating for their peers by using their young but powerful voices. Founded in 2006 as Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), interACT was originally established as a legal organization. In 2010, the youth leadership program was created by a few intersex youth who wanted a place to raise their voices and advocate for intersex rights. This program was called Inter/Act. It grew from 3 – to 10 – to the now 50+ youth advocates currently in the program. Originally it was hard to find youth to speak out about their experiences, but the more work that is being done to raise intersex awareness (much of which is done by our own youth advocates), the more youth have come to our program and are willing to speak out. In 2015, we decided that AIC needed to formally expand its scope to include not only legal advocacy but also broader policy work, awareness-raising, and more focused youth leadership development. The work being done in the media by our staff and youth was beginning to shift the global narrative around intersex bodies, and our youth were at the forefront of that effort. In homage to their crucial role, AIC was rebranded as interACT in 2016 and divided into three programs – Law & Policy, Media, and Youth. These three programs now structure our work as we promote the legal and human rights of children born with intersex traits.
The interACT Youth program is the only one of its kind in the world. It is a group of advocates in
their teens and twenties from all parts of the United States and beyond. Today, the program has over 50 volunteer members (including several from outside the U.S.) Currently our members include youth who are Black, Brown, Latinx, Asian, and White; genderqueer, nonbinary, trans, and gender fluid; gay, bisexual, lesbian, straight, queer, and pansexual. What brings this diverse group of individuals together is their desire for peer connection and community as well as their dedication to serve as a voice for the intersex community in order to end harmful medical treatment and oppression of intersex youth.