A diverse cross-section of the intersex community turned out to attend the government-run event, which will eventually feed in to an overall Victorian health and wellbeing strategy for LGBTI people.
Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia vice-president Tony Briffa told the Star Observer the forum was a good opportunity for community members to share personal stories, positive and negative.
“All participants had the opportunity to express both their negative and positive experiences as intersex people within the health system, and provide suggestions for improvements. The diversity of the people present meant we had people with a range of intersex variations and experiences provide input,” Briffa explained.
Briffa said the issues that came up were representative of common concerns within the intersex community. These included: a lack of health services; support and information for intersex adults; inappropriate attitudes from medical personnel; and a general insensitivity to social issues relating to intersex.
“Clearly there is much that needs to happen to help intersex people and parents of intersex children, and providing funding to intersex organisations to provide information, support, advocacy and awareness training is be vital,” Briffa argued.
OII Australia is one of a number of LGBTI community organisations involved in the consultation, including Transgender Victoria and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.
HIV advocacy organisation Living Positive Victoria has put a call out for LGBTI people living with HIV to also be a part of the consultation process.