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Gender, Disability, and Medical Abuse

Proposal for the Creating Change 2002 conference

Presenters: Emi Koyama, Lamya "Amir" el-Chidiac & Delphine Brody
Format: Workshop & Discussion


This workshop investigates the parallels between the experiences of trans people and that of intersex people, but not through the lens of gender theory as they are commonly addressed. Instead, it attempts to explore alternative approaches to building a true intersex-trans alliance through drawing knowledge from the critical disability theory and disability activism that problematize the social construction of normalcy and criticize the abuse of power inherent within the biomedical model.

Presenters include: Emi Koyama, the nationally recognized intersex activist who also engages in disability and psychiatric survivor activisms; Delphine Brody, who is a survivor of abuse by medical professionals and advocates for the rights of trans prisoners' access to medical care; and Lamya "Amir" el-Chidiac, the Arab trans/genderqueer activist who, as a young child, experienced "public stripping"--the common "medical" practice in which young children with rare physical conditions, including intersex conditions, are stripped and held down to the bed in the examination room or the amphitheater so that hospital staffs and medical students can walk around and gawk at their "exotic" bodies; many intersex adults and people with disabilities report it to be the most humiliating experience in their lives.

Participant Evaluation

Below is the participant evaluation from this workshop, exactly as it was delivered from NGLTF.

Session: Gender, Disability, and Medical Abuse
Track: Gender / Bodies / Identity
Session Contact/Moderator: Emi Koyama
Total Evaluations: 29

Summary of Ratings

  Excellent Good Fair Poor
Practical Information 15 11 2 1
Speakers 22 5 2 0
Time For Discussion 11 13 4 0
Organization of Information 10 13 4 0
Overall Evaluation 18 9 1 1

Overall Comments:

1. Really interesting. I learned a lot. Better facilitation of Q&A period was needed for more people to speak
2. Very interesting topic but disappointed that this was the only workshop about disability
3. Both speakers were amazing and I truly thank them for being there!
4. Creative topic
5. Excellent! Fabulous speakers. Moving stories and thought provoking
6. Annoyed by the abuse of white gender privilege of a certain participant who hogged time and speaking space with an annoying agenda. Presenters were excellent!
7. Thank you so much for sharing for very personal experiences with us!
8. I enjoyed and was touched by this workshop. The LGBT community should address intersex issues because they are part of our community too.
9. The best workshop yet
10. I enjoyed and was touched by this workshop. The personal intersex stories were touching.
11. There need to be workshop on disability issues that are not in the back door
12. Needs to be more workshops on disability and GLBT disabled activism
13. This was the best workshop I attended. We need more about disability theory and intersex people and sex workers
14. Amazing speakers! This topic is so important to so many people, but really tragically under represented. Really good to hear the personal experiences
15. The title was too easily misunderstood
16. Very powerful. Awesome speakers and they were really hot!
17. Need more workshops on disability
18. Very engaging with use of personal stories and writing. Good time for discussion and knowledge of speakers
19. Very interesting, very moving, loved it
20. Appreciated speakersŐ personal stories
21. One of the best workshops I have been to at CC and it was truly a privilege to be a part of this.
22. Needed more time for discussion