Cecilia Lopez Bemsch
I’m an intersex person and my body was tortured and mutilated in the Tucumán province by a perverse system. I (we) have always been treated like sick people with a malformation deemed as urgent to be fixed. I want everyone to know that intersex bodies are beautiful as they are. We exist and we resist everywhere. Here, in Tucumán, as in other Argentinian territory provinces, as in other places worldwide. Now I stand up once again to say ‘Enough!’ to the ongoing perversities happening in every hospital and private clinic directly financed by the national health services. Together we fight for our bodily autonomy, our personal integrity and we fight for our self-determination.
I am evidence of the diversity that exists in the world. I am a person who has struggled their whole life. I speak for everyone who is not here anymore and died because of this torture and cruel treatment from the medical system towards intersex bodies. I speak for those who suffer poor physical outcomes from their mutilation. I speak for those who suffer poor psychological outcomes due to other people’s decisions over our bodies without our consent, abusing us, violating our intimacy, experimenting with us and taking pictures of our beautiful bodies to be reproduced in every lecture in medical schools.
I am an intersex person born with sex characteristics that do not fit into the gender binary of feminine or masculine. I am an intersex person and I am attesting to the wondrous natural bodily diversity as well as to the cruel treatments we receive since the moment we are born. If you are an intersex person, I am here to embrace you. You are not alone. I do not want intersex people to stand alone and to feel alone anymore. We are a very large community and we are here for you. Respect our existence or expect our resistance.
We want no more mutilated children. We want access to our medical records so we can learn what was done to us and what happened to our body parts that were removed without our consent. We want the State to take charge of this issue so nobody is harmed anymore due to their sex characteristics. Intersex rights are human rights and must be respected.
This piece has been edited from a speech delivered on 14 May 2021 in Tucumán province, Argentina, protesting intersex human rights abuses. The speech is called: Manifiesto Iº jornada en contra de la mutilacion genital intersex – the 1st manifesto against intersex genital mutilation.