Tiger Devore's Statement

21 Nov 2015

The following is a statement from Tiger Devore, PhD, reproduced with his permission.

To my colleagues:

As far as I am able to surmise,  I was the first person born with a genital difference to come out in a public way (on television) and call for awareness about Intersex identity and an end to medically unnecessary cosmetic infant and childhood surgeries.

That was in 1984 in my first interview with Oprah Winfrey.

I have been fighting for this change in standard of care ever since.

I worked closely with ISNA and other allies in the activist phase of this movement.

I've now worked closely with everyone in the advocacy phase of this movement.

It is now abundantly clear that medicine and the research community continue to co-opt patient advocates in order to silence them by giving us the impression that we had access to influencing medical practice and research.

I can no longer waste my time being condescended to while the surgeries continue unabated despite the MC case, the UN and Council of Europe statements, the changes in legal status for Intersex internationally, and the bans on infant surgery as has taken place in Malta.

I have to put my efforts and time where progress is possible and my time is productive.

The surgeries will stop, by legal action,  and by recognition of the rights of the child to bodily integrity and self determination over the psychological comfort of the parents who don't want to have given birth to a "deformed" child.  The experiment of surgery on genitalia to "normalize" naturally occurring variants that pose no medical risk has failed.  The faster the medical community recognizes this and stops this arrogant practice,  the smaller the settlement funds for non consenting experimental subjects like me will have to be.

The standards must move from a pediatric, to a fully informed adult model of consent to elective surgery.  Anything less is a continuing abuse and assault on innocent infants and children.  My prediction is that relatively few adults will elect surgery if they are given appropriate access to adult advocates before they are falsely assured that surgery will make them appear and function as if they had been born with genitals that no casual observer would recognize as variant.

With respect,
Tiger Devore PhD

My statement, an intentional companion to Tiger's, is here.