Intersex Awareness Day is a day set aside for intersex people to be in plain sight and open up about who they are, to make sure that others out there do not feel alone or ashamed if they are intersex. Intersex people face diverse challenges that includes shame and secrecy of people who do not fit the “normal” acceptable bodily standard. Many intersex children undergo coerced and forced genital mutilation surgeries. These surgeries cause pain, trauma and other human challenging experiences that may occur as they grow older.
Intersex persons in Nigeria go through a lot of, stigmatization and rejection, mental health issues, socioeconomic risks and other life-threatening complications. This is because there are no laws that recognizes and protect intersex persons and their diverse ways of expression. Intersex people are nearly almost invisible in our society due to discrimination, shame and seen as a case of taboo. In spite of the stigmatization and discrimination intersex people face, Intersex Nigeria commemorated the International Intersex Awareness Day by bringing together in safe space, intersex persons from different states and ethnicity in Nigeria, for the first time, to commemorate the Global Intersex Awareness Day.
Connecting with individuals who identify similarly, gives a ray of hope and resilience to intersex persons in Nigeria. The gathering saw a high spirted intersex persons who were happy to see other intersex individuals; some for the first time; for others it was a reunion, allies also joined the event at some point.
There were different discussions around the intersectionality of intersex people and ways to create channels of engagement with different stakeholders in achieving our demand, challenges and issues faced as an intersex person were also discussed. The event clearly showed the existence of intersex persons in Nigeria and that sex is never binary.