Dani Coyle is a rising activist for the Intersex Liberation Movement. Their new podcast discusses coming out proudly into the LGBTQI community and healing.
Coyle is from the UK and has an impressive history as an activist, model, and possesses a Master’s candidate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Oxford.
Intersex is hard to define. To be ‘intersex’ means the individual doesn’t possess biological characteristics that fit into the category of male or female. The individual does not define themself or conform neatly to any binary characteristics of the male or female body. There is no single definition of an intersex person because an individual varies between a mixture of different characteristics. These include chromosomal differences, hormonal makeup, or a different presentation of genitalia. It is not a closed dictionary definition.
It is rarely discussed and has gained more traction due to the podcast ‘Inter_view.’ It communicates the diversity of intersex peoples stories.
The guests of the first season include: Hanne Gaby Odiele, River Gallo, Valentino Vecchietti, Anick Soni, Sasha and Sonia Komarova, Sean Saifa Wall and Desiree.
A Lack Of Understanding
Coyle was born without a womb and testicles inside her stomach and underwent numerous surgeries at fourteen as doctors suggested. Although, struggled to give consent because the surgeries fit into a strict sexual category of male or female.
For that reason, Dazed magazine stated that Coyle referred to these surgeries as “coercion.” Doctors suggested they could ‘normalize’ the hormonal imbalance with replacement surgery. This biological difference highlighted a lack of acceptance from the medical community and society.
Coyle claims they possessed,
“[a] limited understanding of my body”.
There was clearly a lack of understanding as to what it means to be intersex. Coyle tells Metro UK “Now, I feel like these surgeries were presented as the only viable option – like I was robbed by biased doctors who work within a biased system which has caused an immeasurable amount of mental trauma.”
Coyle does not necessarily fit into this neat definition of female. This is where the core of Coyle’s activism comes into play. By debating that this medical offer was wrongfully narrow because it was presented as the only option. Coyle tells Metro UK,
“The differences in our bodies, identities, and cultures are things to celebrate. Let’s all be kinder to people who are different from ourselves.”
The podcast aims to spread awareness about an autonomous voice for intersex people in the medical community. As medical surgeries align with society’s belief that they should fit with sexual orientations and categories. Coyle explains to Feminists “Often, our voices and narratives are stolen by society, by surgeons, by doctors and by carers and parents. Inter_view, like Inter_face, aims to give the power back to intersex people to autonomously tell their own stories.”
The Intersex Movement aims to express that coming out is a process of healing and learning. Coyle expresses that Intersex people have a right to control their own destinies and autonomies in the medical community. The Intersex Liberation Movement is providing an avenue for them to share their own diverse stories in the LGBTQI community.
Coyle communicates that there is no single outlook on intersexuality and it is far from a simple process. They tell Dazed Magazine
“It’s an expansive view of intersexuality, covering things from our individual medical experiences to spirituality”
Coyle aims to question, challenge and break down intersex assumptions and stereotypes by creating a conversation in the LGBTQI community and in the medical field. The beginning of a conversation fuels the process of learning from diverse voices, embracing one’s body and understanding these voices. And to free different identities from projected norms and categories of sexual orientation.
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