Hello everyone! It’s been a while since the last episode of our ‘Meet our community partners blog series’, hasn’t it? Those five episodes were dedicated to Ecce Homo’s community partners, that is, all those non-profit LGBTIQ+ organizations around the world that are proud members of our extended and ever-expanding Corporate Social Responsibility program. In the course of this blog series, we have met so far five organizations that are part of our family by learning more about their histories, their initiatives, the invaluable programs they run, and the communal spaces they create around them. Those queer organizations are the following: Positive Voice, the Greek Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Greek Transgender Support Association, Emantes - International LGBTQIA+ Solidarity, the Single Step Foundation, and last but not least, the LGBT Foundation

Such a gesture is part of Ecce Homo’s long-term engagement to promote the visibility of our community allies’ initiatives by taking up the role of media sponsor. In addition, it represents a great opportunity to keep informed our customers of the activities of the organizations they support via their purchase, ensuring this way both their active engagement and the non-negotiable transparency of our CSR program. As it is known to all those Ecce Homo’s friends and customers who follow our work closely, we have strived over the last years to create a long-lasting and substantial commitment to supporting the LGBTIQ+ community. After all, providing to the LGBTIQ+ community is an officially written term on our Articles of Association.

We strongly urge you to revisit older posts of this very blog which counts more than 45 articles so far, especially our latest newsletter that recaps our CSR efforts so far, including some feedback from our community partners. We would also like to remind you that 5% of the price of each purchase (before VAT) is to be donated by Ecce Homo to an LGBTIQ+ organization -of customer’s choosing- devoted to the advocacy, empowerment, and support of the queer community in major cities around the world. The consumer is to choose an organization, like InterACT, from a list of organizations of different subject matters and across the globe in an attempt to cover as many issues -that the queer community in its diversity faces- as possible since we are committed to a truly intersectional approach. We want to make it perfectly clear that this amount does not fall on our customers in any way, and it is rather withheld from the firm’s profit. Finally, you should check out our Twitter account which is exclusively devoted to this end counting more than 300 tweets so far!

Having said that, we are really excited and proud to introduce to you our new community partner, InterACT - Advocates for Intersex Youth! In a way, Ecce Homo is no stranger to the challenges intersex persons face on a daily basis, some of them raised via this blog. In this context, we discussed Intersex Awareness Day, an internationally observed awareness day each October 26 since 2003 designed to raise awareness of human rights violations, and we touched upon a major legal reform introduced quite recently by the Greek parliament, that is the ban on IGM, the Intersex Genital Mutilation. Let us welcome InterACT to Ecce Homo’s family of community allies by presenting their identity, beliefs, and work in their own words.

InterACT – Advocates for Intersex Youth (formerly known as Advocates for Informed Choice) was founded in 2006 by attorney Anne Tamar-Mattis in Boston, Massachusetts. They use innovative legal and other strategies to advocate for the human rights of children, teens, and twenty-somethings born with intersex traits or variations of sex development. According to their Compassion Statement, the law, properly use, is a tool for achieving justice; and justice, properly understood, has compassion at its heart. They firmly believe that with so much at stake for the individuals and families involved, they must consider not only medical outcomes but also the civil and human rights of children born with intersex traits. As always, interACT remains committed to advancing this discussion with a sense of respect and compassion for the children, parents, doctors, and intersex adults involved. From their point of view, parents, doctors, mental health professionals, affected adults, and family members all care deeply about protecting intersex children. However, the historical treatment of children born with intersex traits and the reality of society’s intolerance of difference has created so much pain and anger that these different groups of stakeholders have had a great deal of difficulty in communicating with each other. While they are clear that their constituents are the children, they maintain a constant focus on respectful compassion for all those who care for the children we serve.

According to their 2015 strategic plan, they work incessantly towards:

 -        Maintaining and growing current programs 

 -        Building international advocacy capacity 

 -        Advancing affirming language 

 -        Developing diverse leadership reflective of our community 

 -        Developing and nurturing intersex youth advocates 

 -        Raising intersex awareness and visibility 

 -        Developing plans focused on healing trauma

To accomplish this, they work for progress with these three core programs

 -        Law & Policy: InterACT works across the nation and beyond to protect children born with intersex traits and ensure that the human rights abuses experienced by the intersex community are put to an end. To accomplish this, InterACT advocates on behalf of intersex youth in the courts, in the development of local and national policy, and through collaboration on research to address pressing issues identified by the intersex community. They also remain the only intersex-led advocacy organization in the United States with the ability to employ full-time lawyers who work for intersex bodily autonomy. 

 -        Youth Program: InterACT aims at building advocacy skills and support for the next generation of young intersex leaders. 

 -        Media: InterACT works to respectfully include the voices of intersex people in various media to raise awareness about intersex issues by consulting on various projects and providing expertise, information, and real intersex stories.

On their website (available in English), one can find useful and invaluable resources on issues related to intersexuality, such as brochures, glossaries, toolkits, and guides, a great opportunity for anyone who is willing to educate themselves in an easy and comprehensive way. They also keep an interesting blog via which they share their news and spread awareness on various topics.   

 InterACT on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.   

 Το keep track of InterACT’s projects, please stay tuned to our Blog and Social Media.