Intersex Day of Remembrance

The River of Pride Herculine Barbin

Intersex Day of Remembrance, also known as Intersex Solidarity Day, is an internationally observed civil awareness day designed to highlight issues faced by intersex people. It marks the birthday of Herculine Barbin, a French intersex person whose memoirs were later published by Michel Foucault in Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-century French Hermaphrodite.

While Intersex Awareness Day on October 26 appears to be celebrated more in English-speaking countries, particularly in North America, Intersex Day of Remembrance has been marked mostly in Europe. Some countries, such as Australia and South Africa, mark both events and the days between as “14 days of intersex”.

The event appears to have begun on November 8, 2005, as Intersex Solidarity Day, following an invitation issued by Joëlle-Circé Laramée, then Canadian spokeswoman for Organisation Intersex International. The Organisation invited organisations and groups and individuals to show solidarity by marking: the life of Herculine Barbin, or discussing intersex genital mutilation, “the violence of the binary sex and gender system” and/or “the sexism implicit within the binary construct of sex and gender”.

Intersex Awareness Day

The River of Pride Intersex Awareness

Intersex Awareness Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day designed to highlight the challenges faced by intersex people. The event marks the first public demonstration by intersex people in North America. On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from Intersex Society of North America (carrying the sign “Hermaphrodites With Attitude”) and allies from Transexual Menace demonstrated in Boston, outside the venue where the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. Intersex Awareness Day is an international day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.