Trans persons claiming they’re intersex for personal gain and comfort, and both the short and long-term harm they’re inflicting to intersex self-help groups and the intersex human rights movement, is a longstanding and painful issue often ignored or trivialised also by some intersex people and their organisations (in my experience often those who weren’t submitted to IGM as children).
A 2012 article by Peggy Cadet & Marc D. Feldman, “Pretense of a Paradox: Factitious Intersex Conditions on the Internet”, International Journal of Sexual Health (Vol 24, No 2, p. 91-96 >>> tandonline >>> academia) captures the issue well – guess why also this article is mostly “overlooked” and seldom quoted …
For those who don’t have free access to the paywall-article, here’s some of the most salient bits (p. 94):
“During 15 years of involvement in intersex support groups, the first author has frequently observed very detrimental effects of intersex posers on peer-group support and information for actual intersexed persons. They often report extremely rare or nonexistent conditions and/or prolonged and fruitless attempts to obtain a diagnosis. Their false, but often dramatic, stories misinform and often attract a disproportionate share of attention. They use up the time and effort of persons seeking to help others, often getting them to make a significant emotional investment, then leave them disillusioned. Others, seeking help and information, become distrustful after realizing they have been misled. The end result is that potentially valuable mutual support services become unavailable.”
“Misinformation spread by intersex posers is not only harmful in the short term to their immediate contacts, but also—when incorporated into sources such as books, video documentaries, and in-person talks—the misinformation influences long-term treatment protocols for the intersexed. Researchers in psychology and related disciplines should be aware that information from some claimed intersex persons is fabricated and misleading.”
“Persons with factitious intersex conditions often claim the authority of experience on intersex issues and use their alleged conditions as a credential, but then they disingenuously insist that verifying the credential would be an invasion of privacy. They may invoke policies and laws regarding medical privacy, though these do not preclude the patient herself from sharing documentation or giving permission for it to be released.”
Thank you Peggy Cadet and Marc Feldman!