Queensland intersex advocate Alex David appears on ABC’s ‘You Can’t Ask That’


intersex advocate alex david on abc program you can't ask that
Photo: ABC

A group of intersex Australians have appeared on the ABC’s You Can’t Ask That program to answer questions from the public about their lives and what it means to have an intersex variation.

The show allows people from various marginalised or misunderstood groups and communities to answer a wide range of questions that have been submitted anonymously by the public.

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The fourth series of the show began screening last week and its third episode for the year features eight intersex Australians, including Queenslander Alex David (pictured).

Alex, who identifies as gender non-binary, is a board member of Intersex Human Rights Australia and last year was named Intersex Activist of the Year at Brisbane’s Queens Ball Awards.

Late last year, Alex says they spent about an hour and a half filming the You Can’t Ask That episode at ABC’s studios in South Bank.

“They were very open questions, they were designed to start a conversation,” Alex told 4ZZZ’s Queer Radio program.

“During filming, it’s more like a conversation with the producer Kirk Docker, who makes the show. Even though on TV it looks like you’re answering the question directly, you’re actually having a conversation.

“I think [the episode] will hopefully clarify the differences between intersex and transgender people, in particular, because I think that often gets confused.

“But also explain the issues that intersex people face that are mostly hidden in society.

“That’s the main reason for doing one of these programs is to get the microphone and say ‘This is actually happening, we need to do something about it.'”

The Darlington statement

Intersex people are born with characteristics that don’t fit typical definitions of “male” or “female”, and variations in intersex people can include chromosomes, hormones and anatomy.

Close to two percent of the population is born with intersex traits – similar to the number of people born with red hair – but intersex infants often undergo irreversible and unnecessary surgeries that can cause sterilisation, health issues and psychological harm.

In 2017, a group of intersex advocates came together in Sydney to publish the landmark Darlington Statement, an outline of priorities for the intersex community.

The statement calls on government and clinical institutions to respect intersex people’s human right to bodily autonomy, greater respect for diversity and identity, peer support, and for intersex rights to be recognised in Australian anti-discrimination legislation.

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The Intersex episode of You Can’t Ask That is now available to stream on ABC’s iView and will screen on ABC TV next week.

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