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This entry provides a historical overview that situates debates and alliances over/between the largely European American call for human rights protections for intersex persons, and contemporary LGBTQ human rights movements in the West. The alliances that formed in the 1990s as each movement grew alongside the others have been the subject of debates with political and clinical import arising in the mid-2000s and continuing since. The sections that follow make clear the central importance of LGBTQ support to the formation of intersex rights movements’ challenges to heteronormativity.

History and Definitions

The term intersex has a clinical history almost 100 years old; medical historian Lizzie Reis traced its first use to geneticist Richard Goldschmidt who, in 1917, described humans with apparently ambiguous biological or anatomical sex characteristics first ...

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