Intersexuality and the Law


On Thursday, I attended a talk given by Julie A. Greenberg that was put on by the Williams Institute.  The Williams Institute, which is part of the UCLA Law School and works to advance sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, puts on talks like the one I attended about a variety of topics that relate to their mission.

My talk was entitled “Intersexuality and the Law: Why Sex Matters” and corresponded to Greenberg’s book of the same name.

Greenberg spoke about intersexuality, its biology, how it’s handled, how it should be handled, and what kinds of legal problems the intersex community is faced with. It was all really, really interesting, especially since I had learned all about intersexuality – the biology and the politics – in my Sex Cluster.

It was a talk that was consciousness-raising. I did not, and I suspect most people do not, know about all of the struggles the intersex community faces and about the lack of support the intersex movement receives.

Beyond the subject matter, the talk was fun because I was surrounded by a bunch of intellectuals (and they were intellectuals interested in sex and gender!). It was just cool. It was cool to hear people use big words and use them correctly and to hear people discuss an under-discussed social issue.

And there was free food (I am a sucker for free food). I know the point of the event was not the roasted corn or the rosemary potatoes or the mozzarella cheese in the pasta, but hey, it was a important part of the event for me.

Of course, the talk was interesting, and I plan to come to many more, but the food is definitely a big plus.

If you are at all intrigued by  law that concerns sexual orientation, gender identity, and beyond, I highly recommend checking out the Williams Institute and all of their fabulous talks. And if you are a foodie, you should at least try to go to one talk because you get free noms and you may learn something that you have never even thought of before. How cool!