Wed, Nov 27, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Neither here, nor there

Intersex advocate Hiker Chiu talks to the ‘Taipei Times’ about her/his experiences as an intersex person living in Taiwan

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

“Intersexuality needs to be articulated. As long as it remains hidden, we don’t know how to address it. Neither can we tackle the problems because we don’t even know what they are and where to begin,” says Wang, whose academic studies focus on gender and medicine.

As the only Asian representative to attend the international intersex forum organized annually by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), one of the world’s biggest LGBTI organizations, Chiu has attempted to reach out to people like her/himself in Asian, countries including Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, through online communities. S/he has also set up a private online group in China, off-limit to non-intersex people since the stigma and discrimination intersex individuals face are much severer there than in Taiwan.

To the advocate, visibility is essential if intersex individuals are to stop living in isolation.

“We are just beginning to understand who we are. If we don’t find others, don’t know how others live, how are we going to have our own stories, our own voices,” Chiu says.

“The Taiwanese society is relatively friendly, and we have a relatively strong LGBT movement…. I feel I am ready to share my experiences with others, to seek out and look after my people.”

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