My OwN Wings - PhMuseum

My OwN Wings

Katia Repina

2015 - Ongoing

New York, United States

My Own Wings is an ongoing joint transmedia project by Katia Repina and Carla Moral that aims to explore the intersex identity. Earlier on, there was the term “hermaphrodite”, but it had been substituted since it resulted to be confusing: intersex people are not born with "both" sexes, they are born with a variation from the standard of what is socially accepted as a male or female body.

The project is based on different testimonies from intersex people as well as research on different social, medical and legal issues. As of now the project includes 21 stories of intersex people living in Spain, the U.S., Ukraine, Russia, Mexico and Chile.

The greatest difficulty for people born with ambiguous sex variations is social recognition and stigmatization. The number of people born with sexual variations is greater than we think. According to advocat group InterAct, ​experts estimate that as many as 1.7% - 2% of people are born with intersex traits.

Intersex people are keeping their condition in secret because they are moved by fear of being positioned outside the norm and to be pathologized, and therefore hide their stories trying to transform into someone "socially coherent". The need to be “normal” - usually created by doctors and medicine - leads to shame. Some intersex infants and babies are surgically or hormonally altered to create more socially acceptable sex characteristics even when there is no risk for their health.

We hope that the project especially reflects the beauty, power and resiliency that so many of our participants have shown in doing their best to relate to society not as victims but as dignified members of their communities who have worked hard to develop an acceptance of themselves while having to deal with the complex and layered experience of being born intersex.

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