Neither she or he: Intersex geographies — ASN Events

Neither she or he: Intersex geographies (18814)

Lynda Johnston 1
  1. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

This presentation examines a documentary about people who have come out as intersex. Intersexion (2012) is fronted by New Zealand’s first ‘out’ intersex person Mani Bruce Mitchell. Mani travels to the U. S., Germany, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia to talk with other intersexual people and in doing so takes the viewer on an intimate and emotional geographical journey. The documentary provides snapshots of intersexuals’ lives in order to politicize viewers’ understanding of their own complicity in gendered binary logic. By challenging normative ways of looking at bodies and places, the documentary offers a ‘queer optic’ enabling viewers to think critically about the inequalities of gendered bodily and spatial binaries. Four spaces, in particular, dominate the documentary. These are: the body; home; hospital; and the Internet. In each of these spaces I highlight the lived experiences of, and resistance to, prejudice and discrimination. Intersexion produces emotional and affectual geographies of shame, but also hope.