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Stephen Fry calls for intersex people to be treated with 'common politeness and decency'

The actor has joined the fight for intersex equality

2020-02-18

Words: Steve Brown

Stephen Fry has called for intersex people to be treated with ‘common politeness and decency’.

The actor, broadcaster and author appeared alongside a number of intersex advocates on the BBC show Inside Out on Monday (February 17) where he was seen touring Oxford’s Ashmolean museum.

Fry attended the museum as there is a statue in the collection which has intersex characteristics.

And during the show, The Hobbit star joined the fight for intersex equality and called for intersex people to be treated with ‘common politeness and decency’.

He said: “People get very hysterical about gender.

“One should be open and curious to the fact that our genders and our sexual expression and our genitals are fundamental to who we are, but also that we’re all mixed about everything, and the mixture is an exciting thing.

“I think like a lot of people, I never really considered the idea of intersex people because they have been so hidden. Isn’t it interesting?

“And obviously in terms of the individuals who were born intersex whose lives are difficult, one has to take that seriously and just [treat them with] common politeness and decency.

“It is extraordinary to remember how the first gay kiss on Brookside caused people to drop their crockery, now we accept it as a perfectly natural and normal thing to see and I’m sure that will be true of intersex people too.”

Intersex people don’t currently have the same legal protections as they are not included in the 2010 Equality Act’s list of different protected characteristics.

While speaking exclusively in Attitude’s January Allies and Activists issue, Anick Soni opened up about being intersex and how young intersex people are being operated on from a young age.

Anick said: “When it comes to intersex bodies, the courts rarely get involved.

“Intersex people are generally seen as needing surgery, and you have people being operated on from a very young age – without understanding or consent.”

Inside Out (Yorkshire and Lincolnshire) is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.