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Dear friend,

As you consider your year-end giving, imagine a future in which:

  • Unnecessary “normalizing” surgeries and treatments are no longer performed on children with variations of sex anatomy,
  • Young adults with DSD live openly and proudly, and
  • Children with intersex conditions are raised without shame, secrecy, and fear of being bullied and harassed. 
​This is the future that AIC is fighting for and we need your help to enter 2013 in full force

Ready to make your donation right now? Click here. 
 
We know it is impossible to put a dollar amount on the well-being, dignity, and human rights of children with variations of sex anatomy, but we’re asking you to try. In the last year AIC has made remarkable headway to bring our impact to the next level. We’ve set the groundwork and we are on the verge of breakthrough developments that will bring us farther—and closer—than ever before to influencing pivotal legal rulings for the civil rights of children with Differences of Sex Development (DSD). AIC is winning the fight for children with intersex conditions and we need your financial support to keep this momentum strong.
 
Make your donation to protect children with DSD!
 
In just the last few months AIC has:
  • Traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to consult with the World Health Organization about human rights violations affecting intersex people;
  • Co-authored a powerful article in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, exposing unethical human experiments involving pregnant women who might be carrying a child with a DSD; and
  • Helped the family of a seven year-old child with a DSD convince a court to change his birth certificate to reflect his true identity.
We also just learned that AIC’s own Inter/Act youth leader Jennifer "Pidgeon" Pagonis has been awarded special funding from her university to attend the 2nd International Intersex Forum. Along with AIC Communications and Youth Coordinator Jim Bruce, Pidgeon is headed to Stockholm, Sweden in early December to represent the new—and outspoken—generation of intersex youth leaders. Pidgeon and Jim will be doing some special reporting while abroad: make sure to check AIC’s Facebook page frequently for updates.
 
And we have even more crucial developments in store for you soon!
 
In just a few short years AIC has changed the landscape in the battle for legal and human rights of intersex people:
  • We have won recognition for the rights of the children and families we serve at the local, national, and international level. 
  • Agencies that have never considered these issues, from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to the U.S. Department of State to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees now have policy statements recognizing our community’s rights, influenced directly by AIC’s work. 
We do this all on a sparse budget by keeping laser-focused on the issues that have the most promise of making a lasting impact, leveraging our wins to create a ripple-effect of change, building a strong network of allies, and utilizing grassroots action to mobilize supporters like you. With all of these successes AIC has earned a reputation as a powerful leader. We have demonstrated our effectiveness, built a formidable track record, and have people in positions of influence listening to what we have to say. While we’re continuously working to impact the future, we’re effectively improving the lives and safety of our children and youth now.
 
We have developed a thriving network of youth leaders with intersex conditions who are speaking out about their experiences. AIC’s youth program, Inter/Act, has taken off with force, not only producing a highly-trafficked blog, giving voice and visibility to proud intersex youth—a reality many fear will never be the case for their children—but also taking the future treatment of other young people with DSD into their own hands by communicating candidly with their medical providers through the creation of the brochure What we wish our doctors knew…” Already, we have distributed over 1,000 of these brochures to medical providers. For the first time, doctors are getting direct feedback from their adolescent patients, and parents of children with DSD have access to a hopeful vision of their child’s future. Jennifer “Pidgeon” Pagonis, a youth leader, describes Inter/Act’s far-reaching impact:
 
“I recently met a young Brazilian intersex woman who traveled to the U.S. to attend an intersex conference: she told me that my writing published by Inter/Act was one of her main reasons for coming to the conference. She wanted to come and thank me. I was blown away and yet never more confident that Inter/Act matters. This has been a transformative experience for me.”

  • We have helped change medical practices regarding controversial and risky prenatal interventions. For years, many doctors prescribed the steroid dexamethasone to pregnant women who might give birth to a child with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (the most common DSD), telling them it would prevent the child from being born with ambiguous genitals—and sometimes that it might prevent the child from growing up to be a tomboy or a lesbian! What they weren’t telling these mothers, and what many doctors didn’t realize, was that the drug was never proven safe at such high doses in pregnancy. In fact, it was considered experimental and carried serious risks. AIC’s staff co-authored several articles that shook up the worlds of medicine and bioethics, and we filed complaints with two federal agencies. As a result of our collaboration with medical experts and bioethicists, doctors and affected mothers around the country are now aware that this treatment should only be conducted with ethics committee oversight, fully informed consent, and all the protections that normally come with experimental treatment.
  • International human rights leaders are taking notice and we are expanding our scope to a worldwide playing field. Influential organizations like the World Health Organization and the United Nations are consulting AIC as an authority. We are contributing to official statements on topics ranging from intersex refugees to medical mistreatment to gender identity. Recently, the Colombian Constitutional Court approached us for expert advice on a case. And we are developing networks with intersex/DSD organizations and leaders in Europe, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and South America.
And this is only the beginning. AIC is breaking down barriers of isolation and demonstrating loudly and clearly to parents, the medical community, and policymakers that shame and secrecy does not have to be a way of life for children with DSD.

With you alongside us we’re using our national and international attention to further elevate the visibility of real people with intersex conditions living full, open, and healthy lives just as they are; and countering many of the myths that are used in support of drastic medical interventions.
 
Later this year The Interface Project, a web-based video series sponsored by AIC which features personal stories as told by intersex adults, will debut; we will also be launching Resolve, a new grassroots project supporting adults with DSD in writing letters to their doctors to let them know how they experienced treatment. By putting a name and face to patients as individuals with unique experiences, not “conditions” to be corrected, a strong unified voice is being given to address the fears that motivate so many medical decisions—and those in positions to make choices for these special children will have to take notice.
 
We are making historic strides in the name of children with intersex conditions, but if we are going to win the fight once and for all with lasting protections, we must increase our capacity. There is so much more that needs to be done to protect our children and, with your help, we’re prepared to take action. Issues we know are important to you such as expanding our support to emerging youth leaders, increasing the community’s ability to tell our own stories, and developing new impact litigation are just some of the areas we’d like to take on next. Having the financial resources to pursue these outcomes head-on will mean:
  • Our youth program can develop more materials to educate parents, friends, and teachers, and put these materials in the hands of those whose words and actions affect their lives.
  • We can develop and promote our projects that allow intersex people to tell their own stories directly, in their own words, and get these stories out to doctors, parents, and the general public so that decisions about children with DSD are no longer made out of shame, fear, or lack of awareness.
  • We can take on new legal challenges, and develop cases that will protect children with DSD in the future.
Because of your steadfast commitment we are on track to meet our goals. THANK YOU!
 
It is because of your support that AIC has come so far. But, as you are aware, these are complex issues that don’t have the resources of mainstream organizations: the shame, secrecy, and stigma that intersex people have been forced to live with for so long has kept our concerns from being widely represented and funded. As one foundation recently said to me:
 
“We are unfamiliar with the problem you have described and do not wish to make grants on behalf of problems & concepts that we are not familiar with.” 
 
To make the changes we all want put in place, we need you standing with us and your dollars supporting us. Your donation to AIC demonstrates to those who doubt the urgency of this work that safeguarding children with intersex conditions is absolutely critical. AIC continues to be the only organization in the world focused on using the law to protect the rights of children with DSD—fundamental rights such as bodily integrity, medical privacy, and freedom from being harassed and bullied. We need you. Without us, children with DSD are an invisible population: if we don’t make them a priority, no one is going to.
 
Think of all we’ve accomplished in only six years, with just one full-time lawyer and an annual budget of less than $100,000. We can’t risk letting this progress go to waste. Every moment we don’t have to spend raising money means that our full attention is focused “on the ground” where we’re needed.
 
Think what we will do, how much we can do, with just a little bit more. It’s up to YOU.
 
As you consider your donation, ask yourself how much is protecting children with intersex conditions worth to me? How much is it worth to end unnecessary and harmful genital surgeries? How much is it worth to stop the use of children with DSD for unethical medical experimentation? How much is it worth to make sure that children with variations of sex anatomy can go to the doctor or participate in school activities without fearing for their physical and emotional safety?
 
We’re committed to making sure that these special children are given every opportunity to thrive, not just endure. Without you our children, and justice, will continue to be neglected. Join with us to make your dollars—and your voice—count by making a donation to keep AIC fighting strong. As one of our volunteers commented:
 
“I see the injustice that must be stopped, but I don’t have the tools to fight it myself. Contributing to AIC makes me feel empowered—knowing that I’m aligning myself with an organization that has the ability to make a real difference. I can’t put an end to it myself, but that’s what AIC is doing and why I give my time and money.” 

 
Will you please make your donation today?

 
Every amount, large and small, makes a difference and will immediately be put to good use. Together we can keep AIC robust and put abuses of children with DSD firmly in the past. When future generations of children with intersex conditions ask whether you helped to protect them, know that you can say, with confidence, “YES!” Make your donation now and make it count. 
 
Thank you,


Anne Tamar-Mattis
Executive Director
  
P.S. Want to show children with DSD that they’re not alone? Forward this letter to your friends right now! And don’t forget to make your donation. Thank you for being there for AIC and the kids we all care about!
 
★ What’s your reason for stepping up to protect children with DSD? We’d love it if you would let us know on our Facebook page.
 

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Advocates for Informed Choice
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Our mailing address is: 
PO Box 676, Cotati CA 94931
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