Sunday, January 11, 2009

Discordant Alliances

By Sophia Siedlberg.

Accord Alliance is an organization that essentially acts as the central reference point for "Disorders of Sex Development". You can look at them in two ways. Either they are the fruition of Bo Laurent's evil plan to bring about more surgery, secrecy and shame, or they are primarily a group of doctors who, while having Bo Laurent as their patient representative, genuinely believe that the DSD model is the best way to present intersex health and health care. If they are a manifestation of the first definition, that is, an evil plan by Laurent, then I will oppose them at every turn. If however (as is beginning to look more likely) they are simply doctors "doing their job", then I am prepared to try to talk with them.

The problem they have is that at present Accord Alliance looks like a doctors talking shop with Bo Laurent as the "safe" patient representative. Now there was a time when Laurent (under the pen name of Cheryl Chase) was a bit of a firebrand, rather like some of us in OII are now, but she had all those contacts and funding which enabled her to take the prominent position she now has. But she is a "safe" activist.

I think that it will prove difficult for Accord Alliance to gain any credibility while they appear to have Bo Laurent as the main advocate. It is nothing against Laurent personally either, but no single person can encompass the whole range of intersex experience. Laurent is not popular with many of us because of her activism having being focused on the practices of Dr John Money. She only opposed blanket feminization and other John Money specific policies.

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