INTERSEX Sensitivity reading

Sensitivity reading is a fantastic way to ensure that your novel, story, or other piece is doing right by a group you are not a part of. I offer this service to authors. As a white, U.S. born, able-bodied, assigned female, non-binary intersex person, it's important to acknowledge that my traits overlap with the media's most common intersex narrative. (Though I'd also say that any media representation of intersex people is still sparse.) There are so many more intersex experiences, and I always recommend hiring more than one sensitivity reader. I am also happy to refer authors to others with experiences I don't have, e.g. being an assigned male intersex person, trans intersex person, and/or intersex person of color. 

What I can offer as an intersex sensitivity reader:

  • Perspective from an intersex person who has been working within the global intersex community for 5+ years,
  • Perspective from an assigned female intersex person, specifically one with XY Gonadal Dysgenesis,
  • Heavy writing experience, including 8+ years in copywriting and a degree in Public Relations writing,
  • Knowledge of what is and is not possible in human sex development, knowledge of most intersex variations, their characteristics, required maintenance, and issues of medicalization including medical trauma and non-consensual surgeries,
  • Insight on how intersex issues overlap on other elements in my life such as queer relationships, gender dysphoria, and various mental health challenges,
  • Referrals to others in the intersex community who can also review work for accuracy and sensitivity.

Works I will review for intersex sensitivity:

  • Journalism and nonfiction articles
  • Young Adult (YA) fiction and adult fiction
  • Special fondness for LGBTQIA+ authors and publications

Intersex voices have been silenced for decades in mainstream and in LGBTQ+ media. Representation that is not led by intersex people (e.g. the book Middlesex) creates sensationalizing and inaccurate stories that gain attention while failing to represent our real experiences. Hiring intersex people to proofread your work is the best way to ensure that doesn't happen. Contact me to discuss your work!

Since November of 2017 I have had the very great fortune of consulting with Hans on my graphic novel project. The results have far exceeded my hopes and expectations. From the moment we began she/they has been professional and diligent, fun to work with, wonderfully perceptive and knowledgeable on a range of intersex issues. After the initial two sensitivity readings of my graphic novel’s script, Hans gave me fantastic feedback on various lines and scenes, my intersex character’s likely medical treatment combinations and physical manifestations, and the medical intervention timeline. Always quick to respond with clearly articulated and organized comments and questions, I am thrilled to continue consulting with Hans in each new stage of production.
— Emily Mode, Graphic Novel Author, New York City

By the way... What is Sensitivity Reading?

Sensitivity reading is the practice of hiring a member of a group which you are not a part of to review and provide perspective on your writing. As Dhonielle Clayton, COO of We Need Diverse Books suggests, it's all about "responsible representation."

Ryan Douglass makes a fantastic case for the need for sensitivity readers in the Huffington Post:

Sensitivity readers are not censors or free speech police. They’re people who review advance manuscripts of upcoming books, check for issues of representation, bias, insensitive language and cultural inaccuracies, and make suggestions to authors. While the work they do may tie into an era of ‘online outrage’ and a ‘hyperreactive social media landscape,’ as Alexandra Alter writes for the [New York] Times, sensitivity readers are still a beneficial and necessary component in the push for diversity and inclusion.
— What Sensitivity Readers Actually Do, Ryan Douglass, Huffington Post