Book of the Month

To celebrate all the wonderful contributions to the field of intersex studies, we have decided to dedicate space to showcasing some of these valuable works.  Please feel free to email with a nomination. 



March & April 2021

For March and April 2021, we celebrate the work of all our conference presenters and feature our Conference Programme as our 'Book of the Month'!

On 21st & 22nd April 2021, we hosted our online, interdisciplinary conference Intersex 2021 - A Vision For The Future.  142 delegates from 22 countries joined us for the conference.  Our conference programme is available here and we were honoured to offer this important platform for such a wide-range of speakers to share their stories and research.    



Intersex 2021 Conference Programme

January/February 2021

One of the key strengths of our work is the research methodology - Hermeneutical Phenomenology - we have chosen to use to learn about what it means to be intersex in Ireland. 

We're delighted to nominate, and celebrate, our Associate PI, Mel Duffy's co-authored book on this subject.  Doing Hermeneutical Phenomenological Research: A Practical Guide (2020). London: Sage. 

The authors

have made an important contribution to the field and are experts in utilising this method among diverse and vulnerable groups in the health and social sciences.  

Hermeneutical phenomenology invites us to think.  To articulate the thinking one needs to listen in the corners and the shadows of  the lived experience(s) of the phenomenon being investigated.  The method “embraces multi-perspectival, embodied and experiential ways of knowing” (Dibley et al. 2020: 7).  This is the approach that we are using in our work when we speak with intersex people, their family members, and medical professionals.  We are interested to learn about what it means to be an intersex person in Ireland and what does it mean to be a medical professional supporting the care of an intersex person, and perhaps their family.        

We love this book and so do others!  Read Gerard Rodgers' review below.

Phenomenological philosophy is often perceived as a lofty and verbally verbose form of learning, without practical value or merit. However, reading this book certainly puts paid to that illusion. The practical topics of research that these active researchers explore are so humanly psychological, dealing with socially pressing themes that require better understanding. These pragmatic writers give meaning to the idea that ‘faith without works is dead.’ They translate their philosophical vision for health and social science to deeds; there is a recognition of the unevenness of the world environs and the book is driven by a desire to improve things. 
By sharing the how and the what of their collective research, they offer a very transparent kaleidoscope into how hermeneutic phenomenological methodology and method are realised as one. If you are a researcher with a passion for your subject matter, the authors of the book have done a magnificent job in demonstrating how we can translate research passion into realisable intentions for making it happen. Source: Gerard Rodgers




December 2020

Background Note on Violations against Intersex People by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2019)


UN New York
December 2020 Book of the Month: United Nations Background Note on Violations against Intersex People

Intersex Rights Are Human Rights.

That is a key principle that underpins our work at the Intersex Mapping Study.  Human rights violations against intersex people are a reality.  We know that the law here in Ireland does not afford the same protections and benefits to intersex people as it does to the non-intersex population.  One of they key aims of our study is to learn how we can improve policy and law so that intersex people benefit equally from Irish law and policy.

For December 2020, we are nominating a United Nations publication as our Book of the Month. 

Background Note on Violations against Intersex People was published in 2019 by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

November 2020 #IrelandTurnsPurple

We invited everyone to join our #IrelandTurnsPurple campaign on November 8th for Intersex Solidarity Day.  The response was amazing - 70 buildings across Ireland & Northern Ireland turned purple! 

Our November 2020 publication of the month is our very own #IrelandTurnsPurple webpage  Please take a look and read about our list of supporters to helped turn Ireland purple. 

And check out a few of the buildings that turned purple in our gallery below. 



October 2020

Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI Population

This important contribution to the field of LGBTQI studies was launched by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine just this month!

Here's a brief insight to this Consensus Study Report...

The increase in prevalence and visibility of sexually gender diverse (SGD) populations illuminates the need for greater understanding of the ways in which current laws, systems, and programs affect their well-being. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, or intersex, as well as those who express same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviors, will have experiences across their life course that differ from those of cisgender and heterosexual individuals. Characteristics such as age, race and ethnicity, and geographic location intersect to play a distinct role in the challenges and opportunities SGD people face. Source


LGBTQI Wellbeing Report

September 2020

What We Wish by interACT - Advocates for Intersex Youth

September 2020 has been a different one to all others as we establish and live according to ‘new normals’ in the midst of COVID-19. We hope everyone’s keeping safe.

But September brings us back to school and this month we’re nominating an excellent series of resources for our September Book of the Month aimed at young people, their teachers, parents and friends.

Our friends at InterACT - Advocates for Intersex Youth have produced a fabulous series of brochures entitled What We Wish. The 4-part series aims to tell “the public what intersex people wish others in their lives knew. These resources are free to use for educators.” . Please click on the links below to see each individual piece.

What We Wish Our Teachers Knew

What We Wish Our Friends Knew

What We Wish Our Doctors Knew

What We Wish Our Parents Knew

This is an important time of the year for most young people and especially now in 2020 as we resume school and education under very different circumstances. We believe that this is a valuable contribution of educational resources for young people by young people but also for their friends, parents, teachers and schools.

A great teaching resource for all classrooms.

Permission to use brochure images kindly granted by interACT.

What We Wish

August 2020

We're showcasing an Irish book!

Sexual Politics in Modern Ireland 

Edited by Jennifer Redmond, Mary McAuliffe, Sandra McAvoy, Sonja Tiernan. (2015)

Please see the Irish Academic Press for more details.

Chapter 8 Building Bodies: A Legal History of Intersex in Ireland is written by our very own Principal Investigator Dr. Tanya Ní Mhuirthile.  Click on the link for full access to Tanya's chapter from DORAS - DCU's Online Research Access Service.


Sexual Politics

July 2020

Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis by Georgiann Davis

Winner of the 2017 Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award, presented by the American Sociological Association

Intersex advocate Georgiann Davis made a terrific contribution to the field of intersex studies with this book when it was published in 2015 by New York University Press  

Georgiann is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas.

Here's a taster...

When sociologist Georgiann Davis was a teenager, her doctors discovered that she possessed XY chromosomes, marking her as intersex. Rather than share this information with her, they withheld the diagnosis in order to “protect” the development of her gender identity; it was years before Davis would see her own medical records as an adult and learn the truth. Davis’ experience is not unusual. Many intersex people feel isolated from one another and violated by medical practices that support conventional notions of the male/female sex binary which have historically led to secrecy and shame about being intersex. Yet, the rise of intersex activism and visibility in the US has called into question the practice of classifying intersex as an abnormality, rather than as a mere biological variation. This shift in thinking has the potential to transform entrenched intersex medical treatment. Source: NYU Press

Read more reviews here 

For more information about the book, check out Combined Academic Publishers

Book cover image kindly supplied by New York University Press.


Contesting Intersex

June 2020

June is Pride Month!  So we decided to develop our PRIDE 2020 page and nominate that as our publication of the month!

May 2020

For May 2020, we’re celebrating an award-winning book

Raising Rosie - Our Story of Parenting an Intersex Child by Eric and Stephani Lohman

Winner of the 2019 Stonewall Honor Book in Non-Fiction


"When their daughter Rosie was born, Eric and Stephani Lohman found themselves thrust into a situation they were not prepared for. Born intersex – a term that describes people who are born with a variety of physical characteristics that do not fit neatly into traditional conceptions about male and female bodies – Rosie’s parents were pressured to consent to normalizing surgery on Rosie, without being offered any alternatives despite their concerns.

Part memoir, part guidebook, this powerful book tells the authors’ experience of refusing to have Rosie operated on and how they raised a child who is intersex. The book looks at how they spoke about the condition to friends and family, to Rosie’s teachers and caregivers, and shows how they plan on explaining it to Rosie when she is older. This uplifting and empowering story is a must read for all parents of intersex children."  Source: 

For more information about the book, please check out Jessica Kingsley Publishers


Thank you to all the brave parents who share their story to raise awareness about what it means to have an intersex child and why protecting babies and children from unnecessary harm is so important.

Listen to Eric & Stephani here


Raising Rosie

March & April 2020 

For March & April 2020, we’re celebrating the work of not just one author but fifteen!

Thanks to one wise nomination, we are nominating an OII Europe publication

#MyIntersexStory – Personal accounts by intersex people living in Europe

Launched on International Intersex Solidarity Day, 8th November 2019, this publication contains

fifteen testimonies by intersex people and their families and with fifteen colourful illustrations by intersex artist and OII Europe staff member Ins A Kromminga.

This book also includes a text by intersex scholar and sociology professor Janik Bastien Charlebois “On our own terms and in our own words”: The value of first-person accounts of intersex experience.

Download it here

Book cover image kindly supplied by OII Europe.


OII My Intersex Story
March & April 2020 Book of the Month.

February 2020

We officially launch our Intersex Book of the Month page!

Our first nomination is

XOXY A Memoir by Kimberly Zieselman

Written by none other than the remarkable Kimberly Zieselman, an internationally renowned intersex activist, woman and mother. 

Meet Kimberly, a regular suburban housewife and mother, whose discovery later in life that she was born intersex fuelled her to become an international human rights defender and globally-recognised activist.

Charting her intersex discovery and her journey to self-acceptance, this book movingly portrays how being intersex impacted Kimberly's personal and family life, as well as her career. From uncovering a secret that was intentionally kept from her, to coming out to her family and friends and fighting for intersex rights, her candid and empowering story helps breakdown barriers and misconceptions of intersex people and brings to light the trauma and harmful impact medical intervention continues to have on the intersex community.

Written from a non-queer perspective, and filled with much-needed, straightforward information and advice about what it means to be intersex, this is a vital and timely resource for intersex people and their families, as well as the general reader. Source: 

What Kimberley's book also does is to reinforce the power of personal story.  That is an important aspect of our work as we commence our interviews to listen to intersex people talk about their lived experience. 

Read some of the rave reviews her book has received.

For more information about Kimberly's book, check out Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Book cover image kindly supplied by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


XOXY A Memoir

Thank you to all the brave contributors who share their story to raise awareness about what it means to be intersex.

If you'd like to nominate a book, we'd love to hear from you.  Email us