Intersex Russians fear fallout from curbs on gender-affirming care

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11/10/2023

Nov 10 (Openly) – Born intersex and raised as a boy, Polina has known for years that she wanted to live as a woman. But Russia’s sweeping curbs on gender-affirming healthcare have made that much more difficult. The 33-year-old from Moscow said that since a new law – which targets transgender people – was passed in July, doctors had been wary about prescribing her female sex hormones and other gender-affirming treatment for fear they could lose their licences or face prosecution. “The law likens any treatment, even if justified and vitally necessary, to wrongdoing,” Polina told Openly in a message chat, asking for her surname to be withheld for privacy reasons. Intersex people are born with atypical chromosomes or sex characteristics, meaning they cannot be easily categorised as either male or female.

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