By: Kim Angulo

On April 14, 2020 the Sacramento Stonewall Democrats welcomed Mari Wrobi to our Zoom membership meeting to give do an “Intersex 101” workshop. Mari, a queer, trans and intersex advocate born and raised in Sacramento, talked with members about how to be an intersex ally by understanding definitions, terms, and phrases, and addressing common myths and misconceptions about intersex people. Mari also gave members tips on how to be an advocate for intersex people and answered questions.

Mari’s workshop, given to Stonewall members who serve on local school boards, as teachers, in policy positions, and more, reminds us that education is key to successful advocacy. As members of a diverse queer community of varied sexual and gender identities it’s important for us to continue learning and listening to each other, and to share our knowledge and experiences with each other as well as with elected officials and those in positions of power.

Educational talks such as Mari’s help to educate ourselves and the elected officials who look to us for advice and guidance on LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) issues and allow us to better allies and advocates for all members of the queer community.

An important first step in understanding our diverse community is to look around and see the people and voices in the room, to notice who is not there, and examine what we can do to be more open and welcoming. One way to do this is by highlighting and valuing voices such as Mari’s.

We must be careful, however, not to rely on the emotional and physical labor of our community members without valuing the labor through pay and using the information and skills we learn to be the best allies and advocates we can be.

In the coming months I hope to highlight more diverse voices and experiences so we can continue to learn and use education as a tool for advocating for all members of our amazing community.