Contact Us

Have a suggestion for an item? Send it along using our contact page.

Enter your email address to join the GLAA Announcements list

DC Gay Etc

About GLAA Forum

GLAA is pleased to offer an online site for discussion of affairs that affect the quality of life of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of the District of Columbia. Through this social networking media GLAA aspires to connect to new generations of LGBT advocates and straight allies and to strengthen our organization's abilities to communicate and broadcast to a broad and diverse population.

We warmly invite you to join us at our regularly scheduled membership meetings, held the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Please visit for a list of meeting dates and locations and other important information regarding our group's mission and projects.

Support GLAA

GLAA is an all volunteer organisation. Our expenses are paid by our yearly Awards Banquet and by membership dues and contributions. If you would like to join GLAA this can be done through PayPal or through our membership form.

« British PM apologizes to Alan Turing | Main | Gray foresees same-sex marriages »

September 11, 2009

Gender tests reported on Caster Semenya


Huffington Post reports:

Gender tests on running sensation Caster Semenya determined she has internal male sexual organs, Australian newspapers reported Friday, triggering new outrage from South Africa and her father, who called her critics "crazy" and "sick."

The International Association of Athletics Federations, which ordered the testing, refused to confirm or deny the reports in the Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald that Semenya is a hermaphrodite with no ovaries and internal testes that produce large amounts of testosterone.

The IAAF said it is reviewing the test results on the 18-year-old runner and will not issue a final decision until November.

South African Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile expressed his horror at the handling of the affair and insisted Caster, who won the 800-meter race at the world championships in Berlin last month, is female.

"We think her human rights have been violated and her privacy invaded," Stofile said. "I don't know why she is being subjected to this."

Semenya dropped out of sight Friday. The South African Press Association quoted her coach, Michael Seme, as saying she would not take part in a women's 4,000-meter race at the South African Cross Country Championships in Pretoria on Saturday because she was "not feeling well." Seme had said earlier in the week that she would run.

If Semenya is indeed intersex (a term that covers a range of conditions), she is apparently lucky in one respect: intersex babies whose ambiguous gender is outwardly evident are often subjected to genital mutilation — procedures which are performed to assuage parents' distress or doctors' disapproval of their apparent failure to conform to traditional gender standards. These mutilations, like the female genital mutilations still practiced in some countries, often rob intersex people of the ability to enjoy sex as adults.

In the present case, unlike those awful surgeries, Semenya's humiliation is being conducted publicly. One can only hope that she is being surrounded by love, support, and understanding.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.