Canberra advocate starts Australia’s first publication for intersex youth

This month, intersex advocate Steph Lum will launch YOUth&I, Australia’s first publication for intersex youth. Steph sits on ACT’s LGBTIQ+ ministerial advisory council and is a co-chair of Intersex Human Rights Australia.What prompted you to start YOUth&I “I wanted to create something centred on intersex people’s voices, allowing them to tell their stories in the way they wanted to. There’s still such a need to understand who intersex people are as well as bringing to light human rights issues that we do face.

“We actually don’t have anything like this in Australia, which is intersex youth-focused and which allows people to connect and express themselves.”

Tell us about the submissions you’ve received?

“Submissions have come from everywhere. We’ve had a couple of submissions from Mexico, from Canada, Russia, New Zealand and Australia. There’s a diverse range of material in there, poems, longer essays, photos and drawings. The content does look really fun.”

Are there any common threads running through the submissions?

“The major one that really stood out was how finding a community has changed people’s lives. A lot of the stories were about the challenges faced in understanding [contributor’s] bodies and themselves. Once they found people with similar experiences, that changed how they saw themselves.

“Another common thread is how diverse we all are. No two stories are the same.”

Where can people get a copy?

“It will be available at the launch on 28 October and available for free download at After the launch, we’ll be distributing some hard copies around the ACT.” YOUth&I will be launched on 28 October, 5:30pm, at Smith’s Alternative, Alinga St Civic. The project was funded through the ACT Capital of Equality grants program.