University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng has unreservedly apologized to the LGBTQIA + community after harshly criticizing the university’s seminar on science and intersex people.
In a statement Phakeng said on Friday, “I apologize wholeheartedly for the pain and hardship these events have caused, not just to the LGBTQIA + community, but to all who are concerned about our common pursuit of dignity and humanity for all.
“In order to further this pursuit Amid this hurt, hardship and anger, I have decided to get involved with the LGBTQIA + community for the next two months. In that spirit of humility, I apologize, and in that spirit we must make our way forward, ”she said.
Phakeng came under fire this week after UCT gave an open talk entitled. hosted “What Does Science Say About LGBTQI +?”
During the lecture, Dr. Kgomotso Mathabe, urologist and member of the Gender Clinic at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, stated that birth as an intersex person is potentially life-threatening and requires medical correction.
“When a baby is born, we look at the external genitals of the Babies and should be able to tell if it’s a boy or a girl. When a trained health professional cannot make that call, we call it intersex and then a whole door opens. ”
The Gender Diversity Coalition expressed concern about UCT’s decision to hold the seminar, and urged the university to act quickly. The seminar was said to be hurtful to the transgender and intersex community, which is denigrated daily by some medical professionals.
The coalition said the talk provided misinformation not only about intersex born children, but these people inflicted further harm and their families “who are feeling the daily violence of medical and pathological diagnoses that have no positive impact on their lives”.
The coalition criticized Dr. At the seminar, Mathabe reportedly said, “Intersex is a potentially life-threatening condition.”
UCT Council Chair Babalwa Ngonyama welcomed Phakeng’s apology.
“I appreciate your humility , Integrity and courage to ponder this matter and your admission that harm has been done. I have no doubt that the Vice Chancellor will use this learning moment to return even stronger in her pursuit of inclusivity and diversity for all. ”