Mayor Betsy Driver is Promoting Intersex Visibility Through Activism and Politics
Born in Buffalo, New York, Betsy Driver is the first openly intersex person elected to public office in the United States.
Driver was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a life-threatening disease that made it difficult for her to feel like she was part of womanhood. She grew up believing she was alone in the intersex community.
It wasn't until she was in her mid-30s that she learned more about intersex people and the surgeries she underwent at eight months old. She joined groups for women with CAH, and started Bodies Like Ours with one of the women she met. Bodies Like Ours was an internet-based community for people to meet and share their experiences being born with an intersex variation. Even today, intersex advocates reference Bodies Like Ours in women’s empowerment speeches, and individuals will reach out to Driver to let her know how the support system she fostered saved their lives.
Driver's advocacy for women's rights and intersex people played a large role in her campaign for council, and later, for mayor of Flemington, New Jersey. Her platform has given her the opportunity to educate people on intersex variation and help others with congenital adrenal hyperplasia to know that they are part of the community.
"Tell your own story. Be proud of your story. Embrace who you are. Just be yourself," she explained.
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