In the current climate where LGBTQ rights continue to be a heated topic for Americans, this new documentary film from director Julie Cohen offers an insightful, educating, and heartfelt look into the lives of a specific subset of the LGBTQ community–intersex people. Intersex people are humans born with the organs of both males and females. The archaic term hermaphrodite has often been used to label such people, but their experiences are more complex than the overly simplistic word indicates. The medical community’s history of treating intersex people is also far more disturbing and shocking than most people know.
Every Body reveals the lives and stories of three prominent intersex people whose experiences differ in some ways but intersect in others. Julie Cohen’s documentary also uncovers the dark history of the medical and scientific communities and how they treated intersex people. The film proves to be very eye-opening but also portrays its subjects with much love, ultimately delivering an inspiring and hopeful movie.
The film introduces its audience to Sean Saifa Wall, Alicia Roth Weigel, and River Gallo, three different intersex people who have had to cope with being born with both male and female sex organs. Through their stories and experiences, these remarkable and intelligent individuals recall their struggles throughout their lives and how their parents coped with having children who do not fall into the usual binary sex categories. Despite the negativity and ignorance they have encountered in their journeys, all three of these people remain undaunted in their fight for their human rights, particularly against the prejudices enabled by both the medical community and the government.
Cohen’s film is a powerful, emotional, and enlightening testament to intersex people who have all had their heartbreaks, real struggles, and challenges. By highlighting these fantastic individuals, Every Body shows that intersex people are not to be feared but can be admired for displaying much courage and heart regardless of the adversity they encounter. This film is an excellent documentary that I must highly recommend to everyone. Everybody can undoubtedly benefit from the true stories told in Every Body.