A doctor working with trans persons in the mid-90s approached me and asked me to participate in the first TV show on trans issues. This was the first step towards building my public activism. I become a contact person for medical team and trans people. After that I joined the NGO Gayten-LGBT and started to work on developing programs for trans people in Serbia and the ex-Yugoslav region.
XY Spectrum is a newly founded organisation working with intersex, trans and non-binary persons. I am one of the founders, and for me it was very important to work on intersex issues using my personal experiences. I discovered that I am intersex later in life. I am trying break the silence, stigma and shame which exist in Serbian society. Intersex people are invisible — my mission is to inform different organisations and institutions about intersex existence. Every day I am in contact with trans persons consulting with and counseling them.
We don’t face political obstacles, we face social ones. We are still in the process of raising awareness in the general public that intersex people exist and live in Serbia. We tried to organise training in schools for parents and staff on intersex issues. But once we registered our organisation we didn’t receive any response. On meeting with the owner of a private school for parents, intersex people were verbally discriminated and pathologised.
I grew up alone and started my journey very young. The breakup of Yugoslavia, the isolation involved (in terms of the embargo and economic sanctions), and the bombing was part of my life. I also had my personal struggles in terms of my identity and my health. From all of that I learned how to support and encourage myself, but I have a partner and friends to love and lean on. Because I lost a lot of very dear and loved people in my life, I am grateful for experiences and challenges. I am alive and aware that I can share, teach and empower others. My aim is to bring to the society that I live in a different approach to bodily autonomy and integrity. The steps which I have already made are small victories and together, we win — all the people who have a better life and greater happiness because of this work.