Anti-Apartheid and intersex activist, Sally Gross, worked with a reporter from the Mail & Guardian to populate and provide information to the public to educate about Intersex and to create awareness around the formation of the Intersex Society of South Africa (ISOSA), a name modelled on the Intersex Society of North America, as Sally had close ties with intersex activists in that group.
The article explains: “While there are some support groups in countries like the United States and Britain, there is currently no network for intersexed people in South Africa, says Gross. She hopes that publicity about intersexuality will bring the issue out into the open, help to remove the stigma attached to it, and help intersexed South Africans to make contact with one another for mutual support”. Sally’s initial goals for ISOSA included offering advice and psychological support to its members, educational outreach in schools, and legislative advocacy.
ISOSA was initially affiliated with the health-oriented Triangle Project. Gross thought this partnership would help intersex people like herself to discover their own medical histories and to navigate treatment protocols, but ISOSA later became independent. She continued her efforts to promote ISOSA by sharing her own story in the publications, Natal Witness and Challenge, as well as being interviewed on the popular Cape Town station, Radio Bush.
To reflect the group’s independence from the U.S. organisation, Sally changed the name from ISOSA to Intersex South Africa (ISSA) in 2008. Since Sally’s death in 2014, ISSA has been housed by Iranti, founded in 2012.