A remembrance night for Jemma Redmond will be held on Tuesday 8 November, Intersex day of Remembrance, organised by journalist and activist Kay Cairns. Kay gives a few words about their former partner, lost on 16 August 2016:
Jemma was an award-winning scientist working toward 3D printing innovations for fellow intersex folks and a variety of other medical needs with her startup Ourobotics. She lived in Ireland, born in Tallaght, near Dublin, and called Cork home.
Jemma Redmond was 38 when she died. She spent those years fighting back against society’s expectations of her. ‘Be a good boy, get a stable job…’ Jem figured out she was infertile, which lead to her discovering she was intersex. She’d always wanted kids… a ‘mini-me.’ It was a crushing realisation for her, along with finding out about her hidden medical history, and dealing with constant anxiety from street harassment as someone visibly different. As someone who always tries to look to the positive – I find strength in that she made it to 38.
Jem battled everything with humour, I guess it was her coping mechanism. I’ve been reminded by colleagues that one of the first 3D models she printed was of a middle finger, in protest to everyone who doubted her in her work. She was innovating cheaper methods of 3D printing to make it accessible to more people. She’d also dreams of setting about the creation of 3D printed uteri, to help other intersex people carry children.
Jem’s imagination was unstoppable, and she stopped at nothing to make her visions come to life. At the time we met, in 2012, Jem was using kitchen stoves as incubators for her printers. She came to live with me and the printers came with her. Eventually she found a hacker-space to work from. I visited one night for a tour and cycled home with her and a 3D printed octopus in hand.
I have so many memories that slowly seep back over the months since her loss. Small snapshots from our travel in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, and back at home. But it feels selfish to touch on them. Jemma had an impact on so many other people’s lives. Her warmth, her smile, her giggle. Her humour.
On Intersex Remembrance Day, November 8, I invite everyone to come commemorate Jemma in Dublin.
At Jemma’s funeral I left a note under one of the rocks on her grave. It read:
Kay here. I’m sitting beside you, thinking of our little moments and thinking of the incredible legacy you left.
We’re going to work to end this torment Jemma.
The world is incredibly shit. We’re going to make it better.
I love you. ❤”
That’s exactly what we’re going to do.
I hope to see you there if you can make it.
Love and solidarity. x
Alex Robin Gardner, an intersex activist from the UK, will present a workshop about the intersex community and the struggles faced in society and the healthcare system.
Then we’ll settle down to watch the documentary Intersexion.
There’ll also be an oportunity for folks who knew Jemma to say some words.
We all know she loved chocolate, and so there’ll be a massive chocolate cake to dig into on the night.
If you’ve any suggestions for the running of the night, or would like to give a speech, pop me, Kay Cairns, a mail over at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date and time: 7-10pm, Tuesday 8 November
Location: Basement, Outhouse, 105 Capel St, Dublin 1, Ireland