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IOTM – Larissa Black

MARCH 2014: If you’re an intactivist and you spend any amount of time on Facebook, chances are you’ve come across The Whole Network. This month, Intact America is proud to celebrate one of TWN’s strongest voices: Larissa Black (or, as she’s known on Facebook, Larissa “Skinforce” Black).

A registered veterinary technician living in central Iowa, Larissa has been interested in the topic of circumcision and genital integrity since she first Googled it as a teenager in the 1990s. Stories from restoring men compelled her to dig deeper, and while she became passionate about what she’d learned, she didn’t know where to go from there. “In 2009 when my best friend told me she was pregnant,” she says, “I looked her square in the eye and said, ‘You need to promise me something. If he’s a boy, you won’t circumcise him.’”

That exchange led her to revisit the topic, and that’s when she discovered that there was an entire community of like-minded people on Facebook. “I remember sitting on my couch, excitedly chattering away about these people who felt the same way I did about circumcision and called themselves intactivists… how clever!”

Larissa connected with The Whole Network, and has been serving on its board of directors since 2011. She devotes most of her spare time to intactivism, writing articles for TWN News, updating the website, helping to administer the Facebook page, designing graphics, working information booths at baby fairs, and answering all kinds of questions about circumcision and intactivism.

Larissa sees The Whole Network and Intact America as complementary and synergistic organizations which benefit each other gtwn_logoreatly. “Intact America has taken the intactivist message online, to the radiowaves, into newspapers and magazines, and onto the streets, consistently applying the pressure where it needs to be applied. The protests organized at the ACOG and AAP conferences and at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati have all sent a loud and clear message to circumcising doctors, a message that simply cannot be ignored. It’s been a true honor and a pleasure for me to work alongside Georganne Chapin and the Intact America team in this ongoing fight for human rights.”

Larissa, who does not have children, says, “Circumcision hasn’t impacted my life directly, but I fight for genital integrity because it’s the right thing to do. I think we should all strive to make the world a better place, and with that in mind, intactivism will be my legacy. I believe in my lifetime, we will see routine infant circumcision banned, or at the very least drastically reduced in the United States. And I’m proud to know I will have played a part in that.”

And her legacy is well underway – her friend chose not to circumcise her son.

“The Whole Network is an important ally with Intact America in the fight to end circumcision,” agrees Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, “and Larissa – true to her Facebook moniker – is a powerful force in changing minds. She consistently brings intelligence, compassion and just plain common sense to the conversation. I am so proud to have her as a friend and colleague in our fight for children’s rights.”

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Marilyn Fayre Milos, multiple award winner for her humanitarian work to end routine infant circumcision in the United States and advocating for the rights of infants and children to genital autonomy, has written a warm and compelling memoir of her path to becoming “the founding mother of the intactivist movement.” Needing to support her family as a single mother in the early sixties, Milos taught banjo—having learned to play from Jerry Garcia (later of The Grateful Dead)—and worked as an assistant to comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce, typing out the content of his shows and transcribing court proceedings of his trials for obscenity. After Lenny’s death, she found her voice as an activist as part of the counterculture revolution, living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love, and honed her organizational skills by creating an alternative education open classroom (still operating) in Marin County. 

After witnessing the pain and trauma of the circumcision of a newborn baby boy when she was a nursing student at Marin College, Milos learned everything she could about why infants were subjected to such brutal surgery. The more she read and discovered, the more convinced she became that circumcision had no medical benefits. As a nurse on the obstetrical unit at Marin General Hospital, she committed to making sure parents understood what circumcision entailed before signing a consent form. Considered an agitator and forced to resign in 1985, she co-founded NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) and began organizing international symposia on circumcision, genital autonomy, and human rights. Milos edited and published the proceedings from the above-mentioned symposia and has written numerous articles in her quest to end circumcision and protect children’s bodily integrity. She currently serves on the board of directors of Intact America.


Georganne Chapin is a healthcare expert, attorney, social justice advocate, and founding executive director of Intact America, the nation’s most influential organization opposing the U.S. medical industry’s penchant for surgically altering the genitals of male children (“circumcision”). Under her leadership, Intact America has definitively documented tactics used by U.S. doctors and healthcare facilities to pathologize the male foreskin, pressure parents into circumcising their sons, and forcibly retract the foreskins of intact boys, creating potentially lifelong, iatrogenic harm. 

Chapin holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. For 25 years, she served as president and chief executive officer of Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid insurer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Mid-career, she enrolled in an evening law program, where she explored the legal and ethical issues underlying routine male circumcision, a subject that had interested her since witnessing the aftermath of the surgery conducted on her younger brother. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law in 2003, and was subsequently admitted to the New York Bar. As an adjunct professor, she taught Bioethics and Medicaid and Disability Law at Pace, and Bioethics in Dominican College’s doctoral program for advanced practice nurses.

In 2004, Chapin founded the nonprofit Hudson Center for Health Equity and Quality, a company that designs software and provides consulting services designed to reduce administrative complexities, streamline and integrate data collection and reporting, and enhance access to care for those in need. In 2008, she co-founded Intact America.

Chapin has published many articles and op-ed essays, and has been interviewed on local, national and international television, radio and podcasts about ways the U.S. healthcare system prioritizes profits over people’s basic needs. She cites routine (nontherapeutic) infant circumcision as a prime example of a practice that wastes money and harms boys and the men they will become. This Penis Business: A Memoir is her first book.