Intact Billboard During FGM Trial in Michigan

Help us bring this billboard to Detroit!

Over the past year we have received many requests to host a quality, pro-intact billboard in an ideal location in Detroit during the next year while the FGM trial takes place. While we do not typically feel that the exorbitant costs of billboards in less-traveled areas are worth the payout (especially when traveling billboards cost a mere fraction of the amount and are seen by just as many in large metropolitan areas; or maternity expos at large venues reach thousands of expecting mothers for pennies-to-the-dollar of a billboard), this is one exception.

The FGM case is a landmark one that is sure to receive national media attention, and is an ideal time to draw the connection between all forms of genital cutting. In addition, the trials take place in a Michigan location that is deep in the heart of a cutting culture (see Jonathon Conte's map here). For these reasons, we set out to accept template designs, and a number of ideas and examples were presented. Through various focus groups and public forums, a billboard (its wording, colors, domain, and image) was selected that reflects genital autonomy for all, and stirs people to think about this subject from another perspective in the midst of the FGM trial. Please feel free to message the Saving Our Sons Facebook page with questions or concerns you have.

• The neutral colors of baby's fingers wrapped around an adult's finger represents babies of all sexes, and reinforces the message that all babies deserve protection.

• The tag line 'Say NO to Infant Circumcision' was chosen because it will not be lost on viewers. While we prefer to use the term 'forced genital cutting' or 'genital mutilation' over its euphemism, most in Michigan (and the U.S. at large) agree that female genital cutting/genital mutilation is wrong, and the phrase does not stir the same emotional response in people. The concern is that they would see it in relation to the trial taking place and think, "Yes, cutting girls is wrong..." not making the bridge in thinking to this being about boys and intersex babies too. Because this is a billboard (not a personally held sign or face-to-face interaction), it needs to quickly move people to think and be curious enough to check things out themselves. A professional billboard is needed that will result in the most awareness raised in a positive manner, the most parents empowered with information they've not previously been privy to, and, ultimately, the most babies saved.

• The color of text was chosen because it has been shown in graphics studies to be most quickly read and retained by the human brain, and because it reflects the culturally-stereotypic color for boys.

• The domain brings the ubiquitous term intact front and center, and is short and sweet. The website can be formatted to have material on the trial, and its relation to male genital cutting at the forefront while the billboard is in place.

We are not expecting to raise enough for a digital billboard, which costs significantly more, so we are currently opting for a less expensive print billboard, in a prime location, heading into Detroit, as close as funding will take us to the courthouse. This will likely be $8,000 for 1 year. We have been in contact with several billboard hosting businesses for specific quotes and location options, and will update below with progress to goal and specifics as this is determined.

Should we not receive enough funding for a billboard, those who donate will have the option of receiving their donation back as a refund, or have this go toward the SOS Odyssey Traveling Billboards and Rallies that will take place during the trial in Detroit. The SOS Odyssey costs approximately $1,000 per 4-5 cities covered for 3-4 event coordinators heading things up, and reaches between 20-80K commuters per day, depending on location.

Thank you for your generous donation to erect this intact billboard before the trial begins!

Individuals and Businesses Supporting the Intact Billboard in Detroit

★ Michelle and Chris M.
★ Jennifer R.
★ Jennifer and Chris D.

Donors also at YouCaring

Related Graphics

Top 10 Most Read of 2017

We're saying so-long to 2017, and looking ahead with positive aspirations for a fresh, new 2018!

In case you are new to Saving Our Sons, or missed one of these much-appreciated items along the way, the following articles are the Top 10 Most Read at this past year. It is our hope that you find something empowering or useful while you're here at SOS.

The second most read item at Saving Our Sons this year is a piece put together by our friend and fellow baby-saver, the late Jonathon Conte. His passing in May 2016 was heartbreaking for so many whose lives he touched, yet his influence lives on. Note that U.S. hospitals are not required to keep data on newborn genital cutting, nor are they required to report such things, making current year-to-year rates virtually impossible to know for certain. These are the most recent stats we have from research and computing that is as reliable and valid as it can be, given the circumstances.

#2: U.S. Hospital Circumcision Rates by State

Finally, the number one most read item at Saving Our Sons this year is a look at the method of Gomco circumcision, one of two most common forms of this unnecessary, and forced, surgery on healthy newborn babies in North America today.

#1: Neonatal Circumcision [A Video for Healthcare Professionals]


Connect locally and join in discussions: 
Pro-intact Discussion Groups

Professionally produced intact materials for sharing:

SOS Odyssey: Florida Intact Rallies


 • A voyage marked by fortunate changes
 • An intellectual quest

The SOS Odyssey is a national intact rally, with traveling billboards, making stops in cities across the nation. We host positive, proactive, family-friendly events that raise public awareness and open doors, open hearts, and change minds for the future wellbeing of the next generation. We disperse information along the way, and empower local advocates to keep the momentum going long after we've left town.

Join us in Florida this December when we host events in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Orlando!

We will have the giant traveling billboards, and signs for everyone to use, and (provided funding needs are met) materials for you to take home and move your intact seed-planting to new heights! Come out with your family for a fun, friendly, positive day of awareness raising. Each location has been chosen with meaningful public exposure and children's participation and safety in mind.

If you live in any of these 4 locations and are willing to host 1-2 responsible, adult men in your home for one night, please message the Saving Our Sons Facebook page or email These gentlemen do not need much except for a safe place to sleep.

If you're unable to join us for the Florida Odyssey, please support this event. Each of the adults heading this tour have taken an unpaid week off work to make this happen, and will be traveling to Florida at their own expense to host. The cost of putting on this Odyssey is $1100, with gas between rally locations, overnights, and materials to give away to attendees and passerbys at each event location. Odyssey hosts will need to cover anything that isn't funded on our own -- please help us if you can. Your gift will go a long way this month, and these are the most cost-effective billboards to reach the widest number of people across the nation at each SOS Odyssey.

Thank you for your support, and we will see many of you in Florida!

♥ To give:

SOS Odyssey Supporters
With sincere gratitude - we cannot make this happen without you!

★ Jeffery S.
★ Amy E.
★ Kayla C.
★ Jessica S.
★ Robert B.
★ Aneesa B.
★ Tracie H.
★ Michael E.
★ Danelle D.
★ Brian B.
★ Elana J.
★ Brittany G.
★ Christy S.
★ Suzanna T.
★ Dawny R.
★ Bracken H.
★ Nicole W.
★ Melissa D.
★ Ryan B.
★ Courtney B.

SOS Odyssey: Florida event page:

Saturday, December 16: Jacksonville Event details:

Sunday, December 17: Tallahassee Event details:

Monday, December 18: Gainesville Event details:

Tuesday, December 19: Orlando Event details:

SOS Odyssey: Florida Route

SOS Odyssey: In the News
(coming soon!)

The Truth Seeker: Circumcision


we have broken a child's spirit

he looked at me

before we began

and knew me for who i am

hey he said to me

in his gentle smile of recognition

hey you are the same as me

you must be who i am

and then i held down his legs

as we cut off his foreskin

infinitely sore tender life of orgasm

we rejected his life



he could not fight us off

despite the fact

that he fought with all his might

he gave up the fight

his legs lay beneath the ten ton fire

of my hands

and stayed there

with all his might drained

even after i had let him up

i cannot believe

that it does not harm so tender a life

to have his spirit broken

at this tender time of his life

at my hands

who has ushered in his life

-Karen Hope Erlich
birth song

Originally published in The Truth Seeker, July/August 1989

Read more from parents who regret infant circumcision:

It Was Done To Me: Grocery Store Awareness Raising

By Michael Dulin

Yesterday at the grocery store a woman's voice from behind me said, "It's terrible that they do that to women..."

I turned.

She read the front of my T-shirt. "Oh, my God..." she said. She touched me on the shoulder, and then as if apologizing to me, she said, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." There was such sadness in her eyes. In that brief encounter, without argument or excuses, she simply understood. Her empathy was invoked because a Latin word wasn't encouraging her prejudice.

The words we use make a difference. This woman will never disregard what adults are doing to the bodies of children because she saw a man wearing a T-shirt, man who had the guts to call it what it is: Genital Mutilation and to say it was DONE to ME.

"Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Also by Dulin:

Stop using the Latin word for Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation Doesn't Only Happen to Women

Bearing Silent Witness in Boston

Speak Truth

Circumcised? Get over it!

i will not assume

Men Speak


Bearing Silent Witness in Boston: Male Genital Mutilation

By Michael Dulin

This past week I spent a few days in Boston with my friend Edward Barron. We bore silent witness to the harm of Child Genital Mutilation, exposing the truth to thousands and thousands of people. Not a single person made any excuses, or challenged our message. A man dressed in scrubs stopped us on the street to say he agreed with us, "It is Genital Mutilation." A woman even volunteered on her own, "isn't only done to females..."

Nothing had to be explained, argued, or debated because the truth speaks for itself.

Don't give mutilators a word to hide behind. Maiming her healthy genitalia is called Female Genital Mutilation, because isn't that exactly what it is? Maiming his healthy genitalia is called Male Genital Mutilations, because isn't that exactly what it is? You cannot hide behind a word in the Bible or a medical text book when what you do is called exactly what it is - genital mutilation.

Also by Dulin:

Stop using the Latin word for Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation Doesn't Only Happen to Women

Speak Truth

Circumcised? Get over it!

i will not assume

Men Speak


Ear Drum Rupture During Circumcision

Wondering why many hospitals ask whether or not a baby is circumcised during a hearing exam? Because all too often the ear drum can rupture from extreme pain that causes terrific crying (an unnatural cry for any baby) during infant circumcision.

A Saving Our Sons parent writes, "Took my son in today to get his infant hearing test done. Part of their medical questionnaire was if baby was a male, was he circumcised? I asked why that was a relevant question and was told because sometimes an ear drum can burst while they are crying during circumcision [surgery]. My heart sank."

If you have yet to observe how circumcision happens, these are the two most common forms in use today:

Question circumcision. Research the many benefits of keeping all babies intact.

#i2 #CuttingCulture

Original Facebook (public) post.

My emasculation at the age of 8

By Tahil Gesyuk © 2016
Contact the author at

My emasculation at the age of 8

I was born in Russia in 1971. In 1979, my family and I emigrated to the United States. Shortly after we entered the country, I was circumcised. I was eight years old.

My parents were talked into circumcising me by our 'family' physicians. My father was convinced that this was the 'right thing to do' because he was told that I would be ridiculed, shunned, and shamed by others. He was afraid that I would be seen as 'not normal.'

My mom was talked into this because she was told that an [intact] penis would be seen as 'dirty' and make me 'susceptible to disease.' In other words, this unnatural procedure would be good for me. So my parents consented to emasculating me out of their love for me, and in the hope that I would 'fit in.'

It was a horrifying and traumatic experience for me. Nobody prepared me for 'the procedure.' Nobody told me what was going to happen. It took ten people to hold me down. I was an 8 year old boy screaming for my life.

My eyes were swollen from the overwhelming flood of tears. My nose was running, and the snot was pouring down onto my face. As the doctor was forcefully rubbing the snot from my lips and mouth he said, "Relax. There is nothing to be alarmed about," and added, "Everything is going to be ok."

After being forcibly subdued, I was told to count backward from 10 to 1 with a mask over my face as they administered the anesthesia and put me under. I was anxious and terrified. I was filled with near hysteria as my mind and body went numb.

There was some part of me that knew that something awful, irreversible, and life-altering was about to happen. Afterward, I woke up alone in sheer agony and terror. The pain was excruciating.

I shrieked and screamed. All I could do to feel some relief was wail and cry. I felt butchered.

I was butchered.

I was terrified and alone. I remember sitting up and curling into my pain, screaming and rocking, trying to soothe myself.

People rushed in and most likely drugged me. I found myself going under again as a group of men held me down.

Tears are running down my face as I write this. This is where I first became acquainted with my lifelong companions... helplessness and terror. It was a bizarre feeling.

Everyone in my family was sympathetic toward me, despite having alienated me from them by inflicting this agony on me. They would wince every time they saw me sit down. They empathized with my agony while taking no responsibility for my pain. Even their empathy wounded me.

I remember thinking to myself, "Why the fuck would you put me through this if you love me?" More tears now... this is where love and intimacy were encoded as being dangerous and unsafe.

I fast forward now, and think of how every intimate relationship I have ever had has included a secret exit strategy. The more intimate the relationship became, the more endangered and unsafe I would feel. The more endangered I would feel… the more urgent the need to exit would become. The more love I received, the more unsafe I would feel. The more unsafe I would feel, the more certain I would become that I was losing my 'manhood.' The secret message in my experience was that the path to manhood in my family (and in our society) included literal and metaphorical emasculation.

After 'the procedure' I wore boxer shorts for a month. Walking was painful, sitting down was anguish, and finding the right position for sleep was torture.

In the midst of all this, the messages I was receiving from my family were: "What a brave young man you are!" and "How strong you must be to handle such a thing!" The perverse truth of my experience is that being emasculated was my rite of passage into 'manhood.'

It was dismal and bleak to be me when I was eight years old. On the inside it has been dismal and bleak ever since.

But it is getting better for me now. Sharing this is part of the reason it is getting better. Allowing myself to feel is how I heal. My story is unusual. I was eight years old, and conscious when this happened to me.

For hundreds of millions of men around the world this wound is inflicted at birth. We men are wounded by circumcision at nearly the moment we are born. This happens at a time when we have no words for our feelings. This happens to us at a time when we are most vulnerable. This happens at a time when we are most reliant on our caregivers for love and protection. We are irreversibly wounded without knowing why. We are traumatized when we have no words to give voice to our pain.

Many men feel the after-effects of this trauma without ever being able to identify the source of their feelings. My hope is that my story will serve as a window into the previously unknown source of disconnection, alienation, and isolation that so many men feel without ever understanding why.

Sharing this story with you is me viscerally coming out of the pain closet. My hope is that this expression of my wound will help you connect with and heal your wound.

If this story resonates with you, please share.

To contact the author, write to Tahil Gesyuk at and visit his website:  Tahil’s story originally appeared on Facebook at:

More Men Speak:


Routine Infant Circumcision: Dr. Szasz Responds

"[T]he practice of routine neonatal circumcision rests on the absurd premise that the only mammal in creation born in a condition requiring immediate surgical correction is the human male. If the penile foreskin is not merely nonfunctional, but a biological disadvantage so severe as to justify its immediate surgical ablation, then surely, it would have atrophied by now." -Thomas Szasz, M.D. (born into a Jewish family) as presented in a lecture 1996.

Szasz, T.S. “Routine neonatal circumcision: Symbol of the birth of the therapeutic state," Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Vol. 21, April 1996, pp. 137-48.

Just as a newborn monkey responds to sensation, so also does a newborn baby.

"There is not one single medical reason to circumcise a baby." -Dr. Christiane Northrup

Hear more from physicians in the fields of medicine, pediatrics, and health:



Welcome to Shark Week - #i2 Style!

Did you know...

Sharks range in size from the tiny Dwarf Lanternshark to the largest fish in the ocean - the Whale Shark! The human foreskin ranges in size too - and each is normal, natural, and benefits its owner for a lifetime. Find more fantastic functions of the foreskin here.

Shark Week graphic by Intact Rhode Island

Sharks or unnecessary infant genital cutting: Do you know which of these is responsible for more deaths? Each year, one claims the lives of 4.2 people worldwide, while the other claims the lives of 117+ babies in the United States alone. One is a tragic accident; the other is completely avoidable.

Shark Attacks vs. Routine Infant Circumcision

Shark Attacks: "Over the past five years (2006-2010), an average of 4.2 fatal shark attacks have taken place each year world-wide. Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 179 shark attacks occurred in the U.S., resulting in three fatalities."  Source:

Routine Infant Circumcision: "U.S. statistical analysis studies conducted on death from circumcision are drastically under-reported because hospitals are not required to log death due to genital cutting surgery. Genital amputation (circumcision) that causes heart attack, hemorrhage, coma, seizure, stroke, or infection may be coded inappropriately as 'SIDS' or 'heart failure' or 'seizure,' for example, but not specifically due to the bodily trauma experienced as a result of circumcision. Still, these studies have found approximately 230 baby boys die each year in the U.S. as a result of circumcision surgery. (1) Another study published last week found at least 117 boys die annually from circumcision surgery as it is reported by hospitals. (2) We're not alone in our estimation that there are likely at least twice as many deaths due to circumcision, because of our non-structured and easy-to-cover-up means of infant mortality reporting. But if we are only looking at research-based documentation, we find an average 174 boys die each year with the documented cause being circumcision surgery." Source:

Remember, a baby only needs to lose 1 ounce of blood to hemorrhage, and just 2.3 ounces to die as a result of this blood loss. It can, and does, occur at a frighteningly quick pace.

Shark Week graphic by Intact Washington

Shark Week graphic by Intact Michigan

Did you know... sharks have protective coverings that deploy instantly when attacking prey to protect their eyes. Humans also have a protective covering - the foreskin! This organ is present on all mammals on earth at birth, and on humans has over 16 functions, including protection from bacteria, dryness, and callusing.

Shark Week graphic by Intact Washington

The whale shark has 300 rows of teeth, but they are of very little use to this filter feeding shark. The foreskin, on the other hand, has 16+ amazing functions, and is one of a kind!


i will not assume

By Michael Dulin © 2017

i will not assume

what man can assume he is intact 
when his existence 
is marred 
by a cruelty so profound 
that even he 
who bears the scars
is too ashamed to 
face the awful truth
look at what they did to me

-Michael Dulin 

Every day more and more men realize that what was done to their bodies was, in fact, Genital Mutilation. Remember, denial ain't just a river in Africa. I understand the need for denial; it's a natural mechanism that protects us for the harshness of reality, but who are we really protecting?

It's easy for people to make excuses when we use a Latin word for what they did to our bodies. The time for excuses is over. Men, it isn't easy to admit the bitter truth to ourselves, but for those of us that do, the freedom we experience is well worth the pain of discovery.

Awareness raising on topics of genital autonomy in Washington D.C. 

Also by Dulin:

Stop using the Latin word for Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation Doesn't Only Happen to Women

Bearing Silent Witness in Boston: Male Genital Mutilation

Speak Truth

Circumcised? Get over it!

Men Speak

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