What intersex is not:
- It does not (usually) mean that a person is transgender
- It does not (usually) mean that a person has both a penis and a vagina
- It is not a choice. People are born intersex.
What intersex is:
- A biological condition in which people are born with bodies that don’t fit neatly into our understanding of what is male or female, whether it be bcause of their chromosomal sex, or because of their internal or external genitalia.
- In my mind, it’s proof that gender is not binary, but a spectrum
For a fabulously accessible FAQ on intersex, look no farther than website of Inter/Act Youth!
Better yet, watch their awesome Buzzfeed video on what it’s like to be intersex:
To read about the intersex patient who inspired NONE OF THE ABOVE, check out my introductory post on the Fearless Fifteeners blog. You can also read my 5 Myths About #Intersex – Debunked blog post.
For a fantastic article on intersex dating, read Kat Kinsman’s super-smart post on CNN living. For an explanation on why intersex advocates passionately object to surgery without consent, read this article in The Atlantic. And for an incredibly articulate explanation of why the media frenzy over Michael Phelps’s girlfriend is so disturbing, please read Claudia Astorino’s essay in The Guardian.
To learn more about intersex in general:
- interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth – an organization promoting the civil rights of children born with variations of sex anatomy. The youth branch of interACT, whose mission is to support intersex youth and allow them to talk about their experiences in a positive and empowering manner, can be found at interactyouth.org
- Accord Alliance – a collaborative effort to promote integrated approaches to health care for people with DSD and their families
- Intersex Society of North America – this group is now defunct, but their website still carries a wealth of information
- Organization Intersex International – a global network of intersex organizations, including affiliates in the USA and Australia
About Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS):