Intersex people are an extraordinary part of our LGBTQ family because the term intersex has to do with a sex classification rather than sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

A person who is intersex has an unique combination of hormones and chromosomes that lead to them being born with both male and female biological sex organs. While such people were previously referred to as hermaphrodites, this term is outdated and has been replaced by intersex.

 

Intersex people face difficult circumstances regarding their sex assigned at birth. In the past and still now, the common medical procedure when an intersex child was simply to remove one pair of sexual organs so the child only had either male or female parts. Usually, most intersex children have their penis removed and are left with only female parts as it is an easier medical procedure.

 

In recent times, the intersex community has spoken out against this practice. Because they are automatically forced to undergo this operation as infants, they are not given the time to grow up and learn for themselves what their gender identity is, whether it is anything from female, to male, to bigender, to any other gender classification. The intersex community argues that medical practitioners inflicting surgery without their input can deprive them from choosing themselves what they want and how they feel such as what surgery they want to undergo (or if they want surgery at all). For example, by automatically removing the infant’s penis (which is the most common practice), if the infant grows up to identify as a man, they are trapped into having a female body.

 

For a more detailed medical explanation on what it means to be intersex visit medline:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001669.htm

 

For more information, resources, and access to support group, visit the Intersex Society of North America.

 

Sable Liggera - 2016