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INTERSEX 101

If ‘intersex’ refers to biological variation, is it really an identity?

It is important to understand that intersex characteristics are present from birth, regardless of when they may be detected, and represent very specific variations in sexual characteristics. The idea of an intersex “identity” or “pride” commonly misunderstands that endosex (those born with typical sex characteristics) people are able to make a choice to be identified as intersex. Instead intersex “identity” should be understood as a term to describe the diversity of intersex experiences, including those that are heteronormative. Meanwhile intersex “pride” perhaps describes those who are out and visible and fighting for human rights. As a descriptive term that identifies a number of human rights issues, it’s important that intersex is understood specifically, without being co-opted by other movements.

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