Nancy B. Varghese
As much as you’d like to believe otherwise, our species is not categorised into black and white, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual. We are a group of diverse human beings with traits across the spectrum and ‘Intersex’ is one of those stations in between, that you should be informed about.
It is an umbrella term for people born with physical traits that do not strictly identify with the typical definition of male or female, whether that is genitalia, reproductive organs, or even chromosomes.
Being intersex refers to sex traits and characteristics that are biological - including the X and Y chromosomes that make up the DNA - or even the reproductive parts and organs in the body. It is not related to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
An intersex person could identify as male, female, either, or both, and can be straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, or of any orientation of his/her choice.
Much more common than you’d think! According to United Nations Free & Equal report, between 0.05% to 1.7% of all babies are born with intersex traits. The number being the same as the estimate of naturally red-haired people in the world!
The very fact that several people are not familiar with such a concept is because, for a long time now, intersex babies have been subjected to unnecessary surgical procedures to “correct” their appearances to conform to sex stereotypes a.k.a male and female.
Since this is done without the consent of the person in question - simply because they are too young to be able to understand the difference and give their consent - it is a clear violation of their right to be free from ill-treatment and torture. The procedures are often irreversible and can lead to several problems such as permanent infertility, life-long mental suffering, loss of sexual sensation, among many others.
October 26, marks international Intersex Awareness Day, to celebrate those who are born, not conforming to society’s norms of what’s ‘normal’ and encourage people to educate themselves and speak about intersex human beings, around the world.
Source: Hida Viloria
You can also learn more about the cause, the foundations where you can contribute, and even sign up for email updates at InterAct Advocates
Feature Image: Shutterstock
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