What Is Intersex?

We take a look at the meaning and definition of intersex.

Here’s a few facts which we hope will inform you and educate you.

What is Intersex?

This definition is from the Intersex Society of North America:

Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

A person may not discover an intersex anatomy until puberty or infertility, or they may live their whole live being intersex without realizing it. 

How many people are intersex?

It’s hard to know exactly how many people are intersex, but estimates suggest that about 1-2 in 100 people born in the U.S. are intersex. According to experts, around 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits – comparable to the number of people born with red hair. 

Is intersex the same as being trans?

Intersex and transgender are two terms that are often confused, but which stand for very different things.

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The word transgender is a term for people who gender identity is different from the sex and or the gender they were assigned at birth.

The word intersex relates to physical sexual characteristics, but it can also reflect an internal sense of identity. An intersex person may also identify as trans. 

Where can I learn more about what it means to be intersex?

There are many incredible organizations fighting for intersex rights and working tirelessly to educate people about what it means to be intersex. Here are just a few places you might want to start:

Interact Advocates 

Intersex Society of North America

Intersex Justice Project 

Intersex UK


As ever, KK welcomes everyone. However you identify, stand tall, stand proud, stand beautiful.

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