First, take a deep breath. It can be scary for new parents to hear anything unexpected from a doctor once their baby is born. Unless something is hidden from view, right? Sometimes, a baby can have genitalia with some male characteristics and some female characteristics. Yes, sometimes the genitalia of a baby who has intersex traits is noticeably different.
9 Young People on How They Found Out They Are Intersex | Teen Vogue
Intersex is an umbrella term for differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy. Intersex people are born with these differences or develop them in childhood. There are many possible differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, or chromosomes, compared to the usual two ways that human bodies develop. Some intersex traits are noticed at birth. Intersex people often face shame—or are forced or coerced into changing their bodies, usually at a very young age. Most surgeries to change intersex traits happen in infancy. The word intersex also invokes a community.
9 Young People on How They Found Out They Are Intersex
A woman who only discovered in her 40s that she was born intersex says her condition was "covered up" by operations in childhood. Sara Gillingham has variations in her sex characteristics thought to be caused by her mum taking a drug in the belief it would prevent miscarriage. Ms Gillingham, who was born near Selby, said she was 43 before she found out exactly why she had undergone surgery. Ms Gillingham said: "My earliest memory was that I always felt I was somehow different, I was very much a tomboy, I never quite fitted in but I didn't know why. Her story was revealed as researchers claim there is a postcode lottery when it comes to medical treatment for people who are intersex, an umbrella term used to describe people who are born with biological variations in their sex characteristics that do not fit typical male or female categories.
Intersex people have bodies that are just a little different. Some intersex differences are obvious at birth. The practice seemingly originates from a historical fear that intersex bodily differences mean a person will grow up to be gay or transgender.