A brief understanding of Intersex
The abbreviation – LGBTQIA includes Intersex people, but many inside the community have debated and argued that the Intersex people cannot be considered a part of the community. “Intersex is a birth defect and not a gender. Using phrases like defects and disorders to support their arguments and implying the feelings into the subconscious mind of people is wrong.”
Many Intersex people conform with a binary gender and prefer not to fall under the umbrella of LGBT. A wide number of intersex individuals stated that the natural acceptance from people have made them inclusive in the binary gender. For example, in India, the Kinnar community does not only consider Hijras but also Intersex people. Though Intersex people do not fall under the binary gender of male or female, their gender seems to be grasped in the society because it is there from their birth.
What is Intersex?
Intersex is a condition where there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals (the testes and ovaries). It was earlier known as Hermaphroditism. Though we still represent intersex people as Hermaphrodites in articles, it has been replaced with the medical term Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs)
Types of Intersex:
Intersex can be divided into 4 categories:
46, XX Intersex: The person has the Chromosomes of a woman, the ovaries of a woman, but external genitals that appear male. This most often is the result of a female fetus having been exposed to excessive male hormones before birth. The labia (“lips” or folds of skin of the external female genitals) fuse, and the clitoris enlarges to appear like a penis.
46, XY Intersex: The person has the Chromosomes of a man, but the external genitals are incompletely formed, ambiguous, or clearly female. Internally, testes may be normal, malformed, or absent.
True gonadal Intersex: The person will have both ovarian and testicular tissues. The person might have 1 ovary and 1 testis. The person may have XX Chromosomes, XY Chromosomes, or both. The external genitals may be ambiguous or may appear to be female or male.
Complex or Undetermined Intersex: Many chromosome configurations other than simple 46, XX or 46, XY can result in disorders of sex development. These include 45, XO (only one X chromosome), and 47, XXY, 47, XXX – both cases have an extra sex chromosome, either an X or a Y. These disorders do not result in a condition where there is discrepancy between internal and external genitalia.
There are many theories and studies on whether intersex people are the result of birth defect, or, a legitimized gender identity. Intersex people are non-cisgender but does not have to fall under the shadow of the rainbow umbrella. The only deciding factor adhered should be their subjective gender identity. So maybe, being intersex is a birth defect but that certainly doesn’t mean that it cannot be a gender identity. This statement is further fastened due to the fact that intersex people have their own pride flag.