Melissa Vital ('23)


Many people split sex into two rigid categories: male, with XY chromosomes, testicles, and higher levels of testosterone, or female, with XX chromosomes, a uterus, breasts, and higher levels of estrogen. In reality, men, women, and non-binary people all have varying ranges of these physical traits. Therefore, it’s impossible to exactly define biologically a woman or a man. Yet these definitions exist.

Those who identify as intersex do not fit within the two “binary” sexes of man and woman due to differences in biological characteristics associated with them such as hormones, genitals, chromosomes patterns, and more. In other words, an intersex person might have XXX chromosomes rather than the typical XY or XX. According to the Intersex Human Rights Australia organization, there are at least 40 different ways one can be intersex. This trait isn’t uncommon, either — around 1.7% of humans born are intersex. This is comparable to the percentage of red-heads in the human population, so if you’ve ever seen or met a person with red hair, you’ve probably encountered an intersex person as well!

Gender, sex, and sexuality are all different, so intersex people can identify in numerous ways; one may identify as intersex in terms of both gender and sex or identify as any gender — with any sexuality.

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