Humans can be short or tall or somewhere in between. People come in a variety of colors, personalities, and physical types. Variety in sex and gender is just as much a perfectly natural part of the human race. One Word to Represent Many Experiences Intersex is an umbrella term, meaning that it is a word that represents many different, but related, experiences. Every definition of intersex is controversial. It includes so much diversity that no definition will ring true to every single person who might be referred to as intersex. That being said, the word intersex generally refers to any of around 30 physical differences that make a person biologically outside of what is generally considered “typical” of a female or male body. Throughout this book, we will discuss what exactly this means and why some might not feel represented by this definition, but it’s a good place to start. A lot of what makes discussing intersex traits difficult is that the ideas of “typical” and “different” are very subjective , so there is often no unbiased definition of what qualifies for either of those words. Sometimes it’s just an individual person deciding what counts as different. One major theme you will find in reading this book is the argument from intersex advocates that if a person is how nature made them, and there’s nothing that is negatively impacting their health, there’s no reason for differences to be considered problems. A Variety of Traits The traits that are considered intersex take many different forms. Some people will never know that their genes are different from those of others who were assigned the same gender at birth. For some people, the intersex traits are very subtle, and people



Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog