what does intersex mean? | Read Time 8 Minutes.
What is intersex?
Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe the differences in sex traits. It is also used to describe the reproductive anatomy that does not seem to fit the typical female binary definitions. For example, a person might be born appearing to be male on the outside but mainly having female-typical anatomy on the inside.
Intersex does not always show up at birth. In many cases, an individual will find out they have intersex anatomy when they reach puberty. Furthermore, individuals may never find out they have intersex anatomy, and it will only be found out after they have died and an autopsied is performed on the body.
In some cases, when a baby is born with intersex anatomy, doctors will perform surgery. This is performed to make their bodies fit binary ideas of “female” and “male”. Doctors will usually assign intersex babies’ legal sex (male or female). However, this does not mean they will grow up to fit their gender identity they have been assigned.
What does intersex mean?
Intersex is a naturally occurring variation in humans, and it is not a medical problem. However, in most cases where a baby is born intersex, the doctors and family decide on sex, either male or female, and raise the baby as that expected gender. Furthermore, surgery will be performed on the baby’s genitals, and as the baby grows, it will be given hormones. This is to ensure they fit either a male or female as they go through puberty.
What to do if you have a child who is born intersex?
If you have a child who is born intersex, it is an absolute must that you provide them with as much support as possible, and love them for who they. Moreover, it is a great idea to find help from other parents with children who are intersex. You should make sure your child has the opportunities to connect and grow up with other children who are intersex.
What does it mean to be intersex in the eyes of the law?
1. Issues with having kids
In some cases, individuals will find out they are intersex after finding out they are an infertile adult. If this is the case, various legal challenges can arise for the individual when wanting to find an alternative method to start a family. For example, if the individual decides they want to co-parent, issues can arise obtaining the parental legal responsibility for non-biological parents.
Furthermore, a co-parenting agreement is not legally binding. This means that if a party breaks the terms of the agreement, the contract will not hold enough weight to win the case solely. For more information on co-parenting agreements, please click here.
2. Issues later in life
People who are intersex may decide to transition to a different gender later in life. If this is the case, various challenges may arise for the individual. In the UK, people who are part of the LGBT community are harassed and bullied significantly more than heterosexual individuals in the workplace. In the UK, 3,123 LGBT employers revealed the had been subject to troubling discrimination while at work.
For those who do transition, be aware, if you are experiencing harassment and bullying in the workplace, you are protected under the Equality Act 2010. This law is designed to protect people’s characteristics. It specifically includes the protection of the LGBT community. For more information on what you can do if you are being bullied and harassed for being part of the LGBT community at work, click here.