What is Intersex?




What is intersex?

Intersex is an umbrella term used for a person who is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Intersex are people who have faced and endured medical discrimination, unconsented examinations, and unneeded procedures.

Interesex are those who have been told they are alone and there is no one else like them. That they will only find love with people who are ignorant of their background, rather than people who are aware and accepting of it.

Intersex are a burgeoning group who are finding each other, connecting, consoling, and growing into a community of mutual support and respect.

Intersex is a class of citizens who desire to be who they are and who they choose to be, and not what the medical community wants to make them.

Intersex are our siblings, our parents, our friends, and our neighbors.

If you or your child may be intersex, InterConnect is here for you.

Historical and Medical Context

Intersex is a term describing someone who is born with variations in sex characteristics, which don’t fit the typical definitions of male or female. These may include, but are not limited to, chromosomes, genitals, gonads, or sex hormones. Sex variation is distinct from both gender identity (how a person expresses their identity) and sexual orientation (who a person is attracted to). Click here for an interactive visual that can help explain these differences.

These variations are caused by differences in prenatal development. There may be unexpected patterns of the X and Y chromosomes (karyotype), gonads (testes, ovaries, or ovotestes), internal reproductive and urinary organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder and urethra), or variations in genitalia. Intersex variations are not life-threatening, outside of a serious medical condition called salt-wasting congenital adrenal hyperplasia (SW CAH). Each case is unique, however anyone with an intersex variation has the same chance to live a happy, healthy, and productive life.

Since the late 20th century, there has been a movement to use the term intersex, as both an identity and a political movement. InterConnect chose to use intersex (as opposed to DSD or Disorder of Sex Development) on this site because it is less medicalized, and we believe that it is an identity that should be open to anyone presenting with a history or “body of proof” of intersex, not just those who have been diagnosed by a doctor.

Intersex Pride Flag was created in July 2013 by OII Australia. It utilizes yellow and purple, which are considered “non-binary” colors. The purple central circle wholeness and the limitless potential of every intersex person. InterConnect has adopted yellow and purple as our group colors, in honor of this flag and the bravery of our international brothers and sisters.

Purple Circle In Yellow Rectangle

We’re in this together.

InterConnect is committed to building a community for all intersex people, their families, and allies. A space where you are heard, valued, and embraced regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, socio-economic background, ability, experience, or perspective. A community where you can bring your whole self. We’re in this together, join us.

Our Mission:

InterConnect is a compassionate and affirming community of intersex individuals, family members and allies, working together to promote a better quality of life through connection, support, education and awareness.

Our Vision:

A world in which intersex individuals are celebrated as a natural variation of human biology, and all intersex people feel safe, seen and supported.

Our Values:

We value the journey of intersex people, their families and allies, who support our right to self-determination, dignity, and purpose.


Support - Embrace - Educate - Network