They're the too often forgotten "I" at the end of LGBTQI, but according to the Intersex Society of North America, 1 in every 100 people is born with a body that doesn't fit what we typically think of as "male" or "female." Although some intersex people are identified at birth based on the appearance of their genitalia, others discover their status when puberty hits (or doesn't hit), and others still reach old age without ever learning about their condition. Woman A: Being intersex means being born with some characteristics that don't neatly fit into the "normal" spectrum of human sexual development (were there such a thing).spoke with three intersex people about sex, puberty, relationships, and what it's like to grow up with a body that doesn't fit the medical norm. Myself, I look completely female, but happen to have XY chromosomes.Although Johnny’s story may seem extraordinary, cases of little girls turning into boys are so prevalent in the village that it is no longer considered abnormal. All babies in the womb, whether male or female, have internal glands known as gonads and a small bump between their legs called a tubercle.The children are simply referred to as the ‘guevedoces’ – which literally translates as ‘penis at 12’ “I remember I used to wear a little red dress,” he said. At around eight weeks, male babies who carry the Y chromosome start to produce dihydro-testosterone in large amounts, which turns the tubercle into a penis. But some male babies are missing the enzyme 5-α-reductase which triggers the hormone surge, so they appear to be born female with no testes and what appears to be a vagina.
Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2003.During the first week after conception a fetus hasn’t yet developed its gender.In small communities in the Dominican Republic, this sometimes won't happen until a child reaches puberty when some girls quite literally transform into boys. The hormonal, physical and emotional changes a child undergoes in that time can be overwhelming.Woman B: I have a congenital Disorder/Difference of Sex Development (DSD) called pure gonadal dysgenesi, or Swyer Syndrome.I'm an intersex woman without fully functioning gonads, or sex glands.