What does intersex mean?

If you are an intersex person you were born with both male and female sex characteristics.

When you are born, you are labeled either a boy or a girl. Usually you have either a penis or a vagina on the outside. And a prostate or a uterus (womb) on the inside. There are also other biological things (characteristics) like hormones that decide if you are male or female.

An intersex person has a mix of male and female characteristics. This is not unhealthy and it does not hurt. So it is not something that needs to be ‘cured’.

Intersex and gender

If you are an intersex person, you likely feel like you are either male of female. But you may also feel like neither. Or both.

And just like everyone else, you can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pan- or asexual. Being intersex is not a sexual preference.

Intersex and transgender

Being an intersex person is not the same as being a transgender person. A transgender person was born in the body of the opposite gender as their identity. An intersex person has sex characteristics of both genders.

Intersex and love

An intersex person can be in love and have happy relationships like everyone else. It just depends on the people around them. People who understand and love them. And who accept them for who they are. 

Intersex and surgery

People who are intersex may go through medical procedures. This is usually not needed but sometimes helps them become a happier, healthier person.

Are you intersex? Do you want to talk about it? The loveLife counsellors are there for you.

loveLife Call Centre: 0800 121 900 (from any Telkom public phone)

loveLife Pls Cal Me Service:
Vodacom: *140*0833231023#
MTN: *121*0833231023#
Cell C: *111*0833231023#
Telkom: *140*0833231023#

If you think you are intersex or you’d like to find out more, check out the Gender Dynamix website.

Want to learn more about what transgender means? Click here

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