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Now, in an era when society has proved open to revisiting other identities that were once considered shameful or taboo, is the intersex community finally on the brink of its own revolutionary moment — one that could transform what was a disorder into just another way for a person to be?
▲ Arti Tripathi, 19 New York “With politics now, every time I go into a bathroom I think, ‘Okay, I present feminine, I have a typically female body …
“I think I’m a very strong-willed person,” she said.
“I’m determined to get what I want.” I met Adams through Inter ACT, an advocacy organization for young people who are intersex — meaning they were born with some combination of chromosomes, hormones, gonads or genitals that defy social expectations of sex, including the expectation that sex is dichotomous.
People with complete AIS are born looking like typical girls.
Adams’s insensitivity is partial; in cases like hers, children are often born with an enlarged clitoris that may look like a small penis, and sometimes with a single “urogenital” opening instead of separate openings for the vagina and urethra.
And it accounts for the fact that some intersex people are never diagnosed.
Like Adams, a small number of infants — often estimated at 1 in 2,000 — are born with noticeably atypical genitals.