ABBY is an 18 year old who loves her family, friends, going to the movies, eating, making crafts, babysitting, nature, and oh yeah, just happens to have Swyer Syndrome. It does not define, destroy, or devalue her. It does make her deal with doctors, dance, dream, and occasionally declare “dammit”.
IMOGEN is a 21 year-old British woman with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS). She first learned of her CAIS when she was 16 and since then has worked to offer support to others with intersex conditions. She loves to adventure all over the place and is never scared to try something once. Imy has been publishing YouTube videos about CAIS for over a year, maintaining an AIS Facebook page for over 3 years, and recently began working with Intersex UK.
LEXYE is a 23 year old living life in the fast lane. In her last year of undergrad, she is busy burning the candle from both ends. She views her CAIS as a blessing and perhaps her favorite thing about herself. It is a lens she enjoys using to think about the world and the incredible variation around her. Performing is second nature to her and she loves being in front of a crowd; she also loves baking pastries. An aspiring academic, Lexye is enjoying her journey wherever it takes her.
LUCY WHITE is a mid-20’s Southern girl with CAIS who packed her bags and moved to the big city to pursue her dreams of performing. She has had her hardships and will face more but right now she’s just embracing life and her condition and looking for the blessings and opportunities they provide.
MONICA is a 25 year-old Midwesterner, hailing from the lovely state of Minnesota. Born and raised in the rural countryside, she is an XY female with 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency (17β-HSD3-Deficiency). An avid horseracing fan as well as a veterinary student, life has always been busy, with her condition adding an interesting curveball to many areas of her life. In recent years she has developed an interest in advocacy and awareness support for all intersex individuals, nourished by her interest in the medical field. When free time presents itself, her hobbies include reading, running, keeping up with close friends and spending time at her favorite veterinary practice.
NTHABI is a 25 year old intersex woman from Pretoria, South Africa. She was born in a small rural township called Coligny in the North West Province of South Africa. Her Parents chose not to have any surgeries done on her at birth. Nthabiseng is the Advocacy coordinator at Transgender and Intersex Africa, an organisation based in Pretoria that advocates for the human rights of intersex and transgender people in rural areas and townships of South Africa and provides information and assistance to them. Nthabiseng is an intersex activist, an LGBT activist and a women’s rights activist in South Africa and also does regional work on Intersex and transgender activism in Africa. She is an avid reader of African literature, an obsessed soccer fan and a lover of Rock n Roll!
PIDGEON was born and raised in Chicago. Pidgeon is a survivor of the Children’s Memorial Hospital intersex team of “medical experts” and a graduate student at DePaul University. Pidgeon is a an advocate and activist that gives presentations/discussions on the topic of intersexuality. Pidgeon is grateful for those who have come before (i.e. Lynnell Stephani Long, Mani Mitchell, Bo Laurent) and is excited to see what the next wave of intersex youth activists will bring to the table.
SARAH is 24 and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She found out about her condition, CAIS, on an infamous car ride to her endocrinologist’s office at the age of 13. It took her eight years to confront all of her feelings of isolation, shame, and grief, but she is now able to accept her diagnosis. In fact, she thinks it’s pretty awesome. Sarah dreams of a world in which people with DSD can feel proud and are given all of the rights they deserve.
SHANA was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA before attending college in New York City. She has PAIS and identifies as an intersex female. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a paralegal for a criminal defense attorney. She will be attending law school in the fall, although which school is still yet to be determined.
This is a where we say what we think about our lives. We come from every background and we have different perspectives and experiences. We don’t always agree with each other, and we don’t expect you will, either. We write about what makes us angry, grateful, scared, and happy.
We write about our relationships with our parents and our doctors – positives and negatives. We write about the realities of our lives - sexuality, friends, dating, faith, feeling different, loving our bodies, struggling with our bodies. What all these stories have in common is that they are true for the person who wrote them. We think it’s time they were heard.
Inter/Act is funded through a grant from the Ms. Foundation.