Janet says most intersex people—at least those that aren’t world-class runners—live pedestrian lives. ”The intersex-rights movement seeks the same things most civil-rights struggles seek: mainstream acceptance, equality under the law, the right to safely be “out.” And, oh yeah: They don’t want to be called “hermaphrodites.”“The term ‘hermaphrodite’ is stigmatizing and confusing,” says Alice Domurat Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University who is cited regularly by intersex individuals and advocates.“It usually suggests to people that someone has all the organs of males and females—but that is not physically possible.

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But now, perhaps for the first time ever, an intersex person is making the evening news, and intersex activists think this just might be a defining moment for their movement. “Intersex bodies should not be treated as though they are a sickness that needs to be cured, nor should [Semenya] face social stigmatization for the narrow-mindedness of some,” read one typical blog post.

Op-eds across the globe have condemned the public debate as snarky.

Not just a single variation, it actually encompasses a wide variety of medical conditions involving bodies not considered “standard” for either male or female.

Conditions like congenital adrenal hyperplasia, an endocrine disorder in which the body has too many (or not enough) sex steroids, which can influence the appearance of genitalia.

’” Caitlin says of her mother, who she’s very close to.

“But she realized pretty quickly that that was about her and not about me.

“The word hermaphrodite was used a lot, which is pretty offensive. And like one out of every 2,000 people, she was born with an intersex body.

It was upsetting to see all of these people pop up who seem to think they have the right to speculate about what somebody else’s body looks like.”“I live a very regular life. Intersex, or DSD (Disorders of Sex Development), is more complicated than most people think.

But one movement intersex advocates are not sure they want to be automatically lumped in with is the gay-rights struggle.

For one thing, that all intersex people are gay is one myth intersex activists hope to dispel.

“And the fact that the word has ‘sex’ in it, that’s double jeopardy.