WHAT IS INTERSEX? | intersexperiences

WHAT IS INTERSEX? | intersexperiences

When I told my friends I was making a YouTube channel about intersex issues, they were like, “Wow, that takes a lot of balls.” I was like, “Thanks, good thing I got ’em.” No, like, I have balls. What? *fun & funky music* Hi, welcome to intersexperiences. On this channel, I’m going to talk to you all about different intersex experiences. *chuckles* Clever, I know. I’m your host, Emily Quinn. You might know me from that one BuzzFeed video, or Faking It, or Adventure Time. But on this channel, I want to bring you into the world of intersex people. For starters, you might be wondering what intersex is. But don’t worry, most people don’t really know what it is. That’s what I’m here for! Intersex is a general term that describes people whose biology doesn’t fit the typical definition of male or female. Now, let me break that down a little bit. In biology, we’re taught that a baby is born with either a penis or a vagina. But it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. When someone’s born with a penis, it usually means they also have testes, XY chromosomes, testosterone production, testosterone response, and secondary sex characteristics like facial hair or body odor. And when someone’s born with a vagina, it usually means they also have ovaries, a uterus, XX chromosomes, estrogen production, estrogen response, and secondary sex characteristics like breast development or wider hips. But, intersex people could have a wide variety of those characteristics. Maybe somebody has XY chromosomes and testes, but a vagina and no uterus. Or maybe someone has an extra chromosome, like XXY chromosomes. Or maybe somebody doesn’t have ovaries or testes, or maybe they have one of each. Maybe someone could have Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or Gonadal Dysgenesis. *whispering* I’ll tell you what those mean later. Do you see what I’m getting at here? There’s so many ways somebody could be born intersex, and that’s okay! But just like everyone else, no two intersex people are alike, and we’re actually pretty common. It’s just that a lot of intersex people don’t feel like we can talk about our bodies, for a number of reasons. But, I think we should talk about them. By giving you some of this information, hopefully we can start to understand each other a little better. And, trust me, we have so much to talk about. We could talk about things like HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy, or surgery, and why it shouldn’t be pushed on intersex people, or the difference between transgender and intersex, gender identity, biology. And then we can talk about more personal stuff, like how to talk to your friends or family. I’d like to think of these videos as one part science, two parts education, and three parts real-life stories. One part, two part, three parts. That makes sense, right? (it doesn’t) Yeah! That makes sense! Now, I only have my experience to go off of, and I’m not an expert. Nor do I represent all intersex people. That’s why I’ll be bringing in lots of my intersex friends, doctors, or specialists to talk about their experiences too. Whether you’re intersex yourself, or you have intersex friends, or maybe you’re just curious about our world. I hope you find these videos useful. And if you do, please subscribe! Tell all your friends, and let me know what you’d like to hear about. It’s probably gonna be great. See you soon! *kiss & sparkles* Yeahhhhh *mouth noise*


  1. AHHH. YES. This is so great. Welcome to Youtube! I wish your channel so much reach and success. This is so needed. I'll be boosting your channel on my blog and things too.

  2. I'm so stoked! I'm excited to learn so much about bodies and intersexuality and share the knowledge with others. I eagerly await content

  3. I'm going to sound like a dick, but I want to see you naked. o.o

    Not necessarily in a sexual way(don't get me wrong, you're gorgeous), what I'm feeling is more along the lines of a child's curiousity…

    I know it's weird for a grown person to want to play around with another's diddly bits out of fascination, but that was definitely my initial reaction/feeling.

  4. As a girl with CAIS I'm really excited to hear the stories you have to tell , but I feel right now you're not if favour of surgery for girls with my condition? ( complete androgen insensitivity). I completely understand why you may choose not to have surgery to remove your gonads, however I felt that even though the risk was small and I don't feel awkward about having testes it was a good idea for me to remove them. Even though there was no risk of having cancer at that point in life, I convinced myself I did and ended up developing some level of health anxiety! So I hope you don't feel people who have the operation to be somewhat 'naive' or 'bad' because thats a personal choice 🙂 None the less can't wait for the videos and I hope you take on board and accept what I've done ( and p.s. I think its totally cool to keep them!!!) xx

  5. I've been an intersex advocate since my Sociology 101 class in 2008 and a genital integrity activist since 2011 when I learned what circumcision truly is (male genital mutilation), how much was taken from me, and how it was a violation of my human rights (to bodily autonomy and consent). I will not stop campaigning for the human rights of intersex, male, and female children until the day I die. I very much hope you do one of your interviews with an intactivist to compare our movements and how similar the struggles of our movements are.

  6. Ugh, you are such a cool person! Very nice too. ^_^

    I would love for you to be on Faking It and have a heart-to-heart with Lauren. 😛

  7. I love how you started out your video. But this is the only video I can find from you channel. When are you going to upload more??

  8. Emily;

    Let me start by saying that I can't thank you enough for giving us a voice. From the bottom of my heart I say to you a heart-felted THANK YOU!!!!

    Let me start by saying that I am the first born of a Sephardic Jewish family. I guess that me being the first born and coming from a Sephardic Jewish family helped to the fact ofmy family deciding on raising me as a male.

    Yes I got flabbergasted when I was shown my my ovary in the ultrasound, and being asked if I was really a man. That date I called my mom and pediatrician just to be confirmed that I was born intersexed (XXY) with:

    2 undescended testes

    1 ovary

    1 vaginal introitus

    1 Micro Penis.

    So my family decided for corrective surgery having my vaginal introitus closed, reconstructed my penis, and descended my testes. While growing up I always noticed some scarring on my penis, besides a strange shape of the penis glans. My penish was reconstructed from a penis/clitoris organ. I was even offered another surgery when in my teens to expand the lenght of my penis and the shape of the glans. Which I refused at the time.

    Due to my condition I have partial androgen insensitivity (68% of Insensitivity) hence the testosterone dossages I was given, to spur my development, were really high. My development was kind of strange cause I was tall and became muscular, however my voice was not deepening and I didn't grew body or facial hair, and have wide hips. I was something in between. It is worth mentioning that I got facial hair at the age of 40 and after many years of being on a high dosage of Testosterone.

    I didn't develop facial and body hair until I was 40 years old. The doctor believes that it took so many years for me to show a more manly development due to my partial androgen insensitivity. However the whole truth came out when I wen to the urologist and I found out that I was one stage before prostatic cancer, and I was prediabetic.

    The high dossages of testorene given to me over the years made me gain lots of weight, from 160 lbs I ballooned to 286 lbs. Now I am at a much normal weigh of 203 lbs, no longer a prediabetic, and the prostate problem is being reversed. However the price to pay now is to be free of all testosterone, and I have been put into a hormonal replacement therapy of estrogen, and I am schedule for an orchiectomy. This HRT led me to grow breast in a very short time, and developed rounder hips. I lost all my body hair, and my due to the impotence caused by estrogen HRT offered the option of SRS (Sex Reassigment Surgery) and reopening my vaginal introitus again.

    I ended up somewhat like a Frankeisten in which some parts of my body are female, others are male, and all this at the end made me feel like if my whole life has been some sort of a lie. When the whole truth came out my parents told me that they didnt want to talk about it anymore, I guess this was born out of shame, religious views, and guilt feelings. For me many things of my life started to make sense in my head like my gynecomastia, the really late deepening of my voice, being more emotional than most of the men, not developing facial and body hair until I was 40 years old, etc.

    Now at the age of 42 I am learning to love and accept myself for who I truly am. I won't lie and tell you that it is easy, au contraire it is quite difficult, specially cause this society only accepts male, or female, genders and I am something in between. There are days in which I refer to myself as a monster and others just as a human being.

    If I can share a word of advive to parents it would be to not modify your kids, and let them grow as human beings only. Being intersex is beautiful too!


  9. It says there'll be more in the summer, but it's already august?? I'm just really excited, I'd love to have this as a resource! +Emilord

  10. good work my friend, !!!
    hope to meet you some day, for now i,ll travel to canada and there i,ll publish my book,
    wish you happy holly days 🙂
    my skype name is , doro.dorschner3

  11. Thanks Emily for your channel. My daughter has turner's syndrome and I found out that that is considered intersex ( she is now 32 ). Your channel and Imy's has opened my mind and has changed my mind on the issue of intersex and so much more. You are indeed making a difference in my heart and mind. Thanks!

  12. Gender identity vs biology? Lol, gender identity IS biology. Ever heard of the brain?
    Not trying to be rude, but transsexualism is the neurological manifestation of Intersex conditions. This has been proven with brain studies on transsexuals. Both are sexual medical conditions.

  13. Absolutely wonderful videos
    is it possible that you could post them to my Gender Identity Ireland Facebook page?… it sure would be helpful thank you…
    if the videos don't post for some reason could you leave the links to your videos.
    Thank you &
    Bless you
    Lynne Mary-Lou
    Gender Identity Ireland

  14. Love the video Emily! I use this in the undergraduate course I teach on Gender, Class, Race & Health, as well as in various trainings for medical and pharmacy residents.

  15. Amazing!! Coming from a trans perspective, this is so validating. Of course trans and intersex are not the same, but your words, presence, and bravery are validating nonetheless. You are Amazing!! And also gorgeous I might add! Thank you for being here and being out!

  16. I know this means more hassle , but could you add Spanish subtitles to these awesome videos? Would reach tons of more people that way 🙂 Thank you for your work!

  17. So good to see a channel giving a simple, clear, honest & upbeat account of what it's like not to fit the 'mould' as it were. I think wider society forgets (due to the fact it's not normally taught), how throughout human history those who don't fit the 'heteronormative male/female' categories have always existed. It's not some miraculously new evolutionary phenomenon to be weary of lol. We're all 'normal' human beings x

  18. I'm a nonbinary person who is not intersex. I often used the existence of intersex people as a sort of "gotcha" argument to show that not even biological sex is a binary, but I feel like this is a lazy tactic on my part. I hope by watching your channel and listening to other intersex people, I'll be able to be a better ally and practice solidarity in a way that respects everyone's needs.

  19. Hello, I have never met anyone intersex and was just curious to ask some questions if you want to answer them. I realize you can't talk for the whole intersex community, but maybe you could answer based on you and what you think other intersex people you know think. First of all, I wanted to ask if you feel you are part of the LGBTQIA community. Like do you do pride or go to meetings of that community? And then I wonder what you think about operating intersex kids at birth. Cause on a theoretical level I would be against it, I think the person should have a choice when they grow up, but as I say I don't really know anyone intersex so I don't feel I have much knowledge about it. And then I was curious how you feel about the gender binary thing, how the world is divided into male and female activities, clothes, jobs everything. Do you think that is a problem for intersex people or do you end up just feeling more like one gender than another and thus being ok with the division. I don't really like how the world is divided that way, cause it seems a little artificial, but was curious about your position. Sorry for the long comment, feel free to answer or not, you have probably heard these questions one too many times.

  20. Thank you for making this video. Right-wingers need to understand we are collateral damage in their hatemongering. Our mere existence proves their concept of LGBTQI and morality is totally fucked up and misguided. They like to claim we are all made in the image of god, and in the same breath condemn us for not conforming to the binary social constructs they have erected.

  21. hey i have heard that People with pcos are also Intersex but i don t know if it s right do you know it would be very cool to know cause i have that and i think i would like it

  22. I'm just curious as a (as far as I know) Cisgender woman, I don't really hear a whole lot of stuff in the general media about Intersex people, so the whole thing is pretty interesting to me.

  23. I love the information and education you provide. I'm not intersex, but I accidentally ran across Pigeon's video with you and I thought you guys were so sweet, funny, and great on camera. There have been intersex people since the beginning of time. Every person on this earth has a unique genetic makeup, so that's real. I admit I found this condition to be rare, but people only hate and fear what they don't seek to understand.

  24. I too am intersex. My sexual development hit a snag during the embryonic phase of gestation. I'm sort of male, yet my gonads really never fully developed. I had two surgeries as a child but they never explained anything to me even though I was ten years old. Even at the time I knew it was wrong to do this but they could do what they wanted and get away with it.
    Later as an adult I developed testicular/ovarian type,cancer. I had no records to pass along from my childhood and I don't think these doctors believed me when I try to explain what I thought happened to me as a child. This caused a delay in my treatment by months.

  25. I dated a girl and found out later that she's intersex .. her vagina smelled funny and it's was hard for her to orgasm .. now i regret breaking up her cuz i think she's the love of my life. 🙁

  26. Glad I found this channel, I'm currently writing my bachelor-thesis about intersexuality (Social Work in Germany) and I try to find as many stories as possible about what growing up intersex was like and what social work should do, to make life easier for intersex.people.

    Lots of love!
    P.S. You kinda look like Laina aka. Overly attached girlfriend…

  27. So I have turners syndrome and the makes some of my chromosomes are all or the place some are normal some only have 1 x or xo and this makes me intersex I belong to the society I had no knowledge existed

  28. I had so much fun watching this! I was disappointed there weren’t more videos to watch, I’m here whenever you come back!(:

  29. I just wanted to leave a note to say thank you for these videos. I want to be the best ally I can be and your videos are very helpful. 🙂

  30. Honestly, I find this very interesting 😯 I have JUST found out about intersex and would like to know more about it! Oh also you seem like a totally cool mellow person! I dig it!

  31. I am so glad to find someone on YouTube that's like me. For a long time I thought I was alone. Born both gender with male and female genitilia. With ovaries and uterus plus male atomy. It has been a struggle for me. God blesses us all. For we are His creations too. Thanks again so much.😍

  32. Please go to YouTube Type in safe sex other things then click on View full playlist (1,053 videos) this playlist talks about sex and help different subject matters maybe one of these videos can help you or somebody you know I created this playlist to help people who are afraid or ashamed to ask if you know of any videos that should go on the playlist please send me the link I will be adding more videos to the playlist please help us educate the world

  33. I find this subject very interesting, I had no idea this is something some people experience. More people need to know this!
    Love, another Emily 😁

  34. I love that you’re using you platform for your experience. My channel focuses on my transgender experience as a black queer person and I even found an intersex guy whose channel I love. Great to meet you!

  35. I showed nude pictures to my Dermatologist along with my Webbed toes this time. Doctors are finally going after the Root of lots of Misdiagnosis.

  36. I remember reading about hermaphroditism 40 years ago in a medical encyclopedia my mother had. I found it fascinating. The world is not as black and white as the fundamentalists want to believe. By the way Emily your smile is dazzling and you are cute as hell.

  37. I don't know if you read comments on videos you posted a few years ago, but in case you do, THANK YOU! I was wondering if I am bc I have really long lips. Can't believe I said that where everybody can read it. But screw it, I don't think it should be such a taboo topic anymore. Anyways, your channel presents the topic in a factual, non-judgemental way. I really appreciate that!

  38. Let me apoplogize in advance if my question offends you…and also say that if you don't want to answer it that's ok…but since you were honest enough to admit that you 'have balls'…I'm really curious (for my own life education) to know…is that how you were born?…I mean when you came into the world (as a baby) did you (and possibly other intersex people) 'have balls'?

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