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cxy courtney

I Am Intersex

I’m an exmormon, intersex, lesbian, tomboy who loves a good sunflower. Those identities haven’t always flowed so freely from my lips and fingers. In fact, not until the age of 27 did I tell someone outside of my family that I am intersex.

About

Growing up hiding

I was born with androgen insensitivity or AIS and appearing female. But upon closer inspection they found that my genitalia was not typical. A team of doctors was assembled and they found through tests that I have XY chromosomes. For those of you who don’t know, that’s male. This came as a shock to both my family and medical professionals. In the weeks following my birth I was declared female by a doctor, underwent non-consensual surgery to “normalize” my genitalia, and my family was left to face the heartache and confusion surrounding their newborn.

 

The medical community invaded my body again when I began hormone replacement therapy as a teenager. This treatment would likely not be unnecessary if my body had not been operated on as an infant. Unfortunately, they got the prescription wrong! Instead of puberty, I hit menopause as a preteen (hot flashes and all) and the prescription wasn’t corrected until the age of 28.

Growing up in a church and social climate that was not open to conversations about sex, gender, and sexuality was not easy. I vividly remember the horrors of middle school, hiding my secret, and lying about getting my period. Jokes and jabs about intersex traits were not uncommon through teen and adult years. With such a big secret I routinely felt alone and misunderstood. These experiences and feelings snowballed into my late 20s and I was forced to face my demons or continue to spiral.

CXY Courtney looking into the camera washed with blue light.

I gain understanding

A seismic shift in self

In my heart I crave change and growth. These core values drive me to constantly learn and challenge my thoughts, habits, and beliefs. At a tipping point in 2017 I decided to slow down, get my bearings, and focus on myself. I soon thereafter moved to Portland with my brother and his young family. I spent hours alone and with family. I found myself diving into intersex resources and communities online for the first time, and put my mental and emotional health first.

My search led me to find that there were other people out there like me. These people were living in the open. They appeared happy, well adjusted, and it seemed being intersex was central to their identity.

After two and a half years of building myself I realized I was no longer in the same unhappy place. By the the beginning of 2020 had built my home in San Diego, literally, and come out as lesbian. I felt clear. Honest. Happy. I had the foundation to recognize and engage in my life’s work. I was ready to come out as Intersex.

my new intersex reality

clear.honest.happy.

I felt in my self discovery that it was imperative to ferociously listen to, love, support, and strengthen myself. Then, naturally, that listening, love, support, and strength sought an outlet when my cup was full. I quickly felt a pull to serve and engage with the intersex community. We are all deserving of love and acceptance the way that we are. That motivation fuels my decisions, habits, and future. I am preparing to return to school to complete a masters of public health through the intersex lens and will likely continue to a doctorate degree.

 

Contact Me

Get Involved with the intersex community

I find myself changing, growing, and learning daily in my pursuit for the betterment of intersex lives. 

Join me as an ally of the Intersex Community. Let’s be INDOMITABLE together!

Courtney Skaggs San diego

cxy courtney

educator & activist