Intersex @inntya, Born “Man” And “Woman”


2 min readAug 4, 2019
Courtesy: @inntya


1 in 1000 people are intersex. It’s an umbrella term for those born with biological differences who aren’t fully formed male/female. Examples:

  • Those born with ambiguous genitalia that look male and female
  • Those who look female but have XY, or look male but have XX chromosome
  • Those with androgen insensitivity syndrome

Intersex babies are usually assigned one gender they did not give consent to. If they feel different from their assigned gender, they are trans-intersex.

Intersexualism and transgenderism are often classified “third genders.”

Intersxualism is more biological, transgenderism psychological.

Every intersex story is different.

Your intersexualism.

As a kid, I’d a great growth spurt, was extremely excitable; thought I’d ADHD. But my puberty was slower than other girls. I’ve small boobs. My menstrual cycle was in chaos.

Asked myself: am I a man? Discovered the term “hermaphrodite.” It affirmed identity questions about myself.

There are no misalignments between my body and my identity. My testis “died.” I see myself as intersex, female, with masculine traits. I can conceive.


Was an experimental dresser. Everyone assumed I was figuring out my sexuality, gender.

My name: “Ian Tan Ya.” Ian’s my father’s name; in mandarin, “Chen Ya” is a female name.

Many assume intersexualism is transgenderism. “Is Ya a man or woman?”

Intersex dating.

I’m straight. Sex is the same. If I reveal I’m intersex, they get confused about their sexuality. It’s an open conversation.

Intersex discrimination?

It’s easier to not come out intersex. I went to Oogachaga to seek community. There was none. We don’t exist in society.


When I’m scouted, I think people assume I’m transgender, my name is “Inntya.” No one mentions it; it’s okay to ask.

When people say I’m pretty, I wonder if they mean it in a “transgender” way.

I haven’t clarified I’m not transgender. But I don’t want people to keep misunderstanding, because intersexualism and transgenderism are different.

It’s not fair for me to represent transgender community.

Is intersex your “brand?”

In a way. The industry now looks for models with a story. I have to use it rightly, strike conversations with people I work with.

Coming out intersex, I expect the label of being a representative for my community. I’ve always wanted to read a story about someone like me. I will do so by sharing my story, living it proudly.

Intersex activism is…

Education, awareness.

Activists vs “social justice warriors?”

That’s how social media works. Our hashtag is #endintersexsurgery #intersexy. Sometimes it works, but it’s cringe-y.