Bridge Building, Intersex Awareness, Transgender

Where did “assigned male/female at birth” come from?

Yes, it is true that “assigned male/female at birth” came from the intersex community first and the transgender community now uses it too. Some in the intersex community say the transgender community appropriated it. Let me explain why this hurt.

Typically an endosex person’s sex is observed at birth and simply written down. When born intersex a team is called in to assign the “best” sex. Taking away our self-determination. Wrong assignment has caused some of the worse human rights violations on the planet. In the form of intersex genital mutilation and psychic mutilation. Uisng the words “assigned male/female at birth” without sharing about our pain, can hurt.

However, with both endosex and intersex people, our gender identity and sex can be mistaken at birth. Plus, sometimes an intersex person calls themselves transgender too. No matter who we are, being assigned wrong at birth is tragic.

Let’s try to find peace as different community who are marginalized, and always remember the harm brought to non-consenting intersex kids. I believe we can all get along if we understand each other better. Please always share about us intersex people if you burrow our language. Intersex erasure hurts.


This article below shows the frustrations some have in the intersex community regarding this topic. As an intersex survivor, activist and educator I prefer to be more of a bridge builder, but share this, so others can see the pain:

Letters | Sex Assignment: ‘Assigned at birth’ appropriated from the intersex community Feb. 6th, 2020

United Nations’ INTERSEX Fact Sheet


3 thoughts on “Where did “assigned male/female at birth” come from?”

  1. The linked letter directs people to a media style guide produced by WoLF, a notorious US anti-trans “feminist” group which speaks at event organised by conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation..

    So the letter feels like an attempt to stir up divisions between trans and intersex people – and to raise the profile of hate group – rather than a good faith attempt to educate.


  2. The thing is though, the more Trans activists normalize the idea that children should be allowed access to irreversible, life-changing surgeries, the more accustomed the general public are to that idea, and the less they give a crap about Non consensual surgeries against Intersex people like myself, who had four non consensual and irreversible surgeries carried out on my body before age 8. I have said to other Intersex people who identify as trans that it is a slap in the face. Intersex, hermaphrodite, call it what you like, I should not have to fear being called transphobic for admitting that I would feel like a fraud irrespective of whether I was called male or female. Intersex people have been denied individuation by the medical profession, the government and our society, and now Trans Activism has been weaponized in such a way as to render Intersex activism completely null and void. I see it perfectly clearly. I like a lot of the posts I have read on your blog, by I have to tell you: I have had a Trans person tell me, quite openly that they had no problem with non consensual surgeries being carried out against Intersex people, and that they consider us deformed. I STRONGLY suspect that perspective is not unique.


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