For all of the discourse surrounding sexuality, there’s one topic that seems to be disproportionately ignored: intersex. Perhaps that’s because virtually no high-profile (i.e. famous) person has revealed themselves to be intersex. That all changed today when model, muse and all around badass Hanne Gaby Odiele spoke openly about being intersex.
Intersex refers to a person born with sexual anatomy that doesn’t “fit” the definition of male or female. Is that vague enough for you? Apologies, but it’s an inherently vague topic, given that “experts” can’t seem to agree on what exactly “qualifies” as intersex.
“It is very important to me in my life right now to break the taboo,” Odiele told USA Today. “At this point, in this day and age, it should be perfectly all right to talk about this.”
Odiele was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, meaning that she had the XY chromosomes typical to men. She also had internal testes, which she had surgically removed at the age of 10. Now the model is speaking out against these surgeries, which occur far before a child has a grasp on their sexuality. “It’s not that big of a deal being intersex,” she says. “If they were just honest from the beginning… It became a trauma because of what they did.”
The model is the first to give a (gorgeous) face and a voice to a topic that is still alarmingly taboo. Kudos to you, Gaby, and thank you for sparking a conversation that is long overdue.