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Why We’re Monitoring Intersex Status

Published: 25 October 2019 Tags: By Zane Robinson

Across LGBT+ communities, we face many similar challenges, and one logistical issue we face is having no accurate figures for the number of us that exist. While we expect to finally see sexual orientation and trans status being recorded in the next Census in 2021, we currently don’t know as to whether intersex people will be able to identify themselves.

Intersex is a fairly broad term that refers to anyone who has one or more variation in sex characteristics that are different to binary conceptions of “male” or “female” bodies. While some people may be identified as intersex at birth or at an early age, some may not know until puberty or later life, or indeed may never know. This is because variations in sex characteristics may include a large range of aspects of the body, including genitals, gonads, secondary sex characteristics, hormones, chromosomes, and so on.

Prior to 2000, the most common estimates in the US for the number of people who were intersex was 0.05-0.07% of the population. Since then, estimates have risen to around 1.7% of the population (1 in 60), which could mean that there are around 1,149,335 intersex people in the UK.

In not offering opportunity to record this data, we miss out on identifying communities. In doing so, we cannot see how intersex people’s needs may be met, or what barriers we may not have seen that stop intersex people engaging with us. We must respond to the needs of the communities we support, and if an intersex person wishes to access support with us, we want to ensure we meet their needs as much as we would anyone who needs us.

On this day we want to recognise the wonderful work of intersex activists and campaigners, including Valentino Vecchietti and Dr Peter Hegarty , who have worked and continue to work tirelessly for the needs of intersex people, and have worked with us to ensure we recognise them within our services. We look forward to continuing to support our intersex service users and working together with communities to achieve equality.

If you are intersex and would like to give your thoughts on our services, please consider filling out our survey:

If you wish to access support with us, please call 0345 3 30 30 30, or email [email protected].

For more information about being intersex and more support, you may wish to visit some of these resources and websites: