Intersex. Non-binary biology. DSD (Differences in Sexual Development). This condition used to be known as “hermaphrodite,” a term that today is considered neither technically accurate nor socially acceptable. The more I find out about it the more I understand why.
I chose to give my protagonist intersex biology. Why? For one, it puts them on the margins of society, making them unique in a way many people don’t understand. It’s fertile ground for exploring the relationship between “normal” (that is, average), and anomalous (i.e. not standard). My protagonist also represents ambiguity in life and society, which is being reduced too often now to false binaries. You’re either left wing or right wing, for something or against something. What happened to the great diffuse in-between? In any case I’ve never had direct experience with Intersex.
So I am reaching out to people on Twitter who have related experience, either being so themselves or supporters thereof. So far the response has been very positive. Drop me a line if you’d like to hear more about how I’m trying to go about this respectfully, or let me know your thoughts. Respect!