The intersex community gets upset when the public confuses intersex with transgender and believing their non-binary bodies must given them a non-binary gender identity as well. Their anger is well deserved; most intersex people identify fully as either male or female. I do not want to imply otherwise. Nevertheless, and I'm not skilled with being politically correct, the movement by both the intersex community and the ex-trans gender defenders to paint transgender and intersex as too exclusive and unrelated phenomena injures transgender advocacy and is just not true. There are obvious examples of people clearly intersex who self-identify as transgender (such as Josef Kirchner and Raven Kaldera) which we all agree on, but I am not including those cases. I believe the entire categories of intersex and transgender are, in fact, two different sides of the same circumstance, that circumstance being the breaking of the sex and gender binary. Thus this two part series on the relationship between intersex and transgender. In the first article, I explored how and why transgender people can accurately identify ourselves as intersex. In this second article, I explore why traditional intersex are also transgender.
There are two ways we define "transgender" and they don't always match. There is the definition where gender identity doesn't match sex and that's it. There is an alternative definition that includes the first, but also requires that the person willingly takes on the transgender category, where they identify as transgender. For several years I didn't admit to myself that I was transgender, even though I knew my gender was atypical. I was technically transgender but I didn't identify as transgender. Almost every trans person goes through this. Some transexuals go through a later stage when they go stealth; everyone is treating them as their gender identity and they stop having a reason to think of themselves as trans anymore. We call this a "voluntary" label. Most labels are voluntary, but in the trans community this is important. Because we all experienced being mislabeled by cisgender people, we are wary of doing it to ourselves. We tend to act libertarian - label and let label. So by this thinking, intersex people who do not identify as trans are not trans. My goal here isn't to force transgenderism on anyone, but I do want to honestly examine whether intersex people are technically accurate by claiming their gender identity is cisgender and not transgender. Doing so will provide greater insight as to the nature of sex and gender.
It's obvious intersex people are not bigender: they don't change gender presentations. They're also not genderqueer: They view themselves as fully and exclusively one of the binary genders (woman or man) or the other, not both or neither. They also have little in common with the transgender identities of other cultures like two spirit or hijra. The only relevant gender is transexual, someone whose gender identity does not match their sex. More accurately, their gender identity doesn't match their sex in a way the culture believes is appropriate.
Transgender Is Intersex - A complementary article to this one
Intersex - Main section on intersex