An estimated 1.7% of all babies are born with an intersex natural bodily variation—an occurrence as common worldwide as having red hair. These individuals—born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies—have historically been stigmatized as different and standard medical practice has been to subject them to surgeries that “normalize” their genitals. Procedures that could be delayed until intersex children are old enough to decide whether they want them are instead performed on infants who then have to live with the consequences. In 2013, a United Nations report condemned these “corrective” sex-assignment surgeries.
Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez is the rare intersex individual whose genitals were not surgically altered at birth. This September, Anunnaki was granted the first Colorado Intersex Birth Certificate recognizing that his true biological sex is legally intersex and not a disorder. Now every intersex child born in the state of Colorado will have this option to exist as they were born and do not have to conform surgically as a non-consenting child. Anunnaki hopes to build bridges of understanding so that all people, no matter how they label their gender identity, may experience the wholeness that is a basic human right in a socially just world.