It means I have XY chromosomes and streak gonads (which were removed), which is when the organs aren’t ovaries, and they’re not testes either. I identify as female, but I just got this idea in my head that I wasn’t a proper woman. It was miserable. At 18, I became clinically depressed and, at one point, suicidal. I developed a really serious eating disorder. I felt I had to be like a Victoria’s Secret model – that I had to be ultra-feminine and gorgeous, striving for what I thought was perfection. I couldn’t leave the house without a full face of make-up.
Susannah Temko, 24
I found out I was intersex a couple of months after I had finished chemo. I had just turned 16. Initially, I had a panic attack, because it just threw everything I thought I knew about myself into the air. There was nothing to tell me what it meant.
I moved into a house of girls and they reinforced all the positive bits about me, they made me feel my own worth, independent of looks.