Glamour Photo of Jackie Green for Intersex Advocacy My name is Jackie Green and for as long as I can remember my biggest fear in life was that someone would find out that I had XY chromosomes – a fact about me that you can’t see, feel, or sense in any way.  Yet I still found myself afraid of what others would think if they knew.

I was born with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Like many individuals with this intersex variation, I was told it was best to just keep it “quiet.”  People wouldn’t understand; I would be judged or worse if they knew my diagnosis.  More than one doctor told me over the years that they had never met anyone like me before, and I was likely to never meet anyone like me either.  

That was the furthest thing from the truth.  As I got older, I discovered groups online like the AIS-DSD Support Group, and of course interACT.  I would be lying if I said I accepted that I was intersex right away.  In fact it was quite the opposite.

I found myself angry at other women with my variation, “Why are you saying you are intersex!?” I thought, “Can’t you just say you are a woman!?”   I was afraid; I was afraid how they defined themselves reflected on me, and who I was.  

It wasn’t until I met Emily Quinn, also a proud intersex woman who works with interACT, that I understood: this wasn’t their problem, it was mine.   She explained to me what intersex meant. It didn’t mean I wasn’t a woman, it just meant that I was born with sex characteristics that don’t match up to what society says makes a female.  

I started to think back on my life, all the shame I felt about myself, all the fear I felt that someone could know the truth, and the worst: all the lying I did about why I had to have an operation at 15, and why I took daily hormones after that operation.   I realized there are other children born like me, and they are scared and think they need to lie about who they are – like something is wrong with them.  There isn’t anything wrong with them and I want anyone born intersex to know: there isn’t anything wrong with you!

I am now happily married! I have a daughter my sister carried for me using donor eggs, and my husband’s sperm.  Best of all, I accept who I am and am proud to be different and to be part of the 2% of intersex people in the world.   I am currently the 2017 Ms Michigan US Continental, and am using this title to promote my platform: “I am one of the 2%: Advocacy for intersex youth”.

Photo of Jackie Green for the Ms Michigan Flyer