My name is Robyn, and just like Lauren Cooper, I am also intersex. However, our stories are quite different from one another.
This also brings up another big difference, I found out when I was already in college and not in the intense social atmosphere that is high school. I wasn’t very worried about telling anyone at my college, but if Lauren were to tell anyone, her other thousand classmates would find out in a matter of days. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to be out about being intersex in high school either.
While Lauren and I do have our differences, we both have periods of high mental distress because of our conditions. She is very embarrassed by it, and I have days where I still have identity crises about my gender identity. However, our conditions are by no means the same, and neither are our experiences. One thing we do share is that we are both intersex, and while it does present challenges for both of us, those challenges are very different!
MTV’s Faking It has made history tonight as the first TV show to have an intersex character be played by an intersex person! Lauren is making a documentary for personal gain and is surprised when Raven (played by Amanda Saenz, an Interact Youth member), shows up and tries to learn more about Lauren’s story as an intersex person. Raven was under the impression that Lauren wanted to be an intersex spokesperson because of what Lauren’s step-sister told them, and Lauren flips out because she’s totally against that in the beginning.
A question Raven asks Lauren, “What does normal even mean?” strikes a cord with her and makes her realize that her being unable to open up to people about her intersex self may be part of a larger problem that Lauren has with being her true self. Amanda’s part in this episode of Faking It was so great, and I’m so excited for them for being the first intersex character being played by an intersex person!
I’m so glad that MTV has decided to give such a marginalized group representation like this in the mass media! It’s such a positive thing for younger teenagers finding out that they are intersex and be able to see people on TV experiencing similar issues. I would have loved seeing an intersex character on TV when I was struggling with my diagnosis, and now people coming into their identity as an intersex person can have that!