Intersex Awareness Day is observed annually on 26 October to raise awareness and promote the rights of intersex individuals. However, as a society, we know very little about them. On today’s important occasion, we decided to step out and learn more about intersex individuals. In our journey, we had the privilege of speaking with Khushboo Bist, a prominent sex educator and intimacy coach, who has been tirelessly working to break down barriers surrounding human sexuality and gender diversity. 

Intersex Awareness Day with Khushboo Bist

Fresh Prep

Khushboo’s expertise lies in fostering healthy relationships with others and with oneself. Her consistent commitment to creating a more inclusive world makes her a valuable voice in the realm of sexuality and gender. As we sit down with her, we gain insights into the significance of Intersex Awareness Day, the challenges intersex individuals face, and how education and understanding can lead to a more accepting and supportive society. Khushboo Bist’s knowledge and experience are instrumental in guiding us through this important conversation.

Khushboo Bist on Intersex Awareness Day

What does Intersex mean?

Khusboo defines Intersex as “individuals who are born with variations in their biological sex characteristics, including chromosomes, hormones and genitalia.” To elaborate, Intersex is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of natural variations in human bodies. Intersex individuals may have characteristics such as ambiguous genitalia, variations in sex chromosomes or differences in hormone production. These variations occur during foetal development and are a part of the natural spectrum of human diversity. 

Difference between Intersex and gender-related terms

Many times intersex is used interchangeably with gender identity. However, they are not the same. Khushboo Bist explains the difference as “ Intersex is different from gender-related terms because the focus here is on physical attributes rather than gender identity. Gender identity is when a person identifies themselves as a male, female, both, neither or somewhere along the gender spectrum.

Prominent misconceptions

Khushboo states “People often think intersex is a rare phenomenon, an exceptional case but in reality, they are relatively common. Estimates suggest that about 1 in 2000 people are born intersex.” 

Not only in terms of numbers but also questioning their ability to lead a normal life is a common practice. She adds ”There is another prevailing misconception in people that if there’s an intersex individual, they will need medical intervention to normalise their bodies but in many cases, these procedures are unnecessary and can be harmful.”

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Challenges faced by intersex individuals

The LGBTQIA+ community in general and Intersex in particular have always been at the receiving end of society, facing countless stigmas and misconceptions. Not being accepted for what they are, is one of the most common problems they face. Khushboo states, “If somebody is a male or female, they are easily accepted by society but an intersex individual will not get that acceptance. There are so many misunderstandings and stigmas concerning them. Some face invasive medical procedures without their consent as children.” It is almost unimaginable to imagine the kind of mental trauma an intersex individual faces at the behest of society.

Intersex Awareness Day with expert Khushboo Bist

How to be an inclusive society?

As a society, the responsibility lies on each one of us to make every individual feel welcomed and safe. Khushboo Bist lays out some simple practices through which we can support intersex individuals to lead regular lives.

  • “Offering gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities.”
  • “Providing educational training and resources for staff and peers on intersex issues.”
  • “Encouraging open and respectful conversations about diversity.”
  • “Creating a safe space for intersex individuals to come out and comfortably embrace their true self.”

With these practices, we may not instantly understand everything about Intersexuality but this surely is a step in the right direction. 

Role of media in representation

Khushboo points to the role of the media in creating awareness about intersexuality. She implies, “Media can be a very powerful tool to portray intersex individuals in diverse roles and positive narratives. Featuring them on different mediums, making a documentary on them, and including them in fictional content, will do wonders. This will help people learn more about intersex and slowly move to acceptance. People will also understand that intersex is a natural and valid aspect of human diversity.” 

She further adds, “Media can also highlight the achievements, struggles and contributions of intersex to society. Intersex are also as creative and as ambitious as any other human being can be and they need the same amount of love and support as you do, so let’s love them for who they are.

Khushboo Bist teaches empathy this Intersex Awareness Day


As we celebrate Intersex Awareness Day, let us take to heart the lessons shared by Khushboo Bist and work collectively to create a more informed and empathetic society. Through awareness, education, and acceptance, we can ensure that intersex individuals, like all of us, are celebrated for the diverse mosaic of humanity they represent.