Person had no idea they were intersex until they read a Word magazine article at age 27
An intersex who was born with a vagina and testicles revealed that she did not identify as male or female despite her “feminine appearance”.
Alicia Roth Weigel, 30, of Austin, Texas, has spent most of her life hiding the fact that she was born with a vagina and testicles but no uterus or ovaries and pretending to have her period to integrate into school.
“When I had boyfriends, I told them I had fertility issues so I couldn’t have children,” she said. “What kind of man would want to date a woman born with internal testicles?” “
Alicia, who had her testicles removed during infancy, explained that she had “no idea” that there was a term to describe being intersex, which is used to describe anyone born. with reproductive or sexual anatomy that is not distinctly “male” or “female”, until she read an article at age 27.
Today Alicia said that she does not identify as a man or a woman although she does look like a woman.
Alicia Roth Weigel, 30, of Austin, Texas, has spent most of her life hiding the fact that she was born with a vagina and testicles – but no uterus or ovaries
Alicia had her internal testicles removed when she was less than a year old, in a procedure she called “castration,” and did not hear the term “intersex” until she. reads an article in Vogue magazine about intersex model Hanne Gaby Odiele in 2017
Alicia was born with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), a condition that means a child has XY, or “male,” chromosomes and internal testes, but has a female.
Experts estimate that about 1.7% of the American population is born with intersex traits, which is comparable to the number of people born with red hair.
Her parents made the decision to have her testicles removed when she was a baby.
She said: “Basically they castrated me. When you remove someone’s testicles without their consent, it is castration.
As a result, her body was sent into hormonal imbalance.
What is Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS)?
Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) affects the development of a person’s genitals and reproductive organs.
There are two types of AIS: complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) and partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS).
The genitals of a person with CAIS appear female, while those of a person with PIS may appear female or male.
Sometimes PAIS is discovered because a baby’s genitals are not as expected for a baby boy or girl.
It is caused by a genetic alteration that is passed down the female line to the child.
PAIS is usually noticed at birth, while CAIS can be more difficult to spot, as the genitals usually look like any other girl’s.
It is often not diagnosed until puberty, when menstruation does not start and pubic and armpit hair does not develop.
Alicia continued, “My body doesn’t respond to androgenic hormones, which most people think of as ‘male’ hormones.
“Even though I have XY chromosomes, my body converts some level of testosterone into estrogen.
“So my testicles would have produced these hormones and my body would have converted them to estrogen.”
But because her testicles were removed, Alicia relied on hormonal drugs.
“I basically grew up with hormone withdrawal,” she said. “The most similar thing I can describe it is menopause.
“Postmenopausal women suffer from mental fog, osteoporosis, and hot flashes – that’s what I’ve been through.
“I grew up with depression, I had to get my bone density checked all the time.
“All of this was not medically necessary. It was a decision that could have been delayed and probably avoided. My body now depends on external hormones to be well.
Doctors advised Alicia not to tell anyone that she was born with both testicles and a vagina.
She added, “Doctors said people would laugh at me, so I would have to lie and make up stories to fit the normal paradigm.
“When I was in college and my girlfriends started having their period, I used to wear tampons even though I would never need a tampon because I don’t have a uterus or ovaries, so I don’t have my period.
“When I had boyfriends, I told them I had fertility issues so I couldn’t have children, but I didn’t tell them the truth.
“What kind of man would want to date a woman born with internal testicles?” You end up creating quite a fake narrative to fit what society considers normal.
“My brother didn’t know, my grandmothers didn’t know, my friends didn’t know.
Alicia and was revealed to be intersex as she testified before the Texas Senate (pictured right, with friend) during a public hearing on the failed toilet bill.
Throughout her childhood, Alicia relied on hormonal medications and grew up in hormone withdrawal, leaving her with symptoms she described as menopause as well as depression and needing to have her bone density checked.
Alicia said that while she identifies as female, she also identifies as non-binary.
She added, “I use both the her and them pronouns. I never had a choice on how to identify myself.
“Someday we won’t even know sex. We will not have these male and female and non-binary boxes. It’s about thinking beyond the box.
Alicia is now using her experience to campaign on behalf of the intersex community.
She testified before the Texas State Senate in a public hearing on the failed toilet bill.
Alicia said: “The law said you had to use the bathroom that matched the gender on your birth certificate.
Alicia said doctors advised her not to tell anyone she was born with both testicles and a vagina, adding that they told her people to “make fun of her” and that she should “make up stories” to fit the normal paradigm (Alicia is pictured right with a friend)
Alicia is now advocating for greater awareness of the intersex community and campaigning against doctors who perform medical procedures on intersex infants without their informed consent.
“It was meant to hurt trans people, but it also spread this lie that everyone is born male and female.”
She is also campaigning against legislation, including a bill that would classify “gender-affirming” care as child abuse in Texas.
This would mean that parents who allow their children access to hormone replacement therapy and puberty blockers – treatments commonly prescribed to transgender children – could lose custody of their children.
The legislation includes an exception allowing doctors to perform surgeries on intersex children.
Alicia added: “The bigger problem is that this is anti-trans legislation, but it also contains this loophole that you can perform surgeries on intersex children.
“So really, they’re saying we shouldn’t be giving this care to kids who want it, but we should impose it on kids who don’t want it.
“My operation was performed when I was less than a year old. I couldn’t consent, I couldn’t even speak.