Intersex Awareness Day 2021

Awareness Day 2021

Intersex Awareness Day was established in 1996 and has been held annually on October 26th since then. This day is intended to draw attention to the inter* community worldwide and to raise awareness for discrimination and disadvantage in the everyday life of inter* people.

The term is formed from the Latin prefix “inter” which means “between“.

Inter* is the term for people with biological characteristics (chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, anatomical) that show variants, of purely female or purely male biological characteristics. In some cases, intersex traits may be visible at birth, while in others they may not be visible until puberty. Some hormonal/chromosomal variations need not be physically visible at all.

Intersexuality is not an isolated case, because besides the chromosome sets XX and XY, there are thousands of other possibilities of chromosome pairings, such as XXY, which do not correspond to the bisexual “norm”. This is indicated by the asterisk, which stands for different self-designations and clarifies that there is no “one right way” to be inter*. Intersexuality refers to biological sex and should be distinguished from sexual orientation or gender identity.

A big step in the direction of a free and self-determined life for inter* people was the law published in 2021 to prohibit genital reassignment surgery for inter* children who are unable to give consent.


The colors of the inter* flag are intentionally purple and yellow to move away from gender-specific colors like pink and blue.

The circle symbolizes the unbroken and the potential of inter* people, because even today the inter* community is still fighting for their right to be who they are.

Interview with Nica Schächtele (Nonbinary, Trans*, Inter*)

What formative experiences related to your intersexness have you had (in the workplace)?

Intersexuality is a topic that cannot be explained in 10 minutes, but needs a lot of time, so an intensive conversation can take several hours.

Is the topic of intersex addressed in your workplace, and if so, how?

Intersex is very rarely a topic in the work, and usually initiated by me, for example at Diversity Week.

What challenges and stereotypes have you faced as an inter* person?

There are many caveats and self-declarations. Example: Intersexuality can’t exist at all, because there are only male or female cells, at least according to biology classes. Only a few people can really understand the terms intersex or intersexual, some mix it up with bisexual or non-binary. Even within the LGBT*IQ community, the “I” is a very small letter.

Would you have wished for anything else for your coming out and what are your wishes for the future of the inter* community?

When I came out it went well, the new info was almost always received positively. For the future I wish the inter* community more visibility, knowledge about the many variants, information exchange between individual groups and joint actions with the nonbinary-trans* community.