A lot of you may have been confused when Lauren from "Faking It" revealed to her friends that she's intersex on the MTV show of the same name. "What does that mean?" you may have wondered. Well, today is the day to find out. It's Intersex Awareness Day, and there are tons of resources out there that can help you understand Lauren -- as well as real-life people like her.
I don't know about you all, but I was pretty surprised when Lauren -- Amy's prissy, closed-minded stepsister -- made such a deep proclamation on the show, talking about how being born intersex has affected her life. Bailey De Young, who plays Lauren, teamed up with Emily Quinn, who is intersex, to create a PSA that ran later that night, explaining more about the condition. Quinn is consulting on the show and Lauren's character, and also wrote an amazing story for MTV Act about what it's like to be intersex.
According to intersex leadership group, Inter/Act, being intersex means that you were born with differences in your sexual characteristics -- these differences can affect genes, chromosomes, genitalia, reproductive organs, hormones and also things like body hair and how much you sweat. Quinn has a condition called Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS), which means she has XY chromosomes and internal testes, but has developed as a woman. Like Lauren on "Faking It," she doesn't have a uterus or ovaries, however, and can't have children.
Quinn was kind enough to tell us her story via the amazing video embedded below, which is definitely worth a watch if you want to further understand what it's like to be intersex and how common it actually is -- spoiler, 1 in every 2,000 people is born intersex.
You can also check out Inter/Act Youth's website for further information if you want to continue educating yourself.
In the meantime, here's a few fast facts you need to know about being intersex:
1. Intersex people's sexual organs line up in a slightly different way.
2. It's almost as common as being born a redhead.
3. There are more than 30 intersex conditions that can affect your hormones.
4. People can find out about their condition at any age.
5. Sometimes doctors can tell why someone is intersex, sometimes can't.
6. Ask an intersex person what they would like be called -- there are a few different terms: intersex or differences of sex development (DSD).
7. Intersex kids often feel the same isolation as LGBT kids.
8. Intersex kids can be themselves and live happy, normal lives.