An influencer who was born with a vagina and testes has revealed how their mother dropped an earth-shattering revelation they were born intersex when they were 11 years old.
When Lyss, who lives in New York, was told by their mother that they were going to have a ‘talk’, they presumed they would be discussing tampons and period pads.
But to the then little girl’s surprise, the conversation took an entirely different turn when their mother whipped out a medical folder, disclosing that Lyss was biologically born a male.
In a video that now has 1.9 million views, Lyss said their world ‘crumbled’ at that moment, saying: ‘When I tell you that the wallpaper on the wall started to melt off and I was sweating and freezing.’
The word intersex is used to describe anyone born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that are not distinctly ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Lyss, from New York, candidly shared in a video which now has 1.9 million views that they were 11 years old when their mother dropped the earth-shattering bomb
Lyss was left shell shocked when their mother told them that they would never have kids or a period at the age of 11.
They said: ‘The entire world as I knew it completely crumbled. I was told by doctors and my mom to keep it a secret and I did for most of my life.’
What is intersex?
Intersex is a general term used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the boxes of ‘female’ or ‘male’.
Doctors always assign intersex babies a legal sex (male or female, in most states), but, just like with non-intersex people, that doesn’t mean that’s the gender identity they’ll grow up to have.
Being intersex is a naturally occurring variation in humans, and it isn’t a medical problem — therefore, medical interventions (like surgeries or hormone therapy) on children usually aren’t medically necessary.
Some intersex people have both ovarian and testicular tissue, while others have internal and external reproductive organs that belong to two separate genders.
Experts believe that around 1.7 per cent of the US population is born with intersex traits, which is comparable to the number of people born with red hair.
From the outside Lyss appeared to be a ‘typical baby girl’ and doctors initially thought the 11-month-old had a hernia.
But medical professionals soon made the discovery Lyss had premature undescended internal testicles in their lower abdomen.
They stated: ‘They decided to take them out ’cause they were kinda just floating in there’.
Ever since the age of 11, the New Yorker, also known as the @intersexwitch, divulged that they had been on hormone replacement therapy.
It is common for intersex people to undergo various forms of hormonal therapy.
Both doctors and their own mother had urged them not to disclose their intersex status to anyone when they were a child.
But the self-love coach was bursting at the seams as a youngster with desire to live their truth and went on to reveal the secret to close friends.
Unfortunately, this led to difficulties, with them declaring: ‘I was definitely bullied when everybody found out.’
‘I went to school and I told my friends who obviously wouldn’t be my friends forever and [they] told everybody.’
They openly disclosed that on the outside doctors thought they were a ‘typical baby girl’ until they discovered premature undescended testicles in their lower abdomen – which they initially mistook for a hernia
Candidly sharing their own hormonal journey, the yoga teacher boasted: ‘Even though I was on oestrogen throughout middle school and high school these did not come in until I was about 22,’ signaling to their breasts.
In a separate video they added: ‘But I’ve always had feminine parts in my pants.’
Reflecting on their path to becoming less secretive about their biological status, the influencer declared: ‘Now, I am a grown adult talking to strangers on the internet about how I was born with balls in my belly.’
However, the self-proclaimed ‘unicorn’ has not always been confident to publicly share such private information.
Onlookers flooded the comment section with admiration for the influencer for openly sharing their journey, calling them ‘gorgeous’ and ‘beautiful’.
Viewers flooded the comments with supports and questions, with one wondering why her mother would think it was a ‘good idea’ to keep Lyss’ biological status a secret
One person wrote: ‘Finally. Someone willing to share their story to create a platform for intersex people.’
Another added: ‘Thank you for talking about you and your experiences! There isn’t enough intersex representation anywhere.’
Many were mortified to learn the meaning of intersex so late on in life, with an individual commenting: ‘I didn’t learn I was intersex until I was in my 20s!!!! I hear this so much.’
While a viewer said: ‘I’m embarrassed to admit I learned what intersex was very late into adulthood and I’m mortified how many people don’t understand. Thank you for sharing.’
Others where left with a myriad of questions for the yoga instructor, querying: ‘So did they “choose” a gender for you or did you just naturally grow and look like a girl?’
Another questioned: ‘How could anyone think keeping that from you was a good idea??????’