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In which Lindsey interviews Eden Atwood, an Intersex ally doing great work locally and globally. Eden shares her thoughts about a variety of topics including what it means to be Intersex.

You can learn more about the Interface Project here:

There will be a longer interview with Eden in a few days so look for that on the horizon.

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
[title card] Dr. Lindsey Doe: I wanna introduce you to my friend Eden Atwood. She's an amazing community member here in Missoula, Montana, but working worldwide through what is called the Interface Project. Eden Atwood: Hi Lindsey! [laughter] Lindsey: Tell me about your sexuality. Eden: My sexuality is heteroflexible, cisgendered but with an intersex identity as well. Lindsey: What does "heteroflexible" mean to you? Eden: Mostly heterosexual. I'm attracted to the opposite gender of my own, but I've had some experiences that were lovely with women too. Lindsey: What does "cisgendered" mean to you? Eden: "Cisgendered" means that you are born with a body and a gender identity that match. Lindsey: And... what does "intersex" mean to you? Eden: "Intersex" is a broad category for a lot of conditions where a person's genital or reproductive anatomy, or chromosomal pattern, doesn't fit within the typical definitions of male or female. Lindsey: So it breaks the gender binary. Eden: Absolutely. What's never been told, but has always been the truth and will always be the truth, is that there's all kinds of different chromosomal patterns. There's XXY, there are XY females (which is what I am).... So I was born with pretty typically female external-looking genitals, but I had testes inside my body. One in 2000 kids is born with genitals that you can't tell right at birth if the child is male or female, and really tragically and horribly what happens is, out of a great deal of fear and prejudice, the scalpel is raised in order to "normalize" the genitals and to force a gender identity on a child. Lindsey: What's the solution? Eden: Bodily autonomy; self-determination. Those are the big things. Everybody should have it. Everybody. Everybody. Love your child, and be brave, and open your mind. Choose a gender. Choose a name, choose a gender. Know that you might be wrong, and that's true for any kid, whether they have ambiguous genitals or not -- you could be wrong. We know that's true because of the trans community. Then let that child decide what they want to do with their body and their genitals. If you had to define "intersex" in a sentence, could you do it? Lindsey: No, can't! Um... Eden: I couldn't either, and I'm intersex! Lindsey: Because I don't want to use what it's not in the definition. I don't want to talk about the binary to explain intersexuality. So we're talking about a biological / chromosomal / genetic / reproductive between male and female. Eden: Yes. Lindsey: Because "inter" is referring to "between", not "inside", so "intercourse" is NOT... Eden: NOT for interpeople. Not what that means. Lindsey: ... "inside", it's "between". Eden: A lot of very smart people have tried to work on this definition, and it's very difficult. Intersex people and intersex allies... Lindsey: I would like to know what your thoughts are on LGBTIQQA2. Eden: I don't know, I think it's all kind of... I think we still need it, so that people know what the various things are, but we're gonna have to keep adding and we're gonna have to keep adding, and then finally, at a certain point, we won't need that any more, because it will just be. Lindsey: I think that the letters we call "alphabet soup" are supposed to be a community that is inclusive, and by pulling allies out -- saying that they aren't sexual minorities and they don't deserve that recognition -- is part of this specified picture here, of letters, that we are being exclusive, and I observe reverse discrimination. I don't like it. Eden: I agree with you. I think "us and them" mentality never pushes anything forward. That always just creates more division. And what if the letters, really, all they actually mean is that you are an ally to every other letter that's being represented, like 'cause the L's are allies to the G's and the G's to the T's and the T's to the 2's and the 2's to the A's... and what if its bigger definition means that you are inclusive for everybody. So in the alphabet soup, which letters do you grab for yourself? Lindsey: The spoon. Eden: The whole spoon. You're everything. You're Shaka Khan, you're every woman. Wouldn't it be nice for you to sing that song, but it's copyrighted. Lindsey: Okay. I have utensils for our soup. [holds up fork and spoon] Have fun! Eden: I'm gonna go with the fork. Lindsey: Ready? Mmm. Eden: Alphabet soup with a fork! [endscreen]