It's a word many people aren't familiar with: Intersex. But it describes what could be up to 2 percent of the population, and Colorado made news by issuing the state's first birth certificate that identifies someone as intersex.
Anunnaki Ray Marquez, who uses the pronoun they, appealed for a correction to their birth certificate and succeeded. Marquez lives in Florida now, but was born in Colorado.Courtesy of Anunnaki Ray Marquez
To be intersex means a person was born with any of several possible variations in sex characteristics, including chromosomes, sex hormones or genitals that do not fit the typical male or female body. There are 40 different variations that scientists know of that aren't XY male or XX female.
The process was arduous and pricey, involving a series of CAT scans, ultrasounds, blood work and exams for Marquez. They spent about $5,000 and 15 months acquiring the medical evidence and motioning the court.
But they may be one of the last people to go through such a long process. This month, the Colorado Department of Health proposed changes that make it easier to change a birth certificate to indicate someone is intersex. That designation can also be declared at birth, rather than having to wait and make the change later. A final decision on this is scheduled to be made in December.