‘Congrats! It’s a boy…and a girl!’ I was constantly accused of being gay or demonic for having both male and female anatomy.’: Intersex woman shares journey to self-acceptance, ‘For the first time, I feel whole’

“I was adopted at 13. Before then, I’d grown up in a small town with a religiously close-minded family. I was constantly told to ‘man up’ and act masculine. Yet, I looked like a girl and struggled to put my voice into a deeper tone. I’d get frustrated and cry to God, ‘I promise to act manly if you make me a normal girl in my next life.’ I prayed I could be who my family wanted me to be. I had no idea I had both male genitalia and ovaries.”