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Two-spirit and intersex people explain they/them pronouns

Delia Sosa, a medical student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, spoke with Spectrum News as part of the station's Pride month coverage. Sosa discussed the use of they/them pronouns and more about transgender and non-binary communities.

Two-spirit” is a term that Native American culture uses to define someone who isn’t male or female, but embodies both masculine and feminine souls. Intersex is a term used to describe someone born with a combination of male and female biological traits.

A non-binary person is someone who doesn't identify as exclusively male or female. Non-binary people may identify as both, neither, or a combination of the two. The typical pronouns ‘she, her, he and him’ may not be an accurate description of people who identify as "two-spirit” or as “intersex” or as “non-binary.”

“I am not the typical female, not the typical male,” explains Delia Sosa, a medical student at the University of Cincinnati. “I just fall somewhere between.”

Sosa and Dayton resident India “Indalo” Holley, both spoke with Spectrum News for a segment that focused on awareness of the transgender and non-binary communities. During June, Pride month, Spectrum is sharing stories about the LGBTQ+community.

Delia Sosa shown standing in the college of medicine's simulation center being interviewed by a Spectrum News reporter.

Delia Sosa, a medical student in the UC College of Medicine, is shown during a Spectrum News interview in the college's simulation center. Photo provided.

And so what does it mean to be transgender?

Assigned female at birth, Holley was adopted and raised by Native American parents.

“I have facial hair naturally, always have,” Holley told Spectrum News. “I've naturally always had an Adam's apple, a deeper voice. I know what it's like to go into a guys restroom. I know what it's like to give birth to a baby.”

Two-spirit people are respected in Native American culture and thought to be healers and leaders with spiritual gifts, reports Spectrum News.

Sosa identifies as both intersex and transgender. 

Sosa says some intersex traits are noticed at birth, while others don't show up until puberty or later in life. Sosa says they found out they were intersex by accident when they began growing a full beard and went to a doctor for testing. 

“I have some combination of hormones and chromosomes and anatomy that's different from what we expect to see in the typical male or the typical female,” Sosa told Spectrum News.

“So intersex literally means between the sexes, and that's where I fall,” Sosa explains. “There are way more intersex people in the world than a lot of folks realize. Not everyone uses the term intersex, and that's okay, but I think in general, we don't talk enough about the diversity of lived experiences that each of our bodies has and how much variety there is in terms of the anatomy and primary and secondary sex characteristics that each person has.”

Listen to the Spectrum News segment online.

Understand more about transgender people online.

Featured top image is courtesy of Istock.