Society is slowly starting to move beyond the idea of gender and sexuality as being rigid binary constructs. However, sex, being male or female, is still viewed as binary system, which erases the existence and reality of intersex people and the complexity of sex. Susannah Temko is determined to increase the positive visibility of the intersex community and dispel myths and misinformation about intersex people Through her own lived experience, she challenges members of the medical community and those that feel they have the right to make life-altering choices for intersex children, before they’re even aware of their own identity. Susannah encourages us all to challenge the most basic assumptions we’ve historically been taught about sex, and how they impact all of our lives. Susannah Temko is a policy and communications expert focused on highlighting the need for intersex human rights and campaigning for equality for intersex people in medicine and civil society. She speaks and presents at leading universities and institutions, and has appeared in the media, such as being the first intersex face of Dove’s #BeautyPortrait campaigns. In 2015, she was recognised in the Independent on Sunday’s Rainbow List, celebrating the 101 most influential LGBT+ people in the UK. She currently works with intersex organisations in the UK and USA, and at the United Nation High Commission for Refugees. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Susannah Temko

Policy and communications expert and intersex activist

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