South African beauty queen Sharon-Rose Khumalo has come out as intersex.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, the recently crowned Miss Mamelodi Sundowns revealed her intersex status and took a stand against people who attack the LGBTI community.
“Being a person of substance has nothing to do with being straight, gay, lesbian, transgender or intersex,” Khumalo said.
The blogger said she wanted to use her platform to raise awareness about intersex, after growing up female and finding out her status four years ago.
The diagnosis of androgen insensitivity syndrome and revelation that she was born without ovaries or a uterus left her “shattered”.
“[The doctor] just dropped this bomb on me and I didn’t know who I was anymore,” she said.
“Sometimes I am okay and then on some days I look at other women who have children and I know I will never have that, but I have learnt to accept that this is the situation and I can’t really change it.”
Since her diagnosis, Khumalo has embraced her intersex status and become an advocate for LBGTI rights. She expressed solidarity with others coming to terms with identity changes.
“Coming out to talk about this was me saying: yes, I may be different from the next girl, but there is nothing wrong with me and I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of,” she said.