A person is intersexual when they have physical characteristics that are not all clearly male or female. Male and female physical characteristics are not just the sexual characteristics that can be seen, such as genitalia. They also include features inside the body, such as genetic material and hormones. For some people, it is clear right after they are born that they are intersexual. For other people it only becomes apparent in childhood or during puberty. Since 2019 it has been possible in Germany for people who are not clearly male or female to have their sex recorded on their birth certificate and other official papers as “diverse” [“divers” in German].


Transsexual people are clearly physically a man or a woman. But to them their bodies feel foreign and they feel that they belong to the other sex. They have a male body, but feel like a woman. Or they have a female body, but feel like a man. People often suffer from this contradiction and therefore want to bring their bodies into line with the gender they feel they belong to. That is why they choose to undergo an operation and / or take hormones. Both hormones and an operation will change the body. Many also change their names and official documents (such as their ID card). In their "right" body they feel comfortable.

Legal situation in Germany

In Germany, women, men, transsexual and intersexual people have the same rights. In Germany, nobody is allowed to be disadvantaged (discriminated against) or be treated unequally because of his or her sex. The law for this is the Allgemeine Gleichbehandlungsgesetz (general equal treatment act) (for short: AGG).

Translate this text into:

Dictionary and translations

Looking for help? Find a health professional.