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Georgia Andrews said the article on Belgian intersex fashion model Hanne Gaby Odiele in February last year marked the first time she had seen anything published on intersex issues.
It helped her begin discussions with family and friends and "come out" as intersex in April.
She has since begun working as an advocate for intersex people, and says there is plenty the medical establishment can learn about the issue.
Miss Andrews (25) grew up in the Maniototo, where her parents are sheep and beef farmers.
She moved to Dunedin to complete a bachelor of teaching degree at the University of Otago, graduating in 2013.
She stayed in the city, where she is a community support worker, working with young people with disabilities.
It was during her time at boarding school in Timaru her intersex status came to the fore.
As a 16-year-old, she had persistent migraine headaches doctors initially thought were the result of a brain tumour.
Tests were inconclusive, as were tests for epilepsy.
"They ran some blood tests that revealed I have an intersex variation."
Intersex, she said, was an umbrella term for people born with one or more of a range of variations in sex characteristics outside "traditional conceptions of male or female bodies".
That could mean variations in chromosomes, genitals or internal organs.
It was different from transgender, where people with typical anatomies felt they had been born in the wrong body.
"When I was diagnosed with my intersex variation, as a family, we were told I would probably not meet anyone else in New Zealand, let alone overseas, with my variation.
"We were encouraged not to discuss it with wider family or friends. We were basically under the impression I had this exceptionally rare medical variation, and there was shame associated with that.
"There were no counselling support services offered when I was diagnosed. I was made to feel very isolated."
For Miss Andrews, the diagnosis was she was infertile, and had male XY chromosomes, despite having "relatively typical female anatomy".
"I have XY, with a gene on my Y chromosome that’s deleted."
She had surgery to remove "streak tissue" which had formed in place of ovaries.
"We didn’t have the opportunity to consult medical literature, or to meet with another young person with an intersex variation, or to meet with another parent."
Miss Andrews said nine years later, people still knew little about the issue.
That included medical practitioners, who when told of her variation "looked completely bamboozled".
She was concerned "informed consent" was not necessarily a factor when it came to surgery or medication in intersex cases.
When operating on an intersex infant to provide "normal" sexual organs, for instance, there could be implications.
"A lot of surgeries are for cosmetic purposes."
Asked what parents should do in such situations, Miss Andrews said people needed time to read about an issue, process the information or access counselling.
Medical professionals needed to work with people to give them a better idea of the physical and psychological implications of the diagnosis and surgery.
She also wanted to visit universities, polytechnics and schools to speak to educators about the issue.
Since the article was published she had attended a conference in Arizona, US, where she met Hanne Gaby Odiele.
Miss Andrews is now co-chairwoman of Intersex Awareness New Zealand, and project manager for Intersex Youth Aotearoa, and said there was plenty of work to do.
Those without the capacity to find support services could not find peer support, something essential for people.
There needed to be more funding for intersex people, rather than relying on grant funding to provide support "so they know that they’re not alone".
"It took me seven years before I was able to tell my immediate family and friends I was intersex," but they were "fantastic" about it.