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We need to respect people for who they are."An estimated one in 2,000 babies is born with an intersex (or "unisex", as XXXora prefers) condition or a controversially named "disorder of sex development" (DSD).

But she refuses to define herself as either man or woman, using the female pronoun purely for convenience. Others might call her a gender pioneer."From the very beginning, I realised I wasn't a boy and I wasn't a girl; I realised I was in the middle.

I felt great self-hatred at points about the fact that I was in an unknown world.

It is important to realise that the black-and-white binary that is in people's heads is neither scientific nor accurate.

We need to establish that the middle biologically exists and is part of our world.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has condemned it, saying non-consensual surgery of this kind can cause "permanent, irreversible infertility and severe mental suffering".

This is why, four months after we first met, the idea of the silver box has not gone away.She now wears her silver mask – first adorned after a failed cornea transplant left her unable to wear make-up on one eye – whenever she goes out, and it has become another emblem of life inside her silver box.Then there's her name – crafted around ideas of chromosomes, derogatory Spanish slang, and an inversion of the hardcore XXX symbol (which she tells me originated in the brewing industry as a sign of premium strength)."I hate pigeonholes," she says. For me, it is about finding archetypes and reclaiming words.It is believed to be the first series of pieces exploring the role of the hermaphrodite in nature.She will also be holding a regular film exhibition on the same theme at the Cinema Museum in south London from next month and will feature in an exhibition called Art for Youth at the Royal Academy of Arts in October. Rebecca Wilson, chief curator and director of artist development for the Saatchi Art website, on which XXXora is featured, says that her "works are arresting, challenging and have an urgency to them which is very powerful"."Art is a megaphone and a loudspeaker," says XXXora, explaining how it is critical to her campaigns.It became the norm to operate on these children in the 1960s; in the belief that they were helping the child, doctors assigned their gender and operated to reinforce it – sometimes without the parents' informed consent.