Iam Emily Quinn, and I'm intersex. Happy Intersex Awareness Day! I just 'came out' on MTV and I also work on Adventure Time. AMA!
Oct 26th 2014 by emilord • 27 Questions • 711 Points
Happy Intersex Awareness Day! I'm Emily Quinn, and I am intersex. I have Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, meaning my body is completely unresponsive to testosterone. I have XY chromosomes and undescended testes, but I have a female phenotype (breasts, vagina, etc)
Recently I came out publicly as intersex in this PSA on MTV, and I wrote a letter about it to my friends and family: http://act.mtv.com/posts/faking-it-intersex-letter/
I also wrote and voiced an animated video that aired today with this article: http://on.mtv.com/ZSdmCr
I was ALSO on a podcast for the bisexual community that aired today: http://www.thebicast.org/podcast/intersex-awareness-day-with-patti-spangler-and-emily-quinn/
I work with Advocates for Informed Choice [www.aiclegal.org] to provide awareness for intersex people. I'm also a member of Inter/Act, the first advocacy group run by and for intersex youth! [www.interactyouth.org] I've given presentations to GLAAD, medical communities, classes, the list goes on. Awareness is SO important for our communities.
By day I work as Production Coordinator on Adventure Time. I'm young so I'm just getting started in the animation industry, but you're welcome to ask any questions! No spoilers! (Previously I interned on Scooby Doo and for DC Nation, and worked on Teen Titans Go. I was also a PA for live-action commercials/music videos/promos for a few years.) By night I've been consulting with MTV on their show Faking It, the first television show ever to have an intersex main character! It's a HUGE step for intersex awareness, and it seriously makes me cry just thinking about it. Maybe it’s the hormones?
Other cool things? I'm 4+ year vegan, competitive irish step dancer, and a mermaid. (That last one is up for debate.)
My views are not representative of those of Turner, Cartoon Network, or Advocates for Informed Choice.
EDIT: I'm taking a break! I'll keep responding tonight and this week, so feel free to keep them coming. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
EDIT: I went for a jog and am eating thai food and even though it's 12:30 at night I'm going to answer some questions. To my bosses: if you're reading this....I might be late tomorrow.
edit: It's almost 2. I'm off to bed. But I'll respond intermittently! Thanks for all your awesome questions! I'm still going to be late tomorrow.
Can you get a serious answer to "what time is it?" at the Adventure Time offices?
What's production coordination like? Management?
Nope! We're like meerkats. Someone asks for the time and we all pop up from our cubicles, fists in the air, shouting "Adventure Time!" It's cute the first time.
The production team makes sure the show gets made, basically. They are like management in that they oversee that everyone stays on track. They're like the liaisons between the artists (which is nice because you get to interact with everyone instead of sitting holed up in your cubicle never speaking to another human) (unless you like that sort of thing in which case you go girl). I personally deal with retakes which means that once the episodes come back from Korea I make sure that all the fixes happen, like maybe a scene's missing a character, or scenes aren't hooked up properly, or something's colored wrong, etc. (aka yes you can blame me for mistakes, it's probably my fault) (well, not really but kind of)
With as much evidence as possible, can you please present to us your argument for being a mermaid?
Am I doing this right? http://imgur.com/gallery/Edzo0YS
I've read your MTV post, but I'm still a little confused. Can you simplify as much as you can what Intrasex is? From what I understand, you have a vagina and testes, but don't produce estrogen or testosterone? So. Kind of hormonal gender neutral? I apologize for my ignorance!
Unfortunately, intersex (not intrasex!) is pretty complex, which is why most people don't know about it or understand what it is. But basically, it means that somebody is born with traits that don't quite fit in the "male" and "female" boxes. Because sex is a spectrum, there are so many possible variations. You could have someone like me, who starts to develop as a male in the womb but then doesn't respond to the testosterone and develops differently (androgen insensitivity). You could have someone who is like a typical female in every way, except they don't have a uterus (MRKH). You could have a typical male who's urethra doesn't come out at the tip of the penis but rather somewhere else along the shaft (hypospadias). There are so many possibilities and variations, it's hard to pin down in a simple explanation.
I have a vagina, but my gonads (the umbrella term for testes or ovaries or both) are testicular in nature. They do produce testosterone, lots of it, but my body doesn't know what to do with it. It ends up turning some of it into estrogen because bodies are amazing.
Does that answer your question?
I support your decision, but some women with a history of breast cancer in their family do get their breasts removed preventatively. It's called prophylactic mastectomy.
Oh totally! But like you said, they have a history of it. That's not what I'm talking about.
Externally I just have a vagina. My testes are internal and undescended. Some intersex people may have something like that, but it depends on their variation. And it's probably not in the way you're thinking. The intersex furry tag is not a place to find true intersex people, I'll tell you that much.
No offense, but are you saying you have balls inside you? Like behind your vagina or something?
Yup, up in my pelvic area, abdomen-ish. Where typical girls ovaries would be.
I have honestly never heard of this, but it's great you are brave enough to be I guess a poster child for awareness now.
Have you always kept this a secret as far as dating goes, what type of reactions have you dealt with since revealing this?
Thank you! I didn't start dating till I was 20 because I was so scared of rejection. I kept it a secret until I felt comfortable sometimes it took 8 months, sometimes it took a week, but I would rarely share the whole story. As I've become more involved in advocacy I started sharing more, and more quickly.
I had one partner break up with me because of it, and that was super damaging. I spent my whole life waiting for that to happen though, so when it didn't I almost expected it? Yeah, super damaging. But I've gotten over it. My current bf is incredible and I told him on our second date...also because I knew he'd eventually find out with the whole being on MTV thing, haha. But he's been so wonderful and supportive. Everyone's reacted differently!
What would your tips be for anybody who wants to get into animation with minimal experience of their own, what programme's/software or courses/degrees would be most beneficial?
Oh gosh...draw a TON. Just keep drawing. Programs aren't as necessary depending on what you want to do, but photoshop is always necessary. You can learn so much online that going to school isn't as necessary, but life drawing always helps, a long with the connections you'll make.
Hi Emily! What made you decide to go vegan? What's your favourite snacky food/guilty pleasure?
I read some books and watched some documentaries about veganism, they opened my eyes to the American meat and dairy industries. Once I had the knowledge there was no turning back! And for me it's all encompassing - animal rights, environmental benefits, health benefits. Everything. It just makes sense!
I saw in one of your comments that you have a boyfriend. In general, do intersex people tend to be attracted to people of the opposite phenotype (people with female phenotype being attracted to men)? I know there will always be some that don't have the same sexual preferences/tendencies as most others do, but is there a general rule of thumb?
I think yes, as a general rule of thumb! The same statistics of LGBT people in the non-intersex population seems to ring true for the intersex population. I think there probably tends to be more fluidity amongst intersex people, as people figure things out, but that's more my assumption.
I think depending on intersex variation there are also higher statistics of LGBT people.
With your lack of testosterone, you will probably never be a successful bodybuilder. Have you gotten over this problem?
You just had to bring it up! Of course not. How does anyone get over that??
I figure you live in Atlanta? do you go to Dragoncon? and if so do you do cosplay?
Cartoon Network Studios is based in Burbank, CA! Our network offices are in Atlanta, but the creative offices are in Burbank with the rest of the animation industry. I haven't been to dragoncon yet, and I don't cosplay much. I love costumes and dressing up but wouldn't consider myself a cosplayer! I'm being Marceline for halloween (and my bf is being Marshall Lee because we're being doing a gross/adorable couples costume)
What was it like working for DC Nation? And favorite hero?
It was fun! It was just getting started, so it was cool learning about how they plan out the programming blocks w/interstitial, commercials, etc. I never thought about planning all that out.
And wonder woman! I'm 6 feet tall with long black hair. #representation