When Dalea Rundblad was 14 going on 15 years old, she eavesdropped on a conversation that changed her life.
But before that fateful day, she always had a feeling that something was “different” (as she puts it) about her body. Starting at age seven, she knew something was up when she kept having fainting spells, and her mother frequently took her to the doctor to have her hormone levels checked. But throughout the years, her mother kept her in the dark as to what exactly was going on.
So when she was 14, she had grown tired of the secrecy. Her mother and doctor shooed her out of the room to discuss her lab results, but this time she planted her ear on the door and listened to their conversation.
She says what she heard made her knees go weak. “Back then they called it ‘testicular feminization,’ I think,” Dalea said to senior editor and guest host of Latino USA, Nadia Reiman. Later, Dalea learned that she has AIS, or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, an intersex condition that results in a person having the typical physical traits of a female, but the genetic makeup of a male.
Dalea talks to Latino USA about how learning her diagnosis changed the course of her life, and how she didn’t let it define her.
Featured image: Courtesy of Dalea Rundblad