The Hidden Sex: Representations of Intersex People in Circus and Sideshow Novels
Despite being the hidden sex in society, intersex people with ambiguous genitalia are visible in a number of circus and sideshow novels. These characters are often used as plot devices, performing a stable gender identity whilst concealing their intersex status for the sake of the plot. They are portrayed as deceptive and licentious, their identities placing them outside of the sex and gender binaries and leaving them dehumanised. It is only in Pantomime by Laura Lam that the possibility of an alternative portrayal is glimpsed, although questions regarding the sex and gender binaries and non-normative sexuality remain.