If you don't have any intersex friends, where do you get your understanding of what it's like to be a hermaphrodite in a world so strictly devoted to the male/female divide? Hollywood isn't going to help (though Argentina's XXY is highly praised) and television will be the opposite of subtle. As ever, the answer is to read books.
In fiction, start with two giants. One is Kathleen Winter's terrific Annabel [Kindle], which was shortlisted for all three major Canadian book awards, was a finalist for the Orange Prize (losing to The Tiger's Wife), and won the $20,000 Thomas Head Raddall Award. The other is Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex [Kindle] winner of a Pulitzer, an Ambassador Book Award, a Great Lakes Book Award, Spain's Santiago de Compostela Literary Prize, and, for readability, was an Oprah Book Club selection. Middlesex also was a finalist for the NBCC, Lammy, and IMPAC Dublin. If you avoided the book thinking it merely covered protagonist Calliope/Cal's personal struggle, critic Ruth Franklin considers hermaphroditism as a larger metaphor:
"But it functions also, quite effectively, as an image for the many divided American selves—the immigrants, like Calliope’s ancestors, split between the old country and the new; race relations in Detroit in the 1960s, when she/he comes of age there; and the ways people transform themselves, under duress or through force of will, into new creations. Living as a man, Cal ultimately winds up in Berlin after the fall of the Wall, its two halves struggling to reunite."
In science, try Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality by out lesbian Anne Fausto-Sterling, who has taught biology at Brown for forty-one years and is married to Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel. Others in the crowded nonfiction field are Sharon Preves's Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self, Katrina Karkazis's Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience, Alice Dreger's Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, and Gerald Callahan's Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes.
And why October 26, you ask? Sixteen years ago today activists from the Intersex Society of North America and allies from the Transgender Menace protested at an American Academy of Pediatrics conference in Boston where doctors were advocating infant genital surgery on intersex kids in order to make them ‘normal.’ Now the day is commemorated in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia.