Authorities have sent on leave a Canadian teacher who not only suffers from a rare condition called gigantomastia, she was also born intersex.
Intersex is a group of conditions in which there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals (the testes and ovaries). The older term for this condition is hermaphroditism.
The teacher was reportedly placed on leave after months of criticism from parents about her size-Z breasts, which they suspected of being prosthetic.
Kayla Lemieux, an industrial arts teacher at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Ontario, Canada, was reportedly photographed by a newspaper outside school, dressed as a man and without the prosthetics.
The teacher has maintained that it was not her in the photograph, and that the breasts are real.
Ms Lemieux has said she suffers from a rare condition called gigantomastia and that she was born “intersex,” rather than being transgender.
According to the National Institutes of Health, gigantomastia is a “rare condition characterised by excessive breast growth”.
In the wake of the photograph being published, a spokeswoman for the Halton District School Board in Ontario told the Toronto Sun: “While not currently on an active assignment, the teacher remains employed.”
Controversy around the teacher began last year when it emerged she was teaching classes in a wig, and tight top showing Z-cup breasts with protruding nipples.
The ensuing saga led to heated board meetings, at which parents complained her appearance was inappropriate for children, and there were bomb threats at the school.
Last month, the New York Post photographed what the newspaper claimed was Ms Lemieux dressed as a man, and without breasts, walking down a street.
In an interview at a separate time, with breasts, Ms Lemieux told the New York Post: “I can’t tell you who that is [in the photograph] because I don’t want to bring anyone else into this.
“This is who I am. This is how I look. I am always going out looking the way I am. I’m not wearing prosthetic breasts. These are real.”
The teacher told the newspaper that she began hormone replacement therapy in 2021 and was “in transition”.
However, she said she was “not a transgendered person,” having been born “intersex”.
Experts give varying estimates of how rare it is to be born intersex, with it being somewhere between 0.018 per cent and 1.7 per cent of the population.
Ms Lemieux said gigantomastia had been brought on by hormone therapy.
She told the New York Post: “It’s rare, there’s no doubt about it. It affects women on a very rare basis, but in my case, I believe, and my doctor thinks, because I have XX chromosomes as well, that has something to do with it, and hormone sensitivity to oestrogen has caused it.”
In a subsequent email response to the Toronto Sun, she said: “I decided to break my silence and put my name next to my statements, and now I am being asked to provide proof. I really don’t know how to help you with that.”