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Lianne Simon on the Challenges of Being Intersex & Christian

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Detailed texture from Bruce Herman's Painting Planetary Nimbus V

“Intersex is a broad label for people with differences of sex development (DSDs)—people whose bodies show physical characteristics of both male and female.” – Intersex and Faith

In this latest Betwixt Podcast episode, Deb Gregory talks with Lianne Simon about her experience as a Christian intersex woman. Lianne shares her remarkable journey of faith despite experiences of abuse, shame and invisibility.

Liane Simon was born with a genetic condition that caused sexual ambiguity. Because her body features a mosaic of both male and female chromosomes, much of Lianne’s life was spent coming to terms with a body that was born different.

"Will I be male or female in heaven? I don’t know. But I know my redeemer loves me."

Lianne Simon

In a culture conflicted by questions of gender, sex and faith, Lianne’s story helps us to lay aside ideology in order to compassionately listen to the reality of those who live on the threshold between male and female. Perhaps this story can help foster a space for healing conversations within your community.

“Intersex people need bodily autonomy and integrity.

We are the ones who need to figure out whether we can fit into this world in a mostly binary way (and which one) or whether we need to embrace the body God gave us.”

Lianne is the author of the books Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite and A Proper Young Lady which tell fictional accounts of intersex stories. She is also an advocate for families and children with intersex conditions.

Lianne and Theologian Megan DeFranza are the producers of the new documentary film Stories of Intersex and Faith. The film gives voice to five intersexed people who find healing and hope in their faith. The film also advocates for greater understanding and ethical standards around unnecessary cosmetic genital surgeries on children.

“It’s society that needs to be healed, not us.” @Intersexfaith

If you are interested in hosting a screening of Stories of Intersex and Faith or wish to have Megan or Lianne facilitate a discussion within your community, please visit

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Special Thanks to Kai Engle for the generous use of these songs: Cendres, Aveu and Headway and to Ryvoli for the use of Roots.


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