British Intersex Christians' Accounts of Intersex Identity, Christian Identity and Church Experience
Maney for UK and Irish Association for Practical Theology
Intersex conditions cause a physical ambiguity of sex, and affect around 1 in 2,500 people. This analysis draws on qualitative, semi-structured interviews and/or questionnaires with ten intersex Christians. Overwhelmingly, participants’ church experiences across denominations were more positive than negative. Several participants referred to Bible passages important to them in formulating positive identities as intersex and Christian. A common theme was participants’ belief that God intended them to be intersex, and most understood their Christianity as a source of strength. However, they were not uncritical of the Christian tradition, especially regarding teachings on sex, gender and sexuality. British Christian denominations’ documents on personhood, sex, gender and sexuality barely mention intersex. This is unlikely to change if church policymakers do not become more aware of the existence of intersex and the experiences of intersex people. Further engagement with intersex will be crucial in formulating pastorally sensitive and theologically robust accounts of human sex, gender and sexuality in the future.
Copyright © 2013 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd
Vol. 6 (2), pp. 220 - 236