“Intersex” is defined as a condition in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not seem to fit the typical medical definitions of male or female.
Intersex people represent as many as 1.7% of the population and yet their experiences are the least understood and represented even among LGBTQ+ communities. Homophobia and transphobia contribute to their marginalization and also to standard medical procedures in which perfectly healthy intersex children are medically altered to appear more like typical girls and boys. Surgeries and hormone replacements begun before children can consent often cause life-long physical harm and psychological trauma. These procedures have been identified as Human Rights Violations by the United Nations yet continue in the United States every day.
After uncovering the truth about their bodies, five intersex people break the silence about their physical differences in the documentary film “Stories of Intersex & Faith.” Coming from Christian and Jewish families they show how religion often supports secrecy, shame, and surgeries but how they found healing, courage, and hope through intersex support groups, personal faith, and a few physicians willing to listen and challenge medical protocols.
On Feb. 27, from 3-5 p.m., PFLAG Seattle is hosting a free screening of the film and a panel discussion afterward. The panelists are:
Anunnaki Ray Marquez — Intersex man, activist, speaker, seminarian. His story is featured in the film. Anunnaki created restitution for himself by achieving Colorado’s first intersex birth certificate in September 2018. This lead to his TEDx talk, “Born Intersex: we are human!” He presented his talk “How to add the ‘I’ responsibly to LGBTQIA+” at PFLAG’s 2017 and 2019 national conferences. He speaks across the country and administers numerous support groups online (www.anunnakiray.com).
Marissa Adams — Intersex woman, activist, board member at Intersex and Faith. Her story is featured in the film. Marissa is a graduate of Towson University and was involved with the youth program at interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth from 2013-2021. Marissa is also the Communications and Support Coordinator at InterConnect and a team member with the FEDUP Collective, a group of trans+ and intersex individuals, whose mission is to make visible the high incidence of eating disorders effecting trans, intersex, and gender diverse people.
Megan DeFranza, PhD — non-intersex Christian woman, director of the film, PhD in religion, author of “Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God” among other publications, producer of a video curriculum for churches entitled “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Scripture and the New Science of Gender” available for purchase on Vimeo. (www.megandefranza.com)
Steph Budwey, PhD — non-intersex Christian woman, Luce Dean’s Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor of the History and Practice of Christian Worship and the Arts and Director of the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture Program at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN. Her current book, “Religion and Intersex: Perspectives from Science, Law, Culture, and Theology,” will be published by Routledge in 2022 and is grounded in interviews she conducted with intersex Christians. Steph is a board member at Intersex and Faith.
Advance registration is required for the screening and discussion, which are free and open to the public. Please register here.
Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as well as during the event’s Q&A.