Homophobia and Rising Islamic Intolerance Push Indonesia’s Intersex Bissu Priests to the Brink

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02/26/2019

Once kingmakers in one of the most gender fluid societies on earth, the intersex bissu priests of Sulawesi — Indonesia’s third-largest island — are on the verge of disappearing after years of cultural decline and increasing persecution. It is a cultural tradition that has persisted for centuries in a Muslim-majority country, but the tradition of revering priests who were born intersex with male and female characteristics — known as bissu — is dying out, locals and anthropologists have warned.

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