How intersex Latter-day Saints struggle to stay in a ‘two gender’ faith

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10/25/2020

Courtney Skaggs always felt, well, different from other girls growing up, but she didn’t really know how different until she had the birds-and-the-bees talk with her parents as she inched toward adolescence. At that time, her parents told Skaggs that she was born with testicles and a vagina but no uterus and that doctors had surgically removed the male parts. They said she would not be able to bear children but that she could adopt. In high school, she received hormone replacement therapy, but was given the wrong dose, she says, and wound up having menopause without ever having a menstrual cycle. “I spent a lot of time wondering if my body was normal,” says Skaggs, a 29-year-old who lives in Southern California. “I felt a lot of shame and secrecy, even lying to my friends about getting my period. I got really good at hiding and putting up walls.”

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