Public Lecture – Birth Certificates to Bathrooms, Religion, Politics, and the Nature of Sex

Event Date: September 23, 2016

Location: Portland Campus of the University of New England
Intended Audience: This session was designed for the general public, including faith leaders. It showcased presentations by Lianne Simon and Dr. Megan DeFranza and included plenty of time for questions and answers.

Every time the Olympics roll around, the topic of sex testing resurfaces, reminding us that biology is more complicated than the pink and blue boxes on our birth certificates. In an instant, what is most personal becomes public and political. But debates over biological sex are leaking beyond the world of sport into our schools, public bathrooms, and even our religious communities. Come and hear Lianne Simon share her story of growing up intersex – in a body that could not be categorized as clearly male or clearly female. Listen to how faith saved her life only to set her on a path challenging the very faith tradition she holds so dear. Join her conversation with Dr. Megan DeFranza, a theologian and scholar studying how different religions make sense of the complexity of sex. Learn how our assumptions have the power to shape and reshape politics, religion, medicine, and our understanding of our very selves.