Lianne Simon

November 9, 2012  /  Atlanta, Georgia, USA

(Transcript)

 

My name is Lianne Simon. I’m a Christian, a housewife, and an author. I also have a condition called mixed gonadal dysgenesis. Some of my cells have a Y chromosome, and some of them don’t. It resulted in a difference of sex development, mild heart and kidney malformations, and a small jaw.

As a child I was tiny and frail and uncoordinated. At age nine, I was about the same size as my six year-old sister. I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy for most of my life, and I also take meds for my thyroid and for my adrenals.

As a young adult I agreed to have surgery, which promised to allow me to have vaginal intercourse. But, after five years of unsuccessful dilations, and two weeks near death in the hospital, I was worse off than before I’d started. It took me about 16, close to 17, years before I went back again for a vaginal repair. I just couldn’t work up the courage.

Meanwhile, I learned to fly helicopters and airplanes. I spent some time overseas as a missionary. I went back to graduate school. I helped start a campaign consulting firm. I sold jewelry, taught middle school, designed control systems for military robotics, and wrote user interface software. Generally, what I was trying to do was avoid emotional entanglements and forget what I really wanted which was to have children of my own.

Eventually I did go back and have the surgery. Then I started preparing to adopt as a single woman. It’s difficult but you can do it.

But, I met a man who didn’t care that I had a difference of sex development, one who thought I shouldn’t be ashamed of my body, and you know, he was right: No Body Is Shameful®. Sin originates in the heart, not in the body. So, we got married and we’re working on the happily ever after part. But, as a writer I hope to help raise awareness of what it means to grow up with a body that’s not entirely male or female, and how you can overcome some of those issues. Thank you. ©