LGBT History Project: LGBT-068 Anonymous Collection

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1940 - 2017

Joseph F. Christ was born in 1927 with Klinefelter Syndrome and assigned male at birth. The seventh of eight children, Christ was placed into an orphanage during the Great Depression until the age 18. Two weeks later, Christ was drafted into the Army and fast-tracked to work in a secret German Prisoner of War camp in Richmond, Virginia due to fluency in German, Pennsylvania Dutch, and English. Following World War II, Christ got a degree in education from Moravian College, going on to teach English, German, and Social Studies.

In 1974, Christ went to Germany to teach American English on a Fulbright fellowship, and there was married a second time to, Liz, a Fulbright scholar who was in Germany teaching British English. While working there, Christ helped improve the English skills of a German cytogeneticist to allow her to participate in the World Health Organization, and it was through this connection that Christ discovered they have XXY chromosomes. Christ had occasionally started presenting as a woman before learning they were intersex following the end of their first marriage in 1973, but never formally came out, electing to present as masculine or feminine selectively. Christ expresses comfort in being able to present as either/or, while not particularly identifying with the LGBTQ+ community.

Christ passed away in 2018.

Gift of Anonymous
LGBT-068 Anonymous Collection
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections