LGBT Oral History 017: Joe Christ

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August 8, 2017

Joe 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 where they stayed until age 18. Two weeks later, Christ was drafted into the Army and fast-tracked to work as a stool pigeon in a secret German Prisoner of War camp in Richmond, Virginia due to their fluency in German, Pennsylvania Dutch, and English. Following World War II, Christ got their degree in education from Moravian College, going on to teach English, German, and Social Studies while building and driving racecars, motorcycles, and flying planes as a hobby. In 1974, Christ went to Germany to teach American English on a Fulbright fellowship, where they met their second wife, 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 LGBT community.

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Gift of Joe Christ
LGBT Oral History - Christ, Joe - 017
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