By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 10 2013 3:09 PM ET
A transgender woman in Portland, Ore., is seeking to have her authentic gender formally recognized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, reports KATU.
Leahnora Issak spent most of her life living as a man, though she told KATU that she was born without male genitalia, a condition often known as being intersex. About one year ago, Issak began living as a woman, with the support of her local stake (church) president, according to KATU.
"My sex is now female," Issak tells Portland's KATU. "And I just want the records to reflect that. And I don't think it's really contrary to any doctrine or any policy that we have that this can be done. I just want to live the Gospel. I want to live the plan of happiness, which I believe applies to all people. I want others to know that they have a place. There's got to be a place for us."
Within the Mormon religion, men and women have different roles, and some services and duties are segregated by sex. Women are also not eligible to hold the priesthood — a privilege Issak says she's willing to sacrifice in order to be formally recognized as a woman by the LDS headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"God didn't make garbage," Issak tells KATU. "He made me transgender. And it's transgender for a reason."
The church has not yet commented on Issak's plan to petition to have her gender changed in church records.
Watch KATU's report below.