Sally Gross is a former exiled anti-apartheid activist, and has worked for the Research and Policy Adviser for the Regional Land Claims Commission in Cape Town. Born and bred in South Africa, she was involved in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa and during many years of exile in Britain, and was also active in the struggle for justice and peace and against the occupation in Israel/Palestine where her family have lived for more than three decades.
Sally was born intersexed and classified male at birth. Having sought medical advice she was found to be intersexed in 1993, at the age of 40, and was then reclassified as female.
She holds a Masters degree from Oxford University, where she was a member of the Dominican Order and served as a Catholic priest. Rabbinically trained in her teens and a long-standing practitioner of Buddhist meditation, she served a term as secretary of the Oxford University Buddhist Society in 1983 while a Friar – probably the only Jewish Dominican Friar ever to serve as an officer of a Buddhist Society. She taught philosophy, ethics, moral theology and general theology at Oxford and elsewhere, while working on a Doctoral thesis.
Due to her openness about the discovery that she is intersexed, a Papal Rescript pushed her out of the Church, and ended her teaching and academic work. Sally has also served as co-Clerk of both the Eastbourne and Cape Quaker meetings. Sally is an expert on diverse spiritualities (including Judaism and Theravada Buddhism).
For more information on Sally Gross read the three part interview-series in The Natal Witness Features (2000) and a recent update:
- 1. The journey from Selwyn to Sally;
- 2. Shunned by the church; and
- 3. The struggle to be Sally
- 4. Updated feature article (2009)