Intersexion -with an x- is a limited-edition podcast featuring conversations with special guests around the book's central themes of authenticity, identity, community and allyship. So much happens at intersections: meet ups, near misses, collisions. This intersection is a place where people and ideas come together, where stories are told and perspectives shift. Cynthia Davis is a semi-salty adjunct professor of narrative nonfiction and author of the recently released Intersexion: A story of faith, identity and authenticity.
A Conversation With Progressive Christian Poet Marla Taviano
Marla Taviano is the author of Unbelieve. Jaded, and an upcoming third and final poetry collection named publicly for the first time in this special edition episode!
Marla's poems are journeys through book-inspired thoughts and real-life observations of evangelical Christianity, crafted into bite sized narrative poems that often made me suck air in a gasp of recognition or horror, or, more commonly, both.
She's also the creator behind @whitegirllearning, an instagram account devoted to elevating books by authors of color.
Marla's personal instagram account @marlataviano is absurdly fun to follow--she pulls people into her world and treats them all as friends.
Join me in getting to know my fellow sister-author and friend!
The One with the Intersex, transgender, lesbian, Christian, Baptist Minister: Laura Beth Buchleiter is here to upend assumptions.
CW: suicidal ideation
Laura Beth Buchleiter is a self-described Intersex, transgender, lesbian, Christian, Baptist Minister. But her story upends just about every possible assumption or judgement that often comes along with those adjectives.
Laura Beth was a husband, father, and minister who spent 20 years living with physical pain from an undiagnosed source and mental anguish from body dysmorphia. Prayer, Biblical manhood courses, and Christian therapy didn't help. "I was slowly dying," she says.
Her story almost ended in suicide, but she found herself in the ER instead. That night began Laura Beth's journey of finding answers. And as she began to understand her body, peace of mind followed.
Please join me for this conversation about the five biological systems that determine gender, Christian mysticism, and other life-giving topics.
Addressing the Needs of Youth With No Address: Rev. Dr. Marian Edmonds-Allen
Our guest on this episode is Marian Edmonds-Allen, the Executive Director of Parity NYC. Parity is a faith-based organization headquartered in NYC that builds bridges across the LGBTQ+ and faith divide. Parity partners with diverse faith communities to foster understanding between traditionally rejecting faiths and LGBTQ+ people and their families. They create connections between the sacred and the secular by partnering with non-religious community-based organizations.
Marian's work is focused on suicide prevention and homelessness in the LGBTQI+ youth population. She was instrumental in turning indifferent legislators into fierce advocates who ultimately fought for the new 988 national suicide prevention hotline, and insuring that the was equipped to handle the needs of the LGBTQI+ community, who are more than four times more likely to contemplate suicide than their heterosexual peers.
Mentioned in the episode:
Learn more about Marian and her work at Parity: https://parity.nyc/
The Salt Lake Tribune's story about Marian's interaction with Laura, the legislator turned advocate: https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2021/11/24/marian-edmonds-allen/
The 988 crisis Line:
Audio Book Narrator Jennifer Pickens tells her own (Intersex) Story
Jennifer Pickens is an audio book narrator whose smooth, confident delivery brings stories from major publishers like MacMillan and Penguin to life. In this episode, Jennifer tells HER story of learning, as a 15 year-old Christian teen that she has XY--Male--chromosomes.
Mentioned in this episode:
Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome
learn more about intersex
Making room when the industry won't: Flamy Grant's shame-slaying, hip-swaying Christian music debut
Flamy Grant doesn't care if Christian music is ready for drag--she's here to "move you, soothe you, help you heal some trauma and always leave you laughing." In this episode, Cynthia and Flamy discuss Flamy's pandemic origin story, faith and deconstruction, and their mutual respect for Christian music icon Amy Grant.
Mentioned in the episode:
"What Did You Drag Me Into"
Curtis Michael Holland
The Power of Community
Today's guest is Virginia Palencia, a colleague and a very dear friend. We both teach at Christopher Newport University as adjuncts– a career that can honestly be a little lonely. Adjuncts are the itinerant workers of academia and it's a job that make building community difficult.
In this episode, we talk about how we took seeds of friendship that were always there and built them into something more substantial– a community. We banded together with another colleague and created the sisters of Perpetual Disorder– a group that is part support, part advice and part drinking club.
Intersexion: A Story of Faith, Identity, and Authenticity
A deeply human story about choosing between social acceptance or health, fear or authentic friendship.
What happens when a teenage girl hits puberty, drops a testicle, grows a penis, develops breasts, gets a period and tells no one? What if years later this person finally confides in an insecure ally who has her own secret: a life-changing promotion with a catch—her signature on a document labeling sexual minorities as “repugnant” and “offensive”?
Intersexion is a life-giving true story that plays out at the tense and tenuous intersection of identity and religion. Cynthia, an adjunct professor with a trunk full of ungraded papers and snack wrappers, has been an LGBTQIA+ ally for years—in convenient ways. She enjoys the company of her queer friends—but her support isn’t risky; it hasn’t cost her anything. Until she meets Dani. The youngest child in a conservative evangelical family, Dani knows that playing the role of dutiful daughter is safer than jeopardizing faith and family with a norm-defying body that seems an affront to both. Born visibly female, yet desperate to be seen as the boy he truly is, Dani relies on prayer and magical thinking, until his life depends on one thing: the truth. A middle ground was no longer an option for either of them.
Told in both Dani’s and Cynthia’s voices, Intersexion is a harrowing, hopeful exploration of the cost of coming out—as an intersex minority, ally of a minority, or asker of difficult questions—and what it means to come into one’s own. It’s a book for anyone craving a more authentic life, and a story about the intersections we find ourselves in by no choice of our own.
To contact Cynthia Davis: cynthiavaccadavis.com
For more information or to read an excerpt from Intersexion: https://lakedrivebooks.com/intersexion/
Available through Amazon: click here
Such helpful conversations
So good to be able to listen to this podcast with these important conversations about faith identity sexuality and gender and what it means to be authentic in our world today, which sometimes comes with a cost but also has unexpected and even greater benefits.