gender and sexuality

Available September 4, 2018. Click cover to learn more.

An Oral History of Shame

An Excerpt From Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

Killing the Buddha

Cowboy for Christ

Gender-bending love at Bible camp. From Believer, Beware, now available as an e-book!


Fear of God, Love of Armpits

Imagine riding New York City subways in the heat of summer…with an armpit fetish. Such is the fate of Samuel. Meet him and others who seek the services of Mistress Josie, a vegan dominatrix in “Den of the Dominatrix,” a new piece by Maria Smilios just out on Narratively. Here’s a taste: Samuel is a…

Killing the Buddha

When Pessimism Tramples Truth

Roger Scruton’s New York Times column “When Hope Tramples Truth” extols the virtues of pessimism by decrying the mindlessness of those endorsing marriage equality. But it turns out that being a pessimist does not preclude one from being a bigot; Scruton’s column shows how to be both at once. Scruton sets out to convince us…

The New Hate by Arthur Goldwag.

Haters in the Public Square

Thursday evening I’m driving up Connecticut Avenue on my way to my reading at Politics & Prose and the cab driver has NPR on the radio. All Things Considered is talking about CPAC, which is kicking off just blocks away, and the GOP’s new national front runner, Rick Santorum. They play a snippet from one…

Killing the Buddha

Telling Trans Stories

While reporting on trans issues, a friend connected me with Shay Kearns (aka Anarchist Reverend). In my email exchanges with this seminary graduate (M.Div from Union Theological Seminary in New York, NY), I found myself drawn to his exploration of a new way forward for queer theology; one that isn’t focused on apologetics but instead…

Killing the Buddha

Love in Action, Except Not

For those who wonder how they can respond when they see Michele Bachmann’s husband and other ex-gay activists spewing hatred, the documentary This is Love in Action demonstrates what can happen when even a small band of Christians finally stands up and speaks for those who have no voice. The film chronicles the journey of Zach, a…

From the 2011 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Photo from the Philly Broadcaster.

Reporter in Transition

Initial reflections from the 2011 Philadelphia TransHealth Conference.

Killing the Buddha

Do You Feel Mutilated?

Sudden activity on an old front in the worldwide circumcision wars: Africa. While two legislators in California announced efforts to ban the San Francisco circumcision-ban ballot measure, The Atlantic reported on a Zimbabwean campaign to encourage grown men and boys to get circumcised. The point of the Zimbabwean effort is to slow the spread of HIV. As…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.


A father assuages his post-circumcision conscience.

Detail of "Blood drainage," from the series "Sangre Menstrual" by gaelx, via Flickr.

Magic Menstrual Mummies

A boy discovers that there are right and wrong kinds of blood.

Mary in the Stocks.

A Crime Against Fertility

Dearest Daughter, I can only hope this message reaches you safely. After the Government tossed me into an Unmarked Van I was taken to this Place. I know not where it is, only that it’s rather Old-Fashioned and the People are Garbed Accordingly. They said I am guilty of a Crime Against Fertility. I am…

"Our Lady of Lebanon" by Rebecca Wilson via Flickr.

Missing Communion

“God liked people who could admit to their total raw fear.”


Oprah-atic Citizenship

I’m really excited to announce that my interview with Kathryn Lofton, one of the most creative and brilliant young scholars of religion around right now, is now up at The Immanent Frame. Katie is a historian by trade, but over the years she has also cultivated a powerful fascination with Oprah, leading to her new…

Still from the movie "Ghost," with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze (1990).

The Sexologist’s Secret

What a radical Victorian feminist really knew about love.


Freak Flags Flying

Being a parent is an endlessly surprising enterprise. My children perplex me in ways that are both deeply disturbing as well as off-the-hook, beyond brilliant. I can say with absolute surety that, at this point in my life, they are my best and most important teachers. In the last few weeks, as the spate of…

"Transgender Day of Remembrance" by moonty via Flickr.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th marks the 12th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize those who have been killed by anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. This event began when 250 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in 1998 following the murder of Rita Hester, a woman who was transsexual and a fixture in the Boston rock…

Killing the Buddha

Reverend Phelps, Your Cause Is Just!

Occasionally KtB just can’t resist sharing its space with some of the wild letter-writers we hear from on a regular basis. They, after all, are part of the cacophony choir, to the exposition of which the site is so fervently devoted. Take, as a saner preface to this, Josh Garrett-Davis’ recent piece here on Fred…