Our Table: Trans Spirituality Conversations

Our Table is a series of conversations among trans and gnc folks about spirituality, joy, ritual, gender, and sex. This audio series is hosted by enfleshed’s trans faith intern, Nite Hunt, who explains the meaning of the project:

“Though our stories and presence are often erased, trans spiritual and religious people exist and always have. Many of us have found spiritual wisdom and practices to be essential sources of strength, comfort, nourishment, and solidarity. However, because many religious spaces still don’t welcome us or the conversations we want to have, it’s difficult to find resources for exploring our spirituality together.”

Listen to the discussions below or find enfleshed on Spotify.

Host of Our Table

Nite Hunt

Nite (also known Night or Knight) is a recent graduate of University of California Santa Barbara with a bachelors in Religious Studies and minor in Feminist studies with emphasis on gender and sexuality. Academically, he is inspired by writings such as Chris Evan’s The Burden of Black Religion, Elizabeth Perez’s Religion in the Kitchen, and many more. His commitment to understanding the function and integration of religion in the everyday lives of minority communities in the U.S. has driven his professional and personal work. This helped inform and motivate him as a queer peer educator at UCSB.

When Nite doesn’t have his nose in a book, you can find him playing video or board games with his roommates, friends, and family. He also enjoys cooking for and with his friends and family, especially savory dishes. And if you can’t find him in the kitchen or online, then he is probably swimming laps or participating in some type of full body contact sport.

Nite joined enfleshed as the inaugural trans faith intern in the spring of 2021.

Episode 1

Ritual Practices

Our Table: Trans Spirituality Conversations

Access the transcript here.

Contributors include:

 

Nathan Bakkan

Nathan O.A. Bakken, MDiv (They/Them), a Seminary Certified Witch, is a white, queer and trans, movement spiritual care provider, astrologer, tarot practicioner, and writer raised on unceded Duwamish land (Seattle, WA) currently based on unceded Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). In 2017, they earned their Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, with a focus on the spiritual and theological life of LGBTQIA+ people, pop culture, and theologies of liberation. In 2019, they were certified as spiritual director through Still Harbor.  They exist comfortably at the spiritual intersection of good food, Dolly Parton, collective liberation, and spiritual care.

Rev. Yunus Coldman

Reverend Yunus Coldman is an ordained Interfaith Minister. In 2010 he began seeking a path that included multiple spiritual walks of life and finally became an Interfaith Minister for the sole purpose of bringing life and divine love to those who seek his counsel and services.

In September of 2013, Reverend Yunus made the milestone, life changing, life affirming decision to move forward in the process of transition and to become a visible activist for the Transgender community within ministry.

Reverend Yunus is the Eastern Regional Minister of Trans Saints. Trans Saints is a community of Transgender faith leaders involved in advocacy focused on the unique perspectives of the African American Trans* community. He is a minister and Board Member at Rivers of Living Water NY UCC. There he serves as Director of The Circle and the Co-Director of the Healing & Restoration Ministry. Reverend Yunus provides ministerial support on several committees with the National LGBT Task Force and has provided chaplaincy services to the Trans community at Riker’s Island.

He serves as a faith leader for New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray’s Unity Project Faith Network Team to address some of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ young people. He is an active Board Member with LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent and is an Honorary Board Member of Harlem Pride, Inc.

Additionally, Reverend Yunus participates in many panels discussions, etc. from the intersections of Transgender and faith experiences at religious and spiritual gatherings, medical groups, and LGBTQI+ causes.

Reverend Yunus Coldman is CEO of Soulful Touch Services which, as a licensed NY Wedding Officiant provides ceremonial services throughout the New York tri-state area and Long Island and as a Certified Reiki Master Teacher offering Reiki healing practices, counsel and meditation.

Episode 2

God and Gender

Our Table: Trans Spirituality Conversations

Access the transcript here.

Contributors include:

 

Enrique Cintrón

Enrique Cintrón (they/them/elle) is a queer, Puerto Rican, nonbinary writer, spiritual director, podcaster, Spanglish speaker, and self-described “themologian,” that is, they theologize from a nonbinary perspective at the intersections of race, queerness, and faith. Enrique considers deep listening and storytelling to be two of their most important spiritual practices. As a spiritual director trained through Still Harbor, they offer spiritual accompaniment as a way to listen and walk alongside others in their spiritual lives. Enrique also hosts Fruits of the Spirit, a podcast sharing and celebrating the faith journeys of queer and trans people of color. In their spare time, Enrique enjoys watercolor painting, cooking, playing video games, and buying far too many books than they have room for on their shelves. You can read Enrique’s writing and learn more about them on their website, enriquecintron.com and follow them on Twitter and Instagram, @themologian.

Rev. Alaina Cobb

Rev. Alaina Cobb is a Mother, Minister, Poet, Theologian, Activist, Author, Trans Woman, Anarchist, Mystic, and Anti-Fascist. Raised in fundamentalist pentecostalism, as a young girl she began a lifelong obsession with theology in her quest to understand who she was and how her transness and bisexuality fit into her faith. Upon transitioning she realized the startling lack of pastoral care and affirming faith resources for her community and pursued ordination as a way to serve those who could never feel safe within the bounds of the traditional church.

Rev. Alaina now serves as the Interfaith Pastor and Director of Sanctuary a collaborative effort between queer and trans activists, ministers, and organizers to provide a space of healing, education, and resistance. She serves as the Chair of the Leadership council of her ordaining body, the Progressive Christian Alliance, an international, transdenominational association of Christian ministers, ministries and laypersons. She has previously served as a Tri-Chair for the Poor People’s Campaign of Tennessee and has worked extensively with various anti-fascist organizations to combat the increased presence of white supremacist groups within her home state. Her first book of poetry and prose “The Gods of Purgatory” is currently available while her latest “Abandon” is forthcoming.

M Barclay

M is the director of enfleshed where they are creating and facilitating spiritual resources for collective liberation. They love and linger in the work and the places where poets, activists, lovers, healers, queers, dreamers, and Spirit all coalesce. Read more about M here.

Episode 3

Celebration and Joy

Our Table: Trans Spirituality Conversations

Access the transcript here.

Contributors include:

 

Sam Ames

Sam Ames is a civil rights attorney, author, and national advocate with a decade of experience fighting for LGBTQ rights. Sam grew up in Los Angeles and received their B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz; their J.D. from George Washington University; and their Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, with a focus on Religion, Ethics, & Politics. They are a member of the California Bar.

Sam most recently served as the Interim Executive Director of Our Family Coalition, an organization working to advance equity for the full and expanding spectrum of LGBTQ families and children through support, education, and advocacy. Prior to that, they served as the Interim Executive Director of Trans Lifeline, an organization that provides direct emotional and financial support to transgender people in crisis; as well as a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, working on constitutional law cases involving marriage equality, employment discrimination, and family law.

Sam is the founder the Born Perfect Campaign – a national effort to end anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy through legislation, litigation, and public education. They served for a year as a hospital chaplain at UCSF Medical Center, with a focus on inpatient psychiatric treatment and religious trauma.   Sam has testified in state legislatures, Congress, and the United Nations Committee Against Torture. They have been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Teen Vogue, Newsweek, BBC, The Guardian, TIME, VICE and MSNBC. They are also a consultant on LGBTQ issues nationwide, an avid AIDS LifeCycle rider, and a Gryffindor.

Rev. Kai Greer

Kai, a Hospital Chaplain, is currently serving as a Staff Chaplain with the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans (LA). Kai is the child of a retired United Methodist Pastor. Kai was born in Wilmington, Delaware and grew up in Ohio and New York. After starting college in New York, Kai eventually made it back to Delaware and completed a BS in Business Administration at Wesley College (Dover, DE) in 2003 and an MBA in Human Resources Management at Goldey-Beacom College (Wilmington, DE) in 2012. After completing the Master of Divinity at Drew Theological School (Madison, NJ) in 2016, Kai accepted a call to serve in parish ministry with The United Methodist Church. Since completing Seminary, Kai has served as a spiritual leader in parish settings and as a Hospital Chaplain. The evolvement of Kai‘s journey, from parish ministry to chaplaincy, was realized because of developing a passion for ministry where Kai could encounter people where they were on their life journey without the expectation of meeting only for worship services or set faith occasions. The evolvement in Kai‘s own words, “provided opportunity to encounter people from many faith traditions and social communities.”

Rev. Remington Johnson

Rev. Remington Johnson is an ordained PC( USA) minister that has served at the bedside of the sick and dying as a healthcare chaplain for the last ten years. Remington is active in the research community by working as a consultant on a growing number of peer reviewed studies and also serving a medical school think tank at the University of Texas. She regularly lectures on the complex care navigation process with a special focus on values identification. Remington is engaged to a lovely woman and mother to a delightful six year old. Later this year Remington will begin work on earning her registered nursing license and later her masters in nursing through the University of Texas.

Myles Markham

Myles Markham Myles Markham (he/him or they/them) is the Impact Producer at Multitude Films, an LGBTQ women-led indepedent documentary company and the Screening Manager for Story Productions, a non-fiction film ministry of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Myles is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, loves decolonial theologies, exploring their Japanese American/Native Hawi’ian identity, and knows an embarrassing amount of trivia in the categories of wild animals, American Evangelicalism, and early 00s hip hop, r&b, & pop music.

Episode 4

Divinity and Sex

Our Table: Trans Spirituality Conversations

Access the transcript here.

Contributors include:

 

J Mase III

J Mase III is a Black/Trans/queer poet & educator based in Seattle by way of Philly. As an educator, Mase has worked with community members in the US, UK, and Canada on the needs of LGBTQIA+ folks and racial justice in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities. He is founder of awQward, the first trans and queer people of color talent agency.
 
J Mase is author of And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer’s Reflections on Grief, Unemployment & Inappropriate Jokes About Death as well as White Folks Be Trippin’: An Ethnography Through Poetry & Prose.
 
His work has been featured on MSNBC, Essence Live, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Blavity, the Root, the Huffington Post, TEDx and more.
 
Currently, he is head writer for the theatrical production Black Bois and is co-director of the forthcoming documentary, the Black Trans Prayer Book.
Find him on Instagram (@jmaseiii) and www.jmaseiii.com!

Rev. KC Slack

Rev. KC Slack is a Unitarian Universalist minister working at the horizons of art, gender, justice, and pastoral care. Their work is infused with beauty and boldness, with a focus on growing resilient communities with honesty and inclusion. They are the universe prehending itself in the mode of causal efficacy, they are glitter incarnate. Rev. KC heard their call to ministry while working as a Patient Advocate at Preterm, an independent feminist abortion clinic in Cleveland, OH. They completed their MDiv at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA in 2016, after which they completed a CPE residency in Burbank, CA in 2017, and were ordained by their home congregation in Cleveland, OH in the summer of 2018. Currently they wear many hats, serving as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills, a facilitator and educator with the non-profit organization More Than Sex-Ed, a regular guest preacher throughout the South Western United States, and a spiritual director working with queer and transgender seminarians. They also serve as co-chair of the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council, and as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Election & Campaign Practices committee. Additionally, Rev. KC is a witch. They make art by turning feelings into shapes and colors, choreograph prayerful dances honoring fat bodies in their living room, and pray for collective liberation with each breath, brush stroke, and twirl.

Support the making of Our Table

If you or someone you love benefits from this work, please consider making a contribution to ensure its sustainability. We’re raising $1300 to cover the resources needed to create this project, pay our contributors, and continue to create and facilitate more spiritual resources for collective liberation.

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