Scenes from the Q of LGBTQ+

Episode 6 · March 3rd, 2020 · 49 mins 31 secs

About this Episode

John Backman wore a dress as a child and had never felt comfortable identifying as a man. And only in the past decade, well into middle-age, John, a writer and spiritual director, began to use the pronouns she and her (and sometimes going by the name Janelle.) Yet, she identifies as gender non-binary, rather than as a woman. What has all this meant for her relationship with her wife of decades? Her adult daughter? Friends and colleagues? In this remarkably candid interview, John describes what it is like to live between society’s definitions of male and female. A Christian and Zen practitioner, John places her lifelong quest for true self — and struggle with mental health — within a spiritual framework.

Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby:

Visit our home on the web — Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations:

Subscribe by Email at

Read these show notes on the web at

This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at

Support Evolve

Episode Links