Barbara Carrellas was recently awarded a 2016 Sexual Freedom Award for Lifetime Achievement. She is the author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century, Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Oh So Much More, and Luxurious Loving. She is the founder of Urban Tantra®—an approach to sacred sexuality that adapts and blends a wide variety of conscious sexuality practices from Tantra to BDSM—and the Urban Tantra® Professional Training Program—a comprehensive training program in the practice and application of conscious sexuality. Her pioneering Urban Tantra® workshops were named best in New York City by TimeOut/New York magazine. Her books, workshops, lectures, and art projects are an eclectic mix of spiritual and sexual practices designed to encourage readers and participants of all sexual preferences and genders to expand their capacity for both pleasure and spiritual fulfillment. Barbara is a graduate of the Coney Island Sideshow School with a double major in snake handling and fire eating.
Viva Ruiz is a community educated multi-hyphenate artist and organizer born and raised in Jamaica Queens, the daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants. Viva was mentored and mothered by Chloe Dzubilo, a life changing relationship that began in 1996 and continues to blossom past her “death” through spirit to spirit and dream contact. Currently Ruiz is very much enjoying countering anti-choice messaging by creating wearable art and music in praise of abortion. #thankgodforabortion
A New York Times Op-Ed by Rabbi Mark Sameth Is God Transgender? went viral last summer. In his forthcoming book, Rabbi Sameth traces the history of the dual-gendered god of Ancient Israel, whose unpronounceable four-letter name scholars refer to as the Tetragrammaton. Rabbi Sameth’s series on gender-bending in the Bible is on-line at The Forward / Scribe. He tweets from @fourbreaths.
Linn Marie Tonstad, Ph.D., is a constructive theologian working at the intersection of Christian theology with feminist and queer theory. Her first book, God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Finitude was published by Routledge in 2016. She is currently working on her second book, tentatively titled Transformative Times, which brings together queer performance art, prophecy, sin, and sodomy to think about social change. She is assistant professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School.
Wazina Zondon is a sexuality educator and trainer based in NYC. Alongside her creative counterpart Terna, she is the co-writer and co-performer of Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love, a personal storytelling performance capturing the stories and experiences of being queer and Muslim (comingoutmuslim.com).
When she’s not agitating and reclaiming Islam, she teaches Sex Ed at an all-girl, public high school in Brooklyn, NY. She also co-hosts Follow that Flannel, a quirky yet informative sexuality podcast (followthatflannel.com) with her bestie, Alyssa Robbins.