Cigarettes and Wine
by J. E. Sumerau (they/she)
Imagine the terror and exhilaration of a first sexual experience in a church where you could be caught at any moment. In Cigarettes & Wine , this is where we meet an unnamed teenage narrator in a small southern town trying to make sense of their own bisexuality, gender variance, and emerging adulthood. When our narrator leaves the church, we watch their teen years unfold alongside one first love wrestling with his own sexuality and his desire for a relationship with God, and another first love seeking to find herself as she moves away from town.
Alongside academic and media portrayals that generally only acknowledge binary sexual and gender options, While fictional, Cigarettes & Wine is loosely grounded in hundreds of formal and informal interviews with LGBTQ people in the south as well as years of research into intersections of sexualities, gender, religion, and health. Cigarettes & Wine can be read purely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in sexualities, gender, relationships, families, religion, the life course, narratives, the American south, identities, culture, intersectionality, and arts-based research.
J.E. Sumeraua describes themself is a novelist and scholar (pronouns They/She) focused on the intersections of sexualities, gender, religion, and health in the reproduction of inequalities that facilitate patterns of violence in society.