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Finding Comfort with Devannon Hubert of the Sex, Drugs & Jesus Podcast
Episode 988th August 2022 • Causepods • The Podcast Consultant
00:00:00 00:23:20

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Have you ever felt rejected for being who you are?

Many episodes here on the show have highlighted issues where people are rejected or, worse, injured for someone just being who they are. Today we are talking with DeVannon, who has a story written over the last decade. He now helps others fight their battles with sex, drugs, and Jesus. 

A common theme on the show is that pain can have a purpose and those who find it begin a road to healing. 

 Book: Sex, Drugs, and Jesus

Key Topics:

·     Where does a name like Sex, Drugs, and Jesus get started (1:30)

·     How did you decide to write a memoir about your story (2:31)

·     What was it like to reconcile your relationship with Jesus (3:58)

·     How did serving in the Military during don’t ask, don’t tell shape who you are today (6:35)

·     Reaching the point, you are ready to share your story (8:04)

·     With such a unique message, what have been some of the responses you have received from listeners (12:30)

·     What were the early struggles with launching a podcast (15:48)

·     Looking at today, what are the things that you are looking to grow right now (17:42)

·     What made the ACLU the charity of choice for today’s show (19:30)

Website link: Sex, Drugs, and Jesus

Podcast Links:

·     Apple

·     Google

·     Spotify

Charity: ACLU (website)

Donation: Link

Social Links

·     LinkedIn

·     Twitter

·     Facebook

·     Instagram

Transcripts

(:

Hi and welcome to Cause bods. I'm your host, Matthew Passy. Here at Causepods, we have one simple mission to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcasts as a way to raise awareness for good causes and make the world is a better place, whether it's in their own local community or they're taking on global issues. Please visit us@causepods.org where you can learn about our guest show, their favorite charitable cause. Join our Facebook group with resources for Cause based podcasters and find a link where you yourself could be a guest here on Causepods. Again, that's all@causepods.org. All right, we are going to take.

(:

You down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And this is a show that I'm going to say the name of it and you're going to go, what? But I think you're really going to enjoy this conversation. We are chatting with Devanin Hubert. He is the host of the Sexdrugsandjesus podcast. You can learn more about it@sexdrugsandjesus.com. Devannon, thank you so much for joining us on the show today.

(:

Hey, man, how are you? Thank you so much for having me. I feel fabulous today. I'm so happy to be here.

(:

Oh, it is a pleasure to have you joining us. So a very interesting combination of words in the title of that show. I have often heard the relationship with sex and drugs and they are usually synonymous. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. In your case, sex, drugs, and Jesus. What is the preface? What is the idea behind this podcast before we get into how you came to be creating the show?

(:

Well, the podcast came about as I was writing my memoir, and it came to me that it was a really good idea to start a podcast. Are you going to be writing a book so you can do your own, like cross promotion and stuff like that? Now. The memoir is also called Sex, Drugs and Jesus. So the name actually started with the memoir, and I like to be directed to the point, but not necessarily on the nose. But if I'm going to deliver something, I just want to deliver it. And so the core of my story has so much to do with sexuality and a lot of drugs and a lot of Jesus. And so I was like, let's just put it in there and just be done with it.

(:

It's descriptive, it's honest, and it tells us exactly what we're going to be getting when we check it out. And by the way, folks will put a link straight to the book as well in the show notes for this episode, but easy enough, sexdrugsandjesus combooks. So tell us a little bit about your journey. What is brought about the decision to write this memoir? What is the message you are trying to convey in the work that you're doing?

(:

The importance of Transparency whenever I got HIV about ten years ago, me and my friends were too busy running around to the club partying up and stuff like that and trying to be cute and look picture perfect. And we were cute, but the problem was nobody was really being transparent about the problems that we were going through. So then I got HIV, found that out on a voicemail that a doctor left me on New Year's Eve back in 2011. And so then I really went down like this terrible downward spiral and everything like that. So fast forward to today, I'm doing better, and stuff like that. And I thought, well, surely I haven't been delivered from all of these problems. And I skipped over them. There were many, you know, just to have a quiet, successful life. Let me be transparent so that hopefully other people can read through this story and find something that's going to help them.

(:

I see the sex and the drugs aspect here, and folks are listening to this. Can't see it looks like cross earrings coming down. So let's talk a little bit about the Jesus part. You say in your description that as part of your journey of self discovery, you were kicked out of your church. So do you still have a fraught relationship with religion? Or have you found another way to have faith in your life that you celebrate?

(:

Right. So thank you for noticing my earrings. I did wear them just for you today. Thank you very much. I got them on Etsy actually. Really cute.

(:

They are fabulous. Absolutely.

(:

I was attending Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, under Joel Osteen, whenever I was ousted from the ministry for not being straight all those years ago. That was actually the first catalyst that contributed to my downfall before I got into the drugs. And so there's nothing worse than being dehumanized by a church, of all places. And so when that happened, I was very immature in my faith. I wasn't as grown up as I thought I was. And I did let it cause a rift in between me and God. So fast forward to the day I've reconciled that rift. I don't really fool with churches so much anymore. Like Dandy said, I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians. So, no, I don't go to church. I don't care for organized religion, because I found the further I get away from churches, the closer I get to God.

(:

It's so interesting that when we talk about religions, and for a lot of folks who have appeared on this very show, that they had a very deep spiritual relationship with religion, and if that religion, if that organization, if that specific church had simply been open and accepting of who they are, they wouldn't have lost somebody who wanted to be devout to those beliefs. And just the fact that, like you said, you were pushed away simply for being who you are, simply for not conforming to their rules, that you have to be straight, that they lost the member and they probably lost a very vocal advocate for their church in doing so.

(:

I was a little bit too ate up with it, looking back on it. I'm a very intense SAGITTARIUS. I take stuff way too far all the time, and that's just something this is how I am. But, yeah, I was a guy running around with the Lakewood Church brochures in my car, handing them out to people everywhere I went. I was volunteering there like 10 hours a week. I was in the adult choir singing on the weekends. I was the supervisor in the kids ministry over the other teachers, and I was teaching my own group of third grade boys, and then I was a worship leader in the kids department as well. So, yeah, I was definitely all in. And now I'm all like, middle finger to you, Lakewood Church. And Joel Osteen.

(:

You also say in your description that you served in the military, and you did so during the infamous don't ask, don't tell phase of the armed services. What was that like, trying to volunteer, serve your country and feel like once again, somebody was telling you, we want you, just not the way you want to be?

(:

I was so young and naive. Then I went to the military, and I was 17, and I don't know that I necessarily recommend doing that now that I understand how really long it takes us to develop and settle into who we are. It totally sucks because I was certainly a victim of harassment for not being straight when I was in the military, and it's like I couldn't go anywhere, and I got more and more rebellious against them as I got older, and I barely was able to get out with an honorable discharge because I kept getting into trouble while I was in the military. But it's never a good situation where you can't be yourself. So I'm so happy that now in the military, you can be as gay as you want to be and everyone just twirl around. It's a good life looking at it now.

(:

So you have these experiences, right? You got your diagnosis, you went through a downward spiral with drugs, you left the church, or you were kicked out of the church, however it wants to be perceived. So then where did you kind of stop and say to yourself, I think I want to write a memoir, or, I think I want to start to talk about my experiences, start to share what I've gone through and really help others?

(:

A couple of months after my fourth felony, when I got out of jail and they had transferred my probation from Harris County, houston, Texas, over to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I'm originally from, so I can get back closer to home and hopefully not fall back into debauchery again. That's one of my favorite words. I learned it from watching Bugs Bunny back in the day. He used to say, debauchery and so anyway, solid word. In the year 2013, I took out a tablet and just started writing. I had always wanted to write a book, and I never thought it would be about my true crime life and all of this. I just really felt pressed to do that. And so I just started taking notes in 2013. And it was the year the Coronavirus came, the town, that we finally sat down and put an outline to it. So it was eight years of notes before I started writing the book. I just felt like I had received such strong deliverances that I did not want to keep it to myself, and it was hard to keep it bottled in anyway. And I found writing to be most healing.

(:

When we work with other podcasters and talk to other folks who are doing this kind of work, we always ask, why are you doing this? Who are you trying to target? And upon getting that person to read the book, check out your podcast. What is it you want them to do? And so I'm curious for you, when you were actually writing this book and then even thinking about the podcast, what's your mission here? Right? Who is it that you want to have consume this content? What is it that you want them to get out of it? And hopefully, what is it that you want them to be able to do after spending time with your thoughts?

(:

This book was written in a way to touch on people at different points in their life. So I'll give you a couple. And I think that I've accomplished this without being vague in my target audience. So somebody can read through this and maybe they know somebody who's struggling with addiction, okay? Maybe it's going to give them a different perspective of somebody who's struggling with addiction or maybe someone who's homeless and things like that. I wanted to give an inside perspective to that because sometimes people may go, oh, look at that homeless person. Why don't they just fix it? Or Why doesn't she just quit the drugs? And stuff like that. So I wanted to really be transparent with the struggle of the up and down of drugs and stuff like that, and to divulge the community that you find when you actually do live homeless. When it comes to people searching for religion, I wanted to be transparent about the search for that because my message in there is for people to sort out their spirituality, because being spiritually vague is not going to serve you, and it doesn't matter if you worship God, Christ, Buddha, your cat, or whatever, but believing in something is important.

(:

And so I challenge people to make a decision because so oftentimes we get very lackadaisical when it comes to spiritual matters, and we'll just be like, oh, well, I believe in something. I haven't quite figured it out yet. In the meantime, I'm going to go over here and have this martini and take this trip or whatever and get to the spiritual stuff later. So I'm trying to cause people to have more compassion towards people struggling with things that they haven't been through for people who are going through addiction and stuff like that. I get messages from people saying, I'm so happy to see my story and your story, that sort of thing. Oh my gosh, I've got messages from parents saying you're helping me understand my gay kid now.

(:

That was going to be my next question was you have a good sense of who is that you want to reach? And it could be at various points in their lives and interesting that it's not just the person themselves who might be struggling to be okay with who they are or to open up about who they are or live happily being who they are, but even to the other folks around them to help them be more welcoming and receptive. I'd be curious to hear a little bit more about what has been the response. What has been some of the reactions that you've gotten from putting out this book and from doing the podcast?

(:

Parents have found a greater understanding of their kids. There's been people who have felt comfortable enough to reach out with what they consider to be like a pornography addiction for instance, and things like that. So then I'm able to engage with them and start conversations of okay, why do you actually think that that's bad? Like where do you get that from? And so all the responses has to do with people seeking a greater understanding either of something within themselves that they have conflict with or something within somebody else's life that makes them uncomfortable. So it's all about people trying to find a sense of comfort.

(:

And folks have come to you and said they found that comfort that they.

(:

Are getting that like people who have reached out, who are also struggling with addiction right now is comforting enough to hear that they're not alone because so often we're sitting in the same room with people going through the same things that we're going through, but then we're just not saying it for them. The parents who are understanding their kids better and the people who are the people say, for instance, who are struggling with pornography to start for them, they didn't necessarily reach out and they're like, yay, your book was super sexually explicit, which it is points, you know, now I'm like totally cured of hating myself or watching porn. But you know, it was the start of a conversation, a good seed was planted and they understand that there's more than one way to look at pornography now. Not just the church told you it's bad, that's it it's a little bit more layered than that. Nobody has told that to me directly. But when I've gone on other people's shows, those people have gotten responses from my interview with them saying that they thought we're going to go to hell and all of this like that.

(:

Because I'm being very, like, PG right now out of respect for the temperament of your show and everything like that. But like, on my show and on some other people's shows, every other word out of my mouth is a cuss word and everything like that. But because I might say, like, God in the F word or all these other different words in the same sentence, that really does bother a lot of people. The thing that's bothered me the most is that there are certain people who I used to have relationships with who are pastors of churches or preachers within churches, and those are affirming churches, like LGBTQIA plus affirming churches. But as I got more into my anti church, pro God rhetoric, they stopped responding to my messages, and I think because it goes against their church's agenda. So that's what's really bothered me. So they haven't said, Stop what you're doing, but they just got silent on me.

(:

Not fair, but I'm not surprised to hear it that way. But I'm glad it's not people actively going out of their way to find you and harass you because you're trying to do what you want to do. So, like I said, you wrote the book and you thought the podcast would be a great way to help to push this book out there, help to get more attention. When you were launching the podcast, what were some of the initial struggles or challenges or what are some things about it that you learned along the way that you wish you had known earlier?

(:

Learn how to do everything as much as you can yourself. And some of it might not be as intimidating as you think. So, as you know, Alexander over at Pod Match, he emailed me one day out of the blue. I never met him before, and I thought it was kind of a spammy thing, but I was like, I'm not going to delete it. And eventually I got back to it because usually the stuff that shows up in my inbox isn't of use to me. But I'm so glad that I didn't delete his message. So he taught me about how to use the script for my own editing. And there's so many things, and the main pitfall is to not get caught up with people trying to hustle you because you have a passion, you have a dream. And so I came across these people charging three $400 an episode just to have it edited, to find someone to come on the show and everything like that. And now I do that all myself. And so many people stop podcasting because of the cost and everything, and there's so many tools out there to really reduce your cosbas.

(:

And so that would be my main thing is to find ways to do stuff for yourself and to believe in yourself that you can do it.

(:

I would certainly agree with that. As someone who also offer services to podcasters, there have been plenty of folks where we can say, yes, we can do that and we can charge. But there are things you can do on your own. And I think it's important that you know how to manage your own podcast, even if you eventually do bring on outside help and outside assistance so that if that person goes away or if something changes, the show can still go on. It doesn't have to rely on other people who you are working with. What about today? What are some things today with podcasting that you wish were easier or something else that would make that would help.

(:

You in producing the podcast, marketing assistance and things like that? Email campaign, social media, the outreach aspect of it. I think episode 61 just dropped like an hour ago. Thank you. For the first year or so, I've been focused on content creation. Like Alex always says, just focus on content just to see if I was going to stick with it and be sure. And so now that it seems like I'm not aggravated with podcasting or anything, I really quite love it. So now, just slowly I'm starting to shift gears and how can I put this in front of more people?

(:

And that is probably every podcast. There's big challenges. How do we get more people to listen to the show? Has there been anything in particular that you found has helped to grow the show?

(:

Going on other people's shows and then my website.

(:

So having good SEO and then getting in front of more podcasters, even the ones who might be angry at you after you go on there?

(:

Oh, I'm here for the anger. I'm waiting for it to come because it's happening. Every other business that I've had, every last one of them, my massage therapy clinic, my down under peril lingerie store, those two things, you would think no one would show up angry. Yes, they do. So it's only a matter of time before they find me.

(:

I'm sorry you have to endure that and screw them for not accepting for you being as fabulous as you are. So as part of your appearance and everyone's appearance, we always like to talk about a charity or a cause that we want to support on your behalf. You have us talking about the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. We'll have a link, of course, the Aclu.org. If you want to donate on behalf of Dovannon, why the ACLU? Why is this such an important cause to you and to your beliefs?

(:

There is a gorgeous transgender man by the name of Chase Strange who is like a civil rights, some sort of like an attorney with the ACLU. His advocacy and his work and everything I found to be most inspiring on some degree, I'm becoming kind of like very passionate about the trans cause. I am not transgender, but for whatever reason it's really starting to speak to me. And so I've been learning more about the trans struggles and everything like that because Chase Strange is affiliated with the ACLU and things like that and some of the trans people I talk to, they always seem to point back to the ACLU and we're big advocates of donating there. That's why I chose the ACLU.

(:

I mean they do fight for everybody and they are absolutely a good organization. So again, if you want to donate on behalf of the Banana and his parents are on Causepods, it's Aclu.org and of course we will have a link in the Show Notes to that as well as right back to your website, Sexdrugsandjesus.com. Before we let you go, any advice or any words of wisdom that you would give to somebody else who is passionate about their cause? Maybe they've written a memoir or maybe they just want to get out there and spread the word about what it is that they're trying to do. Anything you would say to one of those budding podcasters out there.

(:

I'd say Findpodmatch.com or Podpros.com Now and I would just say stick with it. Time and pressure is something that someone told me who was a lifelong businessman long ago when I was but a weed bean pot in the ground. He said time and pressure, you got to be able to stick with it and endure and it pays off eventually.

(:

I think that is some great advice. And we know Alex San Filipo and I'm sure that he is doing a great job helping you out and we would encourage others to check out some of the stuff that he puts out there and see if he can help you. But before you do that, we want to encourage you to check out Sex, Drugs and Jesus, the podcast. You can learn more about it. Sex, Drugs and Jesus.com will have a link to that. And of course all the places where you find this podcast here in the Show Notes. Thank you so much for joining us here on Call Spot today.

(:

Thank you so much, Matt.

(:

Thanks for listening to this episode of Cause Pods. If you've been inspired by the work of our guests, please check out the show notes to this episode in your podcasting app or@causepods.org there you will find links to their show, their website, their podcast, links on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as a link to support the charity that they highlighted here in this episode. You will also find@causepods.org a way to subscribe to this show on your favorite podcasting app, how to sign up to be a guest on this show, and a link to our Facebook group which is going to have special resources just for the folks who are podcasting for a good cause. And I can tell you right now, we've got one great deal from our friends at Pod page. But you're only going to learn about it and get that special deal if.

(:

You are a member of the Facebook.

(:

Group for Cause Pods. And before I go, I should say thank you in particular. The show is edited and produced by Ben Killoy of the military veteran Dad's podcast. What a great job he has done. And all this is made possible because of the great support that I received from Shannon Rojas here at the podcastconsultant.com. Once again, if you want to learn more, go to cospods.org. Thank you so much and we will see you next time on Cospods.