The Story Blurb
RADIFY is set in the near future, as medical tourism and unregulated human biogenetics practices catering to the ultra-wealthy have ignited global protests. At a pivotal, multi-national biotech and gene-editing policy summit, biogenetics mogul Eric Bateson inaugurates an influence campaign to deregulate reproductive research for nefarious reasons.
In the streets outside the conference halls, large protests explode. Journalist Thomas “Target” James suddenly dies while covering the scene for his whistleblowing news-blog Radify. The mystery behind his death brings together a motley trio – Cadence Morrow, Alexandra Puma, and Roam Sparks.
Target’s girlfriend Cadence discovers inconsistencies in the police report of the fatal incident. In her private life, forced to step away from showdowns around her intersex ‘medical management’, Cadence struggles to trust two new allies – Roam and Alexandra. Roam, a Radify contributor, is certain Target was killed due to an upcoming expose and offers to dig through the news-blog’s files for Cadence; Alexandra happens into the investigation when her artist drawings unwittingly depict possible suspects. The closer the friends get to learning the bizarre truth, the more their secrets and lives are threatened, and the more important their mission becomes for humanity.
“I have never been more dedicated to a project than I am to this one! RADIFY is structured to be the first in a series of speculative-fiction graphic mysteries – each set in the near future when extraordinary breakthroughs affecting healthcare and access are capturing the public’s attention.” – Emily Mode
What is “intersex” and why did I choose to write an intersex lead character?
Intersex is a general term used for people born with any of a range of characteristics that may not fit traditional conceptions of male or female bodies, including variations in their chromosomes, genitals, and/or internal organs. People with intersex traits have always existed.
I became interested in intersex stories because of my overlapping experiences with some people in the intersex community and my desire to help re-shape healthcare. As a lesbian of Jewish decent who has undergone treatment for epilepsy I have had periods in my life where I felt safer if I hid parts of my identity, have experienced gender expression discrimination and homophobia, and was raised with family stories of medically sanctioned eugenic genocide. When I developed epilepsy in my late 20s, I was working but had no health insurance and necessarily signed up for Emergency Medicaid. The following years of treatment issues with doctors who could or would not discuss my medical options, pharmaceutical side-effects, and did not take my complaints seriously (until I ended up in the hospital) had lasting consequences. Thankfully I eventually found a generous, respectful, and supportive Neurologist – who I appreciate to no end! But the trauma of those first years lead me to question medical training, biases, healthcare access, and misinformation within the Medical Industry – across “diagnosis.”
Over seven years ago I started looking at intersex experiences. Within a few years I grew committed to specific groups of intersex self-advocates and have since worked with intersex consultants who helped me refine Cadence’s story arc, and provide sensitivity readings of RADIFY. The character of Cadence is face modeled by an intersex activist and cinematographer. In addition I have intersex individuals and an organization of intersex youth that I have and will continue to collaborate with on different aspects of the book.
“As in intersex person and an activist I am thrilled to be the face model for Cadence, an intersex character. Representation is very important for our intersex community and I’m so grateful to Emily for working with us and for doing it right! I feel very lucky to be a part of this project and I can’t wait for the final result!” – Irene Kuzemko
“I’m excited for Radify because it explores many of the themes we intersex and LGBTQ+ people will have to deal with in the not-so-distant future. It’s deeply refreshing to see an intersex character taking back power in the face of industrial medicine.” – Hans Lindahl
“Our youth members have been hard at work consulting on this graphic novel project: one of the first featuring an intersex character! They did sensitivity reading, face modeling, and background research. The author, Emily Mode, has been dedicated to listening to and compensating intersex youth from the beginning. Stellar!” – InterACT Advocates for Intersex Youth