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The I'm From Driftwood Podcast
28 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
Special Episode: Live Comedy Event!
We close out our third season with a special comedy episode, recorded live at the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. We’re joined by queer comics Kristen Becker, Kendra Dawsey, and Gus Constantellis as they share hilarious stories covering everything from southern living to being a “thembo” to accidentally hitting the gay clubs with dear ol’ Dad.
22 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
Queer Elected Officials
It’s one thing to live an openly queer, happy life - but can you imagine doing so while balancing a high profile career in politics? Just ask Representative Ritchie Torres and Mayor Annise Parker. Ritchie was launching his first-ever campaign for office when an interview presented him the chance to reveal his whole self - an opportunity he took. Annise’s entire college career, meanwhile, nearly got sidetracked by a girlfriend’s vindictive and homophobic mother. Both fortunately found electoral success and were able to represent not only their constituents, but the LGBTQIA+ community as well. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Ritchie and Annise’s stories and discuss the impact of queer and trans representation in government, the shifting of public attitudes over time, and the importance of decisionmakers having to answer to their LGBTQIA+ colleagues. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Ritchie and Annise’s stories and discuss the impact of queer and trans representation in government, the shifting of public attitudes over time, and the importance of decisionmakers having to answer to their LGBTQIA+ colleagues.
24 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
Children know themselves better than we give them credit for. Matthew knew at a young age that he wasn’t a girl and it just took a gentle assist from his mom to realize that he was a boy. When Marcella’s trans daughter expressed an interest in wearing dresses, she didn’t hesitate to demonstrate love and support. But when the local bully decided to pick on her daughter on the way to school, the other neighborhood kids came to the rescue - pushing back against the bully’s comments and inspiring Marcella in the process. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Matthew and Marcella’s stories and discuss the importance of allowing youth to explore their identities, the necessity of queer and trans visibility, and how - more often than not - children know who they are better than we do.
15 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
Homelessness in the LGBTQIA+ Community
Angela was kicked out of her family home as a teenager and from there, her life only became more unstable. From a brief period in a group home to an abusive relationship to survival sex work to suicidal ideations, her early life was marked with one struggle after another. Fortunately, she was eventually able to find stability in her life, finish school, graduate from college and make amends with her mother - all the while learning some important life lessons along the way. In this episode, Phil and Alex reflect on Angela’s story and discuss her resiliency, as well as the homelessness pipeline for LGBTQIA+ youth - particularly among Black trans women - and the importance of supportive resources for that vulnerable population.
28 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
What's in a Name?
Do you get butterflies when you see your name on a simple work document? Jaye did, highlighting the importance and value of respecting people’s preferred names. On the flip side, Danny was told his preferred name would not be used at his graduation ceremony, diminishing his otherwise enjoyable high school experience. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Jaye and Danny’s stories and discuss the importance of owning your name, how allies can demonstrate true support, and the need for corporations and other organizations to keep up as society evolves beyond the gender binary.
32 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
Which is a better place to live for queer and trans folks - the city or the country? Turns out it depends on who you ask. Rae thought that the rural Appalachian town they grew up in would be hostile to LGBTQIA+ folks and opted to live in Austin for a decade before realizing they missed the mountain air and wanted to increase queer visibility back home. Levi, meanwhile, realized that his hometown - which had an active KKK - wasn’t the right place for a queer man and so instead relocated to a more urban city where he could find the supportive community he needed. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Rae and Levi’s stories and discuss how both urban and rural locations can be queer-friendly (or not), their shared belief that people should ultimately go where they can find the fullest version of themselves, and touch on a little bit of queer and trans rural culture.
43 minutes | Jan 13, 2022
Outside the Binary
Ever feel like people are placing you in a box? Ada and Dubbs definitely did. Ada nearly had a panic attack due to wearing a dress at a Christmas concert, compelling them to take a step back and reevaluate their gender altogether. Meanwhile, Dubbs’s realization that they were genderqueer came out of a lipstick lesbian awareness party where they realized they enjoyed the company of the women but didn’t personally identify with them. Their unique experiences drew them to the same conclusion - that identity is fluid and only you can define yourself. Dubbs joins Phil and Alex as a guest on this episode where the three engage is a conversation about why people feel the need to put others in boxes, why people should do what’s empowering for them, and was cis people can do to demonstrate true allyship with nonbinary and genderqueer folk.
29 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
Spouses Coming Out as Trans
Description: What would you do if your cis spouse came out as trans? For Mitch, coming out to his girlfriend was a nerve-wracking experience but the concern was all for naught. Not only was she accepting and encouraging, she wound up being the person who administered his first testosterone injection. When Randi came out to Shellie, Shellie learned that while she would miss aspects of their previous life, there were many, many things to look forward to on this new adventure together. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to these two stories, and discuss how unconditional love, hard work, and patience are essential ingredients in any working relationship.
33 minutes | Dec 30, 2021
Out in the Workplace
Are you out at work? It’s easier for some people than others. Ingrid Galvez Thorp had moved from her home in NYC to a new job in Georgia and was surrounded by microaggressions from her new colleagues. After word got out that she might be a lesbian, her tough-as-nails boss confronted her about her sexuality. Ingrid stood tall and came out to her boss, only to find out her boss was a super ally, ensuring that if anyone had a problem with Ingrid, they’d have a problem with her as well. On this week’s episode, Ingrid calls in to join the conversation with Alex and Phil.
35 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
“Allyship Requires Risk”
What makes someone an ally? For Rosa, it’s learning to love queer people even though it was her gay ex-husband who hurt her the most. For Jean-Claire, it was ensuring a beloved gay uncle was properly remembered for all of who he was, rather than a “straight-washed” version of him. In this episode, Phil and Alex dive into the true meaning of being an ally, how it’s lost its meaning over time, and what meaningful allyship looks like in the real world.
57 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
Some people might think that the LGBTQIA+ rights movement began with the Stonewall Riots. To be sure, it was a major event - but the movement began long before that. Eric Marcus, host of Making Gay History, joins Alex and Phil as we listen to the stories of longtime actvists Leona and Richard, and do a deeper dive into the origins of the gay rights movement and the seminal events that defined it. We also learn more about the background behind Making Gay History and how sharing our community’s stories can enrich future generations and even help combat bullying.
26 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
Description: Should teachers keep their sexuality hidden from their students? Matthew had wanted to keep his private life private, but one student’s persistent questioning about his spouse’s gender made this impossible. Fortunately, he lived in a state that had workplace protections for LGBTQIA+ people. Alexa did not, however, forcing them to walk the fine line of keeping their queerness hidden while also maintaining an open and accepting environment in their classroom. In this episode, Alex and Phil listen to their stories and discuss the enormous responsibilities educators face in and out of the classroom, as well as the importance - and challenges - of bringing one’s authentic self to the classroom.
29 minutes | Dec 2, 2021
Do you know what Intersex is? If not, you’re not alone. Even some people who are born Intersex go through a steep learning curve. Take Maria Tridas, who literally sat down with her parents, a pen and paper, and Google, to figure out what it meant that she’s Intersex. Maria joins Phil and Alex to reflect on growing into her identity, the importance of bodily autonomy, the fight against unnecessary surgeries, and why we must remember to include the “I” in LGBTQIA+.
59 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
Spotlight: Trans Women of Color
In this week’s episode, you’ll hear stories from Cecilia who, as a child, only saw one opportunity for trans women: sex work and drugs. But now? She proudly identifies as an elder at 44 years old and lives a “boring life” with a 9-5 and a 401(k) and wouldn’t have it any other way. And Mila who had fame, a following, and performances with celebrities as a popular drag persona but gave it all up to start over from scratch, this time living authentically as an out and proud trans woman. To discuss these stories and topics with our hosts is author, advocate, activist, and actor Precious Brady-Davis, whose new memoir, “I Have Always Been Me,” is both a testimony about both her childhood trauma as a ward of the state and a celebration of life and authenticity.
55 minutes | Nov 18, 2021
Coming Out as HIV+
HIV diagnoses affect different people differently. For Tarik, his partner’s diagnosis found him ostracized from his family, and his own diagnosis years later threw him into a downward spiral of depression. For Shareef, his HIV diagnosis was what drew his estranged and formerly homophobic father back into his life. In the end, both were able to use their status as a source of strength, rather than a detriment. In this episode, Phil and Alex discuss these stories and are joined by HIV advocate and activist Dimitri Moïse for a discussion of the impacts of stigma and pozphobia, the need for more affirming representation, and the importance of education and support.
24 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
Kids of Queer Parents
Kids get asked all sorts of random questions by their peers. For Julia, it was a question of how she could possibly have two moms, or how they gave birth to a child. For Cathy’s daughter, Jackie, she was the one who had the questions: she understood having two moms but didn’t quite understand how a man and a woman could produce a child. In this lighthearted, funny and moving episode, Alex and Phil listen to Julia’s and Cathy’s stories and discuss the burden of handling invasive questions and the innate emotional intelligence of children.
28 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
Love & Dating
You never know when you are going to meet the love of your life. Will it be at a party? Through an app? For Simone, it was a chance encounter on the subway. For Sam, it involved drinks, cigarettes and matching tattoos. In each story, both storytellers were on the precipice of missing out but were saved by a mix of fate, risk-taking, and strong mutual attraction. In this episode, Alex and Phil listen to these stories and discuss the importance of “shooting your shot”, the fear of rejection, and their own experiences in the dating world.
40 minutes | Oct 28, 2021
HIV/AIDS Activism: Interview and Stories by Jay Blotcher
Jay Blotcher is a longtime writer, journalist and activist, and was an early member of ACT UP. From his early days as a towel boy at a gay bathhouse to his later years as an activist in the height of the AIDS epidemic, Jay’s life has been a profile in working to improve the lives of the LGBTQ community. In this episode, Jay joins Phil and Alex for a discussion of his life, activism and the impact of the AIDS crisis on the community.
27 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Loss & Grief
At some point in our lives, we are touched by the loss of someone, be they a friend, relative, or partner. The grief that follows is so personal to each individual and can live with them a very long time, surfacing at the most unexpected of moments. For Michael and Ladi, who lost their long-term partners to terminal illness, that grief was debilitating. And yet, when they were at their lowest, fate intervened in the most serendipitous way to give them respite from their mourning. In this episode, Phil and Alex discuss these stories and explore the topics of loss, grief and the importance of living with the heartbreak rather than trying to move past it.
29 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Parents Come Out to Their Kids
We often hear stories of people coming out to their friends, their parents, their co-workers - but less often do we hear stories about parents coming out to their young children. Fortunately for Brian and Chloe, they had a little help from unexpected sources. For Brian, it was the gay governor of New Jersey, while Chloe’s was a mix of Superman, Wonder Woman, and...the Secret Life of Pets? In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to these stories and discuss the earnestness of young children, the impact of pop culture, and the increasingly queer-friendly trajectory of future generations.
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