Episode 10 Transcript- Melissa Etheridge will steal your girl

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Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door
Leigh: with your hosts Leigh and Megan.
M: We take the topics you care about:
L: sex, relationships, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment,
M: and look at them through a queer as fuck lens.
L: Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at Queers Next Door
M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com.
L: Cheers, queers!

M: Okay, hi.
L: Hey.
M: Hi Leigh.
L: Hi Megan.
M: It’s been a long time, but now we’re back. (laughs)
L: We are.
M: (laughs)
L: We are back. We kinda, we work on a very, very strict schedule
M: (laughs)
L: and we got off that this month. Yeah. We’re here.

M: So, I’ll go into that, when I talk about my self-care, but first, what have you been doing to take care of yourself?
L: I had two thoughts about this. One is that I went to Dyke Day LA this week, or this weekend, and like, I had a nice time. It was, like, very chill. I mostly just sat in the shade with people I knew. So, but, it was really, just like, nice to be around that many queer people ’cause it’s what my life feels like, (laughs) when I’m in smaller groups or when I’m on the internet or doing whatever, is that I feel like everyone around me is queer, but then that’s like not actually true in the real world. But it was this time. It was just like, hundreds, thousands, I have no idea how to tell how many people are at an event. I have- Nothing in my brain can…
M: (laughs)
L:  So I’m like, there were 500 or 3,000 people there. I don’t know. But there were a lot of people there. So, just being in like big queer community and getting to see people that I haven’t seen in a long time, like, you know, like I have queer friends who have a kid and live far away and so I just don’t see them anymore, and they were there. So that was really nice. And, and then the other, you the other main thing I’ve always, I think, especially lately is therapy. But I was just thinking about, like, for Pride month, especially, just thinking about this, like, how lucky I feel to have a queer therapist, because…two queer therapists, both my individual and my couples therapists, are queer folks. And like, it’s something I don’t want to take for granted. And I just think it’s so nice to have like, those kind of questions or confusions or whatever just completely off the table. Like even just talking to my therapist about like someone I had met, you know, she stopped and, like, made sure she had the right pronouns before she went on, and was like, was like, “Did you say she or they? She? Okay.” You know? And it’s just like so natural any time I’ve talked about a person that I know and used their pronouns, no matter what they are. She’s never once said it wrong, you know? She doesn’t- I don’t know. And maybe that’s basic. Like that’s basic in my community, but it’s, it’s a really nice to have in like a therapeutic space,
M: Yeah.
L: to have someone who’s just fully understanding.
M: That’s awesome. My therapist is not queer-friendly
L: Oh.
M: and not poly-friendly
L: Yeah.
M: and so I feel like a lot of the times as I’ve dated and done stuff, I’ve had to educate her about pronouns, and she’s like, “Oh. I’ve heard something about this before. Like they’re starting to do training about it.”
L: Yeah.
M: And I was like, “That’s awesome.” And so many people tell me, and I think we’ve talked about this, that I should try to get a new therapist, but she’s really good with trauma,
L: Right.
M: which is, and I’m doing EMDR with her, so I feel like, at this point, getting a new therapist is not good for me. I would just stop going and not get a new one, (laughs) so…
L: 100%. Sometimes too, it’s like, what is the thing that you’re most focused on,
M: Mmhm.
L: because when I first got divorced, I was figuring out a lot of stuff around, like, you know, processing my divorce and also parenting. And so the therapist that I had for a while after that was the therapist that I had been with back when I was married and we were having problems. So it was someone who knew my whole history and was very validating,
M: Mmhm.
L: and like, could remind me of how I was feeling years before. And then as we’d move forward, when I was, just like, managing having a toddler, was really helpful in like, supporting me through that. So, not queer, not particularly poly knowledgeable, and I did end up switching to find someone who was a much better fit, but I stayed with her for a few years
M: Yeah.
L: Because she was meeting (laughs)…it’s like being poly. Not one person’s meeting all your needs, but
M: (laughs)
L: we can’t often afford…well I have two therapists, but (laughs) we can’t often afford multiple therapists, so I get that. Like if trauma’s the main thing or if it’s the hardest to find a good trauma therapist, then…
M: Yeah. Well and I’d never done EMDR with anyone before
L: Yeah.
M: so I think it was kind of a big deal. I was really afraid of it, so I’m attached to her
L: That’s great.
M: in a way, but yeah, maybe one day. It would be nice to have another therapist to talk to. Because like this week, polyamory stuff is the main thing. Even though my mom’s murder date is going to be this weekend
L: Sure. Yeah.
M: because my partner is dating someone and it’s like the first time it’s a little more serious
L: Yeah.
M: I wish that I could talk to her. And I did talk to her about it, but she’s just kind of, like, “Well, are you sure polyamory is the healthiest thing for you?” Et cetera.
L: Yep. Well this is a good
M: Okay, let’s go back to trauma. (laughs)
L: This is a good segway into Megan, what are you doing to take of yourself this week?
M: So I’ve been watching Broad City and it is fucking hilarious.
L: Nice.
M: And we did record an episode that we never released and I don’t think we ever will. I might cut it up and put it on Patreon.
L: Yeah.
M: But that whole thing was, I brought my now ex-girlfriend over and she was here when we recorded (laughs)
L: Yes.
M: And that was a very fast relationship. I don’t regret it, but it was just…there’s been a lot of weird things happening. The timing of everything hasn’t been the best, so, we broke up kind of shortly after recording that.
M:  and I told you, “Hey, like what about us not using that episode?” (laughs)
L: I think we were both kinda off too.
M: Mmhm
L: I think that this, I think that we’ve done that twice.
M: Yeah.
L: Recorded and been like, “Ehhh, no.” (laughs)
M: Yeah.
L: Scrap it. But yeah, Broad City.
M: Yeah, and so, then yeah, I had the break up, Mother’s Day happened,
L: Sure.
M: which is hard ’cause my dead mom, and my partner dating. So there’s been a lot of things, like a…and then one of my dogs is no longer living with me (laughs).
L: Aww.
M: A lot of stuff happening.
L: Yeah.
M: So I just felt like I needed to do something that would make me laugh
L: Yeah.
M: and I’ve heard so much about Broad City and for some reason never watched it.
L: You’d never seen an episode even?
M: No. Not one episode.
L: Oh.
M: So I started it, and it’s so funny. I will like laugh until I cry. And there’s how many, five seasons.
L: I will be honest. I love it but I have not seen that much of it, which I’m just looking at as like a nice gift, (laughs) so that I can sit down and watch it sometime.
M: Yes. It’s so good.
L: It is.
L: Mmhm.
M: So, yeah, that’s why we didn’t release an episode for a long time.
L: Yeah.
M: And now I’ve done my self-care. (laughs)
L: Totally. Well, without going into all of it, you know, y’all have heard me talk about the PMDD journey, and I did start my chemical menopause like a week ago, which was really chill until it wasn’t. (laughs) I’m not feeling the same kind of emotional, like, hopeless, anxious symptoms that I usually do at this point in my cycle but I am feeling a lot of like cold and flulike symptoms. If I sound more nasal (laughs) than usual, which I don’t know if that’s possible
M: (laughs)
L: but if it is, that’s why. And I’m having hot flashes and, like, waking up soaked in sweat and other sexy things like that. Yeah.
M: That sounds fun.
L: That’s been going on. Also, just gonna blab forever, you mentioned a lighthearted and fun TV show, and I’m going to mention the complete opposite (laughs), just because I feel like it’s important as white folks to talk about this. I just finished watching When They See Us on Netflix, which is a four-part miniseries, so like a narrative version, not a documentary, about the Central Park Five, the Central Park jogger case, and it is heartbreaking and beautifully acted and beautifully directed. And I think it’s important to take care of ourselves during like, difficult things to watch. And I don’t think everyone should watch it, but I think especially white folks, if you can, please do.
M: Yeah. It’s on my list. I read about it and I decided not to watch it right now.
L: 100%.
M: But I’m definitely going to and I’m excited to see it, but I know that it’s gonna bring up a lot of stuff, and I’ve seen people’s reactions to it.
L: Yeah.
M: So I can’t wait to see what it’s all about, ’cause I didn’t know that story. I googled it and I had to…
L: Yeah.
M: I don’t know. I’d never heard of that before.
L: I had. Yeah, I think my suggestion, ’cause I’m not gonna at all tell black folks how they should it or if they should watch it, but for other people, my suggestion is to break it up in a few days.
M: Mmhm.
L: The last episode’s the hardest to watch. So
M: And then is it completely done? Or are they coming out with more?
L: It’s done.
M: Oh. Okay.
L: It’s the full story. So it’s basically just like a really long movie. It’s like a four-hour movie, essentially.
M: I see.
L: Yeah. So, that’s that. What are we talking about today Megan?
M: Today we’re gonna talk about music.
L: Yaaay!
M: Yaaay! We’ve been planning this episode for, it seems like a month.
L: I think it’s been, I think it has been months.
M: (laughs)
L: This is the first episode where I’ve like, had a whole lot of, like first of all, done homework (laughs)
M: (laughs)
L: and then, had a whole lot of fun doing homework. I don’t know. This brought up a lot of like, really sweet, kind of high school memories for me.
M: Mmhm.
L: So the way we went about it, which we’re going to do really loosely, but, is that we each picked a handful of songs/artists and we’re just gonna sort of go back and forth talking about like something that’s been important to us or that we just love by a queer artist or something that’s supported our queerness or whatever.
M: Yeah. I spent three songs crying through them, so this should be fun. (laughs)
L: Oh. Oh yeah.
M: Yaay!
L: I also cried
Both: (laugh)
L: with some of mine. So
M: Oh, okay, so we are not gonna play any of the music on here because we were advised not to because we are broke and we can’t pay to like,
L: (laughs)
M: I don’t know how it even works. I don’t know how people get away with it, but we can’t.
L: We have no licensing money
M: (laughs)
L: but yeah, but go ahead. Sorry.
M: But we made a Spotify playlist. So if you want to listen and like pause, listen to the song and then keep up with it, then go to our blog and find the link or the Facebook group or wherever you find us, Twitter, I don’t know, all the things, and find the Spotify link and then you can listen as we go through them.
L: Yes and maybe we’ll open up the Spotify list or open a different one where people can add their favorite queer music too. Yeah.
M: Yes.
L: Maybe we’ll start another one after this, so we’d love to hear from you like if these are artists you like, if this is music you like, if you’re like, “Oh god, none of that, but I love this.”
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: So, cool. Want me to start?
M: Yes. I do.
L: So I basically have to start with Ani DiFranco because when we first talked about doing this, I was like, “Oh, cool. I’ll talk about Ani for like seven hours.”
M: Yeah.
L: My age is important here. I know I talk about my age, but I graduated from high school in 1997. So this was like the height of Ani doing the college town tours.
M: Mmmhm.
L: And I was in the midwest and so I have seen her 11 times? I think. I saw her once out here like in the last year, but I hadn’t seen her before that in probably like eight or so years, maybe ten years. But in that chunk of time, I saw her a whole bunch. And it was listening to… ’cause I had obviously heard music by queer artists before her, but I hadn’t heard anybody that talked about stuff that felt like, love songs for me
M: Mmhm.
L: or songs for like, queer teenagers. You know, it was more like, gay artists were like Elton John or something, you know,
M: Yeah.
L: like someone where it’s like, “Oh yeah. That person’s also gay and their music is whatever.” But when I came out in high school, and I’ve told this story, you know, I came out “anonymously” in quotations, but everyone knew it was me. We had a note, a little noteboard at school, and some people had left me notes, very like positive, and there was one girl in my high school, and we started, she wouldn’t tell me who it was, even though I had an idea, and we started e-mailing back and forth a little. And when she
M: (laughs)
L: double came out to me, you know, it was like, “Oh yeah. I’m the person and also, like, I’m gay.” She gave me a mixtape of Ani DiFranco songs because she had a sister who was also gay
M: Mmhm.
L: and was like three or four years older than us, so she had like, the college lesbian hookup (laughs)
M: Mmhm.
L: and I played that tape for years until I bought stuff on CD. But I played it in my car like everywhere I went and
M: So it was an actual tape?
L: It was an actual tape. It wasn’t exactly a mixtape. It was songs from Ani’s first self-titled album and then songs from Dilate,
M: Mmhm.
L: which came out in, I do have a few notes. When did Dilate come out? That’s not one I have, of course. Early to mid-’90s. And so that was like the start. Ani’s had like, Jesus, like 20 something albums, maybe 30. I lost track. (laughs) So most of the music that I like of hers that I really got into was the stuff between like ’91 and ’98. She was also, it was also the first time I heard about like, a woman having her own record label. She has a label called Righteous Babe. She used to be kind of called, the folk singer, even though it’s not quite folk music. So it was a cool way of like, “Oh, this can be folk music too.” Like politically active, very like visibly queer music.
M: Mmhm.
L: So I chose a few of her songs, but let’s see which ones I chose and I will talk about, well, as I figure this out, what’s your, do you, are you an Ani fan at all?
M: I was gonna say, I don’t know any songs by Ani DiFranco. I mean maybe I do if they’re like popular and I just don’t know.
L: They’re not. They were never played on the radio.
M: But I heard her name several times and I’ve just never listened.
L: That’s awesome. I’m excited.
M: (laughs)
L: I’m super excited for you to hear it.
M: I can’t wait to listen to our playlist altogether.
L: There’s, I know, like okay, so one of the first songs that were like, that just felt like a soundtrack scene song that I hadn’t heard there is the song, “Both Hands.” And like a line from it is: “And both hands/Now use both hands/Oh no, don’t close your eyes/I’m writing graffiti on your body/I am drawing the story of how hard we tried.” And it’s just like, there’s a lot of, a lot of relationship stuff. There’s another song I really like, probably put on the list, is called, “Untouchable Face,” and it’s all about like, not being able to be with somebody, and it’s: “Fuck you and your untouchable face/Fuck you for existing in the first place,” like, but it’s also really beautiful, so
M: Mmhm.
L: So yeah, I felt, not only like, “Oh, this music is speaking to me,” but like a real kinship with other queer women.
M: Yeah.
L: So
M: That makes sense.
L: Yeah.
M: I’m excited to listen.
L: Awesome.
M: My first song, so I chose songs, except one, you’ll see, that’s, like, my third one
L: I mostly did, I just got a little overwhelmed with Ani.
M: Of course. Because that’s your favorite, right?
L: Yes.
M: So my first song is “Rebel Girl.”
L: Nice.
M: So I graduated high school in 2005, and this came out in 1993.
L: Uh-huh.
M: So it was still one of like, because it was called a classic, ’cause I did Wikipedia on all of my songs ’cause I’m a dork that way.
L: Yep.
M: I heard of it. I liked it. I listened to it. And it was just a really fun song for me and you could tell, like I felt like a, a rebel listening to it.
L: Do you want to tell us who it’s by?
M: Bikini Kill.
L: Yeah.
Both: (laugh)
M: Forgot that.
L: No no no.
M: I’m too excited. And it says genre: punk rock. Of course. But it’s produced by Joan Jett.
L: Oh, I did not know that.
M: I didn’t either. That’s why I love Wikipedia. So anyway, I loved the lyrics. My notes say that  it’s “the song’s theme and lyrics overturn traditional heater tropes,” but I’m pretty sure I meant hetero tropes
L: (laughs)
M: of pop music, (laughs)
L: Ohhhh.
M: giving voice to an unconcealed lesbian perspective.” So I had a few crushes, like, after high school, dedicate the song to me, and every time, I was like, “Oh my god. I love the lyrics. It’s so cute.” So that was my first choice.
L: That’s amazing. Bikini Kill is back together and playing
M: Yeah.
L: concerts now. They just did a show.
M: And we were both supposed to go but we didn’t.
L: We were both supposed to go and we didn’t. (laughs) Welcome to
M: our lives. (laughs)
L: anxiety and other things. Actually, I think it was a scheduling conflict for me this time. But I will do a quick, because we didn’t look at each other’s lists, like, beforehand. We did kind of our own thing.
M: Yeah.
L: ‘Cause I have a song by Le Tigre,
M: Mmhm.
L: which, who is also one of Kathleen Hanna’s bands. So Kathleen Hanna started Bikini Kill. I can’t name everybody in Bikini Kill,
M: Mmhm.
L: but, and, but the next band that she was in was Le Tigre. Le Tigre is, so yeah, Le Tigre is Kathleen Hanna,
M: Was Le Tigre on your list?
L: Yeah.
M: (gasps) I was, it’s so funny
L: Do you have a Le Tigre song?
M: No. I was gonna put them but I didn’t.
L: Awesome.
M: So that’s amazing.
L: And I looked up the people, just because I was curious, because Kathleen Hanna, I’m not sure that she totally IDs as queer.
M: Mmhm.
L: But she’s like part of queer community. And JD Samson, whose in the band [Le Tigre]
M: Mmhm.
L: is a lesbian. And then, I also just thought this was super cool. I looked the other person up, Johanna Fateman, and she owns the, New York City’s “older gender-neutral salon.” Like hair salon.
M: Wow.
L: Which I just thought was super rad. I love Le Tigre because it is like, it is like serious like, political, feminist, queer theory lyrics
M: Mmhm.
L: with a dance beat. I saw them once and they do a whole visual show where they put a whole bunch of things on like a projector, which, that is obviously not high tech now. This was like 20 years ago. But it was super, super fun. The song I picked is called “Fake French.”
M: Mmhm.
L: I don’t know if you know that song or not.
M: I know a lot of their songs. The one I was gonna put on mine that I took off is “Deceptacon.”
L: Yep. That’s it.
M: (laughs) Okay. I’m gonna write this down so I can remember what order, so
L: Oh, I was doing it already.
M: Oh, you were?
L: I’m on it. So, like, for example, like there’s a line that’s like “I’ve got the gift of fear/I’ve got the courage to heal/I’ve got site-specificity/I’ve got plan B ability,” and like, The Gift of Fear is a book about like trusting your gut and about violence and Courage to Heal is a workbook for folks who are survivors of sexual abuse and like, I don’t know. I think that that’s just really interesting to have in like a pop song, and then it’s like, “I’ve got wildlife metaphors/I’ve got post-binary gender chores.” And like, I don’t know, those, it just, it’s exciting to have, like nerd shit (laughs)
M: Mmhm.
L: and serious shit thrown into something that’s like so happy and fun.
M: Yeah.
L: Yeah.
M: And makes you wanna dance.
L: Yeah. Like they have another quote from one of their songs that’s like, “While you were on vacation/black people didn’t get reparations,” but it’s totally like, poppy dance.
M: Mmhm.
L: I think there’s a way to do that, that probably wouldn’t work, but always thought they were kind of badass about it.
M: And what year did they have that song come out? Do you know?
L: I do. So that was on Feminist Sweepstakes, the album Feminist Sweepstakes, which was 2001.
M: Okay.
L: Yeah.
M: So, awhile after “Rebel Girl.”
L: Yes. “Rebel Girl” was what? ’93?
M: Mmhm.
L: Okay. I don’t know the exact lineup of when Bikini Kill stopped and when it became Le Tigre, probably late ’90s. Yeah. Cool, cool.
M: My second choice is “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga,
L: Awesome.
M: which was released in 2011.
L: Was it? I don’t think I could have guessed that
M: Yeah.
L: if I tried.
M: So that, I thought it was a little earlier ’cause when I look back at my baby gay days, I remember that song a lot
L: Mmhm.
M: but the reason I chose it, I loved it. I thought it was like a great dance song. I used to hear it in clubs and stuff. But I just know that it was a big deal at the Super Bowl because it was the first time that the word transgender was said
L: Oh, cool.
M: during a show.
L: Yeah.
M: So that’s why I wanted to choose it ’cause I love Lady Gaga and I don’t keep up with her music or like her movies or whatever she does that much,
L: Mmhm.
M: but I just remember that song as like, hearing it I have cried a few times from the lyrics. Like not, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s never like me listening to it and getting emotional.
L: Yeah.
M: It’s just I’ve used the lyrics for Facebook posts during things when I was coming out and stuff.
L: Yeah.
M: Or, you know, coming out again, ’cause you don’t come just once.
L: Of course.
M: You come out over and over. And I remember using the, you know, being born this way, that whole idea was just moving and I remember the video how she would like do…gender-bending? Is that a word?
L: Yeah. That’s definitely a word.
M: (laughs)
L: For some reason I don’t, I’m remembering like “Telephone” and “Paparazzi,” like all those videos,
M: Mmhm.
L: but I’m not remembering the one for “Born This Way.”
M: Yeah, it was like a whole mini little movie thing that she did, the…it was a long video. I just rewatched it.
L: Her videos around that time were really great. And I think it was like really, like she had a lot of really young fans,
M: Mmhm.
L: like I feel like it was especially like a super mainstream,
M: Yes.
L: but super affirming.
M: Mmhm.
L: And also, there was a lot of talk about her sexuality getting kind of erased and being called an ally a lot, but she’s bisexual.
M: Yeah. It sold 8.2 million copies, becoming one of the best selling singles of all time.
L: Oh. That’s cool.
M: And then she wrote this as her “This is who the fuck I am” anthem.
L: I love it.
M: I love it too.
L: Very cool.
M: Oh, so I wrote the lyric that I like the best: “I’m beautiful in my way/’cause god makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.” So that’s the part that I would like think about and cry to because I have a lot of religious family.
L: Of course.
M: And so, when you frame it that way of like being born this way, it’s like awww.
L: Right.
M: Can’t argue with god.
Both: (laugh)
M: And it was the fifth best song of the year in 2011.
L: Okay.
M: I feel like it was like 2009, but obviously I don’t remember time correctly.
L: I know. I don’t but I don’t know. Yeah. Awesome.
M: Oh, and then I have a little quote from when, I don’t know when she did the halftime show, but it had to have been more recent since then, because, “During the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga absolutely got political whether you realized it or not. She made history, may have made history with her performance. It’s likely the first time the word transgender has been uttered during a Super Bowl halftime show. It’s not just another fun fact. That’s a major deal. And during Gaga’s performance, Vice President Mike Pence was sitting in the audience.”
L: (thudding noise) What?
M: You just hit YOUR head instead of me.
L: Ah! (thudding noise) I did it twice.
M: (laughs)
L: Dumbass. Calling myself a dumbass. That’s wild.
M: Yeah.
L: Well, was it, when Mike Pence was being the worst, which is always, but didn’t people like go play gay music outside of his house?
M: So many people did so many things about Mike Pence.
L: I think there was a while where people were just like having like a gay dance party outside of his house. There was a lot of Gaga. That’s amazing.
M: And then Gay Mike Pence. Have you seen that?
L: I have.
M: Yeah.
L: It’s awesome. Fuck that guy. [the actual Mike Pence]
M: Yeah. Fuck that guy.
L: I know that’s a real hot take right here,
M: (laughs)
L: that we don’t like Mike Pence. But they
M: Yeah, who would have thought?
L: Stick around for more
M: (laughs)
L: deep political analysis.
M: (laughs) Okay.
L: Cool, cool. Is it my turn?
M: Yeah.
L: Okay. So I felt like this was another like very specific to the time. (laughs) I picked Melissa Etheridge.
M: Oh my gosh. I was gonna put her and I also didn’t. So yay!
L: That’s amazing. So I picked “I’m the Only One,”
M: Yes.
L: which ahhh is such a good song and also the most toxic like, mononormativity, like, you could only have me
M: Mmhm.
L: stuff. So the lyrics are like great ’cause they’re really gay but also like the worst.
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: Like, for example, what is it: “Go on and hold her ’til the screaming is gone/Go on believe her when she tells you nothing’s wrong/But I’m the only one who’d walk across the fire for you/And I’m the only one who’d drown in my desire for you/It’s only fear that makes you fun/The demons that you’re hiding from/When all your promises are gone/I’m the only one.” So, yes.
M: I remember that song.
L: I love it.
M: and I was pretty young when it came out and I used to sing it at the top of my lungs.
L: Yep. And also it was cool because it, so it was 1993 and this is the album that came out…This is her album that came out right after she came out, you know, so it was called, Yes I Am, and it was very much like, “Yes, I am gay.”
M: So this came out the same time as “Rebel Girl,”
L: Yeah.
M: but “Rebel Girl” was never a popular radio song the way that song was, and I was how old? (counting to self) Six years old when this song came on and I remember, like I said, being a kid, before I had any clue of like, “Oh, she’s a lesbian” or anything.
L: Yep.
M: I just remember singing it really, really loud.
L: Actually, that’s a good point, because when I was saying, like obviously there were queer artists before Ani that I knew about. I couldn’t really think of any off the spot, but or, on the spot, but I think Melissa Etheridge and K.D. Lang were also like,
M: Mmhm.
L: were pretty, two of the first, like, visible lesbians in the ’90s. Yeah.
M: Yeah.
L: Oh, also, this is a really weird tidbit about Melissa Etheridge. So Melissa Etheridge used to be married to Tammy Lynn Michaels, who’s on The L Word.
M: Yes.
L: And, since we’ve been watching a little bit of the beginning of The L Word, or at least I have. If you haven’t watched it in a while, Tammy Lynn Michaels plays, she’s got like a short blonde spiky hair, and she plays Shane’s like, not even ex, like Shane’s, like, one night stand, who makes it her mission to go around and like warn other women about how Shane’ll like fuck you and forget you, and so she makes just like a real embarrassing like 22 year old like scene at like a bar and at Bette and Tina’s choose-a-donor-for-the-baby party.
M: Mmhm.
L: And so, that’s their relation. I also, this is, before the internet, before we could look up urban legends, I always remember hearing that Tammy Lynn Michaels was Brett Michaels’, of Poison’s, ex-wife, and that Melissa Etheridge stole her away from him.
M: What?
L: And I always thought that was a really great story. It is not true at all.
M: Ohhh.
L: It’s not.
M: I never heard that and I’m sad it’s not true. (laughs)
L: She was never married to him and then I was like, “Did I, we make this up?” But I probably knew that, you know, as a teenager, like when we were, we didn’t check that shit, so
M: Mmhm.
L: it’s a really great story about how Melissa Etheridge will steal your girl but it’s not true. (laughs)
M: Well, damn it.
L: But Melissa Etheridge will probably steal your girl.
M: Yeah.
L: No.
M: I suppose with her voice and her
L: Her voice is amazing.
M: Yeah.
L: She’s attractive. I don’t know what she looks like now.
M: Me either. We’ll have to google.
L: Okay.
M: Are you ready for my next one?
L: I’m ready.
M: This one is gonna blow your mind.
L: Is it…?
M: Yes! The Con [album] – Tegan and Sara.
L: Yaaay!
M: (laughs) So it was released in 2007. I could have done my list according to like, timeline better because 2008 was when it came out, so this was actually like a super important album for me. And I love Tegan and Sara so much that I don’t even know what to say about them. But this album is one of my favorites. “It was written during a period of intense emotional turmoil for both of them”, (laughs) which you can totally hear in all the lyrics.
L: Of course.
M: And I’m such an emo girl that I just loved every, I was gonna say every episode (laughs), every song on this album, like touched me and I cried to it and I’ve laughed to it and it was still… So I never had tapes like even as a young adult. It was CDs. I remember tapes from when I was a kid. My mom used to listen a lot of tapes. But I actually had The Con album and I would listen to it as I drove and now that doesn’t happen. I don’t have a CD player in my car anymore.
L: Sure.
M: So, I wish I still had it but I don’t. “Tegan and Sara were struggling with Canadian immigration to get her…” Oh, “Sara was struggling with Canadian immigration to get her American born girlfriend a Visa
L: Mmm.
M: so they could live together, while Tegan was dealing with the breakup of a five-year relationship, and they were grieving the loss of their grandma, which made the album very dark and a reflection of getting older, long-term relationships, and the end of things.”
L: Awww.
M: And they actually talked about the release of this album on their MySpace blog,
L: Cute.
M: which I loved.
L: Wait. What year did this album come out again?
M: 2007.
L: 2007. Okay.
M: And I remember seeing them on MySpace. That’s how I actually found them. They showed up on like, my, I don’t know what it was called then, like the Discover page.
L: Oh god, I don’t know.
M: But do you remember MySpace, like how…
L: I do. I mean, I was on it, but…
M: You could put a song on your profile,
L: Yes! You could.
M: and it was very annoying because you would just go to someone’s profile and it would start blasting music.
L: Yes! Everything was like an aggressive sensory experience
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: on MySpace. But yeah, totally.
M: So that was my number three. And it’s the whole album but basically them in general, Tegan and Sara, all of their music is amazing to me, and I just love them.
L: I also love them like so much, but this is when I did know Megan was picking a song for this, because I was like, “Alright. I’m doing some like, early ’90s or ’90s and 2000s, like, close to my coming out, themed music, so I’m not gonna do Tegan and Sara, even though they’re probably my favorite artist.”
M: Yeah.
L: I made the joke that the two artists in heaviest rotation on my Spotify are Tegan and Sara and The National,
M: Mmhm.
L: which is kind of like my Spotify being like, “We get it. You’re really sad and really gay.”
Both: (laugh)
M: Yeah, my top is Tegan and Sara and Peter and Kerry, which  is also really sad, and I don’t know if Peter and Kerry are queer at all, but I really hope so because it’s my ultimate fantasy to marry both of them
L: Awww.
M: and for them both to sing in my ear as I cry.
L: Are they a couple or brother and sister or just two people?
M: I think they’re just two people.
L: Cool.
M: It’s hard for me to find much about them, but
L: Yeah.
M: I absolutely love them, but they can’t be on this playlist because I don’t know. We’ll talk about them later, but everyone should listen to them. (laughs)
L: Totally. No, and
M: Peter and Kerry.
L: the other thing I was gonna add to the Tegan and Sara is my favorite album, although The Con’s probably my second favorite album, is So Jealous.
M: Mmhm.
L: I used to have the CD for This Business of Art
M: Mmhm.
L: and there was a brief time before I got my new car where I had a CD player in my car but very few CDs, and it was when my daughter was like two, three, four. And so she realized she liked that. And so we played it all the time. And the first line of the first song on that is, “Stand up, sit down baby.” And so, my kiddo would either say, “Can you play the sit down baby song?”
M: Awwww.
L: Or, “Can you play the guitar girls?” (laughs)
M: That’s so cute.
L: So it’s real sweet.
M: Yeah. I was a nanny when The Con was out and I used to play that for the little girl also. She loved them too.

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L: All right. Okay. My next pick is, I don’t even know if you know this song. Do you know the song, “Damn I Wish I  Was Your Lover?”
M: No.
L: Okay. So, it was like a sort of one hit wonder from 1992, and the artist was Sophie B. Hawkins. And it’s a really great song. Like I still really like it. But the reason I especially thought of it is I very much remember listening to it like around the time that I came out and like, with my friends, in my friends Melissa’s basement, and, again, this is before, we’re very early internet here, so you couldn’t look up song lyrics, you know, so they were either in the liner notes…
M: Mmhm.
L: Kids, liner notes are the things that came with albums and CDs and tapes that told you the lyrics to a song, all the songs, if an artist wanted to include that, ’cause not all liner notes have all the lyrics. So, the reason this is important is, it’s like, you know, it’s a song about somebody wanting to be with somebody and so there is a line that, I just found it and then I lost it like a dummy. So there’s a line that’s: “I sat on the mountainside with peace of mind,” which by the way, I didn’t know that was what they were saying. And then it said, “I lay by the ocean making love to her with visions clear/Walked the days with no one near/And I return as chained and bound to you/Damn I wish I was your lover.” It goes into the song. So the line that says, “I lay by the ocean making love to her with visions clear,” we spent so long trying to figure out if she was saying, “making love to who” or “making love to her,” ’cause the “her” is the only part that makes it gay,
M: Mmhm.
L: and it’s from like 1993 and I was so happy to learn, like she is a lesbian. Or she’s queer. Like she came out and she’s definitely saying “her” there.
M: Mmhm.
L: But, like, it was just a cute, like, high school, like, replaying things,
M: Yeah.
L: Trying to be like,
M: “Is this gay?”
L: “Is this gay?”
M: (laughs)
L: “It is gay?” And the answer is yes, it’s gay. It’s also a real, kinda great song. It has a…It’s not different than Melissa Etheridge type stuff. It’s from the same time. I would also like to point out, because Megan’s Snapchatting right now,
M: (laughs)
L: (laughs) I would like to point out a thing that is pretty obvious about my choices, that like I want to address, which is that they’re all reaaal white and my music tastes, not that I’m, not in a defensive way, my music tastes do not run particularly white. But I noticed that most of my like early queer music was done by white women.
M: Mmhm.
L: And I’m very curious if that experience is because I was a white suburban teenager? Or is it because it was easier at that time and more acceptable for white women to visibly out
M: Mmhm.
L: than for women of color, queer women of color? So, I don’t know. Because even when I finished my list, I was like, “Oh, there’s a few people I forgot, like Indigo Girls and Courtney Love, and I’m like, this is still really white.”
M: Mmhm.
L: So yeah, I just wanna, like, acknowledge that and I think it’s important that we see what kind of media we’re taking in, and, yeah.
M: I noticed that about mine too and the only one who I think is, I don’t remember everyone who I put on yet, there’s only one who is not white, and that’s a very recent artist. And I thought about that too because my music taste in general was not very white growing up because I didn’t live in a white neighborhood. Like the music I was hearing, the things I was exposed to. But when I was doing this playlist, it made me realize that in like 2006, 7, 8, after, like, realizing I’m gay, coming out, finding my little queer community, even though it was not only white people,
L: Mmhm.
M: all of the culture’s music was very white.
L: Yeah.
M: And that was here in LA in 2006, 7, 8,
L: Yeah.
M: and so even people who were not white were listening to the artists that I chose here,
L: Interesting. That makes sense. Well, and like around the time when I was a teenager, for better or for worse, because there is something a little, like eye rolley, about white teenagers listening to gangsta rap, but that is a lot of what I listened to
M: Mmhm.
L: was rap and hip hop. So, like, almost, but not that many women. So it was almost primarily, I was listening to like black men and white women.
M: Mmhm.
L: So I don’t know if it’s a snapshot of a certain time or if it’s
M: Yeah.
L: I don’t know. But it did make me think of that. And I also, it made me think of a song that IS by a black woman that came out a little earlier than the music I’m talking about that is one of the best queer songs, ever. And I think I don’t think about it all the time because when I first heard it on the radio, I thought it was a man singing it, like, back in the world of like, just kind of gendering based on cues and not knowing who the artists were or what the lyrics or people’s names or anything, just knowing the radio. And I think even when I found out, I didn’t know she was queer, is Tracy Chapman,
M: Mmhm.
L: “Fast Car,” which is one the best songs ever. Period.
M: Oh my god. That meme about your mental health and then the Tracy Chapman song “Fast Car…”
L: Yes!
M: coming out from back of you.
L: Yes!
M: So true.
L: So, I don’t know. I think we might need to put that on our list, even if… I’m gonna throw it in because…
M: Tracy Chapman – “Fast Car”
L: Yeah, ’cause it is an insanely good song. Her other stuff is good too.
M: If you look at the most popular gay songs, people like Donna Summer will be on it,  but, while I know those songs. It wasn’t specific to my experience of coming out and, like, I don’t know, in those days, if they were queer, they weren’t talking about it.
L: Mmhm.
M: But it became, like, a song, a gay icon song. So to me that’s really fascinating
L: Yes.
M: Because I chose people specifically like who I thought were queer, except the next one,
L: Okay.
M: and it’s also another one, I don’t know if they are, but I know that the song is,
L: Yeah.
M: for queer people. So I don’t know.
L: Well,
M: Interesting.
L: One thing on the Donna Summer kind of thing, is I watched the first episode of Pose. I know it’s an amazing show. I couldn’t, I have a really hard time getting into shows based on one episode, so I don’t know, but the music, it’s like late ’80s ballroom, queer scene, and it’s a lot of music like that,
M: Mmhm.
L: like that disco-ey stuff.
M: The disco.
L: It’s joyful and it’s very much of the time and I say of all like gay or gay-coded music out there, I fucking hate that music.
M: You do?
L: I hate it, like hate it, like
M: (laughs) See, I like it and I grew up hearing that.
L: I don’t. And I did too but I don’t.
M: But to me I don’t associate that with gay stuff because when I was coming out, it was like the riot grrrl music was still like a huge thing and that’s what I think we kind of learned when you didn’t have it. We didn’t have so many things like we do now that we like GAY and very like outwardly gay.
L: Yes.
M: So I think when we were all, me and my friends at least, here in Los Angeles, when we were looking at like, “How do we be gay?” We were looking at like riot grrrl culture
L: Yes.
M: and L Word and
L: Oh, totally.
M: so maybe that’s why…
L: Well and I think this music’s much more associated with, like, kind of like a, I’m gonna be a dork for a minute, but like a counterpoint, like a joyous counterpoint to like the AIDS crisis
M: Yes.
L: and also something very specific to coastal gay men and trans women.
M: And Dolly Parton was on that list too and I was like,
L: That’s true.
M: “Whaaat?” So it is. And I did think of that, but I didn’t know how to express it. Like it was very joyful and fun and glamorous and the girls, the ladies who were the singers, were like very
L: The fashion’s amazing. Everything about it’s really fun. I just, like, if you’re telling me to listen to music I enjoy, it’s pretty low
M: Mmhm.
L: on my list of music I enjoy. But I don’t know. I like some sad shit. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just too happy for me.
M: So I’m making Tracy Chapman 7a, which is an impossible thing to do on a playlist, but because I had numbers on everything (laughs)
L: Oh, totally.
M: I guess that’s number eight. I’ll have to put it as number eight.
L: That’s fine ’cause we’re gonna add like, we don’t (thudding sound) have them in any good order. I keep hitting my entire face on this today. I’m being you.
M: Number
L: It doesn’t matter.
M: nine, which is number, I know…I’m so bad with that. It’s like, I don’t know why I always do it. “We Are Your Friends” by Justice vs. Simian, and this is an electro-house song released in 2006. It won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video and the presentation was interrupted by Kanye West.
L: (gasps)
M: That’s something that I had to throw in because I was like, “Whaaat? It was this song? I don’t remember that at all but I know it was like a big thing.”
L: This is the, “I’m gonna have to interrupt you part,” when he did that? Oh no. That was during Taylor Swift getting an award.
M: No, that was Taylor Swift.
L: No.
M: So I don’t know. Like finding out about the people who do this song, it was really hard. I have no idea. I’m pretty sure that they are not queer,
L: Okay.
M: but I had to put this song on there because this was like the theme song of me in my baby gay days being in clubs in Los Angeles
L: Mmhm.
M: and it was very like electro-house music and people were doing like the two step and the shuffle
L: Yeah.
M: and this song was always on, every time that I would go to a club that they played this. And I remember being at Truck Stop and Work It and The Abbey and like DJs and that was when people were still doing, like, before the photobooths, when they would just have the cameras and be around, like, I don’t know, it was just
L: Cool.
M: so much fun and I had just came out and I went to my first Pride that year and then me and my friends would go, ’cause we lived in Orange County, we would drive to LA like every weekend, go to these clubs. There was like foam parties. It was so dramatic. Like people would make out with other people’s girlfriends and leave crying and stuff. But like we would be drunk, dancing to this song. And this song, there’s only like one lyric to whole thing. It says…and I mean one line: “We are your friends/You’ll never be alone again, c’mon.”
L: Nice.
M: And they just say it over and over and it’s like such a fun song.
L: I don’t know this song. I probably do. I’m gonna, when we’re done, I’m gonna check it out.
M: Yeah.
L: ‘Cause I’m not sure that I…I’m not thinking of what song this is.
M: So it just reminds me of being in those gay clubs and how I had just found my first queer community, which I lost shortly after when I got married to my ex-husband. And it was just such a good time in my life and I just remember like being drunk, happy, dancing with a bunch of lesbians, so I had to put it. And my next choice after this, I thought it was interesting, ’cause I didn’t do it on purpose but like back-to-back,
L: Mmhm.
M: it’s interesting, so I’ll tell you about that after your next one.
L: Okay. Well then, I will choose my next one in a similar way, which is that, this is a person who is not queer, but Tori Amos
M: Mmhm.
L: was, is not only, like, just a person who is like, I mean I don’t even love the word ally, but always been a really good ally, done a lot for sexual assault survivors. And she started out playing piano in like gay bars and so she’s always been pretty connected to the community and especially when I was, when I was younger, this kind of an age range. All the gay boys I knew loved her. And so that was a real, like, immediate connection,
M: Mmhm.
L: ’cause I kind of split with, kind of, generic, stereotypical, like gay man music. Like I like Madonna but I only like old Madonna so that doesn’t count. But Tori was like the one everybody liked. I probably saw her almost as many times as I saw Ani. And so this is the song that I used to masturbate to when I was in high school. (laughs)
M: And which one is it?
L: It’s called, “Caught a Light Sneeze.” It also is not explicitly gay, but the line is: “Boys on my left side/Boys on my right side/Boys in the middle/And you’re not here/I need a big loan from the girl zone.”
M: (laughs)
L: So it’s like super gay but like not
M: That’s really cute.
L: And so, look I made myself blush.
Both: (laugh)
L: So that was like playing on the boombox, like, running the water, like door locked
M: Mmhm.
L: masturbation music
M: Nice.
L: for like a year. So yeah.
M: That’s awesome. I love that. I love…I don’t have any memories of like, masturbating to songs specifically until much later,
L: Yeah.
M: but I love those songs when you, it will always take me back to that.
L: Yeah. So
M: My next one is “The Greatest” by Sia (pronounces it sigh-uh) featuring Kendrick Lamar.
L: Sia. (pronounces it See-uh)
M: (correcting self) Sia. Okay, I always say her name wrong then.
L: Oh well.
M: I was just talking to someone about it. I was like, “How do I say it? I always say Sigh-uh. Sia.”
L: That’s okay. Yes. I love this song.
M: So I, as I was making my list, I realized, like “We Are Your Friends” was my other, my choice above this and I was talking about being at a gay club and dancing and having so much fun and just feeling like, “This is the first time I can be myself.” And then “The Greatest” was released in September 2016, so it’s like a lot later, ten years after that song, but “the video portrays Maddie Ziegler”, the little girl,
L: Yeah.
M: Is she a teenager? I don’t even know. She looks really young.
L: She’s very young. I know in one of the videos she’s more like 10 or 11
M: Oh my gosh.
L: but I don’t know how old she is in this.
M: So, “she’s among 48 others and although the singer didn’t provide interpretation for the video, numerous media outlets perceived it a tribute to the 49 victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.”
L: Ooooh. Okay. I never heard that.
M: So watching the video, I’ve always cried, ’cause the Orlando shooting was like such a big deal at the time.
L: God yes.
M: And basically, if you haven’t seen the video, you should watch it, but, “it opens with a low drone and cuts between shots of a fraught Maddie Ziegler smearing rainbow colors on her cheeks. She frees 48 other young people trapped in a cage, 49 being the number of people killed in the shooting. The freedom is short-lived. Later, a wall is seen riddled with bullet holes as everyone falls to the ground and tears stream down her face.”
L: I don’t think I’ve ever seen this.
M: You’ve never seen the video?
L: No. Okay. That’s, we’re also doing that as soon as we turn it off. I love Sia.
M: Uh huh.
L: I’ve seen the “Elastic Heart” video,
M: Mmhm.
L: which I think is amazing, and that’s Maddie Ziegler and, what the fuck, Shia LaBeouf.
M: Yeah.
L: But no, I don’t think I’ve seen this one. Okay.
M: So listening to the words, and that’s why I wanted to research this song in particular, like the Wikipedia about it. “Absent of any social context, it is striking and beautiful and sad, with the knowledge that it was inspired by the queer youths and friends gunned down in the act of coming together and enjoying themselves.” That’s why I’m like, “Awww, ‘We Are Your Friends’ was like my song at the club,” and it makes me so upset, of course, to think about how many
L: Yeah.
M: people were in the club, you know,
L: Totally.
M: doing the same thing. So “Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlatic wrote, ‘Making pop about a specific tragedy is a necessarily tricky job. ‘The Greatest’ is a work of art, not charity. Sia[…]” How do you say it? “Sia and Greg Kurstin may have written the song before the massacre, but in the context of Orlando, the possible platitude of the chorus becomes gutting.” And I wanted to say this part because of the lyric: “I’m free to be the greatest/I’m alive.”
“She’s pepping the listener up but she’s also defining the value of life, marking the human potential that has been lost.”
L: Okay, that’s really amazing.
M: So when you first hear it on the radio, you wouldn’t think of it as like this sad song.
L: No, I always thought of it as like a pump up song.
M: Mmhm. But because of the video, that’s what really got me. So
L: She’s queer. Did you know that?
M: I figured,  but I didn’t know for sure.
L: So I, while you were doing it, I looked it up, because I was curious. Remember how I was naming the people in Le Tigre, and I included JD Samson?
M: Uh huh.
L: They used to date.
M: Oh, awesome.
L: So she says she dates boys and girls and everyone in between. It sounds like she’s like, she’s in a relationship with a man right now, but yeah.
M: Mmhm.
L: She is queer. So that’s cool.
M: Nice.
L: I also love Kendrick Lamar.
M: Mmhm.
L: So that’s cool too.
M: Yeah, we have to watch the video together after.
L: Oh my god. We definitely will.
M: So we can cry.
L: So much crying.
M: (laughs)
L: I only cry during music videos. Weirdly enough, I was thinking this morning, I got the, “This is America” song in my head this morning.
M: Uh huh.
L: You’ve seen that video, right?
M: Yes.
L: I can’t watch that video without crying and I think because it was so intense, I kind of forgot about it and forgot about the song, ’cause I really like the song
M: Uh huh.
L: I’m talking Childish Gambino. Okay. It’s my turn. Which one am I doing next? Let’s go back to the riot grrrl kind of word and I picked one by Sleater-Kinney.
M: Yaaay!
L: Sleater-Kinney. So I have been saying, fun fact, I have been saying Sleeter-Kinney for 20 years.
M: (laughs)
L: It’s Sleater-Kinney. (pronouces it Slater-Kinney) It’s been confirmed.
M: I think I’ve been saying Sleeter also.
L: It’s Sleater-Kinney (pronounces it Slater). I double-checked it and I refuse. If it was someone’s name, I think it’s like really shitty and toxic to not call people by their names, but this is a band name. I don’t care. I’m gonna say it wrong forever.
M: (laughs) Why change now?
L: Why change now?
M: (laughs)
L: That sounds terrible. They are a really great band.
M: And they’re gonna perform again together, right?
L: They’re playing in November.
M: Yaaay!
L: I wanna go. I almost got tickets. I haven’t. I saw them a few years ago and they’re amazing. Carrie Brownstein obviously is also famous for Transparent and Portlandia.
M: Mmhm.
L: And she is queer. I think, I don’t know if the other people in the band are queer or not.
M: Mmhm.
L: I think at least another one of them is. I like a lot of their stuff. I picked “#1 Must Have.” It’s not a particularly queer song, if that’s a thing, but, like, lyrically, but it’s really great. (sounds of ice clinking in a glass) Sorry, I’m making lots of noise with my ice. (laughs)
M: (laughs)
L: Today’s ASMR is ice.
M: (laughs)
L: It is a really kind of great feminist song and it’s, like, a grown-up song
M: Mmhm.
L: which I kind of like. Like the lyrics are: “Bearer of the flag from the beginning/Now, who would have believed this riot grrrl’s a cynic?/But they took our ideas to their marketing stars/And now I’m spending my days at girlpower.com/ Trying to buy back a little piece of me.” And so, it’s kind of, yeah. Again, it’s like Le Tigre in that it’s, like kind of poppy,
M: Mmhm.
L: but the whole point of the song, like the #1 must-have is, is the #1 must-have is we are safe, and it’s all about like, like sexual assault at concerts and things like that
M: Mmhm.
L: so, and the commodification of feminism, in a fun pop song.
M: Yay! I really like them and I didn’t put them on my list at all. See, we were working together even when we didn’t realize it.
L: We were.
M: Okay. My next choice was “Lost on You” by LP.
L: Yaaay!
M: So I just learned of LP of this year, but she’s been around for a while, and this song was released in 2015. Apparently, this is, she’s really popular in Mexico.
L: Oh yeah? Cool.
M: Uh huh. “As of December 12, it is among the most played songs in contemporary pop radio in the country, particularly popular in Mexico.”
L: Is she, does she have Mexican roots at all? I don’t know much about her.
M: I don’t think so.
L: Okay. She’s just popular in Mexico?
M: Uh huh. Let’s see. I had a few more notes about her. So I think LP is super hot.
L: She is hot.
M: I saw her in concert this year and her partner is also extremely hot, Lauren Ruth Ward.
L: Okay. Yeah, I think I’ve seen pictures.
M: She says, “I’ve always been gender-neutral. I just don’t enforce the pronouns.”
L: Okay.
M: So she also – I didn’t know this until reading about her – she co-writes songs for some of the biggest pop stars, including Cher and Christina Aguilera.
L: Oh wow.
M: And then she’s apparently written with Rihanna.
L: That’s awesome. And she has a song with Noah Cyrus that’s great,
M: Yes!
L: Miley’s little sister.
M: Yes. And what else? And she’s said she’s met Tegan and Sara. They’re amazing. She loves the current crop of LGBTI pop stars making waves in the music scene, but her icons growing up were Tracy Chapman,
L: Yaay!
M: Freddie Mercury, oh, and Ellen.
L: Okay, yeah.
M: (laughs)
L: Totally.
M: So I thought that was cool.
L: That is cool. I did not include any Queen.
M: Yeah, me either.
L: I kept mine to women. I think that’s just like where my brain was, but
M: Yeah. I thought of it, but I didn’t, and I thought Bohemian Rhapsody like there was so much criticism about the way that movie was done. I thought it was really well done.
L: I didn’t see it, but I’ve heard mixed. I’ve heard that people hated it. I’ve heard people loved it.
M: Yeah. I thought they did a good job representing his bisexuality, so
L: Maybe we could watch it. That could be part of our next installment of movies,
M: Yeah.
L: ’cause I’d like to see it. Actually, I’m curious about the Elton John movie that’s out now too.
M: Oh, I want to see that too.
L: I’m a big Elton John fan.
M: Oh, you are?
L: I am. I saw Billy Joel and Elton John in like a huge stadium concert when I was 12,
M: Uh huh.
L: where they had like their dueling pianos, and it was amazing. My mom took me to that and a group of my friends ’cause all the cool kids went to see U2 at the stadium, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and I wasn’t invited.
M: (laughs) Oh no.
L: And some of us…Oh no wait. No no no. I’m telling this wrong. I did go see, with some friends, go see them. And then like
M: You saw U2?
L: No. But I did see Billy Joel and Elton John at the same place that U2 played
M: Okay.
L: around the same time when I was like 12. But when all the people went to see U2, me and my like, not nerds but not cool friends, felt really left out, because we weren’t invited, so our, like, three of the moms, took us to see En Vogue and Arrested Development
M: Mmhm.
L: when we were 12 and it was amazing ’cause we were like the youngest and the whitest people at the whole concert. So if everyone remembers En Vogue.
M: I do.
L: They were so good.
M: I loved them.
L: Okay. It’s my turn, right?
M: Yes.
L: You would think that I would have gotten the hang of this and been prepared with which song I’m doing next but you would be wrong.
M: (laughs)
L: Oh my goodness. This is my last person. Okay, so my last person is well, okay so my last person is also like a folk singer and I was thinking about the whole folk thing, since like, you know, Ani kind of identifies as a folk singer,
M: Mmhm.
L: even though it’s not what we think of as folk music, and the fact that like, in the ’70s there were a ton of like lesbian folk singers and it’s all like real cheesy and that was kind of, I took this college class about, like a music class, and I read a book called Eden Built By Eve and it was all about women’s music festivals and that early, like, lesbian, feminist, ’70s kind of crossover. And coming out of that, I was really interested in going to the Michigan Women’s Festival, Music Festival, which is, I think still happening. And if you’re rolling your eyes here, don’t worry, I’m gonna get to it.
M: (laughs)
L: I was really excited about going ’cause I had never been in like, you know, I’m like, probably 19 or 20 at this point, 21, hadn’t been in like…I’m like, “Oh my god. It’s like a lesbian music camp, where like everyone’s topless and making out and it sounds really fun.” I did not end up going, and I’m really glad ’cause I found out a couple of years later that they are super trans exclusionary and, so that sucks. And so there’s a certain, like, wave of feminism and folk music that unfortunately has this, like, icky TERFy kind of feeling.
M: Mmhm.
L: The way, the rules for Michigan, at least not too long ago, were only, “women born women,” which, ew, and like, and then as far as kids, boys could come if they were like under seven I think. Like you could bring your baby boy.
M: Mmhm.
L: But no one assigned male at birth otherwise.
M: Wow.
L: Right. So, super fuck that. And I’m really glad I didn’t go. And that had nothing to do with what I’m talking about now.
M: (laughs)
L: ‘Cause I am talking about a folk singer, but she is not like TERFy and she’s not even gay. But are you familiar with Dar Williams?
M: No.
L: Okay. Dar Williams, a friend introduced me to her in college. She has…I looked up to make sure that she wasn’t gay. She’s not. But a lot of her music has like- She has really, really great, like, funny lyrics. One song is called “The Christian and the Pagans” and it’s about, like, a pagan lesbian couple going to visit, like, her Christian  uncle over Christmas.
M: Mmhm.
L: And like, and it’s just like, I don’t know. It’s really sweet and really heartwarming. She also has the first song that, to me, like had kind of a gender nonconforming/trans kind of feel to it that is called, “When I Was a Boy.”
M: Mmhm.
L: And, let me see if I have any lyrics from it. “I won’t forget when Peter Pan came to my house/Took my hand/I said I was a boy/I’m glad he didn’t check/I learned to fly/I learned to fight/I lived a whole life in one night.” It’s all about like playing as a kid.
M: That’s really pretty.
L: It is really pretty. And then, and then it is. I mean, it’s kind of, like, later on gets like heteronormative but, like, not in an offensive way. But basically…I’m gonna cry. (laughs) I’m gonna cry because-
M: Do it. I love crying.
L: And so there’s a part in it later on. It says, “I tell the man I’m with/About the other life I lived/And I say, ‘Now you’re top gun/I have lost and you have won’ ” (cries) “And he says, ‘Oh no. Can’t you see?/When I was a girl my mom and I” (cries) “We always talked/And I picked flowers everywhere I walked/And I could always cry/Now when I’m alone, I seldom do” (cries)
M: Awwww. Pretty.
L: “And I have lost some kindness/But I was a girl, too’ ”
M: That’s beautiful. Aww.
L: Yeah.
M: I’m seeing it as a storybook because of the Peter Pan reference.
L: Mmhm. So like, that one’s really sweet and the other one that I like, is, there’s a song called, “As Cool as I Am” and it’s not gay but it’s talking, it’s basically like breaking up with a guy who only sees women in a certain way.
M: Mmhm.
L: And the main line to it is, “I will not be afraid of women.” Yeah. All her songs make me cry. (laughs) There’s also one about a babysitter and, like, the babysitter leaving and like going off to college and the kid being really sad. So, when we’re done with this, we’re gonna play some of her songs and cry. (laughs)
M: Yaaay! And I’ve had, today I’ve had two coffees and a Red Bull and I haven’t eaten much so I am feeling like very jittery now.
L: (laughs)
M: So I’m gonna, like, blow through my next three, (laughs) the last ones.
L: Okay. Totally.
M: My next choice was, “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert.
L: Awww.
M: ‘Cause that song always makes me cry. I could listen to it in the car and cry every time to that song ’cause it’s so beautiful. Apparently, it came out in 2013, although I learned about it way later. And I really loved the video because Mary Lambert is a bigger girl
L: Mmhm.
M: and she’s beautiful. And it just, like I have a lot of times dated, like, the tall, thin, masc type girls.
L: Mmhm.
M: And I’ve always had, like, the whole, “Ugh. I feel like I need to lose weight to, like, be with them.”
L: Mmmm.
M: And in the video, she, like, that’s the person she’s flirting with and it’s really sweet and cute and they actually kiss in the video
L: Oh, nice. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t, I didn’t really learn that until, that song or know about her until it was a sample in the, you know
M: Yeah. Maybe that’s how I ended up learning about it. But the video, I don’t know when it came out. Apparently there was like a few versions of it.
L: Yeah. What is the song? Oh, it’s the one that, wasn’t it, that white rapper does,
M: Mmhm.
L: about being gay. Why can’t I think of what it’s called?
M: Macklemore.
L: Yeah.
M: But I don’t know, is it called…?
L: I don’t know but yes. That’s it. That’s how I, that sample.
M: So, yeah, Mary Lambert’s voice in that.
L: Yeah. Yep.
M: So, yeah. Every time I hear it I cry.
L: Nice.
M: It’s beautiful.
L: It is beautiful.
M: And everyone should watch the video because it’s really sweet.
L: Okay.
M: She leaves, she’s like flirting with a, I don’t know if it’s like a barista or someone in a, I don’t even remember it, enough about it, except that, she writes a note in a book about, like, “I think you’re cute,”
L: Aww.
M: so that the person sees it and like saves it for her, and then she comes back to get it, and they end up going out on a date and they kiss and hold hands. And it’s just like, very sweet and innocent. And I, a lot of times in my life, didn’t see representation of, like, curvier women who were very femme presenting,
L: Yeah.
M: dating like the masc type.
L: Uh huh. Sure.
M: So I thought it was really lovely.
L: Nice.
M: Number 8 on my list is “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae.
L: Yesss! This was another one that I think I did make sure you were doing one of hers
M: Yes. (laughs)
L: because I love it.
M: Yes. So the, one of the articles about this song- It was released in 2018 – “She gifted the planet Earth with her superior bisexual bop.” (laughs)
L: (laughs) Cute.
M: ” In the music video for the song ‘Make Me Feel,’ Monae is in the best parallel universe imaginable, a soft neon utopia of sexual fluidity, sparkly pants, and Tessa Thompson.” (laughs)
L: (laughs) This whole album – This is all from Dirty Computer –
M: Uh huh.
L: is so fucking good.
M: So it says, “She literally ping pongs between male and female love interests, running back and forth between Thompson and the dude, grinding up against each of them in turn. There is also a scene where it appears that she grabs her own clone’s ass, which is neither here nor there but is highly relatable.” (laughs)
L: (laughs) Yess! Oh, I do know this video.
M: So, yeah. That’s just been labeled, “a brilliant, bisexual pop athem.”
L: Amazing.
M: So, and I love her and everything that she does.
L: Yes.
M: And then my last one…
L: Have you seen her in concert?
M: No, I haven’t. Have you?
L: Oh my god. I saw her last year.
M: Oh yeah! You did!
L: I saw her at The Greek last year and it was the gayest place I’ve ever been since Dyke Day.
M: (laughs)
L: Every queer in LA was there. It was so much fun.
M: I wanna see her.
L: It was so much fun.
M: My last one, again, is about the Orlando shooting.
L: Okay.
M: It was Broadway for Orlando and another song, makes me weep.
L: Uh huh.
M: I love Broadway. I love musicals. Are you into that kind of stuff?
L: Sort of. I’m not not, but I’m not a huge fan.
M: So, my partner K isn’t and so she’s always laughing at me but like I love Broadway.
L: Okay.
M: I love pretty much every musical I’ve ever seen. I get super obsessed with soundtracks.
L: Mmhm.
M: And I, like I blast them and sing and I’ve always wished that I had a good voice so I could be in musicals.
L: Awww.
M: Broadway for Orlando, they did a cover of “What the World Needs Now.” Is that what it’s called?
L: Aww. Yeah.
M: And the list of artists, there’s a ton. You know, Broadway is full of gay people, but there is also straight people who are allies.
L: Sure.
M: But it was like Sara, I don’t even know how to say her last name, Bareilles,
L: Bareilles. Yep.
M: who is awesome. Let’s see, some good ones…
L: Was it like a big chorus of people doing it?
M: Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Whoopie Goldberg. There were so many people. You have to watch this video too.
L: Oh, I don’t remember this being a thing.
M: Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, so many people. Rosie O’Donnell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters. So I don’t know. Just a ton of people. And in the beginning, it has them all talking to the, you know, talking to people about, like, senseless tragedies and et cetera et cetera. But it said in the dedication part of it, “To Orlando. From Broadway. With love sweet love.” Awww, see, now I’m gonna cry.
L: No. It’s okay. You can cry.
M: So all the proceeds of this went to a, to Broadway, I mean, to Orlando directly.
L: Uh huh.
M: So they like did this…
L: I know you probably just said this but I spaced… When was this? When was the Orlando, was it two, three years ago?
M: It was 2016.
L: Three years ago. Okay. That’s that I thought.
M: Yeah. And it was, so it was around this time.
L: It was because it was the morning of Pride in LA.
M: And so, my mom’s murder date in the 16th and I remember that it was a horrible week for me and then that happened.
L: Oh, god, yeah.
M: And, I mean, not like I was, of course, I wasn’t there but any time violent things happen that are huge… And like this was so directly towards gay people that I just was like a fucking disaster. So, since I love Broadway so much, seeing this, it was kind of like, like a parent hugging you or something, like this thing that I really respect, Broadway,
L: Yeah.
M: and all these people, they weren’t gay, who were kind of like, you know, making a stand. And, I don’t know, it was just so sweet
L: That is.
M: and lovely. So I wanted to end with that one.
L: That’s lovely. I remember waking up that morning and I was with my partner and we were both, like, you know, doing the like, look through our phones in the morning.
M: Mmhm.
L: And I was gonna go, I was gonna, either we were gonna go to Pride together or it was a Pride that I was working as, like, a booth girl. I think it was that year. Either way, it was like getting up, ready to go, and I read it and like we both just like burst into tears.
M: Mmhm.
L: Ugh. Awful. I kind of want to end on that.
M: Yeah. Now we can go
L: Yeah.
M: watch the videos and songs and, everyone make sure you go listen to our playlist
L: Yeah.
M: and then contribute to whatever playlist we put out
L: Yeah, we would love that.
M: asking for your queer music recommendations.
L: And, you know, it’s a broad definition. It can be by queer artists or music you listened to at an important, like, queer part in your life
M: Mmhm.
L: or, yeah, kinda anything.
M: Yeah.
L: Okay.
M: So we have two episodes left before season one is over and I thought it might be nice – We can post this on Instagram too – but to ask people if they had any questions or anything or topics they want to see in the next season and we can definitely like answer some questions or talk about that in our last episode.
L: That would be awesome. Yeah, so…
M: So many ways to get ahold of us but a great one is queersnextdoor@gmail.com.
L: Yes.
M: Or Instagram. We’re always there.
L: Yes we are. All right.
M: Okay.
L: Bye.
M: Bye.

L: Thanks for listening to Queers Next Door. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to follow, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.
M: If you like what we’re doing, join the Queers Next Door fanclub at patreon.com/queersnextdoor to receive all of our exclusive content, and we’ll mail you a fun little surprise. You can find the link of our blog queersnextdoor.com. Cheers, queers!

About Queers Next Door

we take the topics you care about - sex, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment - and look at them through a queer AF lens. Cheers, queers! <3

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