Curve Magazine – In Conversation with Merryn Johns

Curve Magazine – In Conversation with Merryn Johns

In this week’s episode we welcome Merryn Johns, editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine. Our conversation covers: The current state of Publishing, Pride, and community support both before and during the pandemic. While this conversation views these topics through the lens of publishing, the concepts translate to any industry. Both DJ and Merryn offer unique perspectives on gaining momentum during economic hardships, and offer encouragement to one another as well as the audience. 

More about Merryn

Merryn Johns is the editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine. She is also a digital news producer covering mainstream international news and a contributing writer for EDGEi, Edge Media Network’s investigative department. She is a frequent global public speaker on LGBTQIA rights with a particular emphasis on women and diversity and inclusion. When she is not working as a journalist she is pushing boundaries as a playwright and is a current board member of America’s oldest LGBT theater writers’ group, Village Playwrights. Formerly from Sydney, Australia Merryn taught Arts at the University of New South Wales, where she earned her PhD, and media studies at Macquarie University before relocating to New York City to pursue her career in LGBTQ activism and journalism.

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Full Transcription

Hey welcome to another episode of the DJ Doran show. I’m your host DJ doar, and in this episode I had the privilege to chat with Marin John’s who is the editor in chief of curve magazine. We talked about the state of the publishing industry, pride of what we can do as a community to pull together in this time of uncertainty and everything else that just popped into our heads. It was a fun wide ranging conversation. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.


You’re listening to the DJ Doran k w IR radio production. Warning. The DJ Doran joke contains adult language but your content cerebral debate and thought provoking conversation. listener discretion is advised. And now Chicago’s perspicacious host of your same podcast obsession, DJ DJ Doran


So first of all, I want to tell you how excited I am to have you on the show I have so many things to talk about. And ever since our conversation, I have been dying to just have some one on one time to sort of chat. So first of all, for those that are listening, I just sort of met Marin recently. And I don’t know about you, Marian, but like the first five minutes, I knew we were connected, like as human beings. And I could have spoken for hours. So that was a that was amazing. I never expect that. But it’s it was really a nice surprise. And I want to fully say that Marin is a good human being before anything else. He’s a wonderful human being and I’m so pleased to have gotten to meet you and hopefully get to know you better. So we have a lot to do in the future, I’m sure.


I think so. Thank you so much. And I feel the same way about you. You’re a match.


I appreciate that. And so I’m gonna start I’m gonna get right in It because there’s so many things I want to talk about. I was reading about you and all of the things that you’ve done. And I’ve been sort of brushing up on curve magazine, when it was founded, you know, how did various iterations and i and i was looking through your, your resume of all the boards that you sit on and all of the village a theater thing? I didn’t even know about that. And I was like, wow, what doesn’t she do?


Oh, what What don’t I do? I don’t bake and I don’t do math at all. I can do everything else.


Absolutely. First of all, how are you? You’re in New York, right?


I am. I’m in the epicenter of the pandemic. I am doing as well as I can. There are a lot of people doing it harder than me. So I am grateful for the small things.


Excellent. You know, I was in New York. Last weekend. I drove from Chicago to New York, my husband and I, to visit my sister who is sort of Have panicking about the pandemic and she and her partner live in Newburgh, New York, which is a little bit up the Hudson. So we drove there. And we spent the night in Youngstown, Ohio on the way there. It was a ghost town. We had this beautiful hotel all to ourselves almost. Wow. And then we got to upstate New York. And it was very odd because in Chicago, we’re in phase three so people are starting to get back to normal in Ohio and Pennsylvania. They don’t care they weren’t wearing masks nothing. We we stopped to get some gas and the Denny’s at the at the at the truck stop was open and people were sitting inside eating breakfast.


And looking at foreign language. I don’t understand truck stop. I don’t understand.


Well, listen, you’re not missing anything. You guys just tell you that. But when we got to New York, everyone was wearing masks.


Oh, yeah. Yeah, we took it seriously here. Um, I think New York is a very practical people and It’s intense because our social distancing is not our strong suit, let me just say that there is no understanding of personal space in this city at all. So it was necessary when we saw that desktop climbing and it’s serious, it’s going to hit 25,000. That’s not nothing. That is a war. So it behooves you to really obey the rules. And I’m really proud of New York for the way it’s responded to people. Anyway.


I know that, as a New Yorker, myself, I was very sad to see, you know, the pandemic really have such an impact. In my hometown, I used to live in New York City, I lived at 79th in West End Avenue. Now, now all of my family migrated up the Hudson a little bit, but, um, but there’s no I love Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing like New York. No, you know, and I’m glad to hear that. It was pretty amazing. So I want to the I want to ask you a question. First of all, should I be nervous that it looks like there’s a spinal column, it hangs on your wall behind you,


um, what would Freud say? It’s not a spinal column bit. Yeah. You know, it’s not at all it’s part of an artwork that might look like that.


So maybe I should know. Now I know I see it a little bit better. I see it. Yeah, it’s,


it’s my boy. I’m a very, let’s just say I’m a very lightweight,


watered down Buddhist. Oh, very good. We could talk about that as well, too, because I just recently had someone on the show. His name is Robert dilaurentis. He’s a fellow pilot, you know, I’m a pilot as well. And, and he, he is now flying pole to pole. And his. He’s a very spiritual guy. And we had some interesting conversations about the spirituality of once you get away from the craziness of, of the population, especially the bigger cities and you’re alone flying over the South Pole, for instance, nobody’s there. What does that like? And it was very interesting, what he said. So I got it. Here’s the question. The big question I, I know, you probably have been asked this 100 times, and if not, then that’s awesome. I’ll be exclusive. But why do lesbian publications and the lesbian community think they’re so separate from the LGBTQ plus community?


Oh, well, I mean, maybe you’re asking the wrong person because I don’t feel that way. I’ve never thought we’re separate. We’re totally inclusive. We always have been of women that identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, gender, non conforming, gender non binary, but I can only speak for curve I can’t speak for everybody that’s ever published a lesbian magazine. But what I will say about curve is we’ve hung on to that word because we think it’s important. It’s an important signifier of same sex attraction or between women and it’s really as simple as that. I myself you know, I have a bunch of different words I want to bring back sapphic. That’s what I want to do. I love that word because you know that sapphic implies that you’re a same sex attracted woman, but you could also be other things. But you know, in terms of you know, the separation of it, historically, part of it comes from the lesbian feminist movement where there was a biological argument for separatism. I personally don’t subscribe to that I don’t believe separatism of any kind in southern a good place. But I also do respect women that have made the choice to live apart for various reasons whether that socio economic or trauma based, but I don’t believe in biological essentialism. So that’s not something I will claim to be part of our culture it curve. And then there’s the very real socio economic factor, which is if you do identify as a woman, you’re bound to be earning about 20% or less, right. So that actually ends up separating you from a bunch of different possibilities in your own life. And that’s a whole other discussion,


right? Well, the reason why I asked this question it’s come up several times over the last few years, but it came up recently, when I was putting together that advisory board, the equality advisory board, and I was chatting with other lesbian publishers, right? Not as wonderful as you, by the way, I’m just gonna put that out there. But one of the things one of them said was, but we’re used to being overlooked by LGBT media. And I didn’t understand that. So my question, I guess, was rooted in. Why? Why do some in the lesbian community feel ostracized, from what we’re all doing? I guess I just don’t understand that separation. And even as a gay man, I’m gonna tell you that says from a place of ignorance, right? So I came out very late, so I don’t have a lot of history. So I probably For for that in advance because I’m genuinely curious. Like, I don’t understand why there is that ostracization from from the rest of the gay community.


Well, I’m not gonna bash you day j, but you are a gay white man. And given that gay white men have really driven the movement. That is the privileged voice. And often women are treated as a minority, even though technically were a majority. And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s not your fault. I’m not blaming you. But in every board I’ve ever been to in every committee and every meeting I’ve ever walked in every room in this world. I’m going to start quoting Casablanca here. I’ve always been the minority. I’ve always been often the only woman, either one gay press trips, I’m very often the only woman and I really Yeah, and I tell you, it’s a really good thing. I love gay men, and I’ve got a little gay men inside of me, I’m sure, but I get along with my gay brothers just fine, but I think that When you are even in a community setting, it’s still signal to you that you’re the minority. I mean, God help women of color, and help, you know, gender non conforming people walk into these settings and feel completely marginalized. So I think we’ve got a little bit of work to do in in our community. It’s just the way years have been historically, but we’re changing it.


Right. Well, one of the things that I am I am trying to do is because I’m ignorant of that history, I don’t have that baggage either. So I’m moving forward and saying, Let’s include this person and let’s include these people and let’s do this and let’s I don’t have those predisposed barriers, if you will. Right. So my, my thought was, my thought was okay, since I don’t know anything, then I’m just going to take a sledgehammer and I’m going to try and change things because things have you know, I’ve only been in the game media for about I’m going to say six or seven years, right? And I never wanted to be in the spotlight ever. I’ve always wanted to be behind the scenes and focus on the business side of things. And yet, time and time again, the universe puts me in a position where I am in the spotlight. And I would shy away from that, and I would not want to, to comment or do anything about that. But what I’m feeling now is that I have an opportunity to pull people together to make a real difference, because I don’t know any better. See, I don’t know any better. So I don’t have that fear. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. And I and I have to tell you something that is interesting. That came up. And I didn’t I when I when I first got into LGBT publishing, I had not ever known a transgender person ever. I had never even under been connected or, or any of that. I bought a newspaper in Indianapolis and I was the first person to put a transgender teen on the front page and I do I didn’t realize the political ramifications or the backlash or anything, I just thought, okay, that’s an awesome story. Let’s run with that. That taught me a lot of things. The second thing is, Why do we always have to do the same thing over and over again, you quoted Freud earlier, the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. So I’m trying to do everything different, as best as I can, as best as I know how and the best way to do that is to surround myself with people like yourself. strong, independent, successful people, who will challenge the norms and challenge me, personally and professionally to do better and be better.


Mm hmm. Yeah, I hear you. I mean, look at the moment in time that we’re in right now, if Black Lives Matter, I can’t change my whiteness. I was born this way. But for a long time, that was just a very poor excuse that I wouldn’t see my whiteness and I wouldn’t see that how it was constructed. And I think that Good Intentions go a very long way. Ally ship is really, really important. But it comes at a time when you’ve really got to look at yourself and say, What am I made of? What How was I constructed? And how did society make me rather than thinking that to be a white Anglo Saxon Protestant or a white Anglo Saxon Catholic person is somehow the norm. It’s not the norm. It’s just it just is happenstance that we happen to have gone through our lives without having to really question too much about them.


You’re you just hit the nail on the head of my own personal journey and I don’t want to go too far off here. But I am being confronted with everything that I’ve always taken for granted. My my whiteness my station in life my history makes me me and I know it you know anyone can make it if they work hard enough. You know, I’ve worked my ass off so other people to be able to do that. What is Color have to do with anything. In reality see, like the common sense thing? What does it have to do with anything? You know, judge me on my on my behavior judge me on the content of my character as Martin Luther King said as well. What Why are we even here is my question. Why as a society Why are we even here?


Why is the society or why are we here in this moment?


And in this moment?


Well, I mean, look, DJ every time in your life, you’ve gone to try and do something, you’ve been able to do it, you haven’t had a door shut in your face over and over again, just because of the way you look. Right? I would, I would need 10 minutes or 20 minutes of talking to you to know that you’re even gay.


I think I don’t know if I do. Is that a compliment?


But imagine if every time you turned up somewhere in the blink of an eye, a decision was made about you simply by the way you look. And I think that’s really why we’re here now is that we can’t go on like this. We have to change it.


Well, it’s gonna start at the top You know, in the White House, uh, I’m


unforgotten and


from the bottom, even people like me that have the best intentions but are ignorant to, you know, I never really think about it if you, you know, I just talked to my husband the other day, I said, What if I had a moment where I said, What if, if I was DJ just as I am with with my brain, which is color less. But I had dark skin? Would I be able to accomplish the things that I’ve been able to accomplish? And I couldn’t answer that question. I couldn’t definitively say yes, I could. And, and it and it made me think it made me stop and think like, Okay, I get it. I get what what’s happening? I don’t know what that that’s like, you know, I didn’t come from a rich family, man. So I worked my butt off. My parents weren’t really engaged in my schooling or anything and I had to, I had to work hard to get through college and to become a pilot in the Air Force and everything. And I always thought everyone had the same opportunity. If you work hard, you stay in school and you’re disciplined, you can accomplish great things. But what I’m finding out is that is not always the case.


No, no, it’s not always the case. And if your labor amounts to something, that’s a great privilege, there are many people in this world who can’t connect those dots. And it’s completely out of their control. And you know, to bring with my black friends, what I say to them is, I’ll never understand what it’s like to be you but I can use my gender as a woman to build a bridge to you because I do know what it’s like to be passed over for promotion to not be considered seriously for a job because there simply was a male in the room, who was going to get that promotion. It’s happened to me over and over again in my life. I’ve had some really good allies. And actually, you know, shout out to a former publisher who was a gay white man who actually gave me my break in publishing and he took a chance on me And I’ve never forgotten it. And that that always is a point I go back to to remember that ally ship is really important. And you can look around at the people near you who have ability and try and elevate them. If you have the power to try and do that, try and pick a new voice. Try and pick somebody with a strength, you don’t have a perspective you don’t have and see if there’s room for them. I bet there is,


in my many years in business, and even recently in LGBT media, and as the president of NEMA for a couple of years. What I’ve learned is, is that when you have people around you that don’t challenge you or call you out, you you will never reach your full potential of what you are, what you could be and and as difficult and as uncomfortable as it is to have people call you on the carpet say hey, I don’t I don’t agree with that or you need to think about this or, or that’s not right and this is why then you We’re just going to go along and you have a, basically a linear perspective, one of one layer of that perspective. And, and what I’m hoping with, what we’re doing and we’re going to do together is that there’s enough diversity in not only in ethnicity and, and background but invoices that someone at various different levels can say, can say, Wait, I don’t understand this, or why are you doing this? And this is the practical side of things. And I think good leadership, strong leadership that I learned in the Air Force, is you make the ultimate decision. But you you’re constantly taking in information from people around you to give you those different perspectives. And I use the example when we were flying during the first Gulf War, and we’re doing our pre flight and we were going into hostile areas where we were going to be shot at or was dangerous. I would listen to the copilot and he was a young young guy you know, I say young now but he was a I guess, his early 30s was a young guy and then you had the navigator telling you all the different things to watch out for. For like the pillars of of city smoke when Saddam Hussein lit all the oil fields on fire. So how to avoid those and what to do if we, if we had to make an emergency departure out of the area. And then you listen to the to the crew chief who’s telling you about the mechanical challenges and whatever you are you taking all that information in, but ultimately, you decide how to proceed. And you’re better. You’re better because you’ve taken all that information in if I would have had to figure all that out on myself, there’s so much room for for error. So I I, I agree with you that a broad input of I didn’t I’m screwing that up. I’m a collection of people that give you a broader perspective and good input help you make the best decision. Absolutely. I think it doesn’t matter who they are.


No, it doesn’t really but I think we’re in a very dangerous time where we have an autodidact in In the position of leadership and I think that that’s a very poor leader. I’m very mistrustful of any kind of autocracy. Yes. No one person always knows the best thing to do ever.


No. Listen, when you’re a judge good. Listen, the the the road to the top is crowded, right? Everyone is is part of that the road to the bottom is lonely. And I’ve been on that road several times more than I care to admit both of them. And, and but I think that that a good leader recognizes the people around them and lifts them up, right, lift them up and take their input seriously. The current leader that we have is so ostracizing and so I don’t know how to say it. Just, this is a horrible and inspirational leader. He’s just a bully right now. He may be doing some things his administration is doing some things that I agree with, and I’m, I support those things, but you can’t even support them. Because the the Bramble bush of craziness around it is too hard to penetrate. Right? And I don’t think that I don’t think that, uh, you know, I feel like I’ve been in the schoolyard fight for three years. You know, it was a bully. It takes I’m exhausted by it. And I’m not really happy with anyone right now and I’m gonna, you know, I, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I don’t know how we can survive another four years of, of this. I don’t know how I can survive another four years of this but but it’ll be interesting to see. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. You know, but right now I’m burnt out on COVID and on all this other craziness that’s happening in the world.


Yeah, but I mean, COVID had a role to play it really. It seemed like just, you know, bad luck. I think there’s actually a purpose that it’s fulfilling. And we developed a kind of digital echo chamber, whereby we were so addicted to distraction that nothing was getting done. The wheels were turning, there was plenty happening. But everybody was suffering except a very, very few. And you know, in my other job as a digital news producer, I used to just turn to my co workers and say this is not sustainable. This cannot go on we can’t possibly go on like this. People are going quite literally crazy. And I think this has been a weird blessing in disguise. I’m just very sorry that so many people have died. I think that was completely senseless, completely avoidable. But I don’t think it will be completely wasted. And it’s kind of like the wake up call we needed and without that, putting the world on pause. The revolution we’re in right now. And I do believe it’s a revolution. It has become possible because we can’t go to stadiums. We can’t go to cinemas, we can’t go to bars. We can’t go to nightclubs. We can’t get on a plane and travel to somewhere beautiful. We can’t drown our sorrows in distractions. We are stuck and We are forced to look at what we’ve made. And I think that’s why you’re seeing the uprisings you’re seeing now,


you know, when he said that, because I thought when this first happened, I thought, how am I going to survive? You know, I’m so connected, where our Instagram, our phones, our computers, and all of that, you know, it. Even a good friend of mine who was hiking on Mount Everest, was able to text from the top of Mount Everest to his family. And I was thinking, you were so connected. I’m old enough to remember when there was an internet and I’m old enough to remember that when you went camping or you went hiking, you were alone, and you could gather your thoughts and you can appreciate Mother Nature. I almost believe that this is. I don’t want to sound too metaphysical here, but I almost believe that the earth just sort of said, I need a break from all of you. And my thought was, you know, for the last couple of months, there hardly have been any cars on the highway. There had been no cars down downtown, you know, the Earth is getting a little bit of a breather. And Marin, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I was forced to, to sort of relax and take stock and pause and think, oh, I don’t have to go anywhere. Now. I’m one of the fortunate ones like you, you know, I could survive this, this, this pandemic, and we’re fine. We have plenty of food, we have a nice place to live in. And we didn’t want for anything. We’re just they’re crazy because we were stuck in our apartment, but I often wondered, what is it like for the people that don’t have those safety nets? Right, you know, how did how did they pay their rent? How do they get their food? How did they take care of their kids? And while the politicians were bickering and fighting these people, some friends of ours or servers were drifting out in the wind with nothing, you know, and I don’t know how they you know how they survived but But I I’m curious to see how it’s all gonna come back. But I will tell you for me, it made me sort of take stock of what? what I was doing. I was doing so many things. I was a, I was a president of NEMA. I was doing pride flight. I was doing my podcast, I was publishing a couple of publications, I was doing some other other things. Why am I doing all of them? 59 years old focus. And I read a really good book, talking about billionaires, and not that this is about money, but their discipline. And what they do is instead of being everything to everyone everywhere, they pick like a few things. And that’s where they focus and they get really good at that.


That’s right, this single focus success increases your odds. It’s very much the truth. And it clears


your mind. Because I’ll tell you, you know, I was I had up another agency and I had another partner and I had all these different things and I thought to myself, I’m I’m into too much I need to just focus and just narrow it down. And I’ll tell you this, my, my mental health is a lot better. I’m a lot calmer. You know, I’m not as stressed except when I watch the news. But I’m, uh, you know, I think that I take from the pandemic that this pause was good. If you looked at if you look for it, it could be bad if you let it be, but there was good that came out of it. And part of it was what you said is that it just slowed everything down.


Now, what do you think the effect on pride will be? Because one of the things about being an LGBTQ person is that a good aspect of our lives and our identities of performative and I was thinking if you can’t go out and be with your people, that part of your identity is is really silenced. And I feel it’s so important, this pride that we find another way to express ourselves and find community.


I completely agree. And I will tell you This is great segue into the next topic that I want to talk about. And, but with virtual prize, I mean, they’re fine. They’re fine, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as having human interaction. Now here in Chicago, they just postpone pride. So it’s going to be in September, the actual pride, but really the big event for us is market days in August and that’s still going on as of right now. And so I think you’re gonna see a lot of people really appreciate being with other people. And I’ll tell you Marin, you know, this is great. I love chatting with you on zoom, but I would love to sit and you know, see you in person and, and I never realized how much I took that for granted. Until this happened. That’s another unintentional byproduct of it. I didn’t really understand how much I enjoyed the company of human other human being.


Right, and the understanding of humaneness in general. Listen, every pride. It’s the closest I ever get to touching a hairy sweaty man. I mean, being completely attracted to women. Every pride on the dance floor is a bit of a shock because I’ll hug some guy who’s in a sweaty tank. And I’ll be like, yep. And that’s why I’m gay. Yeah, I


love it. I love it because it humanizes everything for me. I’m with brotherhood sisterhood. And I missed that.


Yes. And this is something that I think that we can we can try to change and one of the things that that I think is, is important for pride. First of all, I chatted with Orlando Reese, you know, Orlando was the CEO of pride media for a bit, and he’s part of our group now as well. And we were talking about what does pride mean, and how does and how does. Listen, this pandemic has really screwed up pride season this year, and all of these, you know, Pride event are canceled, you know, from Denver to Nashville to just even San Francisco, they canceled to next year. So we’re, in essence going to go to go through pride season without very many prides. And that I think, is gonna have a psychological effect. I don’t know what that is. But I think it’s going to have a psychological effect because those virtual prides are not are not going to be good enough.


They’re not defined good enough. So it’s not going to be the same, it’s going to be different. So with global pride, you’re going to be able to very possibly log on in being Manchester log on and being Moscow, be in Johannesburg, be in you know, somewhere in Ohio. That’s going to be the benefit. And if you’re a differently abled person, or a person who stuck at home with children, or a person that has no money that year, you can still go somewhere. It’s not going to be the same, but it might just be an opportunity here.


I do know that we’re looking forward to next year and I think that normally I don’t Don’t get excited, too excited for pride. But, you know, I just go and we have fun. But next year, I’m going to be super excited because I just want to be around people, you know, want to be around our people. And, you know, this brings up the other. The other thing I want to talk about someone posted just recently in one of the groups that I belong to, that a lot of brands, a lot of advertisers are that normally come out and support pride, you know, a lot of publishers, you know, get a lot of their revenue during the pride season for the year. And so a lot of brands and agencies are not doing that this year. They’re skipping over it. That effect is going to have a significant impact on on LGBT media. I think going forward there are some that got the the the SBA loans that are going to help them survive and others that didn’t and I don’t know how they’re gonna how they’re going to survive that, you know, digital revenue is not going to be enough to keep the publication’s going, what are your feelings? about the future of print publications. Oh, and I know that curve is going through an evolution as well,


totally. So we made a decision. And it was a very hard one, but I call it a couple of months ago, which was not to publish a pride issue not to publish the June issue, because we just knew that advertisers were not be there. So I said to my publisher, we have to find some other way to put that content out there. And by doing that, hold the space open for our readers so that when things do go back to normal or close to it will still be there. And that’s where we are at right now. We’ve done a virtual festival in which we generated 100,000 views. And we were the first publication about type to actually do that. We launched on March 31. And we just wrapped it at the end of May. And it was wonderful. We raised a little bit of money for those artists who were some musicians and some people who, ordinarily you know would have made money From possibly having the editorial in the magazine, but because we couldn’t offer that, so you become aware that you’re part of an ecology, if that makes sense. And I don’t know what the answer is financially, I’m just advising all my friends in publishing to try and find a way to keep the brand alive, even if it means you have to suspend print, because print is the most expensive thing. And I don’t believe anyone right now is reading print in the way they used to. I know in my magazine subscriptions have turned up these last couple of weeks, I’ve just left them on the shelf, I haven’t even read them because I’m just not in the mood. And also normally what those magazines point you to, is the things that you can have and do and go out and get those things are on pause. So you know not reading time out in New York anymore. I’m not reading your magazine. I’m not reading Vanity Fair. I’m not you know, not traveling leisure. I’m not reading them because everything stopped. And it’s awful because all of these publications are suffering. But I think they’ll come back You can bring print back anytime It is simply a product, you can simply open up the print presses and start again. It’s really all about readers appetite and what they need at any given point in time. And if you really are cognizant of that you’re going to serve your readers. We decided our readers wanted connectivity and information. So we found that we could do that through live stream, right? And still still keep them if that makes sense.


Now, I’m going to show you to your point, I still get magazine. Yeah, and they collect on my desk, and I subscribed to them because I like to feel I like to read a magazine I don’t always want to read something on my tablet and I and at this point it’s really hard for me to read stuff on my phone but but I always I published an article that I wrote in the tip print is not dead, because good content will always be sought out by those that that want To see it and, and the shelf life of print is longer than you know, then aggregated content always on the digital on a digital platform. And until I try to the publishers, that, that people will seek you out. If you are, if you are providing excellent content, and you have to provide excellent content across multiple platforms, you can’t just rely on print because we don’t live in that age anymore. Where that’s the only source Do you have to have print, you have to have digital, you know, to a certain degree, but in a pandemic, first of all, who’s gonna want print because everyone’s afraid to touch it. It’s a touchable thing, right? So that’s where I think some of the publishers that I’ve been chatting to are having difficulties, their normal distribution points are close so they they can’t get to their readers. So they have to do it through a digital format. And I think that in the end, we’re going to lose some LGBT media, because of it. And and, you know, this brings up an Another question and another topic that I think is interesting and worthy of conversation. And that is, I’ve been following out and advocate. Right, I’ve been following what they’re doing. And I’ve been looking at their dwindling ads in their print publications. And, and of course, you know, it’s no secret that they have issues with, uh, with, uh, with the new ownership and some of the debt and so forth and so on. And my, my thought is, is businesses fail all the time, Marin, right, it’s just the way of the world. But what’s gonna happen when the last two iconic print, LGBT publications no longer can print? There’ll be no national platform for, you know, for content. How do you think that’s gonna affect LGBT media in the long run, even in the short run?


Well, it’s a very good question. I’d rather preserve flagship publications so that we don’t have to reinvent them again when we need them because you know, they will you know, in in 10 years time somebody will say, you know what we should have we should have a newsstand publication for gay people. So that would that would saddened me. And that’s why I fight so hard to keep curve alive because I know what it took 30 years ago to get the magazine into the space and taken seriously. And to let it let it die would be a tragedy, I think. But look, I’ve got faith in human beings. We are sensory beings, we’re very tactile creatures. There is a prestige to the object, whether that is a bag of Doritos or a diamond ring, it doesn’t matter. It’s really only real if you can touch it. And I feel like look at the music industry with this plethora of streaming and downloads. Right around the same time that happens in becomes ubiquitous. You bring back vinyl because people want to touch something They want to say, Look what I have, look what I got. This is special. So you know, it’s the same struggle, we’ve always had it curve. It would have made sense to us years ago to fold the print publication and save a lot of money. But we have advertisers who want to take out the back page. And it is, let’s talk about that.


Right? valuable real estate, because it’s a thing. It’s an object.


I’ve always said and I believe strongly that until agencies and advertisers say differently, they believe that you’re not an official publisher until you print and that’s how they buy now. Now they don’t they want to be everywhere else. They want to be in programmatic. They want to be in direct run of site purchases for websites, they want to sponsor events and everything. But seeing their ad on the back page of print magazine is sort of their sign of legitimacy, if you will. And I don’t think that has changed. So my my thought is that even if you have to print 10 pages, And you go from, you know, perfect bound the saddle stitch, and you get out there, and you should still print some sort of publication. I think that’s how you, you hang on, if you have to, but, but I also think that the digital age is just growing leaps and bounds and we need to get ahead of it. And as an LGBT media, we are nowhere near the forefront of that we’re playing catch up and my conversations with Matt scaler. And then a few other people that are in that, in that circle, are like we have to catch up. We have to, we have to catch up, you know, we’re all old school publishers that our print print print and we just distribute in the gay communities. But now we can distribute everywhere. And, and, and as a result of, of having some semblance of a of a of a what’s the word I’m thinking of? Oh, geez, I just, I just a mainstream now that we got a Little bit of mainstream we also have come competitors. Yeah. You know, huh. So how did we survive? It used to be that you can distribute your publications, and we were the direct conduit to that community. And the only place that you can reach our community is through those publications. Now, you can run an ad and Time Magazine, which has an audited largest circulation, or Vanity Fair and this and that, and they’re, you know, they may get a little bit of pushback, but they’re not going to get, you know, business ending boycotting, like it like it used to. So now, US localized publications are competing for that, and we don’t have that audience. You know, I’ll tell you, one of the battles that I fought with was with Gilead who developed the prep drug, Truvada, and when they were going to television I said, I said to the agency publicist, I think I never say that right. But it It sounds horrible. But people have said I think is it people says Hell, I said, Why are you spending $75 million on Television campaign to reach at best 10% of the audience.


Listen, it’s an oversight. Why didn’t CoverGirl when they got Ellen DeGeneres as they face or whoever was some gigantic cosmetics company? Why couldn’t they afford you know, 40 $500 adding curve? I will never know.


That’s a good question. And why is that? And I’m going to tell you why I think it is after I hear you.


I think it’s ignorance. I think advertising agencies are the most homophobic places on earth. I think they like to claim that they’re forward thinking, but I don’t think they are at all. I think it’s really that I think it’s hunger phobia, and ignorance.


See, I think it’s that and I think, uh, I think it’s there also, there’s not been a leader to go out there and say, Hey, this is why you should spend here. You know, one of the things that I found over and over again, Marin, and I’m not gonna sugarcoat this at all, and I know you wouldn’t expect that But when I caught up these agencies, you know, I’m I’m a new I live in Chicago, but I’m a New Yorker. And I was like, what that what is going on here? Why are you hiring an agency that had that is asking me how to reach the LGBT community. Why are you not dealing with LGBTQ agencies or professionals to get to that? You know, you have a Verizon is doing a huge pride campaign. Have I seen any of that money now? You?


And I, yeah, look, I’m not an advertising person. I did work in advertising very briefly many years ago, and it was not a great experience. I used to walk home crying most days. But, look, I just don’t know. I don’t know what to say. I all I’ll say I come from a content perspective. I’ll say this. No one is ever going to tell our stories in the way that we tell them and even we don’t tell them very well. Even we struggle with marginalized identities like homeless LGBTQ people, elderly, LGBTQ people, bisexual men, bisexual women. I’ve said it for decades. They are real. They exist. They are part of our community. It is a legitimate identity. But where are the stories? You know, it goes on and on. So I just say we hang in there and wait for people to evolve and catch up with us. I mean, I’ve realized and I resigned myself to the fact that journalism for me is not just a gig, it is my form of activism.


I am going to share with you a little bit of my perspective on this. I have long believed that the reason why we don’t see the money flowing to LGBT publications is because we have a collective Oliver Twist syndrome, please can we have some crumbs once a year from you and that checks off that box and we’re okay with that. Because our our perspective and I’m telling you this because I heard this with my own ears. From a fellow publisher, he says, Well, at least it’s something it’s better than nothing. Right? As if that is it. And I’m thinking to myself, Alright, we’re at $900 billion economic impact in the community even now for gay travel, we’re going to be the ones our community will be the one that leads travel, especially road traveled domestic travel first out of this pandemic and out of this doldrum. And yet, we, we accept crumbs from them once a year, like we don’t chop or travel or do anything any other month of the year, except June. And, and, and, and I asked myself why. The reason is because we allow it, and Eleanor Roosevelt said, you cannot? Uh, no, I have to put it right. Nobody can take advantage of you unless you give them permission to do so. And we’ve been giving them permission for 20 or greater for them to take advantage of us. Ask the question to some publishing said so why don’t we fight back? Why don’t we unify and demand a seat at the table? We don’t have to ask any more. Why are we asking? Let’s demand a seat at the table and use our economic power as a weapon to get that, get that seat at the table instead of, you know, I don’t want to upset the applecart I don’t want to do this. Pardon my language Maronite, I apologize, but fuck the applecart upset the apple cart. upsetting


I don’t know that I enjoy it, but I you know, alright. Well, here’s a theory, okay? We when I look at our community, especially people, you’re in my age, we have a lot of trauma. Many of us got disowned when we came out, many of us buried our friends saw them die. I have lost a few people to AIDS. There’s a lot of trauma we have and I think that it is a subconscious burden that we carry with us that makes us feel somehow that


we don’t deserve a seat at this big tech. That’s exactly right. That’s Exactly right and you hit the nail right on the head. Even people like us in power have to overcome that. Right? So first I get goosebumps because that is the nugget of my argument is that all of us believe we don’t deserve anything better than what we get. So we don’t ask for it. We don’t demand it. We just sit there and wait for it to happen. Now, I could be totally wrong. But this is just an outside perspective. This is what I see. This is what I was telling you earlier where I think maybe my ignorance is my power because I don’t have any fear. Because I don’t know what the consequences are. But I will tell you this something you just said is it really struck struck me and uh, first of all, I got to tell you, like, whenever I get really passionate, I was stuttered when I was a kid and it comes back and I and the harder I try to overcome it, I stutter worse so I apologize. But when I was younger, Marin, I was a sickly kid. I was this. This was I had acute anemia. I didn’t speak for a long time because I stuttered. You know, I had a pinhole in my eardrum I had pneumonia six times before I was like five years old. You know, I had very little chance of having any significant life in my I was quiet and, and I’d never stood up or spoke up for anything. Because I just didn’t want I never thought of it. And then I’m 10 years old. I live in a, an Italian Irish household in New York. My father was a cop in the Bronx. My my mother was a was a in homicide, homophobic racist. And, you know, I have five brothers, four brothers and one sister. And so I’m like, Oh, my God, I don’t like girls. Why don’t I like girls and all my brothers are super jocks and, you know, girls everywhere. So I was like, I don’t even know how to do this. Who am I going to talk to I had no outlet. And so I joined the Air Force to run away. That was my big thing. I was just gonna run away. So I joined the Air Force and I came into my own But for 23 years, in the airforce, I had a double life. I had a double life petrified at any moment someone was going to out me it, if you will, someone’s going to tell someone about it. And it wasn’t until I, I finally got into my late 30s that I I was going to explode. I couldn’t maintain two lives anymore. And I had to tell at least my family and I was I had to prepare myself that oh my god, they’re gonna disown me. Now I was a decorated I am a decorated military person. I’ve been several conflicts and very dangerous things. And part of that I think subconsciously I didn’t care I was like trying to kill myself. But looking back on it, but when I told my family Marin and they were like, Oh, we we love you anyway, and it we don’t may not understand but we don’t care and and they were fully supportive. Once I had that. It was sort of empowering. It’s empowering to me to move forward. Right. And I never understood I still don’t understand how parents can just own a adolescent. Child. I just don’t understand it.


You want to meet my mom? Find out. I mean, I had the experience of when I when I came out to my mom, I knew it would be bad, but I didn’t I suppose they were really think she would disown me and she did. And she said to me, I think some of her last words were you do realize you’re never going to be happy. Hmm. And it was kind of a curse. And I think that sometimes I owe my career to try to undo that curse and to show people that you can be LGBTQ and be happy you can actually have a good life you can have a life that matters and you know that this is the trauma we carry with us. I think it makes it’s a superpower to me, I’ve turned it into a suit.


Same here. That’s the last thing I I will tell you this that I never wanted to be in this position. I never want To be in any forward position, and, uh, you know, in game media I didn’t want I don’t, I never wanted that. But I find myself repeatedly being put in that position. And I think that the universe is telling me and I’ve accepted the fact that my ability to bring people together, my ability to lead, maybe that’ll make a difference for somebody for someone, because for the first 30 something years of my life, it I lived a great life. I was doing everything I love to do Marin, but I was fundamentally unhappy and fundamentally self loathing, and fundamentally trapped and I just was like, I’m not gonna live to be in my 40s so I’m just gonna do what I can do now because I’m never gonna make it and I’m gonna be lonely. I’m never gonna meet anyone. Now I have a husband been together. 18 years we have a daughter. We have two mixed race grandkids. I’m living that life. The life I never thought I would have. I’m living that life. Song. So for me, it’s I have to take that Now pay it forward. And because I’m in this position, the position that I’m in, I’m trying to pay it forward. And I, I’m like, okay, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve allowed, let’s say, from the business side, we’ve allowed brands and agencies to take advantage of us, because we don’t think we deserve anymore. And it’s been going on, it’s been the way things have always been. But I’m saying, Let’s not do that anymore. let’s not let’s not play that game anymore. Let’s stand up and do it. And even when I was the president of NEMA, I have to tell you, it was an ongoing battle to overcome with other publishers, you know, trying to get them to unite to be a unified force rather than you know, as Orlando put it, everybody worried about their own fight dumb and therefore separate, because separately we’re squeaked you know, and I said this in a speech I said, we’re squeaks, but together, we could be a roar and we’ll we will be taken seriously. And I think that’s one of the things that I’m attempting to do with the qualities and with the the advisory board that I have. That I assembled is to bring strong voices to help us not only understand what we’re what we’re up against, but to also demand to demand that we have a seat at the table going forward. Now, what that yields? I don’t know, but I feel like there’s even not knowing what that end result is going to be. It’s better than what we’re doing now.


Of course it is. But look, we’ve all been gaslighted. And if you look at the black community, how they were gaslighted for decades, that they could never be successful in Hollywood, that you couldn’t put a person of color on the cover of a magazine because there was this thing called newsstand racism, it just wouldn’t sell. Well. This is all we found out complete nonsense. And you know, we’ve seen top grossing movies that are 90% black cast, we’ve seen magazine covers sell out with people of color on the cover, it really was just the system didn’t want to change until people had had enough and I think times are changing. I think now is the time to make demands, no matter what minority you are, because honestly, we all have been gaslighted. Time.


Well, Orlando and I had a conversation about this. And I asked him about this specifically with the LGBTQ plus community. And he said, Well, here’s the thing is, is you have the African American community and you have the lat Tino community and you have the Asian community and all of those, but in the LGBT community, it’s it has a little bit of a different dynamic because we have African Americans, Latinos and Asians, all within the LGBTQ plus community. And so we touch on all of those buttons. And this is what so what brands, but he was telling me is that brands want to segregate everybody and say, well, we don’t need we your impact is smaller, your $900 billion economic impact is smaller because we can reach the more specific ethnicity be here.


I disagree with this speak. No, I’m not I’m not disagreeing with you. But I disagree with Zen because a straight A straight person of color is very different to a queer person of color in terms of their consumer behavior. So I feel that, you know, the fact that we have that diversity in our community is actually a strength, because our community really were influences before they were influences, right? Everybody knows that we are by nature, early adopters of everything, whether that’s fashion, or technology, or travel, we’re always the market that bounces back before everybody else decides that it’s safe to. And I really think again, it’s an oversight by the larger community.


And I also think this is our opportunity to stand up and say, well, you may not know what to do, but we do. And we know how to reach our community. And by the way, the local publications, even the national publications, their audience is almost 100% of the audience that you’re trying to reach. So why would you? Why would you support other publications that are only Reaching a small segment of their audience. Right. So our, our, the quality of, of, of our reach is far and away better than then diluted approach. That’s that has been my argument when I talk to brands and agencies, it’s, it’s, and they sit there and they listen and they listen and they and you know that they understand it. And yet they do the same thing over and over again. And that’s why I said that it can’t be just about education or conversation. We have got to unify, unify and have a unified voice in demand. That is what’s going to that is what’s going to get things done. And, and through this, this whole period with, with what happening with Black Lives Matter and other other organizations brought to the forefront the the problems of systemic racism, we need to step up and take advantage of this opportunity to go out there and say, Whoa, we’re not doing business the same way anymore. I don’t want to see LGBT media or publications are both die off because we were apathetic about what we deserve. That is what I think scares me more than anything else is that we just, we sit back and we just let it happen and we don’t fight for it until I want to be able to do that and I want to be able to fight for it. And my biggest concern is watching out an advocate, slowly deteriorate to the point where it’s just going to fade away. And, and we’re going to talk about this in our board call. I’m gonna segue off a little bit of telling you give you a little bit of a preview, one of the things that we’re positioning ourselves to do is to is to step in quickly if we can, and and take those publications before they fail. We I we made a mistake with a frontiers in California, you remember that they went, they went belly up. Once the publication ceases publication, a, you know, it’s very hard to recover from that advertisers lose confidence in your ability to perpetuate your, your brand, you know, and so they, they’ll place they’ll place that money somewhere else and so I do not want to see them, I did not want to see them die. The alternative is that if they do die, and because they’re so heavily indebted, we can’t somehow structure a thing to save them and keep them going. Um, then I will launch a new national LGBT magazine with Orlando and and a few other people and to take to fill that vacuum.


That sounds like a good idea to me. I mean, my concern is that advertisers in general are also having this conversation. They’re not quite sure what works and where I think probably the only place that advertising is working right now is very possibly social media and and, you know, the technology does exist already for holograms. They just don’t understand. You know, I don’t know who’s Payton to them yet, but there’s really going to be a time in our lives. time where you want to read something or show your friends something and you literally just, you know, make it appear in here right in front of you, from your, from the little whatever’s on your ends of your fingertips, and you show them there. And I feel that as we’ll go through there and as we’ll be popping up, and I really hate being online trying to read online, mostly because of the damn pop up ads, and the videos just start playing without my consent. It drives me crazy. But I think we’re all in crisis right now. And that’s simply because we’re in the middle of a media revolution. And by Meteor, I just don’t mean you know, printed news. I mean, literally, whatever it is, we’re looking at that contains information. And I think it’s really about our own evolution, we are actually evolving as a species. So it is going to be at a time of flux, really hard to pinpoint it and pin it down. But I also think that the medium one medium does not destroy another television didn’t kill radio, right. The podcast didn’t kill radio. Social media hasn’t entirely killed comic books and magazines and books in general. So I feel that we’re going to have a kind of polymorphous media escape in the future. And it’s just going to be like life itself has become much harder in terms of navigating all the terms.


Well, I’m gonna tell you, you know, I hate to say it, but I get AARP magazine. I’m at that age where somehow it showed up in my mailbox, and I was like, What the hell is that? And, uh,


but yeah, that’s what that is, is the world’s highest circulating magazine,


right. And by the way, I now can order from the honored citizens menu at Denny’s. So there is that there’s a little certain little perk to that. And and then they sent me a little card that says, it’s like a debit card and it says activate your card now and I’m like, I refuse to activate it because that will just validate that I’m older. And I’m not quite ready for that and I’m going to be 60 July 1. Some, like I was telling my husband I said, I think, you know, 50 wasn’t a big deal for me, but 60 I kind of feel like I need to be more adulting in some way. But, you know, out of the blue, somehow they got my information and I got an AARP magazine and a and a and a membership card. I don’t know. But, you know, here’s the thing though. I get an Airbnb magazine. I get the AARP magazine, and I get some other magazines. And so I think print is alive and well. I just think I just think that we’re gonna go through we’re going through a natural, industry wide shakeout, and some that have been lazy or some that have not changed with the times or some that are not willing or able to evolve with what’s happening. Those publications are going to go away. But the ones that hang on Marin, the ones that that are strong enough and are forward thinking enough and are diversified enough, if you will. will continue. And that’s what I’m hoping we can do as well is is, is continue that and and be in a better position, a smaller market but a stronger a stronger market. Knock on wood


knock on mogul if there’s anything I can do to help, I will join in the fight.


And you are you are. And by the way, I just want everyone to know first of all, Marin is a member of the equalities, advisory board and I couldn’t be more thrilled and you know, I was actually nervous when I was going to talk to you. I was like, I’ve read all about you and I, I have known about you for years. And I was like, I don’t know, I’m a nobody. But I’m gonna, I’m gonna reach out and see, see what happens. And when you reached out to me on LinkedIn, I was thrilled. I have to say that I don’t I don’t get that way with many people. But I’ve always been a fan of what you are doing and what you have been doing. And I always I never see you at any of the conferences because I don’t know why but we just don’t see each other. But when I did have The chance to meet you and speak with you. Marin was one of the loveliest people in the conversation was, I was thrilled. And I sound like I sound fanboy, don’t I horrible? But, uh, but I really was a fan. And you’re an inspiration, quite frankly. I mean, you read, I read your, your biography, and I researched a little bit about you. And I was like, Oh my goodness, she does everything. She does everything and is a lovely person. Oh, so I thank you. So I was very thrilled anyway. I don’t I don’t want to go on and on make you embarrassed, but I just want to tell you that, uh, that I’m not easily impressed. But I was impressed.


Oh, DJ, you haven’t even seen me naked. I mean,


listen, even if I didn’t see you naked. It’s not like you have any superpower over me. Well, although I do say to I say to my husband, I say I’m gay. I’m not dead. You know, if I see a nice looking woman in a in a low cut dress with a slice up the side on their thigh. Sorry. I mean, I am gonna look


you know nothing. You’re talented enough girl,


Diane, I mean, come on, let’s, let’s let’s not go crazy. But anyway, um, so I was very, I was very impressed. And then I saw you on the I saw you on the sounding board a call with Ed salvato and I wasn’t able to go on the last few ones because I had an abscess tooth and then I had it pulled and it was I was in so much pain, Mr.


TMI I didn’t go on the last two either because I was working unfortunately, but um, it’s a great was a great term for him. Yeah. It’s gonna help change the travel industry for us.


Let me ask you this our last part of the show, I want to talk about travel. Right. So I saw in your in your bio, I want to just pull it up here to make sure that I’m talking you were on all these these boards. Um, where is it here? Like on the New York Times travel show your panelists and the presenter, the CMI your panels, their ideal ta And Prague pride. Camaro LGBT in Brazil. Yeah. So is his travel a big part of what you’re interested in? Or is it just sort of like where you where you saw yourself?


It is a great poet once said, I love the phrase of butterflies in issues and I think I it’s genetic with me because my, my grandfather and great uncle were ships captains and, you know, in the Navy’s and traveled all around the world and I think I caught that gene I like to move around and test my curiosity meet new people spread the word, and every journalist has to have a beat, you know, and I thought, at one point, my must be celebrities because I love performativity and I love knowing how it works, but I think it’s really trouble. And I think it’s, it’s a way you can really change people and change hearts and minds and that appeals to me, and I just think I love the visuals of a horizon. I’ve always loved it.


I share your passion. I have a because I was in the military. I never lived anywhere more than three years. And I traveled all over the world. And I tried to experience as much different cultures as possible, which I think shapes your perspective on things. And you know, and then of course, you know, my husband and I, we lived on a 60 foot sailboat for three years. And we never owned a boat. That was our first boat, and we were going to sail around the world. We never made it out of San Francisco Bay. But we did we did it. I wouldn’t do it again. But I did it. But that time that was sort of fun. And then we drove across the United States in a in a vintage motorhome for a year and with no plan, we just said Where do we want to go? And we just went and you meet a lot of people and you realize that, that people are, are good. I think that that inherently, the human race is good, and I refuse to let you know that Narrow slivers of, of negative coverage of how people behave defined, but I think is my worldview of the human race. You know, I was in Egypt, I think it was 1980 or 1979. I was stationed in at RF Mildenhall in England. And we took some time and we went down through Spain and then we went over to to Morocco and then went across and we couldn’t go through Libya at the time. So we had to go back out over the Mediterranean go to Egypt. And, and that was when the the Iranian hostage crisis was happening. And Americans weren’t very popular. I met some of the most wonderful people in Cairo and Alexandria, and and I, it made me realize, wow, not everyone’s a terrorist. Because if I read the news and believed it, then that’s exactly what I believe. And by and large, most people want the same things that you and I want. We want, you know, a job, we want security, we want to provide for our families, you know, all those different things and it helped shape my worldview when I came back to the United States. And it’s, I think helped me transition because of I wasn’t able to, to transition from having two separate lives to having one life. I don’t think I’d be here today. I really don’t. And, and I think that helped. I think that’s what travel does it, it helps you understand that. It’s more than just this. There’s that and that net net, and, and so, I love to travel Plus, I still get butterflies when I go to the airport. No matter where I’m going. I’d love to travel. So I was curious about that. Lastly, I want to ask you about the village playwright. Tell me about that because that is so different from everything else that I read. Yeah,


I have a previous life and I like to still think it is my life. But back in Australia, I was actually a theatre Professor Theatre and Film and I had a former life as an academic and I just shifted gears but my ex putties is in academic speaking is theater in playwriting. And I’ve been writing plays since 91, back in Australia had a couple had a few put on there. And one of the big attractions of New York for me was, of course, the theater community, and acting and I used to, I did train briefly to be an actor, wasn’t very good, you know, really decided that I had soul of a writer, not a performer. And I still use some of those skills to present and to do public speaking and to hopefully be, you know, relatively competent as a public person. But I love I love playwriting. I love dialogue. And I think part of it is to express this idea of discourse and ideas in opposition to each other. You know, how do you write a scene as seniors two people want different things, you know which one is going to get it? What happens if they don’t get it and it’s Great, it’s a great tool for understanding the world.


That is awesome, you know, but ironically, Funny enough, I always thought when I was younger that I would, I’m sorry, I would be an actor. And I always thought I wanted to do that, because but for me, it would, in my mind, it was like, I want to be somebody else. I don’t want to be this stuttering gay person, gay kid, I want to be an actor, I want to be that or this or that, or what have you. And I never did it and not. And this is if I had a regret. I had my father was still alive. And he was like, No, you know, my son’s not going to be an actor or play tennis or any of that, you know? And so rather than play baseball or football, like he would have preferred, I did nothing. And so I always felt cheated. Like, like I and so I think that but I still have that in me that I think I could do that and I would totally enjoy it. But now I’m, you know, I’m gonna be pushing 60 it’s kind of hard to sort of break into that I have so many other things. But I, when I saw that on your, on your resume, I just wondered how you how you kept that part alive. You know, when with everything else that you’re doing,


it’s not easy, but I’ll say I have thoughts and I have characters and you know not to sound crazy. But when they start talking to me, I just write it all down. And it’s something that you you hear a lot of people say, you know, I think it’s like musicians, when they when they hear a melody, they just saw the keyboard and it’s got to come out. I don’t know, I’m one of those people that have always been connected to the kind of universal traumas and, you know, I express that’s my medium. I would express it in that way.


That’s awesome. Okay, I want to ask you one last thing. I promise this is the final thing. Okay. I am so jealous about New York. And so tell me what do you love about living in New York?


Oh, well, not a lot right now. Be honest, because it’s one of the big Wake Up Calls I’ve learned through this pandemic is a lot of the things that I love about New York have been put on pause. So I love going out. I love meeting people. I love going to the theater. I love going, you know, just walking down one of the great avenues and and looking at the architecture. You know, I used to work. My office was on the Avenue of the Americas, right new Rockefeller Center, and it’s a landmark, and I miss it crazily, but I do. And so I missed all of that. And I realized I’m the kind of person that needs a lot of stimulation, and it’s probably why I picked New York because it I like the energy. So we hope it comes back.


We really think it what do you think is gonna happen? As it comes back?


I think it will come back. I don’t know if it will come back fully, but I just have faith in New York. I have faith in it as an Indian settlement. I know Indians, not politically correct term, but that’s the word that is embedded all around my neighborhood in the street signs. We still use that word up here because, you know, it was its history. And I have faith in it as an energy point, which I believe some cities and the great cities of the world and many of the great ports are a kind of, they just have an energy to them. And it’s often about the meaning of land masses. It’s about, you know, the glacial harbor or the river here. The Hudson is made by the glaciers as as was Sydney Harbour, and I think that that energy is still here somehow. It’s also a city built on granite. It’s resilient. We will come back we’re tough.


Yes, you are. Well, everyone I want to tell you that I could probably talk to Marin for another two hours it was you know, but but I will tell you that I enjoyed our conversation Marin so much and I look forward to the time when this is all behind us and and we can get together in person. And and hopefully I don’t stutter and act like a blithering fool when I see you in person


but I hope you give me a big sweaty hug. I will


Thank you for having me on the show.


I will. You’re more than welcome. It was our pleasure. I can guarantee take care of Mary and be safe. Okay. Well, Happy Pride. Thank you. You too. Bye bye.


You can find all the episodes of the DJ Doran show on my website, DJ Doran calm or on iHeartRadio Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Deezer, cast box and pod ematic or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes as they are available. And be sure to follow the DJ Doran show on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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