We're all human. Nobody is more human or less human than anyone else. Yet each person's humanity is wonderfully unique. Unfortunately, people who are different from what some consider the norm in sexual and gender identities and practices, or sometimes seen as perverts, or worse, were all real humans though, and we have the same thoughts, feelings and desires as any other human.
The Human Tapestry Podcast is a weekly series of interviews where we explore the rich tapestry of humanity through gender, sexuality, relationships, and sexual practices. Each week I'll talk to one or more people about their identities, their lives, and their unique and wonderful journeys to understanding who they are.
In this episode, I’m catching up with Michael, who I talked to during my Intersections project. If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to that conversation in the From the Vault episode that was posted a couple weeks ago. Michael is a gay man who was married to a straight woman. They're no longer married but still have a great family relationship. We had a great conversation about his journey of discovery as a gay man, gay culture versus being gay, the fascinating LGBTQ cultural history of Oklahoma City, and more.
This is the dissertation on Oklahoma City we talked about: Emergence and Evolution of the Gay and Bisexual Male Subculture in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1889--2005
I also wanted to share what Michael shared with me in a follow-up email:
I attached the dissertation that started my interest in local gay history. I suspect that young historians in other small cities have dome similar but it is not like there is a good resource collecting all of them. And if there isn't maybe it is a jumping-off point for one of your listeners to dig for histories in their own city. One thing I didn't mention was that with this dissertation i worked up a tour of OKC and have taken a few friends on a good two-mile walk around downtown looking at where places used to be, and telling stories, some of which I admit to embellishing.I think we all spend our lives thinking we are so unique, then we get older and realize that over the last ten or so thousand years that there have been others just like us but with vastly different societal pressures. When I read the stories in that paper, or in some of the other resources I have collected, I can picture some dude trying to navigate his feelings, his wants, his desires, and thinking he was some kind of weirdo. For me it is a great feeling to know that there are other weirdos out there, during all times, just stumbling around and doing their best. In the end, we are crazy naked monkeys who have the fortune (or misfortune) to be self-aware. Just crazy naked self-aware monkeys on a chaotic rock hurtling through space trying to make sense of the nonsensical.
From the Vault: Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espizona
Last week, you heard my conversation with Doctor Robyn. Today, we're going back in the vault to hear the Intersections interview with them four years ago.
It was the second interview I'd ever done, so it was a little rough, but it was a thrill to talk with them and learn so much about gender and sexuality from someone with real professional and personal expertise.
Back then, Dr. Robyn was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethics at Pacific School of Religion and a published author in the fields of queer studies in religion, ethics, and Latin@ studies. They shared their life and views on gender, sexuality, marriage, and how race can inform sexuality. I was fascinated back then and I hope you will be just as fascinated today.
Dr. Robyn - Coming Out!
I'm still working out some of the hiccups with the podcast posting to the cloud, but I had to make sure to get this episode out today: the day after National Coming Out Day.
That's because I had a chance to catch up again with Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza. We talked four years ago during my Intersections project, which you can catch on the Intersections YouTube channel, or listen to it on this podcast later this week.
Doctor Robyn is a nonbinary, Latinx, deep switch, theological activist, and once again we had an amazing conversation. Yesterday, they came out in a new way on their own podcast with Rev Anna Gollady (Gall-a-DAY): the Activist Theology Podcast. If you listen to their podcast, you know about it, but if not, well — it's pretty exciting.
Before that, though, we also talked about getting into their body, radical consent, prescriptive vs descriptive sexuality, the BDSM community, how they have learned more about their own kink identity, the importance of having a relationship with pleasure — whether eating, having sex, or living life, and so much more!
I think I've got the "kinks" worked out of the podcast, too, so you should see the rest of the season coming to your favorite podcast feed now. If not, please let me know!
In this episode, I talked with Moniqa, who you heard in the first half of the last From the Vault episode. We had a great conversation this time catching up and talking about her bisexual, demisexual, and poly identity, how poly is a choice for her, her chosen family, how she discovered polyamory through a circus community, and a whole lot of other stuff!
We’re Back! What’s Next?
You may have noticed that the podcast hasn't had a new episode in a couple weeks, because I was running into some technical issues with my feeds. Everything should be back up and running now, and hopefully you'll start seeing new episodes start coming to your favorite podcast place real soon now!
I haven't been idle, though! I've got a few new interviews ready to go, starting with Moniqa and Michael, who you heard in the September 11th From the Vault Episode. Eight more episodes in total, with awesome conversation with amazing humans, who you really need to hear from! Since we've queued up a little more than I planned, new episodes will be dropping twice a week until we're caught up.
After that, who knows? I really want to hear from you and find out how this podcast is impacting you. I'd love to hear from you! Whether we chat over DM or on the podcast, this thing is all about starting conversations, so please join in! You can reach me here on the website, or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.
I've also been learning about a concept called "Learning in Public". It comes from the programming world, but I think it's a valuable concept for life in general, and I intend to do more of it in my life. So, you'll see more posts about what I'm learning through this podcast and from living life in general. They'll show up here and on my personal blog. A very wise person once told me that writers write, and I learn by writing, so hopefully over the next little while I release my inner writer again! And of course, I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you're learning, too.
Stay tuned tomorrow when I catch up with Moniqa and find out the amazing things she's been up to! Let's keep the conversation going!
From the Vault: Moniqa and Michael
This week we’re going back in time again with two interviews I recorded for the Intersections Project — the predecessor to The Human Tapestry Podcast.
Our first from-the-vault Intersections interview was with Moniqa: a bisexual, demisexual and questioning demi/gray-romantic woman. Through our conversation, I learned how important the word “woman” is to her, and what it means to be demisexual.
Next is Michael: a gay married man who has remained married but separated. We discussed the effect of his identities on his family and life and some resources that have helped him through.