I’m From Driftwood is an LGBTQIA+ storytelling nonprofit whose aim is to increase empathy and empower individuals by creating an apolitical forum for LGBTQ stories from every age, race, gender identity, background and culture. Since 2009, IFD has filmed and published over 700 video stories that have accrued over 35+ million views on its YouTube Channel. The I'm From Driftwood Podcast brings its queer storytelling to a new medium. Each episode will feature the audio clips from stories from the I’m From Driftwood archive, and the stories and subject matter will be discussed by the two podcast hosts. Topics discussed will range from bi-inclusion, childhood crushes, and gender identity, to love, race, and drag culture. The Podcast will be produced by Anddy Egan-Thrope and hosted by Alex Berg and Phil aka Corinne. Anddy is a Made in NY Fellow, the producer of the podcast “Queers From the Crypt”, and creator, producer, and host of “Fruit Basket”, a podcast about queer comedy. Alex, a “loud and proud bisexual femme” is a journalist covering national news, women’s issues, and LGBTQ culture. Phil is the creator, producer, and host of the podcast “Transition of Style” whose mission is to “help gender non-conforming people bring forth their most authentic, confident and true selves by providing professional styling.”
Special Episode: Live Comedy Event!
27:40We close out our third season with a special comedy episode, recorded live at the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. We’re joined by queer comics Kristen Becker, Kendra Dawsey, and Gus Constantellis as they share hilarious stories covering everything from southern living to being a “thembo” to accidentally hitting the gay clubs with dear ol’ Dad.
Queer Elected Officials
21:44It’s one thing to live an openly queer, happy life - but can you imagine doing so while balancing a high profile career in politics? Just ask Representative Ritchie Torres and Mayor Annise Parker. Ritchie was launching his first-ever campaign for office when an interview presented him the chance to reveal his whole self - an opportunity he took. Annise’s entire college career, meanwhile, nearly got sidetracked by a girlfriend’s vindictive and homophobic mother. Both fortunately found electoral success and were able to represent not only their constituents, but the LGBTQIA+ community as well. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Ritchie and Annise’s stories and discuss the impact of queer and trans representation in government, the shifting of public attitudes over time, and the importance of decisionmakers having to answer to their LGBTQIA+ colleagues. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Ritchie and Annise’s stories and discuss the impact of queer and trans representation in government, the shifting of public attitudes over time, and the importance of decisionmakers having to answer to their LGBTQIA+ colleagues.
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23:42Children know themselves better than we give them credit for. Matthew knew at a young age that he wasn’t a girl and it just took a gentle assist from his mom to realize that he was a boy. When Marcella’s trans daughter expressed an interest in wearing dresses, she didn’t hesitate to demonstrate love and support. But when the local bully decided to pick on her daughter on the way to school, the other neighborhood kids came to the rescue - pushing back against the bully’s comments and inspiring Marcella in the process. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Matthew and Marcella’s stories and discuss the importance of allowing youth to explore their identities, the necessity of queer and trans visibility, and how - more often than not - children know who they are better than we do.
Homelessness in the LGBTQIA+ Community
14:38Angela was kicked out of her family home as a teenager and from there, her life only became more unstable. From a brief period in a group home to an abusive relationship to survival sex work to suicidal ideations, her early life was marked with one struggle after another. Fortunately, she was eventually able to find stability in her life, finish school, graduate from college and make amends with her mother - all the while learning some important life lessons along the way. In this episode, Phil and Alex reflect on Angela’s story and discuss her resiliency, as well as the homelessness pipeline for LGBTQIA+ youth - particularly among Black trans women - and the importance of supportive resources for that vulnerable population.
What's in a Name?
28:03Do you get butterflies when you see your name on a simple work document? Jaye did, highlighting the importance and value of respecting people’s preferred names. On the flip side, Danny was told his preferred name would not be used at his graduation ceremony, diminishing his otherwise enjoyable high school experience. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Jaye and Danny’s stories and discuss the importance of owning your name, how allies can demonstrate true support, and the need for corporations and other organizations to keep up as society evolves beyond the gender binary.
32:12Which is a better place to live for queer and trans folks - the city or the country? Turns out it depends on who you ask. Rae thought that the rural Appalachian town they grew up in would be hostile to LGBTQIA+ folks and opted to live in Austin for a decade before realizing they missed the mountain air and wanted to increase queer visibility back home. Levi, meanwhile, realized that his hometown - which had an active KKK - wasn’t the right place for a queer man and so instead relocated to a more urban city where he could find the supportive community he needed. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to Rae and Levi’s stories and discuss how both urban and rural locations can be queer-friendly (or not), their shared belief that people should ultimately go where they can find the fullest version of themselves, and touch on a little bit of queer and trans rural culture.
Outside the Binary
43:03Ever feel like people are placing you in a box? Ada and Dubbs definitely did. Ada nearly had a panic attack due to wearing a dress at a Christmas concert, compelling them to take a step back and reevaluate their gender altogether. Meanwhile, Dubbs’s realization that they were genderqueer came out of a lipstick lesbian awareness party where they realized they enjoyed the company of the women but didn’t personally identify with them. Their unique experiences drew them to the same conclusion - that identity is fluid and only you can define yourself. Dubbs joins Phil and Alex as a guest on this episode where the three engage is a conversation about why people feel the need to put others in boxes, why people should do what’s empowering for them, and was cis people can do to demonstrate true allyship with nonbinary and genderqueer folk.
Spouses Coming Out as Trans
28:51Description: What would you do if your cis spouse came out as trans? For Mitch, coming out to his girlfriend was a nerve-wracking experience but the concern was all for naught. Not only was she accepting and encouraging, she wound up being the person who administered his first testosterone injection. When Randi came out to Shellie, Shellie learned that while she would miss aspects of their previous life, there were many, many things to look forward to on this new adventure together. In this episode, Phil and Alex listen to these two stories, and discuss how unconditional love, hard work, and patience are essential ingredients in any working relationship.
Out in the Workplace
33:01Are you out at work? It’s easier for some people than others. Ingrid Galvez Thorp had moved from her home in NYC to a new job in Georgia and was surrounded by microaggressions from her new colleagues. After word got out that she might be a lesbian, her tough-as-nails boss confronted her about her sexuality. Ingrid stood tall and came out to her boss, only to find out her boss was a super ally, ensuring that if anyone had a problem with Ingrid, they’d have a problem with her as well. On this week’s episode, Ingrid calls in to join the conversation with Alex and Phil.
“Allyship Requires Risk”
35:22What makes someone an ally? For Rosa, it’s learning to love queer people even though it was her gay ex-husband who hurt her the most. For Jean-Claire, it was ensuring a beloved gay uncle was properly remembered for all of who he was, rather than a “straight-washed” version of him. In this episode, Phil and Alex dive into the true meaning of being an ally, how it’s lost its meaning over time, and what meaningful allyship looks like in the real world.