Episode 010 - It's the Journey



At the core of this episode is a question: What's the cost of chasing your dream?

In our season finale, host Brandon Nick takes us on a journey as he tries to answer that question. Bearing the scars of an independent Black queer creative; he uses narration, journal entries, community testimonials, and some spilled tea from his team as he reflects on the process of producing season one of Let's Get Back To Queer.


This episode is dedicated to Black queer and trans creatives who had to turn nothing into something. Who do what they can to honor their younger selves. It may be challenging, but keep going! Chasing your dreams are worth it! ❤️💪🏿✨ Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to stay in the know!

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Transcript:

Brandon Nick:

What do you say when there’s-Am I recording? What do you say when there’s nothing left to say? I talked about crystal meth, polyamory, spiritual empowerment, Black trans joy. I explored a lot of things, what should I explore this time? We’ve covered a lot in our first season, and we’ve uncovered a lot in our first season.*giggles* I wanted to keep it light, while still being serious. And we had a lot of fun. I know… I don’t know… that’s what I do know.


Donja:

What you talking bout nigga?!


Brandon Nick:

Let’s Get Back To Queer.


[Let’s Get Back To Queer theme music by Byrell the Great]


Brandon Nick:

Welcome back to Let’s Get Back To Queer, a mixxy podcast that explores the magical, the mundane, and sometimes the messy experiences of Black queer and trans culture. I’m your host Brandon Nick.


Brandon Nick:

Y’all, oh my queerness… This is the last episode of the season. Boom! Pew pew pew, imma tell Evan to put a bunch of sound effects right here, it’s gonna sound ovah! But yall, can y’all believe it? The first episode of Let’s Get Back To Queer dropped June 2021. Gag, wow, gag. One question I’d often get is why a podcast? Cuz no shade, a bunch of these cishet men have ruined podcasts for folx like me. But on the real, like, why Let’s Get Back To Queer? For me, it’s my way of celebrating all that is Black queer and trans. The messy, the magical, the- y’all know the tag. It’s about going to, or coming back to, us. Being ourselves, centering ourselves for ourselves! For me Let’s Get Back To Queer feels like reclamation, something that I can gift to younger Brandon and other younger me’s so they could have something they can feel themselves reflected in. A love letter to my communities. And honestly, I needed something that was big enough to channel all of my random ass ideas and curiosities into, no shade.


True tea, though? This episode wasn’t even supposed to be like this! It was gonna give live, in-person baby, with a participatory audience, surprises for the producers, giveaways and the whole nine inches- It was gonna be fab, but that vision was met with several obstacles and delays. I guess the universe saw fit that I use this episode as a moment of reflection. Mind you, I was already dealing with depression and anxiety. Y’know, the run of the mill living in a pandemic scared to go outside bored in the house and I’m in the house bored cuz amerikkka is trash and is constantly trying to end a nigga type depression and anxiety. You know, basic shit. So all of that mixed with still working on the podcast-when it was originally ‘sposed to be done in December 2021, kinda sorta put me in a lil tizzy. And when I say tizzy I really mean a full on suck the light out a room depressive spiral. But you know… it’s the journey. I can laugh about it now cuz I’m on the other side of it.


When I was in it, I just…whew baby. I just could not. Like, on a serious note, it felt life was just sucking all the hope and goodness out of me, no pun intended, and all that was left was despair. And that was a scary place to exist. Like darkness had swallowed me whole. And I was just… gone. I’m very thankful that I’m no longer in that space, 0/10 do not recommend. One of the things that helped during that period was I often do these recordings in my phone as a way to rant about whatever's in my heart or mind at the time. Very digital-diary about it. Which is to say these are often private recordings I archive for myself, but I wanna share one that I recorded back in April because it really highlights the space I’ve been in this year. I made this recording after my watch notified me that I was scheduled to record the final episode in 30 minutes. Which was not the case, I’d just forgotten to delete the event out my phone. What you're about to hear is an edited down version, to spare y’all the looong pockets of silence or otherwise incoherent trains of thought, of me on the day that we were scheduled to record the final episode.


[Soundbite: 04182022 Rants i & ii]

Brandon Nick:

Today is supposed to be the day we record episode 10, the season finale of let's get back to queer, but that's not happening for many different reasons. It's been postponed or canceled. I don't, I don't really know anymore. Uh, this week, this year actually has been a struggle for me and truthfully, I don't feel like doing any fucking thing. Like, today-Brandon, like today-Brandon just wants to pay it and do nothing. But I know tomorrow-Brandon will probably regret that choice. So I push through, literally. Um, it's, it's hard finding motivation when half the time you don't even feel like being on this fucking floating rock in space. But yeah, this shit is for the birds. Um, I say that also trying to make sure I don't get hit, cuz I do want to live, but do not feel like being on this earth. It's given Saturn, are you ready for me? Mars are y'all ready? Ugh…


Yeah. It's... Life be ghetto. Um, okay, that's a ki, but whatever. I'm just I'm spent and not just financially cuz...


Like, what is the cost, what is cost of, what's the cost of chasing your dreams? Cause let's get back to queer has been my dream for the last five years. And I do not really like that. I do not really like that. I, I don't like that I'm in a place where it doesn't bring me joy. Um, oop. Not its giving tears falling, not its giving tear fall in public. Uh, yeah, I don't know. Um, Shit be a struggle, but you know, bitches push through. Oh, he was cute. Shout out to cute niggas. Um, yeah, I mean, I guess, if this was the cold open, this would be the part where I say let's get back to queer. Um, we've been getting back to it since… Anyway, I'm just rambling at this point. Um…



Brandon Nick:

I be all over the place. But right now… right now I’m really sitting with that question of what’s the cost of chasing your dream. Not the financial cost, though that’s a real factor as well. I mean the emotional, spiritual, mental costs… I know the answer varies from person to person, project to project. But for me, I’m not sure I have the balance yet. I mean, on one hand, I don't think I've ever felt so alone or insecure or worthless as an artist or human until I started working on Let's Get Back To Queer. I remember reading Daring Greatly years ago and Brene Brown stresses how we shouldn't connect our worth with our work. Which has been a challenge for me because this podcast has been my entire life, like there was no separation.


And throughout the process of producing and trying to get it out there, hell- even before all of that, applying to grants and getting rejected time and time and time again, sending pitch decks to try and get sponsorships or press releases to get publicity, trying to get folx invested when you’re not popular or light skinned and sexy, dealing with broken promises and navigating disappointments… all of that hurts. The lack of recognition hurts. And shame makes it all worse. Sometimes, oftentimes, I feel, like I've done all this, the late nights, the hours editing, constantly getting burnt-out, going into debt to fund this, for nothing. That I deserve this suffering. What really sucks is that something I could not stop thinking about, something that fueled me me with purpose, would cause me so much disappointment and confusion. Such is the life of an under-resourced Black queer artist, I guess. This wouldn’t be the case if there were more accessible funding and resource opportunities for Black queer and trans creatives making Black queer and trans work, but that’s another episode for another day. So let me not digress. Where was I?


Right, on the other side of that is all the things I have to be proud of. Like, the fact that I’m able to sit here and record my narration for the finale of my podcast is an accomplishment in itself. Like, I remember working on the outline in secrecy for the longest before I finally built the courage to tell my husband I wanted to do a podcast. Y’all, I was so nervous trying to explain it to him, and he just sat across from me eating his froyo with the biggest smile on his face, looking all cute with those tears of joy in his eyes. Telling him made it real, out into the universe. And now here we are. Ten episodes in.


Making Let’s Get Back To Queer dragged me out from the shadows of backstage and put me front and center and said you better werk! It made me show up for my self in so many ways that I’m very grateful for. Like, I’m really impressed with myself. Plus the privilege of holding space with people that I’ve admire, and expanding my communities with all the dope people I met along the way… And I know this is gonna sound vain, but as a person who’s felt and often feels invisibile, its really nice in those rare moments when someone recognizes my Let’s Get Back To Queer tote bag or t-shirt. Not to mention the love we receive from the community and people who’ve tuned in who let us know how much y’all appreciate this podcast. How y’all felt seen, heard, how y’all learned or gain new perspectives after listening to the stories of our guests. Reading your comments and having y’all tell us bout the things y’all fucked with and knowing y’all rock with us really does makes an impact.



[Clips of compliments]

Comment: Let’s Get Back To Queer gave me my whole life! It's an aural documentary that I didn't know I needed. After hearing about the healing power of dance & sex from Baba Oludaré & Daddy Jinx, I feel ready to work out my kinks.

Comment: Let’s Get Back To Queer is the Black Queer CNN!

Rhone Fraser: I love that episode you did where you’re dealing with your roommates addiction and how they hurt not only themselves but their friendships. I love how you articulated that without shaming him. So thank you for that.

Comment: Episode 2 was everything. All of the love, acceptance, encouragement, SISTERHOOD…whew! It just filled me!

Malika Oyetimein: Baby. I am one person who does not listen to podcast. I just listened to three episodes in a row. Brandon really is making a beautiful thing.

Comment: Yo that opening line in the first episode, that was amazing! It tells the entire world you’re not only here, but you’re supposed to be here.


Brandon Nick:

I am supposed to be here, and so is Let’s Get Back To Queer. Ha- that rhymed. Sometimes you need those affirmations to get back on track. Cuz the ancestors know Let’s Get Back To Queer had me up and down like a roller-coaster. Thankfully I wasn’t on this ride alone. Throughout this journey I had two amazing friends help me along the way. Shannon Joy and Glenn Quentin, my brainstorm buddies, my accountability amigos, aka my coproducers. I invited them both to join me for a candid check in to talk about our time working together. This is a shortened version of our conversation, the full video check-in can be found exclusively on our patreon.


Brandon Nick:

But yeah, so I guess like my first question also, sorry, I'm just jumping out were y'all ready. I'm like, I'm like, yeah, let's just get straight to it. I'm like, I don't even know if y'all we're ready. Boom.


Shannon Joy:

Let's do it. You're never ready. You're never ready.


Glenn Quentin:

Yeah, exactly.


Brandon Nick:

That part. If it's one thing I've learned, it's like never ready, but you just, you just go. So I guess with that, what's been like your experience with let's get back to queer? Like what's it been like working on the podcast?


Glenn Quentin:

For me, it's marvelous. Uh, there's so much I feel that was learned. Um, even in, even in just like stories or things that I probably wouldn't have naturally went to listen to myself. Um, there was grace, there was also like, uh, really a sense of, I think just learning, like learning about boundaries and learning, like, like what, what one could actually like do at any given time. Uh it's like, you know, working, working besides both of you all, um, you know, it just to see, to see masters in their craft. Um, it's been, it's been an honor.


Brandon Nick:

I feel like y'all playing nice. Shannon, you ain't even answering. I just feel like y'all playing nice, but sorry go head.


Shannon Joy:

I'm about to answer. I didn't even say anything yet. So…


Glenn Quentin:

It's the first question my dude. What, would mean like, listen, trust me. Let' come on.


Shannon Joy:

You know, Oprah starts with the light question and then she gets to the… so for me it's a learning experience for me. I feel like, uh, so much of, of, I've changed a lot during the process of creating this show with you all. Um, we started in 2018, correct me if I'm wrong here. It was 2018, right? 2019.


Brandon Nick:

I, I had one on ones with y'all I think the 2018, but we had our first meeting March 25th, uh, 2019 at The Lark when it was four of us. Cause originally remember Nissy was also a part of let's get to queer, that was before we actually started.


Shannon Joy:

Oh Yeah.Yea. Wow. So, much...


Brandon Nick:

Wow, This one season has taken three years.


Shannon Joy:

I mean, yeah, like that's why I'm thinking about the process. I'm like this was a pre-pandemic project and then we hit the whole, we hit the panny-panini, then we put out a season. What I wanna say about it is the process of making this, what it's been like working together. It has been challenging. Yes. And I'm proud of the work that we've created. I'm proud of the body of work that is this season. Like even if nothing else happens, I'm happy. And I'm proud to say that I was a part of this. I do hope that we can do a second season quicker. Then maybe it won't take three years.


Brandon Nick:

Baby! Cause like I'm I like, I, I had an internal ki when Glen was like working alongside like masters, cuz I'm just like, nigga, I feel like we was like flying this plane as we were building it, like propellers still just like duct tape and crazy glue.


Shannon Joy:

Yes. That's a good way to think about it.


Glenn Quentin:

But when it lands though, when it lands!


Brandon Nick:

When it lands.


Shannon Joy:

We were learning, okay?


Brandon Nick:

Um, like what Fantasia said sometimes you gotta lose to win again.


Shannon Joy:

Yep. You do. Sometimes you gotta, you gotta take some L’s and learn some lessons. Losses are lessons.


Brandon Nick:

And I will say, one thing that I've really, one thing that like has really stuck with me, Is episode seven, in the sanctuary with Pastor Prosecco. Literally, like, your episode. But like literally, like I, I forgot what it was. I think what was like do the work and step back.


Shannon Joy:

Yes, do the work then step back.


[Shannon Joy & Darren Mallet from Episode 007: In the Sanctuary with Pastor Prosecco]


Darren: Because I can easily identify because like I'm an achiever type I like to do, do, do, do, do, do, let me get things done. Let me manifest dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. It's not, it's not about that. None of that shit matters. And so it's like allow, it was like the first time that I could like approach my work with a semblance of…


Shannon Joy: A little bit of, of a detachment there.


Darren: Yeah.


Shannon Joy: It's like, I really love this quote from the Tao Te Ching.


Darren: That's my shit right there.


Shannon Joy: Is like, do your work then step back. And it's like, do your best work, but then take a step back from it. Because you cannot control the outcome of anything, period. And when you think you can, that's where the suffering comes, aversion or craving. You're craving an outcome, you don't know anything.


Darren: Yeah. You're craving an outcome and… And it's, it's a really surreal experience to be a creative, right. Be an artist or writer or whatever, fill in the blank, and do your best, work with integrity, and still be- practice non-attachment to the outcome. That's, that's a practice.


Shannon Joy:

Mmmm


Brandon Nick:

BABY!! Like when I was editing that episode and mind you, you already know I was fucking over cuz it was just like, why we take, like, why is they taking so long episodes are supposed to have been out. I'm just like going fucking stir crazy. Cuz we are not on schedule. Like, but like literally listening, like as I was editing that episode and like just kept going over, like tao de ching, do the work and step. Like all I need to simply do is do the work and fucking step back. Shannon, when I tell you that episode, like really stirred something inside. Like I, I think when the episode actually came and I don't know if I told you this, I think when the episode actually came out, like I just took a moment to myself and cried cuz I was like, I really do. I really do.


Like, I really do need to just like sit with the journey of this damn pod- and like not even trying to like sound all like, you know, altruistic or like nothing like that. But it really was a thing of like releasing my expectations with this.


Shannon Joy:

Yeah. Yep


Brandon Nick:

You know like cause, and I think, and like, and definitely, and like transparency and vulnerability. Um, I did go into this knowing that like, oh yeah, people are gonna like, love this and they're going to eat it up because I have The Each-Other project behind me and I have all these short films and all these other like, you know, digital series under my belt.


Shannon Joy:

Yeah.


Brandon Nick:

And like the reception of let's get back to queer, like was never what I envisioned. Um, so I was just like, damn, the girls don't see it for me. And, and it's, and it's not the case.


Brandon Nick: I had a question since I was actually talking about your episode. I would love to hear from the both of you, um, like what, like what has it been like producing your individual episodes for let's get back to queer?


Shannon Joy:

Um, so my original thought for it in the sanctuary was that it was gonna be me interviewing two of my good friends who are very spiritually focused. The interview interview process went great. You were there for Darren and then Treys, I completely very, very royally fucked up with that one because I interviewed her and then I forgot to press record.


Brandon Nick:

The worst!


Shannon Joy:

Then in the listening back to the recordings and then I'm like in Ohio at a farm, cuz that's what I decided to do in September. I was like, I'm getting outta New York. So I went to my friend's farm to try to like get some Zen. Then a bitch learned how to edit sound. I remember that day I spent like two days in the Ohio state library, um, figuring out how to edit sound. And then I was like, okay, I cut it together. I tried to, it took me forever on my, on my like old PC that's like falling apart.


I think I shared with you, the episode that I had cut together with Darren and Trey's, um, interviews. And then, and then we came to the conclusion that


Brandon Nick:

It was hyper long.


Shannon Joy:

It was super long, we should start with Darren's.


Brandon Nick:

Yeah. To do individual episodes.


Shannon Joy:

I mean the editing Brandon, thank you for doing that. Um, you took the timestamps and did things with them and it all worked. And working with the sound editor was also great. I mean, I learned so much.


Brandon Nick:

Shout out to Evan! So much shout out to Evan, shout out to that straight nigga. Like he did what the fuck he had to do!


Shannon Joy:

We tried so hard not to hire a straight sound editor. I swear. We tried.


Brandon Nick:

We really did. Like we did. I mean like also like I do wanna make, take this time just to say like shout out and thank you to everybody who has come in and out of let's get back to queer's house.


Shannon Joy:

Come in and out. Yes.


Brandon Nick:

You know, for like one reason or another, like Evan was our third or fourth sound designer, sound mixer engineer person.


Shannon Joy:

So um like fourth, I think.


Brandon Nick:

Yeah. I mean, I mean it literally like all everything trial and error, but we got there and Evan has been phenomenal. What about, uh, what about you Glenn? Like what did you learn about your episode?


Glenn Quentin:

Yeah. Um, definitely do it like earlier than later. Um, you know, like if, if you wait on me to do it, you know, I'm gonna do it in that moment. You know, if it doesn't happen in that moment, it might not happen.


Brandon Nick:

Glenn. I had to put some pressure on you!


Glenn Quentin:

And, and it was like, it was like, yo bro, like you, you, you recorded shit. Like I, like, I think like I was done with my interviews, you know, but like I hadn't like, you know, the process and part of it was,


Brandon Nick:

I mean, it's it's is that Legacy?


Glenn Quentin:

Yeah.


Brandon Nick:

Who, who makes, who makes the most beautiful cameo in your episode?


Glenn Quentin:

And so like I have her in here with me because, you know, I can't see them and, and be focus here ma'am, ma'am.


Brandon Nick:

This is literally how it was when we were doing the intro.


Glenn Quentin:

I will say, I feel like I got mentored. And like in the process of doing this, you know, the shaping of like the story of like the narration from it. Um, it, it was a stretch, it was a stretch for me. Like the, the speaking it out, wasn't a stretch, but like kind of putting it down on paper, um, like that, that was, that was what came up, uh.


Uh, knowing what I know now is like, okay, cool. Like it's a way to process it. Like I can commit to this because I know what's the road ahead. Right?


Brandon Nick:

I just like, appreciate like both the work that both of y'all put in. Um, even like in spite of me having to be like, all right, niggas, what the fuck is going on? Um, like the end result for both of y'all episodes is honestly really beautiful. Part of my vision was always to have other like storytellers, so it's not just me. To be able to like, have seen that manifested, um, was also just like a little heart smile, heartwarming moment for me. Um, to have two, I, I technically, I guess three cuz episode six also featured, um, co-producers with Ny'Omi, uh, Stewart and Ja'Mel Ashley who is now a lovely parent. So like to have three episodes that like, weren't just me talking, cuz y'all also know like I like it's at the longest time for me to get used to the sound of my fucking voice. I think that was like one of the hardest things I had to like process early on was just like, fuck nobody's gonna wanna listen to this shit cuz I sound annoying.


Shannon Joy:

No, you do don't.


Brandon Nick:

I mean, I don't think that now.


Glenn Quentin:

If we, yeah, if we thought you sounded annoying, I think we would tell you, like we would have told from the beginning, like I don't, we probably, you should do this.


Shannon Joy:

Wouldn't have agreed to do a podcast with you.


Glenn Quentin:

It was also, I got really giddy to, to do, um, to do the intro because like, you know, let's get back queer. Like hearing, like hearing Shannon's and like, and then hearing like that was, that was really like giddy and exciting for me as well.


Brandon Nick:

Really?


Glenn Quentin:

Hell yea.


Brandon Nick:

What is one of your favorite memories or moments relating to let's go back to queer?


Glenn Quentin:

I mean, I have like a couple like, uh, like they're like, okay. So, um, when we met at Shannon's, uh, office space in the Bronx, um, like in that picture, like it was just like, oh yeah, this is like, Hey, cause it was the first thing that we were sharing, like new work. Um, from like, Hey, like in like that listening and that, um, I like, oh cool. We're we're hitting the ground again. And oh, here's the dates that we're gonna go for. Like, you know, like stamina had been built up again.


Shannon Joy:

Yeah.


Glenn Quentin:

And, and, and then my other really funny one, um, Brandon you're involved, but you weren't, you weren't here at this moment. I think there was a meeting that we were supposed to do. And I think I definitely had given the date, but then like I had double booked and I was like, fuck, I double booked. And so like I hit, I, I hit Shannon up.


Shannon Joy:

I remember this!


Brandon Nick:

Y'all plotting against me.


Glenn Quentin:

But I was like, I was like, oh my God. I'm so sorry. Like she was like, great. Cause it was like, it was going be me! Like, like I also had a conflict too. And, I felt like…


Shannon Joy:

Yep. I was like, okay, well Glen, you can be the bad guy today, right? We not plotting but it was coordinated.


Glenn Quentin:

Right, we were like, he’s gone be mad, he’s gone be mad. But it’s gone be okay!


Brandon Nick:

Oh no! I'm glad I know this now. Cause I think if I knew that then I definitely would hate y'all. Like, wow, really!? Really?!


Shannon Joy:

See how we spared you. We spared you.


Brandon Nick:

One. Like the one that comes to mind, um, is the brainstorm meeting we had when we were trying to like figure out new episodes. And it was like the three of us, um, Jackson, who at the time, uh, was our sound designer. Um, Ameirah and uh, Qween Jean. We did like the five minute round robin.


Shannon Joy:

Yes. That I love that.


Glenn Quentin:

Yeah that was cool.


[Soundbite from Brainstorm Meeting]

Ameirah:

Upon a time, there lived a young little girl who stayed on the far east side of the forest.


Brandon Nick:

And in this forest, there lived magical trees who would cuss you out if you plucked their ripe fruit.


Glenn Quentin:

Uh, she was really, she was close friends, uh, with a magical tree, um, named Cynthia, um, who was the baddest tree in the shrubbery.


Jackson:

One day, Cynthia wasn't feeling too well.


Qween Jean:

And Cynthia knew that her baby daddy slash uh, trade nigga Marquis, uh, came in her. And so she was like, fuck, the clinic is closed all month.


Jackson:

Uh Wow.


Brandon Nick:

Like I, like, I love that. Like it was like, yeah, let's just like sit and like ideate and brainstorm and create and just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.


Shannon Joy:

That was great. Yeah.


Brandon Nick:

What, oh yeah. Um, has been a challenge or a struggle, um, that like y'all remember having to like navigate?


Glenn Quentin:

I feeling like I disappointed you. Um, like, yeah. I was like, aww fuck.


Shannon Joy:

Yeah


Glenn Quentin:

You know, like I'm not, I'm not, I'm not living up to like, I'm not supporting enough. I'm not like living up to the expectations. Um, and it just, and also just like, because like, oh, the work is so great. The work is so excellent. Like I want to be the best that I can. Um, and so like, like feeling like I didn't have it in that moment. Um, I would say that was like a lull.


Shannon Joy:

Yeah, yeah. I'm gonna go ahead second. That, that, that's real, I'm very aware that this is like a small group that is producing this. And I also am very aware of Brandon that a lot of the responsibility is yours. I mean, you're the creator, and the producer. So I'm, uh, and I'm aware that you're doing this outta love and you aren't, you, we don't have a studio backing us. Who's paying you, you know, what a-


Brandon Nick:

That part.


Shannon Joy:

-good producer rate would be for this type of work.


Brandon Nick:

Yet.


Shannon Joy:

So I'm, um, I'm always very aware that like you're doing this outta love and out of your own money and your own pocket. I can't, or when I do double book or something, I, or when I'm running an hour and a half late, I, I stress myself out about that a little, I do. I do genuinely care. So I just, I always hope that, you know, that even in the, um, whatever that happens with our scheduling and our like, like tardiness or whatever that, like the love is still there. Like I wanna make sure you're, you know, that you're good and you're held by this community.


Brandon Nick:

What you were saying kind of goes into like one of my, uh, like challenges, like aside from the fact of like, how do I make the podcast happen? And like, how do I sustain it? Which in itself is like a challenge. Um, I think the biggest challenge I grapple with is separating like my, my personhood and like, like my, like my personal spirit and like my spirit attachment, um, from like from the podcast.


I'm sure y'all know this as well. Just its like, you know, we believe in like the shit that we create so much that like any setback is just like an offense to like ourselves. So it's like, oh, you canceled on this interview or, oh, you told me you were gonna meet me and you didn't show or, oh, niggas be late and plotting against me cuz they be double booked. Um, really, really be having me like, damn… like, am I not worth it? Like am like, am I doing all of this for nothing? Like, like, cause.


Shannon Joy:

Noooo!


Glenn Quentin:

I love to, I love, I love to just like, just unpack that a little bit because I really want to like, uh, really make sure you know that the reason why even one might go behind the back, right, is because of that love, right?


Brandon Nick:

Yes, yes.


Glenn Quentin:

Like straight up. Right. It was like out of like, oh no. Like, because if we didn't honor you, if we didn't have that, like that love. Shit. Because you wouldn't even like, we wouldn't, I wouldn't text you back. It would just be like alright….


Brandon Nick:

I mean, and that's true. Cause it's also like challenging working with friends. And I guess if nothing else, I do think that is a testament to like us believing in this podcast, but also us really believing in one another, because I like, I, I know that like doing business, granted I'm saying business ain't none of us really get, well, y'all have gotten paid to some degree, but like, you know, by and large, we ain't getting like paid per episode or nothing like that. All this is all a passion of love, like for us to have gone through three years of this and like not wanting to punch each-other in the face.


Or like not wanting to be like, yeah, I'm definitely not inviting Glen or Shannon back for season two. Like I, I do think we, I think we did a good job of managing that and, and, and, and I, and Glen, I do recognize like everything that, like, it came from a place of love and like wanting to protect me and like not disappoint me. Um, but of course, like when you're feeling like shit, like you don't think that, all you think is these niggas don't give a fuck about me!


I think like for me, the biggest challenge that I'm like still navigate has always just been like separating, like my self worth and like my self value with the project. Doubt be getting in the way. And like sometimes, like, I mean it to that, I am thankful again for y'all because -


Shannon Joy:

You need people, everybody needs other people


Brandon Nick:

Teamwork makes the dream work! Definitely, definitely makes the dream work.


Brandon Nick:

I have a, uh, serious question that I do hope y'all take seriously. Um, how was I as a captain, as a leader? I'm just like, look I say, I say I'm ready for critique, but I'm like literally cringing on the inside.


Shannon Joy:

You wanna go first, Glenn?


Glenn Quentin:

Yeah, I got, I got you. I mean, you've already spoken about your yourself, like, uh, realizing not to take it personal. Um, and I can say like, from watching, I'm like, I would experience him, like, oh, you just saying a little personal, but you gonna be right. Like, um, and, and in that, right. Like, um, I mean, I, I think you have really shady comments, which I kind of, I, I do, I enjoy them, but like, I'm like, oh my God, like it makes, but it makes it feel like, oh, don't fuck up. Cuz you gonna hear a shady comment.


I'm thinking when I, when I hear you say like, how are you gonna be with other people cuz I'm like, I see your vision, right? Like your vision is to have like staff of people to support and things like that. And so like I'm answering with that, like, hey, like you might just wanna be like, like here are these boundaries, like don't fucking cross it. Here are my assistants, they're gonna give you some grace and stuff and like show you some ways to like work around like whatever shit you fuck up. Um, but yeah. And I would say, yeah, the biggest is like, don't take it, don't take it personal.


Shannon Joy:

So as a leader, I think that you are, you have been very organized, detailed. Um, you are, I like the way your brain works. Yeah. You, you handle, you handle both sides of like the creativity and then like the organization and logistics very well. And I feel like I trust you. I trust the, I trust you creatively and I trust your vision. Um, I wouldn't work with somebody who I didn't, especially on something like this. Um, and so, um, and also that I've seen you grow a lot as a leader in this process, um, and the metaphor about building the plane while flying it is correct. Like I do feel like you are like the captain of the ship. Definitely. And you're also like, I don't know, whatever the head construction guy is. So, so we are putting it together, head construction guy. I feel like, like this whole process could have felt chaotic, but it didn't, it never felt that way. It always felt like, okay, we're going step by step. We've had a outline, we have a timeline, we have like a plan.


And um, as far as what you could improve upon, and this is also something that I, I see as your strength. So it's hard for me to talk about it because I think like you are attached to your work and to your process. But I do think that something you could improve upon would be to always just kind of like be aware of the attachment that you bring to, um, a project or to a space. Um, and then knowing your triggers, but also just observing the triggers. So it's like, there's one thing to know the triggers and to know the attachment, to know what, what inspires those things. And then there's another to, there's another level of consciousness where you're just where you're also able to feel it and observe it at the same time. So like get the drone, get the aerial shot and be on the ground getting the close up. That's my piece to offer.


Brandon Nick:

The micro and the macro. I received it. Thank y'all both. I receive it. Um, I, I, I definitely will sit with that a lot more. Um, but I, I do receive it. Um, I made it through this without crying. I'm proud of me.


Shannon Joy:

Aww. We love you, Brandon.


Brandon Nick:

Oh, I love y’all too.


Brandon Nick:

Stepping back to see the forest for the trees, I’m actually okay with how things went. Anything that I could have done differently, at least now I know better for next time. Season one of Let’s Get Back To Queer taught me a series of lessons. And one of the biggest things I took away from this all is that my plans, my clear-as-day visions of my expectations are merely suggestions to the universe, and to release those cravings to have everything go perfectly, and to just surrender to the process. Do the work as best I can, and trust the universe. Annndd not to take things so personally!


And the next time I feel like a second rate ain’t shit ashy spirited ass artist, I know that’s just my inner haters playing in my face. So, as Shannon said, I just gotta “be aware of my triggers.” Or as I say, catch them hoes and beat their mother fucker asses. And if I can't, then recognize that I have communities that got my back, and eventually those negative feelings will pass. And they often do.


Today Brandon is very thankful for all of yesterday-Brandon’s resilience and perseverance. I've noticed how much I've grown as a fucking human, as a leader and as an artist. Like, I look at this body of work and I remind myself that this is all a result of you. You took this idea and pulled it from out your brain, did some alchemy with the universe and made magic. The work you put in, the sacrifices you made, all the things you carried that you can now let go of. You did that. And you’re stronger because of it. Younger you would be so proud.


I guess in closing, being an grown Black faggot on this floating rock in space is messy, and hard. But my gawd is it fucking beautiful. And being an artist isn’t always going to be a walk in Prospect Park. We don’t always get what we’re hoping for, and it’s not always gonna be pretty or exciting experience. That’s ok. There’s always tomorrow. I mean, Janet wasn't Janet till her third album. Which is to say, Brandon, keep dancing… you’ll find your rhythm. As the living legend Tisha “Just-Like-Syndication” Campbell said... I’m steel here, here, here, here, oh.


Brandon Nick:

That’s our show y’all! This episode was edited by myself Brandon Nick, with sound design from the amazingly talented Evan Joseph.


Much love and appreciation to my co-producers Shannon Joy and Glenn Quentin. Thank you to the homies Tommy C and Raelene Holmes for reading some of those wonderful comments left by the Let’s Get Back To Queer community, as well as Rhone and Malika for letting me use your beautiful voices so folkx could hear the love y’all had to offer. Thank you to everyone in the community for the comments, reviews, likes and shares y’all left us over this first season. Shoutout to everyone who’s supporting Let’s Get Back To Queer. Special shoutout to our handful of mighty patrons over on Patreon for sticking with us! Heart emoji, heart emoji, I’m throwing heart emojis!


And once more, thank you to our wonderful qmunity of listeners. Thank you for tuning into another episode. This is may be the end of the season, but just the beginning for Let’s Get Back To Queer. We’re coming back bigger, better, and bolder! Until then… It’s the journey. I love y’all. byeee!




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