When Cameron Esposito first launched her Queery podcast into the world, I said it was made for me and you for this moment in time — and that’s never been more true because this week’s guest star is Autostraddle co-founder / CEO / Editor in Chief Riese Bernard! Listening to Riese and Cameron chat with each other about their careers, the frustrations and tender blessings of serving the LGBTQ+ community, their evolving queer identities, their insecurities, their childhoods, their plans for a queer economy: it was like cozying up with a blanket on the end of a couch after a long cold week and sipping a hot toddy while two people you like a lot share a little more of who they are with each other.
Listening to Queery is always an intimate experience, and such a respite from so many of the queer conversations we read online all day because both people are going into it assuming the best of each other and using their mouths and faces to communicate. There’s no misunderstandings or yelling or quote tweets or furious Tumblr reblogs. It’s two real humans talking about deep and nuanced queer issues in a way that’s warm and easy to relax into. It’s a gift.
Here’s what I loved best about this episode: I know Riese Bernard. I spend a signifiant amount of my life communicating with and listening to and writing alongside and creating and coping and hoping and dreaming and — yes, occasionally — crying with Riese Bernard. I know her stories, I know what she does all day, I know what she sacrifices, I know where she succeeds. We see each other at our absolute best and we see each other at our absolute worst. Cameron captured that Riese in a way I’ve never seen another person do before. When I was listening, I was laughing and nodding so much because that’s the fullness of the Riese I know, and I was so happy she was able to connect and communicate with someone on a platform she doesn’t usually use to share more of herself with the community. She’s the fucking boss, but she’s also just a rad human being, you know? (Even if she incorrectly believes Kristy Thomas was in love with Mallory and not Mary Ann in The Baby-Sitter’s Club!!!)
If you like hearing queer women build each other up and talk brilliantly and hilariously about things you care about, I think you’ll like this episode too.
One quick note: Riese would like to add that in the part where she was talking about camp staff being paid or unpaid, she said ‘only the talent is paid,’ and that’s not true, the senior camp staff (co-director, inclusion consultants, Karen) are paid.