Nov. 25, 2020

Episode 11 (Micah)

Episode 11 (Micah)

In this episode, Micah came by to chat with us.  We discussed life in the tech world as a member on the LGBTQIA+ community, also growing up Mormon and learning acceptance.

Transcript
Eric:

Hello and welcome to the Q lounge podcast. We are your hosts. I'm Eric

Gil:

I'm Gil.

Eric:

Join us as we discuss news stories and life situations. As they relate to the LGBTQIA plus experience, please visit us@theqloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. hello and welcome to The Q Lounge I'm

Gil:

Eric and I'm Gil.

Eric:

And today we are joined by Micah. How are you today?

Micah:

Hello? Good. All right. Thank you. How are you?

Eric:

Doing well. How are you, Gil?

Micah:

I'm

Gil:

doing well. All things considered enjoying the last decent day in the Bay before rain. Comes our way.

Micah:

I

Eric:

think they're getting ready to shut us back down. So yeah. We'll see

Micah:

Corona is making a revenge.

Gil:

Yes. Yeah. She coming back. Most of the Valley for us has turned purple. I believe is the new color above red. So they're all getting shut down.

Micah:

Oh, wow.

Gil:

Including the Capitol. So that should be interesting. Ooh. Oh. Oh, watch you, Micah. How's everything up North.

Micah:

Rain that's old hat. being in Seattle, of course, it's the wet season, Oh, it's is

Eric:

there ever a dry season?

Micah:

Yes. Yes, there is. Yeah. now things are all right. again, all things considered, this is like March 256th, right? yeah.

Eric:

yeah.

Micah:

Yep. Yeah, for sure. I'm in a place, of fortune and luck in that. my job hasn't been super disrupted by any of the pandemic nonsense. And so I'm just, remain in a state of being grateful that generally speaking. Things are still progressing, along. I don't want to use the word normal because there's not a goddamn thing. That's normal about what's going on right now, but yeah. Doing, okay.

Gil:

I am glad to hear that. Yeah.

Micah:

That's how much time and how much alcohol do we have? Cause we can go

Eric:

beyond this.

Gil:

I'm sure. There's a lot of listeners out there. We've all been in that same ballpark. And I, was part of that group of furloughs and we're all like, huh? We have to pick a new career here in a hot minute.

Eric:

Yeah. So I had to do the same thing. I was furloughed and then my job was shut down for a while and then I'm like, huh, I need something to kill my time. So podcast t-shirts you gotta be resourceful, right?

Micah:

Totally. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's an awesome time to reinvent yourself and maybe try something you've been meaning to try for a hot minute and

Gil:

yes,

Micah:

no. Yeah,

Eric:

absolutely.

Gil:

It's funny because I worked for a pizza place called Dion's for many years when I was in college,

Eric:

shout out to Dion's.

Gil:

and. I for the first time made homemade dough from scratch. And I was like, look at me. it's stuff that I've never done before. it was just, this is what COVID has done. I'm like, Oh my God, I baked bread. I have made dough. I am, learning how to podcast little by little. And I'm like, Oh, welcome to the 21st century.

Micah:

Yeah,

Eric:

that's awesome. I started riding my bike again after 10 years. I decided to get back on a bike and was fun and have a poetry book that I'm working on publishing at the beginning of the next year or so.

Micah:

Very cool.

Gil:

Oh, which you Micah, do you have anything coming down the pipe for you?

Micah:

the world

Gil:

somehow?

Micah:

I've, I'm starting up, like I've. Thought about starting up a few new hobbies and some of them are just like, I need to do something different. So one of the things that I've thought about doing was, I got a drone for my birthday and so I've been flying around. and, like during the three hours we have of sunlight during the winter time, we're so far North that it feels like it gets dark, just after lunch. so when there's an opportunity to go fly, I do that. And just playing with that and everything. It's a lot of fun. I thought about doing, like a lot of other musicians and things in life of time of going out and, broadcasting music over. Twitch or YouTube or whatever. that's a hell of a hard business, thing, and I'm not even looking at it as a business mode, just like a hobby, really something different to do. but it's just a hell of a hard thing to break in and getting the followers and like that groundswell of All the things that I'm sure both of you have well-experienced with doing your new podcast and everything. Yeah. That's a hell of a lot of hard work and I just, I ain't into it so that in that same way, so it's just going to remain this fringe thing of maybe we were a couple of my friends are going to randomly tune into a feed or something that I'm doing. I'm screwing around with a piece of technology or doing like a game stream or something like that.

Gil:

it's so cool. And then what kind of instruments do you play for our listeners?

Micah:

piano is my primary one. yeah, that's been basically my life for, let's see, how old am I now? 24 or 477.

Eric:

You're almost as old as me.

Micah:

let's see, I've been playing piano for about 38, some odd years at this point. And it's been a mix of things. I wasn't. any sort of young Mozart or anything, writing concertos and things like that back in the day. But I started taking lessons formerly when I was like seven or eight years old and then progressed through and playing for, simple things like church and that sort of stuff, growing up and then eventually got into the band in high school and learned jazz and, that broke away from the old mold of, classical like thou shalt play the tune on the piece, every note and reacts and blah, blah, blah, and then eventually got into jazz. And, my absolute favorite genre to play. And even to listen to, for that matter is ragtime. Yes. And, it's an obscure little thing for those of the listeners who may not know what that is, because it only had about a lifespan of about 40 or 50 years, in the very, late part of the 18 hundreds. Yeah. Those were the days. and then, kinda ended as a jazz. Picked up and stuff around the 1940s, 1930s, 1940s. That's when it phased out and jazz took over. but it's this little niche of just like purely, absolutely completely original American music. its roots are in the Midwest and it's something that is absolutely uniquely American and the world of music that, Is unmatched by others. So that is my heart. I absolutely love that stuff. I can listen to that forever. I can play it as long as my arms don't decide to give out. that's piano and then a couple other, the pieces, or instruments that I play is the Organ. So it's a perfect opportunity for all the jokes right now. cause we make them too. so like a similar path, right? Where like classical organ than things you hear in church and that sort of thing, with the big giant pipes and all that stuff, eventually that morphed and stuff into, what they call the theater, Organ, which has found in old theaters that used to accompany silent films and like jazz music. There's some was a little bit of. Yeah, music written for it, but not a lot. The people that would sit and play at the console would look up at the screen and say, Hey, what's going on? I'm going to play something. That's going to be what I think is going on in the screen. And that would entertain the audience for talkies. and there's another thing. and then, my other obscure instrument, is accordion. Oh, awesome.

Eric:

Yes. You loved to tickle the keys. I can tell.

Micah:

Yes. Yeah, the keys. There's a thing, apparently for me, like I've tried other instruments, like trying to blow and do things like that is, I need another little sip of this drink here.

Eric:

I'm all about the reed instrument.

Micah:

Yes. I tried a lot of those tried guitar, tried, drums or the things like that. And it just, it didn't resonate. So I definitely need the keys and that's just how I connect with that. And yeah, so those are my three, Groupings of instruments that I play piano, organ and accordion.

Gil:

So that is so awesome. Especially with, like I said, you've been in it since you were a child. So obviously during the childhood, while you're playing your piano and stuff, when did you start realizing like your slow coming out, story Micah going from hetero Micah, too. fabulous. Micah.

Micah:

When did you get your toaster? My toaster oven. Thank you very much. Okay, good. If you forget to do the stereotypes, let's go full on. Okay. so like I was coming out story. Yeah. basically, like I had that first recognition of. catching myself like looking at guys in that way, quotes, this makes for great radio. because like it was around sixth grade, I think is from, that really started started connecting the dots of Oh, like we're in gym class. And there's my friends sitting on the bench in is tidy whities. And I'm checking out his junk, yeah. Okay. That's a thing. All right. And then That kind of got put aside because really like in sixth grade, I wasn't exactly the most sexualized person, for some starts bubbling up at that point and everything, but it wasn't like I had my big giant spring awakening, as they like to call it, then I packed that away in the corner of my mind. And I was like, okay, that's interesting. But then I noticed a lot more patterns and this is of course always looking back. So we're always, we're either our best historians or we're our worst historians. So I remember, as time progressed a little bit, like just noticing a little bit more and more that I was, the music thing didn't really make me different. It was more of what I was interested in, just generically speaking and the thoughts and attractions that I had and the affinity that I had towards men. And. Somebody could probably sit there and do a Freudian analysis of you had a shitty relationship with your dad. okay. But that didn't really make me gay. My dad's an asshole. That's why and your relationship with him, it's not as he wanted to do anything sexually with him or anything, but yeah. Really, it kinda, just this whole progression I think of looking into and be more attracted to guys. And then as like hormones started flooding my body and everything, I was just like, I knew I was like, okay. Yeah, that's. Like my first fantasy, my first, wanking incidence was definitely fantasizing about doing guys. I know, sorry Gil. I

Eric:

tried to act like the good little Catholic girl, please.

Micah:

Yeah, I know about them pearls.

Eric:

He wipes off.

Micah:

yeah,

Gil:

take it, man. I apologize.

Micah:

so anyhow, like I started it as those started to flood in, I was putting two and two together and of course, this was starting to be like around high school and everything. everything's awkward at that age. And to top it off, there had a lot of other layers that were coming in. Like I moved from. The Seattle area due to, your previous comments of my dad being an ass that didn't exactly work out. So like circumstances moved us to the Denver area and I went to high school. Yeah. Shout out to Denver.

Eric:

I used to live there too, Nice.

Micah:

Nice. all right. Have you heard of a little town called Elizabeth? Yes, I have. Okay. That's where I went to high school. Like only people from Denver or at least that area, even possibly conceive of where Elizabeth Colorado is. and then it was like, my graduating high school class was 168 people. The school had probably 600 kids in it. like it was definitely on the smaller side of everything. And half the parking lot was full of trucks and there was the football team and all the guys and their jeans, blah, blah, blah. And here I am like this little awkward gay kid. That's Hey, I can go. I'm moving to Denver. I can make a fresh start. Oh, bullshit. You're moving 55, 60 miles out of the city there knows that you're going further into the closet.

Eric:

was it a walk-in at least have some fun if you're going to be here. I

Micah:

didn't know of those things back then. Basically kinda there's another, a whole nother layer of my coming out story. That's important to the whole thing. I was raised in an extraordinarily conservative religion, like I'd mentioned playing piano and things for church and all that stuff. So I was raised as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons.

Eric:

Oh, okay. Oh,

Gil:

how was that experience?

Eric:

I've had a few. Mormon friends that were gay as well. They haven't had very pleasant experiences.

Micah:

Yeah. It definitely isn't a pleasant experience.

Gil:

Take your sips, Micah. Here

Micah:

we go. Yep. I got my backup sitting right over there on the table over there. So just in case

Eric:

the bottle of fireball,

Micah:

cause it's a bloody Mary, I don't know if I'm thinking about a breakfast drink now or what? I don't care. so yeah, that was not a walk in the park now. Of all the people that I've crossed paths with in the Mormon faith that have come out as gay or anything in the LGBTQ plus spectrum. I think I had it fairly easy. There's you pick a stick and you can get a story about how a family kicked out a kid because they came out or didn't conform exactly to the way that the culture would dictate them to do My mom, she was a product of the sixties. Fifties and sixties. So definitely like peace, flower, love, and happiness, Chicky poo that went to fucking Woodstock and everything. And have their, had her own moments of not being like the perfect Mormon person. So we always had an opportunity to talk about potentially taboo subjects. Like even before I came out, we would talk about the pros and cons of pornography, which you would never like. And I wasn't being specific about I liked, looking at, guys and that sort of stuff, porn I could find, but just like the merits of it. And having a conversation around it rather than. Being this sort of thou shalt never look at porn. I got that from the church leaders and all that fun stuff, but for her at least was a conversation. She didn't approve of it. It wasn't like this. I convinced her that porn was okay, but yeah.

Eric:

you are at least able to have that conversation, which is healthy,

Micah:

Yeah. I was deeply in the closet through high school and all that stuff. And then, really the part where it got really good as far as I came out, as it relates to my mom was that I went, yeah. I was in the army for a little while I enlisted, because that was the way to escape Elizabeth. And it was a way to escape the church and the pressure to go on a mission because everybody, when they're coming out of high school and everything, there's an immense amount of pressure to go serve your two year mission, especially guys. Yeah. me saying I'm going to go enlist in the army was a way that I could put a stop. Hold on that for a hot second and then go and do something different and get the fuck out of Dodge for a minute. Yes, that's what I did. I went into the army and I served as a, musician. There's a little bit of my job was to play the piano for the army. So it was like, all right, I think I can do this

Eric:

well. That's awesome. And thank you for your service by the way.

Micah:

Thank you. Thank you very much. I. I met, like it was at the school of music. surprise. There were other queers that were there. I know this was still during don't ask. Don't tell.

Gil:

Oh yeah.

Micah:

So it's not exactly like we were able to, throw our own little, company-wide pride, no floats, no, sadly not. but one of the platoon leaders and stuff, he, was, he was gay is still, is gay. As far as I know. that's a dumb thing to say, but, he wa he is gay and, a flute player. put that one in the stereotype bucket. Yeah. Sorry, Keith. but, so there was definitely this air of, at least within that space, a little bit of acceptance. Even if it was severely on the downlow, it wasn't as bad as being in shitsville, Elizabeth, Colorado, about around a bunch of Hicks that, found out if you were queer, they were going to basically beat your ass. So it was better, not great, but better. Got out of the army, spent a little bit of time in Virginia because that's where I was serving at the time. This is before it turned blue. So it's still very conservative, still very, they still felt that there were South of the Mason-Dixon line, bless their little hearts anyway, way further North than they

Eric:

thought.

Micah:

it was far enough away from home that I was kinda able to do a trial run of being out. And it wasn't like I was still active in church and all that stuff, but I definitely led the quintessential double life. Okay. So go out to the bars on Friday night and Saturday night, I wasn't drinking at the time. Alcohol hadn't quite made it into the picture yet, but,

Eric:

the religion and stuff like that,

Micah:

part about that. Yeah. partly it was the culture and the religion, but also it was, I was my own ride home. And I'm not going to make a really stupid decision and be 20 miles away from home. the local gay bar and then try to go back home and get pulled over by some of the most militant state police that I've ever experienced. Yeah. Virginia is intense. They don't fuck around, when it comes to the law enforcement stuff. So I never played with fire with that. So in any case like that, I would go out on Friday nights and Saturday nights closed down the bar go to the, at the after parties, at the diner, across the street where most of the Queens were sobering up because they had so much to drink. And I was there just for the social piece of it. And then I would go home, get a few hours of sleep and get up and go to church and be their music director. For a little while. And that was hard. That was really exhausting. Just physically not getting enough sleep and then could need to go do music and stuff like that for three hours. Cause Mormons do three hours worth of church every Sunday. Oh, wow. but the emotional exhaustion of needing to flip between the two things became. Ridiculous. And it was unsustainable. so when I left, Virginia, because of there was no job that was going to sustain me there and sustain being able to live on my own and pay for my bills and all that fun stuff. I basically what broken came crawling back to Colorado and went to live at home again. Okay. But the genie was already out of the bottle. And I liked the idea of living authentically

Eric:

genie bottle,

Gil:

likely after your time,

Micah:

a little bit after my time. Yeah. we were just starting to get a little uptempo back in the day. basically the actual official coming out was when I was 21 ish and that was, I spent my 21st birthday at my parents, dining room table. it was not the stereotypical 21st birthday. But the coming out to my mom, like the official coming out, thing after a couple of trusted friends and stuff was just another conversation, was insisting. I'm going to go hang out with somebody. And she was like, and my mom asked me directly. She's is your boyfriend? And I'm like, Oh, he's not my boyfriend. No, but he is a good friend and all that stuff. she was, basically ready to hear the answer basically. Yes. That I am gay and that's how I identify. And so it wasn't this big meltdown, big fight sort of thing. It was like, okay, need to process. She was off with my stepdad to go do something. I don't even remember what the hell it was. And then at some point we came back and. started to have that conversation again. it took them a minute, but they were able to find a way to overcome whatever the stuff was with the religion and their own personal values. And as I was having difficult conversations with the church and the leadership there. because again, of course the pressure is to go back on a mission. it's you're back, go away again, go on your mission. You have

Gil:

not forgotten you.

Micah:

We have not forgotten. And there was a couple of really awkward conversations with My Bishop, the Bishop in the Mormon world? Is your local, ecclesiastical leader. It's the equivalent of like your head priest at any sort of, Catholic parish. So they are charged with the responsibility of sort of the care and feeding of their flock, which is the local, what they call a ward. That's, WRD, that's the same as. A parish in the Catholic world. And so they're in charge. They're the ecclesiastical leader for that group. So he would be the one that was responsible for doing any sort of ecclesiastical discipline or anything like that had, I sinned enough that warranted, that sort of thing. So fortunately it never came to that. I wasn't sexually active. when I was first coming out, I was just starting to process all of that stuff. And it wasn't until maybe another year after that I was actually, sexually active with another person. In real life before

Gil:

marriage. Very brave.

Micah:

sometimes marriage wasn't exactly an option. celibacy wasn't really working out either.

Gil:

It doesn't do well in our community.

Micah:

no, it really doesn't.

Gil:

How was your first interaction with a male in that, into that level? That intimacy, especially, like I said, how long it's you have your religious background, your natural conservatism and then like us going, from a Catholic point, it was like, Holy shit. And all that sin behind your back of your mind. How was it for you?

Micah:

So think about all of that Catholic guilt and sin that you were just talking about, like covering right here and put a fucking amplifier to it by about a factor of 20. Wow. It was not good. and, there was very little pleasure to be found in that interaction. then I really didn't understand what the hell was going on. Like it was to a point where be in the room, the guy was attractive, at least knew what I thought was attractive anyway. And I was into it. I was definitely there. Consent was present for both of us, but I was petrified. And the thing was is that like the room, even though the room was temperature was just fine. It was fucking frigid in that room. Okay. I was shaking. I was, my fingertips were cold. like my extremities are cold. and I had no idea what the hell was going on. like basically I helped him get off and then we checked out of the hotel room sort of thing. Like it was very much what some would consider a failed encounter, but it was really not good. And I walked away from that situation going, what the, what? The actual fuck.

Eric:

Yeah,

Micah:

this is what I've wanted to do. And I can't, I can barely fucking breathe. And the what, after. Lots and lots of therapy. I can look at this now from this angle and this perspective, I can tell you exactly what it was. It was an absolute massive anxiety attack hundred percent. And that just descended upon me ridiculously. And what I'd come to find out was that, because of that conservatism, that you mentioned there Gil and like the sense of guilt and the. Know, disappointing of your family and your community and your God and all of that stuff. That you're not, living up to the right expectations and doing the wrong thing, because there's throughout all of that time, I don't know how it is with the Catholics, but the Mormons are really good about subliminal programming all the way, starting at around age eight and every single lesson and thing that happens every Sunday and every pamphlet and everything that you're given is a little message in there about do the right thing. There's a whole two year program within the kid's program, they're called CTR or choose the right. And that's very much about to remind you every fucking time you breathe to do the right thing, but not the right thing by yourself or necessarily, but do the right thing by God. Et cetera. So all that stuff came to this head, when I had this first encounter with this guy and I suppose that having it in some sort of hotel room that we had rented just for the night and everything, like just for that one activity, I suppose didn't really help a whole lot. It wasn't the most comforting scenario. I didn't know what the hell else to do and he couldn't host and there was no way in. God's green earth. I could host that. Wasn't a thing. So yeah, like we just did what we knew was best to do at the time. So right. But really in the end, it was like this whole series of traumatic events, I think, in that big, giant dump of anxiety and everything around that, really got to that point where it was just, it was not good and unpacking all of that, even, and to be honest to that, to this day, then we're talking to, almost 20 years later, I'm still unpacking some of that shit because the experience inside that conservative church is fucking traumatic. And I don't use that word lightly, but it is, but there is trauma there. They tell you to think about all of those things that you want to do. The things that will bring you pleasure, like genuinely like internally, like you're not like those are the things. And then they turn around and tell you that's all bad. Don't ever fucking act on it. Otherwise you're going to float in outer darkness for the rest of your life and never see another soul. Yeah.

Gil:

And that's traumatizing.

Micah:

What does one fucking come back from that? that's pretty fucking harsh. So that's what I was facing during those early encounters. I didn't know, because then nobody would say this is anxiety or this is the trauma of the church. the people that I was talking to were just. And some of them were social workers. they were definitely trained people, but they weren't like, I didn't have a great insurance plan at the time. So going to a shrink, was it a thing I couldn't afford that let alone find somebody that could deal with the Mormon angle of this whole deal? Yeah. It helped me unpack that then. So I was just left on my own and that really manifested itself in some of those and that wasn't just an isolated incident. That was many subsequent incidents where I was in that intimate space with somebody like that. And there's problems.

Gil:

Were you able to slowly build like a support web because obviously you're, you went to psychiatry, you're able, you were seeking out help. And were you able to build like through other friends or groups or anything else?

Micah:

Yeah, it took some time and, it was, think of what the internet and kind of the web was around the turn of the century. Oh, that noise. Yeah. So it was not as out in the open. As it is now, right? You can basically turn to your search engine of choice and go and type in, gay Mormon. And you're going to get, five pages worth of, some flavor of resource, That wasn't a thing then. So through some of, I don't want to call it the dark web, because that has a certain connotation, but some of the. Some of the corners, the less lit corners of the web, I was able to somehow connect with a group called affirmation, which was a group that was specifically for gay and lesbian Mormons. And I was like, okay maybe there's something to this. And so I got on a Greyhound bus from Denver to Vegas. Oh my God. Yeah, that's right. That's right. I went straight to the fucking den of iniquity for

Gil:

this first

Eric:

by people. And

Micah:

so I got on the bus, like not knowing what to expect and I've met other gay Mormons. And I was like, Oh my God, it's that same epiphany that everybody has of Oh my God, I'm not alone. And yeah, I had that moment just like everybody else does, And like I found some people that I could talk to about this stuff and Oh, okay. So I'm not the only one afflicted with this thing, And how can I process and try to unpack that a little bit more and then, one other little kind of anecdote about the way that the church treats gay people is that they don't necessarily believe that people are actually gay. their thought processes is that it's a burden to carry. And therefore you have same sex attraction. you're not actually gay. You're not actually trans you're not actually all the terms and identities that we know now those are just earthly challenges that you need to overcome, and you might be attracted to the Same gender person that you are, but really at your core, that's not who you are. And so it's all part of that subliminal programming and brainwashing bullshit stuff. So really when you get together with a whole bunch of other people that feel like that, you're going to get a gamut of people who feel like they're still burdened with this challenge of being attracted to the same gender. Absolutely. And on the other side of it, you're going to get a whole other group of people that are like, fuck the church. I want to get away from it. I want to figure out how to live this life without them interfering and being all up in my shit.

Eric:

Yeah,

Micah:

for sure. So I tended to gravitate towards that side. I don't know if you've noticed it.

Gil:

You

Eric:

would never be able to tell.

Micah:

Yeah, we

Gil:

have martinis on our

Micah:

side. Definitely not subtle if anything. So through them and just through consistent networking and consistent sort of perseverance through talking with those folks and figuring out who is around and available. got better resources and built a better support network to try to deal with this stuff. And extra can actually have a conversation with people that actually knew without saying much the same nonsense that I was going through. So that definitely helped a lot.

Gil:

Oh, that is so cool. especially for giving advice for the young ones who are coming out now, now that you're able to do a lot more reflection, stuff like that. Is there any advice that you would give in yourself? 15, 20 years ago that now you're like, okay, Hey, it will be good. You'll survive.

Micah:

I have a hard time with that question. Okay. And on a couple of fronts, because one yeah, there's a shit ton of things that I would want to say to my younger self. even as young as, back when I was like seven or eight years old, and like even the sort of things of when we caught ourselves, in the neighborhood as kids, playing doctor with each other or whatever, there's opportunity there to explore your sexuality, even in that state. And there's definitely If I could leave an accidental, sticky note somewhere in like my bedroom or be like, yeah, you can touch his peepee. It's okay. even before marriage, but yeah, of course there's a lot of things that I would want to do with that, but I wouldn't. Yeah. Because if I change any of that sort of stuff, or if I went back and did anything differently than I wouldn't have had all of those growth opportunities and things that are put before for me now, to become the person that I am today, as much as I would love to stop unpacking and to unwind and deprogram my brain, like I'm a technologist by profession. So when I go and work on computers, I can go and I can edit a configuration file, save it, restart it. And it's going to behave differently. I would love to be able to do that with my brain doesn't work like that. That's the next app. As soon as I can download myself into the cloud, like then maybe, but that's not a thing right now, but point being, is that yeah. yeah, I could tell my younger self. Yeah, go watch MTV. It's okay. it's not a direct pipeline to the devil's layer or like it's okay to go and look at things that don't exactly 100% agree with the church or agree with that sort of stuff. But again, that doesn't make sense because then the person that I am right here. Talking on this podcast would be a very different individual. I probably wouldn't have progressed in my professional career to the point that I have at this point. I probably wouldn't have the same self-awareness and found the, even the later resources and things that I found in the Seattle area around continuing to explore the things that really truly. Bring pleasure. Would I really have found my mentor in the ragtime piano world in Denver, that was, like he recently passed away, but he was 75 years old and he was a conservative, misogynistic, racist. Son of a bitch, he was gay as all hell but had connections to the original ragtime world. He's playing ragtime in whore houses in red light districts in bars. When he was like 16, forever changed my life? If I would have come out and done a different path and been more gay or whatever air quotes again, would I have ever run into him and have that formidable encounter? Maybe not. And I just, I'm not really sure that I would ever, get my Tardis and go back and redo that. I'm just not sure that I would.

Gil:

Yeah. Plus it's clearly has proven that you have. The strength as the, within your personality to keep striving forward, because you could have easily accepted the double life. You would have your wife, mrs. Mrs. Micah, six kids. And then you'll also have your side friend,

Micah:

Steve

Gil:

Benji, your business,

Micah:

this associate Benji,

Gil:

there's many ways. Yeah. it's always a fun to me. It's always that fun question to toy, man. It's if Albuquerque simply allow, Bill Gates, for instance, to have signed his damn little loan. Microsoft would have been based in New Mexico versus being in Seattle Washington, Or potentially, yeah. It's always fun to play that game, but definitely we would not know the person or me. I would have met you.

Micah:

In the

Gil:

way that you are now. And like I said, it's definitely to be proud of where you've started to now where. It's fun to look back. It's Hey, look at that.

Eric:

Now

Gil:

it's fun and games. Now I can look back and laugh and giggle.

Micah:

Totally. Yeah. and there's some parts that are not the most laugh, worthy moments. There's definitely some, yeah. There's definitely a lot of really good things like yeah, because you survived. I may not have thought that. Yeah. Cause I may not have had that moment of clarity where I was just like, Oh my God, I can peel apart some of these expectations. And I went to pride that very year that I met Chris and yeah. Then, was open to hanging out and then walk back and met you after you got done slaving away at the mine there downtown and and then yeah. there's all these things that just led up to that and it's yeah, of course we could always look back and hindsight is always a certain way, but no, I don't know. I don't know if I would go back and actually change that.

Gil:

No. No, that's very true. So I'm always curious, how is it to be a gay male in the tech industry? It's like asking a female it's like these unicorns. How is that? Do you face any discriminations or does there any kind of, subtlety because you're dealing with your straight

Micah:

males,

Gil:

Very predominantly straight

Micah:

males. Yes, it is. It is an industry that is absolutely dominated by the cis-gendered often white. Straight male. Yes. So I have a distinct privilege that I blend in and that's not lost on me. And so I respect that. Because I am, like most of my fellow LGBTQIA plus folks that wander the planet, as if y'all, haven't figured it out. I'm really good at covering we as a community are really good at covering. And we do that because of the survival thing in our brains, the forced that to happen in order to actually just. Fucking survive, breathe the next day. So that's true. on a myriad of levels, I have the privilege of blending in to the white Presumably straight world of the tech field. My employer now is very progressive and always has been. and, I don't feel even when I was a vendor there, which is a very common path for people to start with Microsoft as a vendor and then move in to full-time roles after a time, even as a vendor, I never felt any sort of, I wasn't compelled or felt compelled to move, to cover even more and not be who I was, because it was just not part of the ethics of the company. And so I never felt that, and I certainly don't now, like right now I lead an org that reports up to one of the executive vice presidents. I run a chapter of. The LGBTQ plus employee resource group, I've been recorded and have come out on groups that are videos and things. The announcements that have been sent out to 35,000 plus employees. Damn. Wow. Which is. Talk about anxiety. Jeez. I buy little script box and he way up here next to the camera and reading it and making sure I'm paced and everything to make sure I don't fuck anything up, but

Gil:

no pressure.

Micah:

So like for me, like I think that I'm good, but I realized that as lead of the chapter, I have a. much broader view of the bigger world and there's several marginalized groups out there within the LGBTQ plus community that do still have to cover or don't have it good. And those are lesbians, bisexual people just disappear into that framework, especially if they're currently dating another person or a person of the opposite gender that they are. So they fit into that heteronormative world. And then there's the entire spectrum of gender identity. That's just completely fucked as far as. Equal representation of disability, within the tech community. And I consider myself amongst the fortunate that I can be out and proud and loud about it. Even with my executives. there are certain people that are not, so I leverage my privilege in that space to give voice to those and amplify those other voices that can't otherwise do that. And which is especially amplified during this whole pandemic and work from home time. Cause some folks may be stuck at home or maybe their parents' house. I'm not sure, but like maybe with roommates that they're maybe not out to, or alone, that don't have the ability to be their authentic selves at home. And so they're facing this covering nonsense all over again, even when they're at work, because at work is just sitting here, I'm literally standing in the same spot right now that I am to work. So it's no different from home versus work for a lot of folks. So yeah.

Gil:

Yeah, dang that. That's excellent. That what you're able to do is leverage your, use the power that you do have to get the voices out there, because I think that's the beauty, especially within technology, you're able to do like us, like I said, small podcasts, we have a couple of hundred people and I'm like, just little by little, just,

Eric:

do what we can't do. Yeah. Yeah.

Gil:

Yeah, so don't no, that's wonderful. I was always curious, what do you feel that you fit in any kind of like stereotype, like within the gay role? there's plenty,

Eric:

we're all judgy bitches. So

Gil:

yes we are.

Micah:

Yeah, there's a handful. definitely the music part of it. as I become more comfortable with my own voice and expressing that, I'm definitely, a little bit more emotive with the way that I describe myself, even though there's probably lots of this conversation that I've been very stoic and all that, There's definitely some more, flamboyancy to that and like some of the pop culture stuff. Like I get, we were able to joke about Will and Grace, the old school Will and Grace humor and all that fun stuff and things.

Eric:

what is that Yeah,

Micah:

let's take that offline. Shall we? so we do a whole, you'd probably do an entire episode. Yeah, exactly. so there's a few, like I am definitely like, in the music world, there's Pianists, and then theater organists, for sure. There's definitely like a massive LGBTQ plus presence, they're more, the more, just the G part of

Eric:

them.

Micah:

but yeah. maybe there's a thing there. I'm not really sure they'd they do call them the mighty Wurlitzer for nothing. but, anyhow, So there's definitely some parts of that I definitely fit into, but there's, I think there's plenty that I don't. and so I wasn't raised on MTV and VH1 because like I said earlier, that's was, considered a path direct into Satan's den or, The den of iniquity, like you'll learn bad things by seeing Madonna's pointy, booby thingies, So that was too suggestive, I think for some folks you have literally no idea what she's just talking about there. it's there's definitely, some, a lot of gaps I think, but I think that's just part of the celebration of the diversity of the community. I can be as one of their podcasts, put it, I can be gayish and that's very okay. I don't have to be, even though I'm still trapped by it, just like all of us are, let's just. Keep it real for a hot second here. We're all fucking trapped by seeing that model on the cover of GQ on not GQ, but like Out, as a gay mag, and Advocate and. All of the different websites and stuff. sex sells, right? we're all still part of that pressure to be a certain thing and look a certain way and act a certain way. And even listening to your podcast, I have found myself and my gayness challenged because you taught, you had your divas episode. I had, I knew some of the names just because I'm not. Living under a complete fucking rock and I have the internet, but I don't have the same passions around loving people's musics or their songs or stuff like that because I literally don't know them. and it's not that I don't have the opportunity to go learn and to go love and that sort of stuff. My love is elsewhere. My love is with the music that was born out of basically Harlem and of the Black community in Missouri. that was very underground. It has literally nothing to do with anything gay whatsoever, but that's my love and my passion. Absolutely. It is. It is not. Yeah, with this other area of it. And so there's other culture pieces that I just simply didn't come up with. Like some like love being around drag Queens. They're phenomenal. They're effervescent. I love that energy that they bring there. It is literally never something that I would consider doing. It just does not have any interest for myself. Oh yeah. But I will gladly go and did in Denver. Went to a coronation as the plus one for a future Empress. And I dressed in my military dress blues full on accurate. Yes. And accompanied her to her own coronation. And it was. That's amazing. I loved it. I loved every fucking second of it. That's

Eric:

awesome. That is so awesome.

Micah:

So I still feel part of it. It's just, I don't like necessarily okay. With wanting to do it. And I think that there's some element of the gay community just at large, that will look at me and be like, you don't want to do that. Or you don't. are you don't know Christina Aguilera's lyrics by heart or you don't know all the Madonna discography? What the actual fuck, where the fuck have you been? And I'm being like, bitch, I've been trying to survive. Fuck you.

Gil:

but I think that's the best part about our community and why, it's the rainbow flag and sort of things because it's, we're all United by being gay. But we all come from, externally different backgrounds, AB we're from

Micah:

every corner of the planet

Gil:

where everywhere you can't get rid of us. And obviously that goes with the interest and stuff like that. Like me, I was like, Oh my God, born in the wrong decade kind of thing. My music interests, everyone was listening to Britney Spears. or a Spice Girls. Oh, I love Bananaramma I'm listening to, classic, to Janet from the eighties, Expose, just because of my interest, obviously yours goes a little further back. Then

Micah:

Judy, I've only got a couple of years on you, but yeah, that's, we're very similar Gil and. That's why you and I have connected so well is because we're not like we identify with having an interest in the previous, right?

Gil:

Time is amazing. Like what he showed, what does that video game that has the ragtime music part of it? Oh my God. It I'm like, this is the best thing ever.

Eric:

Oh, my

Micah:

God.

Eric:

I get my gay card revoked all the time.

Micah:

I do too. A lot of respects. Like I think there's a couple of conversations I've been in where I feel like I need to get knocked down a Kinsey point or two, because I'm just, I ain't that fucking gay. I don't know if I qualify anymore. Shit.

Gil:

I know, especially with the younger generation, they start talking. I'm just like, where am I on this? What I'm am I straight? I'm so confused.

Micah:

What do you mean not to get real heavy again, but there was a couple times where I really questioned that am I really gay? is this really a thing? Because I'm not into all that stuff and I'm not out having sex. Fucking everything that moves are getting fucked by everything that moves. Like I just had a really different approach to that and that didn't resonate at all with the community, at some point, and I was like, this is not what, this is not what a 20 year old or 20 something year old gay man is supposed to do. How many fucking times have we all heard that nonsense. But it's still very real. Yeah. And so you still take that in and you're just like, shit, am I really gay? am I, because of those early encounters where I was like real, having a real hard time with even being aroused to the point that I could do anything, it's am I really okay, wait, am I like, that makes you pause? are these feelings real? Or is this just something that I think I should be doing? like it calls into question a lot of shit and that real toxic thing as shame comes in. Which is the fuel for all of that anxiety and the fuel for all of that nonsense. or at least I can say it's nonsense, even though I'm still flicked it by it. But like that thing about, like you saying that you get your gay card revoked from time to time, Eric, that's a pretty brutal statement against yourself. That you should really like pause and think. Maybe that's not true because you're just as gay as the moment before you said that, or you did something, So that's perpetuating this should. And in order to not be at that same level as the rest of the gays. that's not fair

Gil:

stereotypes and perpetuating some of it. But also some of it keeps us in line where it's more okay, are you part of that group? Or you're not part of that group. And when you're not, it's Oh my God, you're getting isolated part. I feel like at times I'm part of the majority in certain things, a lot of times when I'm part of the minority, even for drag Queens, it's like for a long time, Didn't care for it. I was just like, I don't see the appeal. Then I finally saw Mama Tits in Seattle and it was when Donna Summer passed away, we went and it was like a Wednesday. I think she passed away that night, went out to the club and I was like, it's Wednesday, I'm going out. I haven't done that to those like 18, because obviously we used to have 21. You go on a Friday, Saturday, you're promoted. and I remember seeing my first drag queen and I was like, Oh my God, I adore her, but I really just adore

Micah:

her.

Gil:

Other ones. I don't care for. It's still, like here or there, I'm like, Oh, I enjoy being a member of that community. Or they're like how are you gay. You're not like Drag Queens.

Eric:

Exactly.

Gil:

Yeah. And I'm like here or there. I like some, I like Divine. I like some of the old classic ones, the new ones it's I don't find them

Micah:

funny. Yeah.

Gil:

more than anything,

Micah:

but they're not funny, fucking vicious.

Gil:

I love sarcasm. I like sarcastic Queens. I don't like these. I'm just going to be pretty. I'm like. And what's the point, but that'd be like, it's, I'll probably get flack for that, but

Micah:

right. And by the same token, because I don't watch RuPaul's drag race on the regular and tweet storm the fuck out of it. There are a lot of people who feel like I should lose the privilege to exercise my gay card.

Eric:

I've never seen an episode, so

Micah:

thank you. We can continue to be friends. Just kidding. there's like people will go and do the social things at the bars to go watch it or something like that. That's that's cool. I would rather go and spend the time with you. I'm not going to be like, Oh bitch, you gonna win. look at that. Weave I'm a God know

Gil:

what Eric and I have, we watch football. I love football, American football watch European soccer. I watch hockey. I love, all my sports, Eric and I are those two people at the bar with the straight rail. And that's it.

Micah:

I love it.

Gil:

I'm that person who will fly across the country on my birthday, watching baseball games. I saw the, Giants in Boston we fit a different stereotype and of course they're like, are you sure you're gay?

Eric:

yes,

Gil:

my husband could vouch for that.

Micah:

I see you. So there is confirmation that post-marriage clutching their pearls that point. Yeah. Yeah. Like I don't even fit that stereotype either of cause I don't, I'm not much of the sports ball things. Like I love going to the baseball games. Like I loved going to the giants game, and folks and stuff, and I do enjoy going, but I would not fly like literally across the country to go to. Oh, the sports balls

Gil:

I make. I make Chris

Micah:

that I can watch the giants, get all their holes and why not? That's fine. I can watch something on the TV or read about it in the paper would be fine.

Gil:

Oh, my goodness. I'm all

Eric:

targeting holes in one. So

Micah:

that's the goal. Hey, you need to try again, it's worth

Gil:

trying to

Micah:

get all the strokes in honey. It's fine.

Eric:

No, absolutely.

Micah:

I'm glad this is Mark. E already.

Eric:

Practice my depth.

Micah:

You got to practice the swing. Make sure you follow through. Got to pick the right wood though. You have to pick the right wood,

Eric:

right?

Gil:

for

Micah:

science.

Gil:

Oh my goodness. Micah, who is

Micah:

your diva? So many to choose from? Judy Collins was a contender, but, and Cher was as well. But I think my, my diva truly is Dolly Parton.

Eric:

Oh, she's timeless.

Micah:

Fuck. All of your modern diva bitches. She. Is the OG and absolutely is my diva.

Eric:

I actually just had a huge conversation about her at subway, like

Gil:

three or four weeks

Eric:

ago, I went to get a salad and I was about to get a foot long, like four foot longs, spit roast style. And the guy was talking to me like all interested in everything I had to say and was like really keyed in. And I'm like, What's going on here. Like you're being super nice, I'm really stupid when it comes to people too. and he's what's going on with you? And you started talking to me, he knew me and I'm like, dude, I have no idea who you are. But he started talking to me about like music and it's I'm not a big fan of country, but I like some country. He's like I like Dolly Parton. And so then we start talking about Dolly Parton and it's I have a techno remix to Nine to Five. So I like broke it out. And I was like playing it on my phone for him in the middle of the subway. And he was all excited. He was like, what else is going on? I actually mentioned the podcast. It's like, why didn't you tell me that at the beginning? That's huge. And I'm like, dude, I don't know you. Yeah. We bonded over a Dolly Parton. And now every time I go to that subway, he's Hey, how are you?

Micah:

Yeah. She is like the surprise diva, I think in a lot of respects because like her roots are extraordinarily Christian in a lot of respects, like her early music and stuff. there's definitely some storytelling like throughout her entire discography, but she is well embedded and seated in this gospel like classic Tennessee's sort of, rooted in a gospel singing, but then like she's a fierce advocate for us. Oh yeah.

Eric:

Yeah. Huge.

Micah:

And it's like that. We need that. That's the thing is why I think why over top of all of the singers that I'm familiar with and really we'll go back to time and time again. It's she is my diva because she is that sort of coming from that space of, traditional conservatism and religiosity and everything, where some people went to the christo fascist sort of route. She is definitely come to the side of God loves everybody, And including my friends over here in the LGBTQ plus world. So props to her, on a lot of levels, like not even being a phenomenal singer and storyteller through her song, but through her advocacy work is and you can

Eric:

see it. You can see her influence too. Cause her God daughter is Miley Cyrus, and Miley Cyrus has a huge advocate too. And so you can see how she's, I would say she's probably influenced a lot of that.

Micah:

Yep.

Gil:

Do you, what's your top three songs from her?

Micah:

Nine to Five because yeah.

Gil:

Yeah.

Eric:

Snap

Micah:

helped the snap came through the mic there

Gil:

now with the HeadSpin yes.

Eric:

Snap.

Micah:

Yep. and then she's got one, Why'd You Come In Here Looking Like That. And, that's definitely one of them. but there's something it's hard. narrow it

Gil:

down.

Micah:

I know, I almost want to open Spotify right now and go find like the Dolly collection and see what I got in there. Like all the

Eric:

things,

Micah:

I will always love you as such a classic, but it's a little bit overplayed. I think like for me personally, something she's got so much other work in there that's just super awesome. And Yeah. Jolene is a classic, but yeah, I think Nine to Five every time I hear that one, I'm just like, Aw. Yeah, we understand. We're all working for the man. That's right.

Gil:

Not in the good way.

Micah:

Maybe not in the good way. maybe, but

Eric:

I think

Micah:

the judge.

Eric:

I think that was the first time I actually was introduced to Dolly Parton and that I can remember it was through Nine to Five and the movie and all that other stuff.

Gil:

It was a movie,

Eric:

there was a movie with Jane Fonda.

Micah:

it's a great one that just her and, Lily Tomlin, I think isn't it. Jane Fonda. And of course Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have gone on to do the, Grace and Frankie show on Netflix, which is, Oh my God, I adore it. So that's almost a continuation of the whole, like Nine to Five origins. So I would highly recommend watching the movie. It's it is a classic, I think, lasts.

Eric:

I heard that they were doing a remake or something like that, or Nine to Five, or like a continuation with the stars, like where they are now thing. But that was like a year or two ago. So who knows what? They'll

Micah:

just blame it.

Eric:

And I love that Dolly Parton can play music on her acrylic nails. And she does that all the time. That's one of my favorite things that she does. Yeah, I got my card. I got my card back. Cause

Micah:

you weren't enough gay points. I think you can be a Kinsey six at this point. Again, you too, because apparently. I'm just way on the flamboyant side talking all Dolly Parton at night back out, and I'm going to be

Gil:

kids seven minutes.

Micah:

That's what happened. Like definitely got over the Mormon thing. It was drinking and everything. This is the gateway drug to all the things

Gil:

it is. Oh Jesus. Oh, we'll pray it away this weekend.

Eric:

I'll be on my knees, but I

Micah:

was about to make a joke, but you did it for me. So thank you

Eric:

with my mouth wide open

Micah:

the lady of five Oh five,

Eric:

five Oh five. Oh.

Gil:

Oh, my goodness. So what do you have planned for your future? what is Micah looking at for the future to look ahead? Because we always tend to look backwards. We'll always tell a coming out story to everyone we meet. We know it better than anything else. What do you want to be known at the end?

Micah:

What do we want to be known at the end?

Gil:

Yeah, we're like here's the Micah story. Final 40, 60 years from now.

Micah:

I think I want to just, I w I would love to be known as a decent human being that really actually cared a lot for the people that was around him. And, yeah, taking survey of like my friends and that sort of stuff, keeping those going, like just, being an honest, decent person, that's looking out for the best for all of the people that I would run into in my life. there's the, short-term things of I look back at my twenties of trying to figure out what the fuck, who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. And then my thirties were really getting my career getting started and I'm just starting in my forties and my career is going and it's going good. So like the, definitely like the career piece of what's coming up short ish medium-ish term, definitely keeping on with that. Like I want to try to ride this wave of fortune as long as I can. But I really want to use that for as much as the good as I possibly can. Just being known, like in a lot of respects, people say, I want people wailing and crying when I die and all that stuff. And I'm like, no, I want to party. I want to just be known for being a really good person, and like taking care of those around me as best as I can and whatever way that I can try to help spread some good, try to help. People see beyond the nonsense, like I'm on a warpath around like social media and stuff like that right now. But because I see how toxic it is and I care about the people that I'm around and I'm like, God, y'all got to get the fuck off this platform because it's ruining everything. and then talking about it and like it try to help people understand that they can do better, with their lives and not succumb to that toxicity that's there. Or you don't have to be the perfect gay. You don't have to be the Will in Will and Grace, or you don't have to be the Jack in order to be accepted as a gay person in life, you can be you can be exactly who you are right now, and that's fine. That's perfect.

Eric:

That's great advice. That's

Micah:

don't have to lose 15, 20 pounds in order to be like, you don't have to, if it's healthy. Yeah. figure that out. but God damn it just be yourself, that's exactly, we're all unique. We're not all going to be that cover model and that's and it's okay. It really is. Yeah,

Gil:

that is very sound advice.

Micah:

I think that's thing

Eric:

we

Micah:

need to hear about more person that I want to be known for, for who I am, my person of integrity person, if somebody who wants to do the best by all the people, that orbit me. So

Eric:

advocating for those that don't have a voice or don't know how to use their voice.

Micah:

Correct. Yup. That's very honest.

Eric:

I admire that and I cheers that to you.

Gil:

No, absolutely.

Micah:

Except I'm probably the only one left drinking here.

Eric:

I was just Downing water. Now. I know I

Micah:

just

Gil:

finished mine. I'm like, Oh, I couldn't find my bottle of white wine. So I was like, I'll go with the beer

Micah:

areas. More proof that I'm definitely not. Part of the Mormon clan anymore, but that's okay.

Gil:

Welcome to the Catholic side.

Eric:

And

Micah:

this is red. I think we could probably bless and sanctify. This is the blood of Christ, right? Probably

Gil:

we'll call it even. It looks good, but real quick before we end our podcast. So we wanted to dive into just slides that little topic about online presence and the toxicity that it is right now. It's not really right now. It's been like, I feel like it's specially it's magnified.

Micah:

It is. Yeah.

Gil:

what are your takes?

Micah:

how much time do we have? yeah, So there's a lot of flaws with social media. and, just in general, and because, it's giving, it's re it's allowed a platform for the people who, would all otherwise be relegated to the bat shit, crazy sort of conspiracy theory. I heard this from somebody, chain letters, thing. It's given them a platform just as much, And, I think that I still have a Facebook account currently, but I literally post nothing in it because I refuse to be the fuel that powers, that platform I've removed so many likes I've removed so many pieces of information. they store everything. just keep it real. once you put your political affiliation on there, they remember the last thing that you put there, but like currently it doesn't show anything. It doesn't show my birthday publicly. I think it might show where I live, like city and state, but it certainly doesn't have my address or phone number or any of that nonsense. I just think that there's like common sense. And this is the InfoSec guy like this. Part of being a technologist is I work in the information security world. And it all comes into this privacy piece of it. And it's just be careful about what you put out there, cause I don't like I don't contribute to the Facebook companies, like that and Instagram and stuff like that. I have the accounts because I love seeing what people are doing. But, I would say that just being cautious around, how much you put out into the world, like that sort of thing and just being. just hyper-aware and making sure you're not doing those surveys, the Cambridge Analytica nonsense, don't buy into that stuff. Don't click into the links. don't do the surveys. Like I don't do any of that nonsense. I have my own domain. That's Just my name, but there's no website. There's no push to do any sort of businessy things. Like I was saying earlier about doing my Twitch feed and stuff. yeah, I have Twitch, but I have two followers. nobody gives a shit. I don't care. I don't have any incentive to go out to try to get as many followers as possible again and go get all the views and all this stuff. I don't care. Like it's just there for me to like, Screw around with, for my friends to watch when they want to watch. And that's really about it. And so To be concise about it. It's just be careful about what you put out there on the internet. And I'm sure we could do an entire series on privacy because there's like Grindr and Scruff and Adam for Adam and OkCupid and everything that mine, that data to use for their platforms and things. there's just some stuff you just shouldn't put out there at all. And we could, maybe in a future episode we can play some of that stuff too. But I know a lot of your previous guests and things have presence out there and they've got their sites and their new social media platforms. got to remember who was a couple of weeks ago, Adam strips. Yeah. So he's got that new platform that he's got going on. Cool. Go for it. if that's the business you want to build this podcast, obviously want to get downloads. You want to get viewers and all that start and viewers, listeners.

Eric:

Yeah. All the time he wants to be seen.

Micah:

Yeah. Yes, exactly. And heard in this case. so yeah, I get that. There's a push to try to get more and more of that out there. and if that's the goal that absolutely go after that and use the tools and things that are necessary. But for the average person, you don't really need to be posting about your conquests on Facebook, around, going out to the bars all the time or doing this or doing that or taking the surveys because all that stuff feeds back into a lot of opportunity for you to have your information put out there and potentially compromised. I just tend to play it a little bit close to the vest, and go with safer messaging platforms. that's just the level of caution that needs to take, and thought process around, pay attention to what your what's going on. Pay attention to what's on your phone. and just try and do as best you can around those sorts of things. And if you're, if you have questions, ask them, ask your friends, ask your family, all that stuff like don't ever assume. Do the research, look into it.

Gil:

Yeah, it's true. It's, everything's stored nowadays all the algorithms everything's skewed to one side and they will always hype it up the fears and

Micah:

it's cause it gets the engagement, right? Yeah, exactly. It keeps people coming back to the platform and that's what they want. Because every time they show you an ad that earns them some revenue. Correct. So they want you to come back when they talk about like Steve Bannon's account, not getting banned. Yeah, they probably did some math behind the scenes and was like, fuck this guy. Or is this like X number of dollars a click a day?

Gil:

Yeah.

Micah:

I'm going to keep them around because people will go and then it's not even just like the bat shit crazy wing. It's those of us on the left side of the column that are going to be like, look how fucked up this is and we're going to post about it. And we're going to be like, look how evil Zuckerburg is right. That's engagement. That's still fueling their fucking platform. That's still doing the things, So you and I get it like, and I love some of your posts. I love some of your reposts and like your memes and things that you put on there. Cause it's fantastic, it's flaming as all. Hell and it's great. Just for me personally, I'm just, I'm electing not to participate and fuel that fire even more, even though I have a shit ton of opinions and want to put my message out there and do all those things, like I just, I refuse to be part of as much as I can refuse to be part of the fuel that makes them more money. And I get literally, sweetie. Fuck all from it, except for more stress and anxiety,

Gil:

the 2016 election actually still one that caught me off of it because everything leading up and it was just, it got me so hyped and ready and already the claw everyone's soul out, especially finding out who are Trump supporters. it was just mind boggling. Yeah. I just immediately removed myself off the platform. I, finally deleted it. I kept it. I realized I didn't need it for it. My Airbnb app, I kept saving it. I was like, I'll stay on Facebook. Cause I need, verification of who I am. But once I realized that I need, I'm like delete,

Micah:

I can verify who you are with Airbnb through other means other than your Facebook,

Gil:

correct? Correct. And I was like I'm from the olden days, I was like,

Micah:

Dead serious. Like we can absolutely have a conversation about some best practices around navigating the internet and the interwebs and all that stuff around what you can should consider, especially for those, like given the pandemic and given the current sort of social and physical distancing pieces. We're spending more of our time. And our lives online. So the screens are competing more and more for our attention. And there are some things we can do to try to break some of those habits and break some of those cycles. That would be a lot healthier for people in our community to maybe just throttle back for a hot second and. I can promise you'll be happier if you're just not obsessed with, who's trying to like something on your latest Instagram or something like that. Again, got a slam on you, Eric. That's not a thing I got, you love posting that stuff. And you also have a podcast to promote and everything, but for most folks who don't or are not out there promoting a business or a platform or something like that. break the cycle of that attention grab, I can promise you your life is going to improve and we could use every ounce of that. We can possibly get being cooped up in our houses for a while.

Eric:

Yeah. I actually always want to get off of Facebook and Instagram, but it's because I have the podcast and then I have a t-shirt line coming up. I'm like, I still have to promote all of that stuff. So then I let myself just get back on the hamster wheel.

Micah:

yeah, but it's, Hey, you have some consciousness around that and that's awesome because at least, now. That you're back on that hamster wheel. So you're like, Oh fuck. I'm on the hamster wheel. You need to get the hell off of here. How do I slow this thing down?

Eric:

Go back. Awesome. Instead.

Micah:

That's right. Yeah. Consciousness is a really good first step for that. A lot of that stuff. and not just for social media, Just for life in general. Absolutely.

Eric:

Yeah. It's half the battle is recognizing. Yep.

Gil:

thank you Micah, for your time today on The Q Lounge. Thank you as always every week. Live in your authenticity until next time.

Eric:

Thank you.

Gil:

Goodbye. Bye. Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed your time in the Q lounge. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions on topics, or you would like to be a guest or contributor, please email us at info.TheQlounge@gmail.Com or through our contact page at theqloungepodcast.com while you're there hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcast. If you would like to further support us, hit that donation button

Eric:

until next time live in your authenticity.