Nov. 3, 2021

S3E10 (Jeremy)

S3E10 (Jeremy)

Eric and Gil are excited to be joined by Jeremy and have him share his story and insight with us.

Transcript
Eric:

Hello and welcome to the Q lounge, I'm Eric

Gil:

and 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 at theQloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. If you would like to follow us on social media, you can hit us up on Facebook @theQloungepodcast or on Instagram or Twitter @theQlounge. Hello and welcome to the Q lounge. I'm Eric and I'm Gil. And today we are super excited to be joined by Jeremy, the director of sales and marketing for Hydra luxury pet products. How are you doing Jeremy? Thank you so much for having me. We're super excited that you're able to join us and that we were able to make this happen. Yay. Thank you. How's everything awesome. How's everything going for you right now?

Jeremy:

It's great. It's busy. Work has been pretty crazy. I actually took this week off, so it's my birthday at the end of this week. Oh, happy birthday.

Eric:

I know this will be published after your birthday, but happy birthday.

Jeremy:

Yes know, if this week leading up to it is any indicator, I'm really excited for it. It's been a good week. But yeah it's busy and lots of things like I'm working on, especially with work and stuff like that, but yeah, it's good.

Eric:

That's good. That's awesome. Yeah. I'm just going to say, like before I turned 30, I was freaking out. I was like, oh my God, I'm going to be so old. And I haven't done XYZ and alpha beta gamma, whatever. And then as soon as I turn 30 now, granted I was in Vegas when I turned 30 and I was in Vegas for a week, but it was like the greatest birthday ever. And most of my thirties up until about 36 was really awesome. So yeah. Good under care. I love the sound of that. I'm fingers crossed. That's the same for me. But enjoy your last twenties as well.

Jeremy:

It's been good. the 20's have been nice. This year has definitely been full of lots of changes. So I'm like the 30, fresh start. I'm ready for it. Absolutely.

Eric:

Absolutely. A fresh start. I I'm 42 and I'm like completely fresh starting again. So restart every decade COVID taught me everything. It was like, don't neglect yourself and put your happiness and everything

Jeremy:

first. So you only got 100% the same for me. So how is life

Eric:

treating you in a COVID kind of world? I know we're still pretty COVID so although I did hear San Francisco is like 89% vaccinated, which is amazing. We are, yes,

Jeremy:

we are. COVID for me has been. As far as work goes and stuff like that. I know it was a very eh, like it had a lot of impact on people's work situations and stuff like that. I was pretty fortunate because it was a time and point. Everybody started adopting a puppy and then stuff like that and working in the pet industry and just like it's floated over COVID. So it was like a really busy time when it came to work and stuff like that. There was definitely a period, especially working with like rush laundry stuff. There's a period of time where I don't think anybody knew what was going to happen. And a lot of shops were closed. I'm trying to figure it out. Like on a personal level that it was like a really good moment to just take a step back and really recenter. And it gave me a lot of perspective I think, and just, I. A big adjustment and priorities, like things that are really important to me, it really, I think was a time where some of the things that I took for granted, I suddenly started to realize exactly how important those were, whether those were relationships or like opportunities to be around people and share a sense of community, especially with the gay community and stuff like that. We were out a lot and we spend a lot of time together and that was a period of time, especially when social distancing was probably at its strictest where like it just wasn't there. And it really gave me a lot of perspective about how important that is.

Eric:

Awesome. Yeah. I have a really, I hate to say had a great COVID period, but I, it wasn't that hard for me, but I'm also very much an introvert. Being away from people is totally fine. I just did a lot of self reflection and a lot of healing and realizations and stuff like that. So there were definitely hard aspects of it, but overall it was actually

Jeremy:

really nice shades to slow down cause I travel a lot for work and it was like a year where I just did not travel and it really did give me a moment to address a lot of other things and really have that moment of self reflection you're talking about, it was very like a good moment for me. It was positive in a lot of ways. I knew it was a very tough moment for a lot of people and there that were tough for me, but like it was also really a great opportunity to do. And take a moment. So do some self-work. Awesome.

Eric:

That's great. I think that's

Jeremy:

amazing. I was

Gil:

going to say for me, it was very funny cause I actually, I've always traveled. I'm always leaving. Cause I ended up near the city as first. I've actually stayed in my apartment for a long time where I'm like, actually, I'm paying, I might as well stay here.

Jeremy:

Literally me, like I did previous year to that, I did 18 trips over the summer. And I literally was basically not living in my apartment. So it was really strange to be at home. I was like, what do they do with all this time out at home? It's a new feeling.

Gil:

The redecorate by this, we'll put this painting up.

Jeremy:

No, I wish I had done that. I went the more self destructive route. I was trying out like mustaches and bleach hair and like some very, it was a very creative moment for my appearance because nobody else,

Eric:

why not though? I think that's awesome. Play around with that. And you still have hair, so experiment with it all you

Jeremy:

want. It's recovered pretty nicely from that experiment. That's sure.

Eric:

So how, or when did you realize you were part of the LGBTQ plus community and how did you realize

Jeremy:

it's really interesting because I think I knew I was gay from a pretty early age. I w I knew I was gay, but like a part of a community I really did not have any perspective of until I was probably about, I would say like 22. I grew up in a very religious household. I was also like very strict religious. I was also homeschooled. So like I never went to a public school and I didn't really have a lot of exposure with I guess the outside work. I, it's very hard to explain. But that, those, what is the name of that TV show? The one on Netflix with she's like in a bunker and then she like comes out and yes, that was graduating high school and stuff like that. Like I literally grew up in a family where I didn't really have a lot of access to like TV or music. Everything was very heavily monitored. I spent all my time around the church and other homeschoolers and stuff like that. I really didn't have a lot of understanding of what gay people were like, to be honest with you when I was coming to terms with my own sexuality, I really was like, I really thought gay people were like magical unicorns. Like I really didn't think, I thought there was a kind heart full of us that existed. And it was just like. If you meet somebody else that's gay, like you guys are meant to be together. I really had no idea there was a community or anything like that. So I didn't really start to figure any of that out until like I left home and then I was like, oh my God, we're everywhere. There's a whole community. Like we have neighborhoods and we have I didn't know what pride was. I didn't even really know what gay was, to be honest with you. I knew I was different, but I didn't really have a perspective. So I would say probably about 20, 21 was when I started connecting with people that kind of introduced me to the LGBTQ plus community. And I really started to find a home in it. Okay. That's awesome. Makes sense.

Gil:

How did your family take it or.

Jeremy:

I feel is an interesting story. My brothers were both very like supportive of me coming out. When my parents, it was a little bit more of a difficult journey. When I came out to my mom, it was definitely a struggle for her to accept or understand that she was very religious. I think she, she did the best she could at the time. And I think it's been like an ever evolving process over the years and stuff like that. There was a long period of time where we just didn't address that at all. The stage where I was married, where she started to like slowly little by little warm up to the idea and stuff like that. With my friends, I definitely, it was a very transitional period because like with the church and stuff like that, and a lot of the friends that I made from that I pretty much Almost like a hard reset. Like I started over I, after I graduated high school, I moved away from New Mexico.

Eric:

I

Jeremy:

moved to college and it was it was like a fresh start and a new opportunity to start over and be a new person and experience new things. Okay. Awesome.

Eric:

Did you have any struggles internally, like coming to terms with it and coming out?

Jeremy:

Oh yeah, it definitely it was a better progressive journey and I think it's weird because I think at different stages, you start to identify Different levels of trauma or like different evolutions of it and stuff like that. I think in my earlier years, I dealt with a lot of like shame around the idea of being a little bit more feminine or growing up in a very like an environment where masculinity was very emphasized. But then there was other stages of, dealing with other aspects, like the rejection from family. And also just coming to terms with what it means to me personally, to be gay finding my place in the community. But I think it's been an ever-growing like an ever evolving process. It was really fortunate. I went to therapy a couple of years ago. And that was a really huge moment for me. I think that was the point where I really started to uncover a lot of They hurt and trauma from what it was a child. And not really seeing that. So many of those events when I was younger really did have such a strong impact on how my relationships currently, how am I really, how is interacting with my relationships currently? It was weird because they went through a really strange phase growing up with a lot of trying to keep it hidden and also dealing with how to introduce that to family and how to navigate living in a church and knowing I was gay. And you I came out of it and I thought it was, had figured it out and it was like, oh I'm out of it now. And I'm fine. But like a few years went by and that's when I started to be like, oh really? I haven't quite addressed a lot of this, so I'm never going journey, but I feel pretty happy and I feel like I am at a stage now where I have Pretty comfortable relationship with my sexuality and also just being a member of the community.

Eric:

Oh, that's awesome. I'm super glad to hear that. I think we're always like on our journey and always, there's always evolution and we're always in different stages. Like I definitely not in the same place. I was like even a year ago and I'm not at the same place I was 10 years ago by any means. And I think it's just a lot of that shame as you said, or internalized homophobia. I didn't realize how much internalized homophobia I hadn't actually until I like this past year, I was like, oh my gosh, this happened. And that happened. And why did I think this way? And I just realized like where I was problematic in my past.

Jeremy:

It's also crazy because I feel like we fall in a little bit of an on the cusp of generation. At least for me, it's weird because I remember a time when LGBTQ issues were very like hot button topic and it was a very different world. It's weird to see just in the past 10 years, how much things have progressed within the community. And there's a group of people that are having a whole different set of experiences than I could ever even begin to imagine. But they're also experiences that really play a big part in my story too. And my evolution of accepting trauma I dealt with, but also realizing like how much the world is changing and how rapidly people are Growing. And I see, I remember one time I saw this kid in a gas station and he was with his dad, he was pulling his dad's hand and he had his fingernails and toenails painted and he had his Barbie with him and I was just like, oh, that's fabulous. What an amazing world for this little boy to live in. And, it really made me think about being that age and being like that just wasn't even a reality for me to have and to see this and see a new generation of kids being able to experience that and a little bit of a different way. It was also a part of my process of kind of healing from a lot of what I had gone through. So it's just, it's strange to see the world of where it was and like where come to in such a short period of time when it comes to LGBTQ issues, it's definitely something we talk about a lot more.

Gil:

I was going to say, I do especially how almost not quite mainstream we've become, but it's just part of feeding into it where it's you need some of the publicity that's involved with being mainstream, but also if the normalize or take some of the stigma away. Which I'm jealous

Jeremy:

exactly what we're also starting to have a lot more complex conversations about the LGBTQ community, for a long time, it was very much like we had one or two conversations and, especially over the nineties a lot of what we were dealing with was the topic of like marriage equality, as well as HIV and the stigma attached to that. And now we're starting to evolve into a lot more complex social issues within our own community and within the general public as well. So it's really cool to see how these conversations are evolving and how we're beginning to. Really see the complexity in our community and other people are getting exposure to exactly like how complex the gay community is and how it is its own little culture. Yeah, very much so language

Eric:

and

Jeremy:

language.

Gil:

I was put in a very bro team, recently, because I transition to a different job. And I was like, what is this? I don't understand what they're telling me, but I'm back in the city again. So I'm like, okay, I can talk again. Any who do you have any advice for your younger self,

Jeremy:

Advice for my younger self? I think if I was going to give any advice to my younger self, it would probably be just to really stay present. I think a lot of the time I spent a very strong portion of my younger life thinking about the future a lot, especially because I had met other people within the church that were gay or trans or lesbian and stuff like that. And I had really seen how the church reacted to it. From 11 or 12, I had a pretty clear picture spelled out of what my future looked like if I was going to be a very authentic and real version of myself. And at 11 or 12, I was planning out what my life was going to look like after I was 18. I spent a lot of time really thinking about once somebody else no longer has control of me and what I can do and where I can go, 11 or 12. I was really terrified of the idea of being sent to conversion therapy or having a lot of my freedom stripped away from me. So I was very thoughtful and careful to. Not disclose that I was gay or put indicators out there and stuff like that. I try to do the best I could to cover it up and hide it. And I spent a lot of my time by myself, really daydreaming and fantasizing about what the future looks like beyond that. And what my life was going to look like after I had control of it. And I think in a lot of ways that really stuck with me even after I did, I became an adult and stuff like that. And I really just didn't know how to stay present. I was always thinking about the future. So I think if I had any advice for my younger self, it would just be to stay present. And also just to know that things are gonna work themselves out. Yeah.

Eric:

What'd you say that there still, is there any influence still from the church or from your religion growing up that influences you now and how you look at things or that you're still fighting

Jeremy:

100%, I think you can leave the church, but I don't think the church ever really leaves you. And I feel like as more years have gone by, I have been able to dissect a lot of the trauma of what happened of that pressure to be a certain way, especially at the church I grew up and it was very strict. It's a very patriarchy based church. A lot of the women wore dresses. It was very much like women had a role of career marriage and raising children. A lot of the girls I knew were starting to prepare to become mothers by the time they were 14, like they were going into the process of starting to consider their future what they were going to do, how to be good mothers, how to be good wives. I knew some people that are married at 16 with authorization from their parents. I watched a lot of abuse happened to girls. I knew. And then I watched a lot of instances where the church covered up stuff that was not so good. And there was a lot of pressure as guys to conform to. You're gonna, yeah. Your goal in life is to create a stable environment where you can support a family. My family was like the small family. We have three kids and we were like the small family and the church. There was a period of time where in the church, the women weren't allowed to talk. Oh, like they had to ask their husbands to ask questions on behalf of them. And oh my God. And so that was definitely like a lot to unpack after I left that situation. And it did take many years to really like first off I entered the LGBTQ community with this idea of a lot of aversion to femininity and a lot of aversion to this idea of being like that gay. And it took me a long time to unpack that it also took me a long time to address a lot of the rejection and the self shame that I felt not just towards being gay, but towards the idea of sexuality in general. And then I think also just I think what's hard is like when you go to church, you do also at the same time as you have all of this stuff that does feel very stressful. You also do. Experienced somewhat of a sense of community. You spend a lot of time around these people. You get to know them. They become like family in a lot of ways. And I think when you leave the church, you will also leave a sense of community and family and stuff like that. And it is something that is not always necessarily the easiest to find outside of that. And it does you have to address how you perceive that or receive that. It took me a long time to get over that because I did for a long time feel like my community rejected me. And so I had a lot of aversion to finding community again, a group of people that I felt like I could trust.

Gil:

Did you ever have an exhaling moment of. More of a coming to terms of this is me. What, for me, even though when I did come out when I was 18 or technically 17, like my senior year of high school is when I came to terms like I am gay, but I didn't really have that aha moment when I sat, when I went to my very first gay club and these are my people and I had just like weight off my shoulder moment. And I felt okay, I w everything will be better if this makes sense. And that was like the summer.

Jeremy:

I don't think I had it like immediately when I went to a gay club for the first time, actually, what I went to a gay club for the first time, I felt like such a fish out of water. I would go well, first off, because I had never been a nightclub in my life. Like at that point, I really was still exploring cause the church I was in, like I had no concept of like sex, drugs, alcohol, anything like that? I had no, like we didn't have TV or movies. Like the only music I have listened to was Christian music. And I really had this vague concept of what life outside of a church looked like. So I remember going into a gay pub the first time and I could just tell everybody knew I had no idea what I was doing there. And I was also from a small city at that point. And I had moved to California and I was like, where am I? There were go-go boys. And I was like, oh my God, these people are in their underwear. What are they doing here? That I really I had no concept of it. Like it was such a bizarre experience for me. But I think the first time I really felt that sense of community is interesting. I forgot how it was, but sometime connected with Mr. Leather Sacramento. And he took me out to the leather bar and I like, I, like that was like a whole other extreme that I couldn't even begin to wrap my head around at first, but he was so kind to me and he. Introduce me to a whole community where like a, it was the first time in my life. I had gotten to openly talk about sex with people and really not just talk about sex, but also gain a sexual education that I didn't have growing up. And also like a sense of community because the leather community, like what a beautiful group of people, they are like first off, they're very strong advocates for safe sex and good communication about sex and also consent. But beyond that, there are also people that really have a strong sense of community. And they're really invested in the community beyond just like the the gay scene like they're invested in helping the community, fundraising, volunteering and stuff like that. And that was really the first time that I felt a sense of community with it. And I think also a sense of understanding of exactly where. Our place was not only within the gay community by connecting that to the rest of the world.

Gil:

That makes sense. Yeah. And it's I don't know. I feel almost disappointed. I know in the bay area, we're getting, they get a bad rap recently within the community. I'm like, they are one of the biggest advocates for us and, what kicks off some of the, I don't know the rights for us as I just don't understand, especially we're supposed to be so inclusive about it.

Jeremy:

Yeah, it's interesting

Eric:

though, to me too, that like as much of a community as it is, it's still very clique-ish and there's definitely different pods in the community.

Jeremy:

Yeah, definitely. It is like strange to see it. And it's weird because you see the dynamic shift from city to city too. Like I've lived in a couple of different cities where I've gotten to experience the gay community and I've traveled a lot and like you do that there is a, there, there is a lot of subgroups within the community as well. And sometimes that is something that makes me really sad is because, we do experience a lot of outside judgment from the world and like the last place you want to find it is within your bar and your community and like the people that really share a lot of common interests with you. Yeah. No, I agree.

Eric:

Do you think you've ever been like pigeonholed into any

Jeremy:

stereotypes and

Eric:

Do you think you fit any stereotypes and what do you think about stereotypes? Just in general?

Jeremy:

I definitely feel like I've been pigeon holed into stereotypes. I don't think there's a person on this planet that has not been pigeonholed into some sort of stereotype. I, there was a long period of time where I felt like it was very much put into this stereotype of being like, I don't know, I felt like I got put into the stereotype of being very feminine, but then at the same time, I didn't really fit into that category either. I fell somewhere in the middle of all of it, where I was like, I'm a little bit of all of it. But I would definitely say, obviously within the community, I've probably experienced some stereotypes, but especially outside of the community, a lot of stereotypes as well. A lot of stereotypes that I really had to combat with my family having to really feel like I had to work a little bit harder than anybody else in the family to really prove that. That was a valid person that my relationships were not just superficial, but they weren't just based on sex and lust and all this other stuff. But like there, there could actually be some depth and value to it and evolution and also just a lot of that, my parents were very traditional, so they had a very strong stereotype of what the gay community was. Is mom coming to me and just begging me I just, whatever you do, please just, I can't handle a few are wearing like women's clothing or something like that. And not that there's anything wrong with that at all. I don't think there's anything wrong with that in the slightest, but it was just one of those stereotypes where I was like, not everybody within our community does a lot of people do, but not everybody. And I think as far as my personal thoughts on stereotypes, I feel like there's always I think they're just something that are inevitable. I think they're probably going to always exist to some capacity. I think in a lot of ways they are us observing parts of the world that we're maybe not as familiar with and trying to make CliffsNotes about it. Maybe areas of our world that we're not, we don't see value in investing our time in investigating a little bit further. I think one thing for me, especially having grown up in such a restrictive situation cause everything I watched or listened to or read or stuff like that was all moderated. Like I really didn't have a lot of options when I did finally have that freedom to explore It meant something very special to me to be able to have that, because I think I knew what it was like to not be able to do that, to be limited on what you could look at, what you could explore. And so I've always since then had a very strong policy to be very open-minded to listen to people. To not be afraid to explore, to hear them out, to dive a little bit deeper, ask questions and not just ask questions of people, but also do my own research about it too. I feel like a lot of times we put a heavy responsibility on other people to educate us about their community, but, we could really do our part to invest in other people's communities and get to know a little bit more about them. And we have an unlimited amount of resources to find that information now, for me non-binary was really something that I didn't really have a lot of understanding or a grasp of. And so I, I met some non-binary people and I did ask some questions, but I also went home and did some of my own homework so that I could be a better ally, a better supporter and advocate. Understanding and educated on what the topic was and what that meant to people, because it was a part of our community and something that I felt like I should at least have some understanding of. Then our community has evolved. It becomes so complex. And so you really do have to stay up to date on what's happening. And it is important to educate yourself on that. So I try to keep a really open mind for me, stereotypes. They think they're always going to exist and I don't take a lot of personal offense to them because I think it just shows how limited somebody else's scope is. But for me personally, I try to if I find myself having stereotypes or biases towards people, I try to dig a little bit deeper to see if I can learn something. Yeah.

Gil:

So what's the importance of pronouns because that's been one of our more recent hot topics. And I know some people are having challenges with that. What's your take on it?

Jeremy:

Pronouns are a tough one for me. I think I understand the importance of everybody having their pronouns acknowledged. I guess my personal perspective on it and it's a tough one because I feel like this is one of those issues that I'm in a pretty I'm in a spot that has a lot of history, identify as male. I go by, he, him pronouns. I, I, not one of those people that I think this issue. Directly impacts that traditional method has suited me pretty well. But I think it's interesting. Cause I guess me personally, like as far as pronouns go, I don't really hold a lot of stock in them. I don't care if someone calls me, she, her, they, them, he had it. I feel like pronouns are really for somebody else to identify and to reference somebody. And they're not so much something that I take a lot of stock or personal identity yet. I don't think they dictate what I like, what I do, how I live my life. I think there's something for other people to reference me or to get my attention or to talk to me or to refer to me. And so I think for me personally, I feel like I have a pretty firm. Understanding of who I am and my identity. And so for me, it's not really one of those things that I personally hold a lot of stock in, but I also understand that for people that are in a world where their identity is not always necessarily acknowledged, respected, or appreciated that this topic is very important to them, and sometimes it's those baby steps of things like pronouns that open up larger conversations that are cutting towards more topics of acknowledgement, respect, opening our viewpoints of what, how people can express their selves a little bit further. And so I think it's a good idea to challenge the system because it starts conversations and sometimes it can feel a little extreme at first to lead to a really strong conversation and then find its way back to the middle a little bit. But I'm very supportive of it. And, if someone wants, if someone comes to me and asked me to refer to them a specific way I'll do it. And I also try not to assume, I try to just really allow people, some space to express who they are and if I can be a part of supporting and validating their existence and their ability to express themselves in their most authentic form, like why not? Because I have a lot of people that allow me the space to do that. And I respect those people and I have a lot of appreciation for them in my life.

Eric:

What's your opinion on pride? And do you think it's important

Jeremy:

still? 100%. I hope we never stopped. I, if anything, I feel like we need to put a little bit more of an emphasis on the history of it and we need to make sure we hold really close to that. I think I, when I was young or I really didn't have a strong perception, I didn't have a strong understanding of what pride was my perception when I was very young based on a lot of how I was raised. And what I was told about pride was that it was very subversive. It was very much about garnering attention and shock and trying to offend people. And I, as I got a little bit older and as I started reading up on the history of pride and hearing from people in stories that was very fortunate. I got to tour the Exhibit with the AIDS quilt and learn about the history of that, but also the history before that, of the, exactly what pride was, what it meant and what it's evolved into. I think it's important that we celebrate it. And I think it's also important that we continue to share those stories and educate people about where it came from, because How fortunate am I, that I got to go to a parade and dress in whatever I want and I get to drink and I get to celebrate with my friends and I get to be around a community that takes around country, around brands, around people that celebrate us and advocate for us. And give us a month of the year where there's a focus and a attention on our issues and things we want to say. And that was not a reality for a lot of those people that were marching when pride started that wasn't a reality and that's not even a world that they could fathom or imagine living in. And I feel really grateful that I get to experience a lot of what they believed was possible one day.

Eric:

Yeah, I agree. What do you think about the commercialization of pride

Jeremy:

now? Unfortunately, I feel like it's it's really an inevitable factor in if it it's really an inevitable factor, unfortunately. And I think the thing is it really Paul's on the back of the consumer to do their research and as somebody who works in marketing and sales, it's I understand how it works. You're trying to connect with a group of people you're trying to make them feel included in your brand. You're trying to market to them because we want to make sales. And that I don't think is necessarily wrong or the company wants to do. But I think if you are going to monetize off of disenfranchised groups of people you also need to be giving back and you can't just be talking the talk. You also need to be walking the walk. For me, I try to be really thoughtful if I'm going to buy pride merchandise, I try to make sure that it's an organization that is actually enforcing policies that are really investing in the wellbeing of the LGBTQ community. Also they are donating and they have members and stuff that are a part of the community as well. I think you just got to do your research and you gotta be responsible. You can blame the brand or you can really take personal responsibility for it and say, you know what, I'm going to do my homework and I'm going to make sure that my dollars are going to people. I want them to go to. Yeah, definitely.

Eric:

I always find it interesting. Cause there's like everything that you just said. And then I also think about sometimes the commercialization is good because I like, as we talked earlier, definitely a time when you couldn't be open about going to pride or celebrating pride. And the fact that it's just more accepted on the grand scale and the commercialization of it, at least people like have that representation

Jeremy:

somewhat cause

Gil:

you kinda need it. It's like in the, like I grew up in the bubble in the blue bubble, so it's where pride is like San Francisco pride is broadcast, but it's not. Like, how does it get onto TV? You'll need sponsorships, you need the community involved. So it's a yes and a no where yeah, you don't want to commercial lights, not Coachella. We don't want to be treated as such, but at the same time, I completely agree the historical part of the aspect. But of course you did lose a generation in the eighties, into the nineties during the aids crisis. So there's that whole gap year, years that we lost, unfortunately. And I think there's, I hear it a little bit of younger people always complain. We don't need pride anymore. And I'm like, that is probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard, but that's just, yeah. Sorry. I digressed,

Jeremy:

I think it's very important for us to continue to remember these people, just for the simple fact that these people a most of them didn't get to live the full life that they should have a lot of these people should be alive to be able to see what's happening now and they're not. Yeah. And they, through that process of the AIDS crisis continued to advocate and fight for rights and push things forward and continue to talk about this topic and continue to push it into the mainstream media and forced them to acknowledge it. And we do also have to think about a lot of how brands have helped us brands have helped us. You look at Mac, for example, Mac was a huge advocate. Yeah. For HIV and AIDS and getting funding and stuff like that. And funding is what has taken us as far as we have with research towards resolving a lot of these issues. And like the world we live in now HIV is no longer a death sentence. It's what a time to be alive, where you can think about that and live with a lot less fear than previous generations before us. And it, it doesn't have to be something that's a weight on your mind day to day. And I think, yeah, I think we do have a responsibility to remember those people. I think we have a responsibility to celebrate those people every single year at pride. I think we have a responsibility to celebrate all of the trans women of color that, Went to jail die were suffered abuse, suffered rejection were left in some of the poorest neighborhoods in town, unemployed who continued to advocate for a lot of rights that we get to benefit from today that they never got to see. And so really the least we can do is continue to remember them to celebrate them and advocate for that.

Eric:

What do you, what's your opinion on allyship and what makes a good ally?

Jeremy:

I think as far as allyship, like obviously you need allies where minority group if we want to think if we want our voices to be heard, we do need a large group of people to be able to say, Hey, we do need to make some space for these voices to be heard, and we do need them to help spread our message. Or at least buy it down the message. The mass is enough to allow us a space to be able to speak about these topics. I think the important thing about being an ally when you are trying to be an ally to any minority group, is to a understand that, to take on the role of an ally is not just to a gree with a group of people, but to take measurable actions as well. Because agreement is great and it's nice. If you have a group of people that say yeah, totally. I support you. I don't have anything. I don't have any problems with you. But it's another thing for people to take actionable measures. Whether that comes in the form of donation volunteering or speaking up and educating themselves. And that's, I think the other thing about being an ally is as an ally if you're truly an ally you're going to put in the foot work to educate yourself on the issues of the community that you are taking allyship with, not expect them to do the footwork with you and hand you all the information on a silver platter and to be a dictionary for you or a like an encyclopedia. Anytime you have a question about what you should say or shouldn't say, or how you should act or how you should feel about issues, but they actually take the time to educate yourself, stay up to date on what's happening and make a commitment to not just educating yourself, but educating other people that maybe are not allies. I think it said it's just really important as an ally to take personal responsibility for being, I like advocating for the people, not just sitting on a bandwagon.

Eric:

Yeah, I agree. I also find it odd that you have people who like claim to be allies and, oh, I love you. And I'm super supportive, but then they like getting into brushing against politics really quickly. Sorry. But they're going to like support people who are completely against you and completely against your group. And I'm just like, that doesn't work. That's not how this works. You cannot say you support me, but then you're going to support someone who is trying to take away all of my rights

Jeremy:

or disenfranchising further 100%. No, I agree with that. I also think the other thing too, is a lot of times you have the kind of allyship where. People are not taking the time. I like, they don't want to progress. They're like, okay. I feel like I've learned what I need to learn about this community and I know enough to get by, things change, especially within our community and stuff like that. I know there's a lot of people that have a strong aversion to this idea of moving into the category of non binary and stuff like that. And there's a lot of people who are allies who are really not wanting to even begin to invest time in kind of understanding what that means or what that adds to our community. And what kind of additional steps you need to take to be a good ally and supporter of the community. And so I'm hoping that like more people realize that if you truly want to be an ally, it is. Consistent commitment to evolution and understanding, not just previous topics of what the community has dealt with the current topics. I feel like a lot of people after gay marriage was legalized, we're like, cool, we're done. And you're like, nah, I got to always think about some problems we need to straighten out, especially with like employment discrimination and members of our community or like people of color in our community suffer a lot of issues that I think mainstream white gays or

Eric:

CIS gays,

Jeremy:

Don't necessarily spend as much time advocating for as they shouldn't be. Yeah, absolutely.

Eric:

Change it up a little bit. Do you have any, do you have a diva? This is like Gil's favorite question.

Jeremy:

I'm going to steal that from him

Eric:

after that question,

Gil:

I was just about to ask him to lighten it up

Eric:

because I'm going to take it. I'm going to take it somewhere

Jeremy:

else. Go ahead. This is such a hard one. One is like impossible for me. It's it's crazy because I spent so many years not listening to music. Like when I finally got that opportunity to like, you bet I was catching up on everything. And I like, I absolutely love music. Music is like one of those things that I will just never take for granted in my life. And I love listening to all of it, but I don't know. That's a tough one. I I don't know, like I, I love a lot of the classics. I love like Janet and Madonna and Kylie. You can't go wrong with any of those, but I dropped a new song now and she's getting ready to release a remix album, November 12th. No, not at all. I. I recently started becoming a really big fan of Janet. Like I hadn't really ever dove into Janet Jackson's music before. Like I knew a little bit here and there, like rhythm nation and stuff like that, but I really started listening to her. I was like, oh my God, I've been missing this my whole life. It's about what you post. I also have a friend Steven, who is absolutely obsessed with Janet and I I don't know. I started listening to this velvet rope

Eric:

album of all

Jeremy:

time in my, I know. And then it was like at the gym and it was like bumping Come On Get Up. And I was like, I could listen to the song every day.

Eric:

I break into Janet choreography at the gym, like when the Janet's on my playlist and I'm at the gym in between sets, I like break out into full on choreography

Jeremy:

and put on shows. Like I, I'm tired. Like sometimes I get a little into it when I'm at the gym and I'm like sitting there and I'm like looking around. I'm like, Ooh, I got a little too. I yeah, I don't know. I love all of them. I've lived see one that I have really found a profound respect for is probably Charlie XCX. Like I read, I don't know if she followed the category. I like diva, but A, I love the fact that she elevates a lot of artists within the LGBTQ plus community and a lot of people that are not mainstream. And she did find a little bit of mainstream success and she's really used that platform to advocate for a lot of other people. I also love the fact that she's just involved in the entire process of songwriting production. She's written for a lot of major artists. She also pushes the envelope of what pop could become, and she's not afraid to be experimental with stuff and even release stuff that is not necessarily, I think why people would want to listen to, but it does open up a lot of room for new things to occur. I really respect creativity when it comes to diva as an artist, like people that really go there or are willing to push the envelope or try new things. I, and I think right now she's a big one. That's doing.

Eric:

That's awesome. I don't know a whole lot about her. I know she wasn't, she guested on a couple songs and I've heard, I know some of the songs that she's written, but I don't know a whole lot about her, so yeah.

Jeremy:

Yeah. I love singer songwriters. I like singer songwriters are really my jam.

Eric:

I respect that singer songwriters. Definitely. What ways do you think we could be better as a community?

Jeremy:

We can be better as a community. The first thing I think we could probably do better as a community is first off address one of the giant elephants in the room, which is just the representation of people of color within our community. The LGBTQ community has a long history with the POC community. A lot of gay people found refuge in redlined areas that a lot of Black people were segregated too. We found a lot of safety in those places. And for a long time, there was a strong allyship between the black community and the LGBTQ plus community and advocating for equality and race and stuff like that. And somewhere along there, Our community really had a lot of progression and we left people behind. So I would like to see a stronger respect and representation for that and support for that community. And really trying to give them a platform to speak and to be well-represented. And especially as I think for me in particular being a white man stepping up to the plate like other white men stepping up to play other white women and stepping up to the plate and really being like, Hey, we need to make space and not just base. We need to educate ourselves. We need to be good advocates. And we need to listen. We need to listen to people's needs and we need to really make sure we're doing our part as a member of the community to make sure that their needs are met and not just ours. The other thing I would like to probably see is just better conversations about sexual health and safe sex and really being open and honest and communicating better with each other. I think we have fallen into a position where we've been very fortunate to have a lot of advances in medicine that have, maybe made us feel like we don't need to be as communicative about sexual health or sex or safe sex practices and stuff like that. But I hope this is something that more people take time to enlighten themselves about understanding all the advancements we've made, but also I, taking a strong sense of responsibility for not just protecting themselves, but also protecting other members of our community. And then probably just avoiding the cliques. I would really appreciate if we were in a community where people felt welcome to come up to each other and talk to each other and feel like there was a space to just be respected and appreciated. I like I, I have been on both sides of that, where I have had opportunities to be a part of the groups of people that I guess would be considered, I don't know, like the cool kids or whatever. And, seeing how those groups can make other people feel. And then I've been on the other side of that equation where I have seen what it's like to feel excluded and not necessarily treated with a lot of respect or warm or welcoming. And I think I would just like to see everybody be a little bit kinder to each other when it comes to that kind of stuff. Is this it's just strange to me, I've had people I, I went through a pretty crazy transformation and, I had a, I had a strong goal of for fitness and stuff like that. I lost about 40 pounds. And, I really started to develop like a shape. That was a goal for me personally. But it was interesting to see how my interactions with people shifted as like my appearance shifted and people that wouldn't give me the time of day before suddenly were a lot more social with me. And what I also noticed on the other side of that was, People that I would interact with. There were people that I would talk to or interact with and stuff like that would be like why are you talking to me? And I was like why wouldn't I talk to you? And people almost feel weird that I would approach them or talk to them or be friendly to them. And I just keep to see that in our community. I feel we already deal with a lot of discrimination. We already deal with a lot of judgment from the outside world. It's really something we shouldn't be inviting into our community or of our bars. Yeah, absolutely.

Eric:

I completely agree. I think you said that very

Jeremy:

well. Yeah.

Eric:

So you mentioned a little bit about advancements in medicine and everything else. So have you guys heard of Cabenuva? It's the new HIV treatments that you get? It's an injection that you get once a month and it keeps you undetectable for people who are HIV positive.

Jeremy:

And so it's really, yeah,

Eric:

it just came out like just a couple of days ago. I heard about it. So it's like a once a month injection. So you're not having to take your pills or your pill daily. And then I know that they're coming they're in vaccination trials right now with an injectable. Obviously, if it's vaccination for prep where it's one or two shots a month for prep. So that might be something I look into since I can't take Truvada and I haven't tried Descovy yet. So

Jeremy:

just stay on track with all of that stuff to me, a project, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. Super forgetful. So I've had to get very self-disciplined.

Eric:

Yeah, I tried it for a little bit. I ended up in the hospital like two weeks after I wasn't put on Truvada. So they thought I had, they thought I was going into liver failure.

Jeremy:

Oh my God. Yeah.

Eric:

Oh yeah. I was in the hospital for a week and and that was the only, and I had just had like labs done, like literally done two, two and a half weeks prior to that. And the only change was that I had been put on Truvada, so I haven't tried Descovy yet just cause I'm hesitant because of that experience. What okay, let me try this again. What, if anything, do you wish the hetero population would realize or to learn about the LGBTQ community?

Jeremy:

I don't know this, a tough one now, because I feel like we've made a lot of advancements and it's weird because I feel like to like A classify it as the hetero community, like there's such a broad spectrum within that classification. You know what I mean? It's a very, a large box of people. I think if I would encourage them to, but I would encourage them to do anything. It would just be open-minded to hearing people out. You know what I mean? I don't think you necessarily have to subscribe to every idea within the LGBTQ plus community, because I'm in, to be honest with you. I think sometimes we're still trying to figure out what's happening with community. There's a lot of misunderstanding within our community. So I can only imagine what that confusion is generated for people. Beyond our community who don't understand the culture, who aren't involved in it on a day-to-day basis or see different people's experiences necessarily. But I think I would just hope that they could be, open-minded enough to have a discourse and as opposed to necessarily trying to feel so threatened that people are challenging the norms of tradition and stuff like that. Maybe be a little bit more open-minded to like, we are trying to understand everybody in the world. We're becoming a larger world. We're becoming a world that is a lot more connected than it's ever been before. New ideas are being presented. We're becoming a lot more. Self-aware and we're also becoming aware of a lot of different people that exist that maybe we didn't have any perception of previous years. Even like when I was growing up, it was like a whole different situation about how information was shared and passed on how we communicated with people. We live in a world now where you can literally communicate with people at the touch of a button from all over the world. And we're generating exposure to different places in the world, different communities and stuff like that. So I hope. They'll just be more open-minded to see it less as a threat on tradition and more as just maybe an open discourse of wow, we're becoming a lot more aware of people within our community that may have been underrepresented before. And maybe you could be a little bit more open-minded to hearing that out. Cause some of us have gotten a chance to express our issues. Femininity and masculinity and the challenge of that, or gay marriage or raising children or stuff like that. There's a lot of other social issues that we're becoming aware of within our community. And I'm hoping a heterosexual people will be just a little bit more willing to hear us out on some of that stuff and not always dismiss it as just being silly, ridiculous, or attention seeking. Yeah, absolutely. Anything else?

Eric:

Oh, I thought you were going to ask a question. I have plenty of questions to ask. I don't know how long you guys want to be on this podcast

Jeremy:

and tell it out. Like I have a whole week off. It's been wonderful. Oh, nice vacation. Like in over a year, if this is like the first time I took a week off and everybody's what are you going to do? And I'm just going to stay home. I don't think I'm going to stay home, but I'm not going to do anything. And they're like what is. Yeah, it was like, I don't want to, that sounds stress. That sounds like a lot of work. I just want to stay home,

Eric:

but you just moved into a new place.

Jeremy:

I did. I moved in a couple months ago and then of course I was traveling a lot for trade shows too. So I really haven't even had a chance soak it in or enjoy it. And it's been nice. I've been like taking my dogs out for walks and the neighbor sitting at home, just say just

Eric:

enjoying a moment since

Jeremy:

exists and not have to really have anything that I need to do. Yeah. Awesome. I think

Eric:

that's important. That's just as important, sometimes more important. So

Jeremy:

when you're always

Gil:

on the go, it's nice to slip slowed had a little bit.

Jeremy:

It really is.

Eric:

It's very underrated. So where do you find your strength and solace and how do you just push all the madness out and find your inner peace?

Jeremy:

Has been like an ongoing quest? Honestly, I feel like this year I gained a lot of perspectives about it. Like I had a pretty drastic year as far as like life changes and stuff like that. Like my entire world flipped on its head. And somewhere in the process of that, like I never thought I was going to be entering 30 with like my whole world being turned upside down and everything about my life changing. But when that all started to happen, I just surrendered to the universe and was like, you know what what if I just wasn't so concerned about what was happening in the future? And what if I just was really like what if my goal in life was really just finding joy in the present moment. And one of the things I started saying to myself every single day was when I started to stress. Okay. I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat today. I have a good group of friends that I could call at any point today if I need to I have my health and I that's everything I need for today. And that is one of those things that like, when I do start to really get concerned with a lot of those issues that are so big and far beyond me, I really just remember that there, those basic necessities or something I can be grateful for. And I don't need to check off the box of everything else, but if I have those things, like I'm good and just really being present and finding a moment in each day to like really count my things. I'm grateful for. For the really fortunate, I can't complain about my life.

Eric:

That's awesome. What types of things do you have going on now?

Jeremy:

I'll be, a lot of things, honestly, like too many things. I so like right now, obviously this year, the company I work for has just exploded. Thank you. I, we, four years ago when I started working with this company, I was like, they initially launched in the United States and I was handing samples of products out of the back of my car. Like I was packing it up my trunk and I was driving shop to shop. And I was trying to figure out how Instagram works and how all this stuff worked. Like I had no idea what I was doing when I launched this brand. And now it's just exploded over this year. It's been so busy. We have closed deals with like huge distribution. I ended up taking over not just the United States, but north America. So we now have accounts in Mexico and Canada as well. I have been working on some side projects and consulting with brands on their marketing, advertising, and promotion. And I've really found a lot of joy in doing that. I love helping people take their concept or their idea and refine it and come up with the specifics of what that could be for them. And tapping into their own creativity and showing them like the potential or the possibilities of what their business could be. Also just I moved into a new apartment, so I'm settling into that and I'm turning 30. I'm celebrating my 30th birthday. I went to, I booked myself a hot air balloon tour. So like I've never been in a hot air balloon. I'm absolutely terrified of Heights, but I was like, this is something I've always wanted to do. And trying to put some travel and stuff and just stay busy. So it's been cool. I can't complain. Awesome. It sounds

Eric:

like there's a lot going on and you have, you're doing your thing. So I think that's awesome. I want to thank you so much for spending this hour with us tonight and chatting with us. It was really great to just reconnect and be able to chat with you and learn more about your history and everything else. So I greatly appreciate you sharing yourself with us and with our audience. Thank you everybody. And we will be around next week.

Gil:

Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed your time in The Q Lounge. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions on topics, or if 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 podcasts. If you would like to further support us, hit that donation button

Eric:

until next time live in your authenticity.