[NANCY WHISTLE PLAYS]
TOBIN: First of all, how are you feeling?
KATHY: I’m not gonna lie, I don’t feel great. Mainly because my girlfriend and I both have some symptoms of the coronavirus. So … yeah. Not a — not a great time right now.
TOBIN: Yeah, yeah. Um, I just wanna assure everyone that we are monitoring it — and by “we,” I mean I am texting Kathy on the hour, every hour, to make sure she’s okay.
KATHY: [LAUGHS] It’s very much appreciated, and, uh, you’ve been very helpful, Tobin. You’ve been a really great friend and coworker. [TOBIN CHUCKLES] Um, are these the things you wanted to hear? I think they — they were, right? Am I missing something? [BOTH CHUCKLE]
TOBIN: Anyway … anyway!
KATHY: Anyway! [BOTH CHUCKLE]
TOBIN: Nancy listeners, uh, we wanted to jump back into your feed with an extra little something because, my god, it has been a time.
KATHY: Truly has been a time. It’s so rapidly changing that it’s kinda hard to keep up.
TOBIN: Yeah. And as we’ve heard from many of you, this pandemic, having to self-isolate, and all the effects of that have changed your lives in a big way.
[SENTIMENTAL MUSIC PLAYS]
HECTOR: My boyfriend and I, we don’t live together, so if suddenly things go sideways when we aren’t together, I’m so scared I won’t see him again.
ROCKET: I’m a personal trainer, so I can’t work from home. And while I’m not a high-risk person, if I get it, I know a lot of people who are. And if work closes because of panic or mandated quarantine — which, actually, it has already — I have zero ways to make money.
ALISON: And when you add that anxiety to my everyday anxiety of being a transgender woman in a country where you’re not always appreciated or thought of as a woman.
[MUSIC FADES DOWN SLOWLY]
KATHY: It’s a really scary and difficult time right now, and I think something that’s helping me feel even just, like, the tiniest bit of optimism is seeing how queer people are still finding ways to connect with each other.
TOBIN: Absolutely. And that’s something we think a lot about here at Nancy, is, you know, finding your people, your gaggle. And we’ve heard from so many of you that, even though you can’t meet up in person, you’re finding creative ways to stay connected.
[LIGHT MUSIC PLAYS]
VOX 1: Last week my senior class organized an impromptu graduation. It was really sad but it was really perfect for us because people got to use their chosen names without worrying about family and dress in ways that felt comfortable to them.
VOX 2: My friends and I are playing video games and watching movies over Google Hangouts.
VOX 3: My local queer community center is closed for the time being, but our program manager decided to stream the weekly activities.
VOX 4: We’ve planned a Google Hangout dance party last Friday and we’ll take turns DJing.
[MUSIC FADES UNDER]
TOBIN: So, in the spirit of reaching out, we’re going to connect with a couple of our people and find out how they’re thinking about keeping up a sense of community. So Kathy, what’s been helping you feel like you’re in touch with other queer people?
KATHY: Um, what’s helping me out during this time is hearing what other people are doing to take care of themselves. So I asked some Friends of Nancy to tell us about what’s bringing them comfort right now. First up, a little message from friend-of-the-show, SNL cast member, and general hilarious person, Bowen Yang!
[VOICEMAIL BEEP PLAYS]
BOWEN: Hi, Nancy! This is Bowen. I’m absolutely playing several MMORPGS, and that stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Really Pretty Gay? I think. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m playing Guild Wars 2, which is free-to-play and runs on most computers now, and I’m playing with some friends and it kinda does feel like you’re going outside with them. And you’re just sorta going on adventures and seeing a bunch of strangers outside, too, so it sorta simulates what the world used to be like a couple weeks ago. But it does feel kinda nice. I love you very much. Everyone, listen to what Kathy and Tobin say, and, um, follow everything they tell you to do. Love you. Bye!
[PHONE HANGS UP, LIGHT PERCUSSION PLAYS]]
KATHY: We love you too, Bowen. And, as he said, listen to everything we say, people.
TOBIN: Do what we say! Do what we say.
KATHY: Wash those hands! All the time.
TOBIN: Stay home! [KATHY LAUGHS]
KATHY: Um, you’ll hear from a few other folks sprinkled throughout the episode. Um, Tobin, what’ve you been thinking about recently?
[MUSIC FADES UNDER]
TOBIN: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do to be there for other queers, uh, who might be deeply affected by what’s happening. And one of the groups most at risk is LGBTQ elders. I talked to somebody at SAGE — they’re the national organization that offers services to LGBTQ elders, like meal delivery, and they have meet-ups at their senior centers. And they said queer elders are more likely to have been smokers, and may have additional health factors like HIV/AIDS. Uh, many are also hesitant to seek out medical care because of discrimination they’ve faced in the past.
KATHY: [OVERWHELMED] Wow. Okay, okay.
TOBIN: Yeah. So all of these things make queer elders more high-risk. And it means that a lot of them have to really self-isolate right now. And that can be really scary. [KATHY HUMS IN UNDERSTANDING] So I decided to call up one of the seniors that SAGE works with to see how she’s doing. Her name is Diedre Nottingham.
DIEDRE: And I’m 69 years young.
TOBIN: Where am I reaching you at right now, Diedre? Where are you?
DIEDRE: Right now I’m in Brooklyn, and I’m in my apartment, the Sage Stonewall House. I recently moved here in January, so I’ve been here for a little over a month. I’m so happy, because I raised my daughter right down the block from where I’m living at now.
TOBIN: Oh, wow!
DIEDRE: So it’s a blessing that I’m right back where I started from.
TOBIN: How are you doing with having to sort of self-isolate right now?
DIEDRE: Well, I’m an early bird also, so I get up six o’clock and I go outside for my morning walks.
TOBIN: Oh, gotcha.
DIEDRE: ‘Cause I have to go outside everyday and just breathe, see the air. I — I love the outdoors.
TOBIN: Is there anything you’re, sort of, most worried about with — with the pandemic and COVID-19?
DIEDRE: Yes. I’m afraid that if I go out, that I might catch it or [PAUSE] something. It makes me a little bit afraid to — to go out now.
One lady — I was in another store — she took all the toilet paper and I asked her, “Miss, can I just have one? There’s no way in possible you can use all of that toilet paper tonight.” And she just said, “No!”
TOBIN: Oh my god. [BEAT] What do you do every day? You — you mentioned you do your morning walk, and you talk to your daughters. Are there other things you’re doing to pass the time?
DIEDRE: I have a guitar.
DIEDRE: So I had taught myself to play two years ago, but I — I broke my finger. But I love country music! Yes. I love Willie Nelson, [INAUDIBLE]. But — but I’m a country girl by heart. My friends think I’m crazy, ‘cause they don’t like that music. But they love me, so they have to love my music.
TOBIN: [LAUGHS] Do you have a particular song you’re — you’re attempting to learn?
DIEDRE: The one by, um, Willie Nelson. “Mendocino County Line.”
[AN EXCERPT FROM THE SONG PLAYS: “Down at the stars on the Fourth of July, wishing we were rockets bursting into the sky …”]
DIEDRE: But I’m gonna get it right. I’m gonna get it right!
TOBIN: Thank you so much for making time to talk to me!
DIEDRE: Thank you, Tobin! And good luck to you, and I hope this stuff never reaches you.
TOBIN: I mean, same to you. Same as well.
DIEDRE: It was nice talking to you!
TOBIN: Yeah, it was nice talking to you!
DIEDRE: And I hope to talk to you soon!
TOBIN: Yeah, same! I would like that.
TOBIN: Have a good one.
[MORE FROM “MENDOCINO COUNTY LINE” PLAYS]
TOBIN: If you’re interested in learning more about SAGE and how you can get involved, we’re gonna throw some links on our website.
[MUSIC FADES OUT, VOICEMAIL INBOX BEEP]
TEGAN: Hi, Nancy listeners! It’s Tegan, from Tegan and Sara. Up in Vancouver. Sara and I and our family are doing well. We've been social distancing for a couple weeks now because we went to Los Angeles and all came home feeling kind of sick. But we're healthy now. My mom dropped off puzzles [PAUSE] a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve been allowing myself 15 minutes of puzzle time every day.
My big tip is that I feel a lot better since I created a schedule. I know for some of us it will be hard to find the energy to create a schedule, or to find enough activities to make one. But it really did help to sort of set a wake-up time and a bedtime and to try to continue to work from home. So I hope, no matter what all of you are doing at home, that you're remembering that — that we will get through this. There will eventually be a vaccine and we'll get to leave our houses again. If anyone wants my puzzle when I'm done, I will wipe down each piece with a bleach wipe, and I'm happy to send it. Maybe that’s, like, a fun game we could play. I could just send one piece — it’s a thousand-piece puzzle — to nine hundred ninety-nine people, and we could put it together virtually. That sounds hard, right?
[HANGS UP, PEPPY MUSIC PLAYS]
TOBIN: So, Kathy, something Nancy listeners may or may not be aware of is that we do not make this show alone.
KATHY: [INCREDULOUS] God, no. Are you kidding me?
TOBIN: Yeah. It would be real tough if it was just the two of us. [KATHY CRACKS UP] Anyway, because Nancy is a team effort, we wanted to hear from our team about what’s bringing them comfort during this time.
KATHY: Right. So, let us call them up! First, our producer, B.A. Parker.
TOBIN: Hey, Parker! It’s your supervisor-bosses calling. Just kidding! [ALL LAUGH]
PARKER: [HESISTANTLY] Hey!
KATHY: Yeah. Parker, as your bosses, please tell us what you’re doing. [LAUGHS] How are you doing?
PARKER: Um … I miss hugs, you guys.
PARKER: Like, social distancing is important, but also, hugs were nice. [TOBIN LAUGHS] Remember when hugs were a thing?
KATHY: Well, as your bosses, we can’t really do that. So, um …
TOBIN: We’re, like, a week away from BuzzFeed putting out a nostalgia list that’s like, “Ten Hugs You Remember from a Week Ago.”
PARKER: Just GIFs. [KATHY LAUGHS]
TOBIN: So, in place of hugs, uh, what are you doing right now to stay connected?
PARKER: I’ve been, like, talking to all of my friends and feverishly texting them. And, um, immediately, when all this stuff was happening, I wanted to talk to my friend Ariana.
KATHY: Who — who is Ariana?
PARKER: Well, Ariana is also an audio producer like myself. But they are just this great jolt of sunshine.
TOBIN: Mhm, mhm!
PARKER: Yeah, and I just wanted to see how they were doing. And I ended up realizing, y’know, in this current moment, even the sunniest of people are unsure in this time. And it’s okay to give even the cheerleaders in our lives the space to be unsure.
ARIANA: I — I think I had my major panic spiral, you know, recently. So I feel like [PAUSE] I'm kinda coming out of that, and mostly just taking things, like, minute-by-minute. I feel like, if I look too far ahead in terms of, like, what is happening, I feel panicky. So I'm trying to just slowly adjust my expectations of myself. Like, maybe, like, today you can only just think a few minutes or a day at a time. Maybe tomorrow you can think a week ahead. Maybe after that you can think two weeks, a month ahead.
PARKER: I was trying to think of the most positive-thinking, unjaded person to talk about this situation with. [ARIANA LAUGHS] And I immediately was like “Oh, Ariana. They — they’re just a light.”
ARIANA: [SHEEPISHLY] Oh! [BOTH LAUGH] I mean, I really appreciate you thinking that about me — and, for the most part, it’s true. It’s just — this just happens to be my actual, like, deepest, like, pathological phobia.
PARKER: Yeah. Right now, I’m super … not scared. [PAUSE] I know that I have to go to the market soon. Like, on maybe Thursday.
PARKER: And now I feel like I have to psychologically prepare myself for it.
ARIANA: Oof! I know, I know. Oh my gosh.
PARKER: Yeah, and so that’s where my head’s at right now. But what do you need right now?
ARIANA: I miss the ambient socializing of, like, being in a city, where you just have people around you. So I’m trying to figure out how to create that in my life. Like, what if I — like, would people, like, parallel play with me on Skype? Like, would, like — if I was just like, “Hey, I just wanna call you and be with you, y’know? We don’t need to, like, talk or anything. We can just do our stuff, and, like, be next to each other.” Like —
PARKER: Dude, I’ll do that with you.
PARKER: Yeah! There’s so much that’s unknown right now, and that can be overwhelming.
ARIANA: We’re all gonna learn so much about ourselves during this time. And I think that can go both ways. I think, for better or for worse, we’re gonna learn a lot about ourselves. Like, we’re gonna learn what we haven’t been paying attention to, or focusing on, or working on in ourselves. And that’s gonna be hard. And it’s gonna feel like maybe we don’t have the support or whatever we need to get through those things, [B.A. HUMS AFFIRMINGLY] and so I wanna acknowledge that. But I also think we’re gonna learn the ways in which we’re more resilient than we thought, or more creative than we thought, or more resourceful than we thought. You know? More compassionate. I dunno, it feels a little bit naive to be like, “What is the silver lining of the coronavirus?” [B.A. LAUGHS] There’s — it’s not a trade-off. Like, growth and suffering happen simultaneously in all things. In the times when we are forced to reckon with difficult things, we draw upon — hopefully — like, the best parts of ourselves as much as we can.
[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS]
TOBIN: Uh, Ariana sounds so lovely! I wanna check in with them on the regular now.
TOBIN: So good.
KATHY: Thank you for sharing with us, Parker.
PARKER: No problem, guys!
TOBIN: I’m giving you a virtual hug.
KATHY: I … am not. [LAUGHS]
PARKER: Oh my god, Kathy, just hug me. [TOBIN LAUGHS]
KATHY: Fine, fine. Virtual hug it is. Fine!
TOBIN: [CHUCKLES] There you go.
PARKER: You know what? I’ll take it. I’ll take that begrudging hug.
TOBIN: [LAUGHS] Alright. We’ll talk to you soon, Parker.
PARKER: Later, nerds.
KATHY: Bye, Parker!
[MUSIC FADES UNDER]
CHANI: Hey, y’all. It’s Chani Nicholas. What’s bringing me comfort and joy is rituals. So I've gotten actually much better at getting up in the morning and doing yoga and being in my body a little bit more. That really — it helps me, it helps to bring the anxiety down, and then I always do a little prayer and meditation ritual. I pull some tarot cards, light some candles at my altar, and spend some time with it. And that helps me to feel more connected to gratitude and also gives me a moment to reflect. And walks around the neighborhood, being in the sunshine and listening to the birds in springtime. Like, they do not care about a pandemic. They are doing their thing, which I am loving.
[MUSIC PLAYS UP FOR A BIT, THEN FADES OUT]
KATHY: Okay. So, who’s next? Who are we calling next?
TOBIN: I think we should call sound designer extraordinaire, Jeremy!
KATHY: Jeremy Bloom, how are you doing?
JEREMY: [IN A WHIMSICAL, HIGH-PITCHED VOICE] Hello! [GIGGLES] I’m doing okay. [BOTH HOSTS LAUGH] Trying to stay sane, which is hard, because I’m not sane in normal circumstances.
KATHY: That’s … very true.
JEREMY: But today I sent twenty hand-painted postcards to all of my nearest and dearest friends, including [DRAMATIC PAUSE] one of you!
TOBIN: [BRIEF BUT SHOCKED] Wow!
KATHY: [DRAWN-OUT] Wow!
TOBIN: Wow! [JEREMY CHUCKLES]
KATHY: I know it’s gonna be me. I know it.
JEREMY: I ran out of postage stamps!
KATHY: We’re best friends. I know.
JEREMY: I ran out of stamps. I ran out of stamps. There are more coming. [KATHY LAUGHS] I dunno, I’ve just been thinking about how queer people are connecting to each other. You know, we’re all stuck at home, we’re all lonely, and … [TRAILS OFF]
TOBIN: I see where this is going. I see where this is going.
KATHY: [DEADPAN] Where’s it going?
TOBIN: Horny. Everyone’s horny.
JEREMY: Yeah, every — yeah. We’re human. You know, let’s admit it, for a lot of us in this day and age, when we’re home and we’re lonely, we turn to certain phone apps to find [PAUSE, QUESTIONINGLY] relief.
JEREMY: So I was really curious how the makers of some of the biggest gay dating apps are responding to the unprecedented situation that we’re in.
ERIC: I’m Eric Silverberg. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Perry Street Software.
TODD: And I’m Todd Sowers. I work with Eric Silverberg as, uh, Perry Street Software’s Chief Operating Officer.
JEREMY: Perry Street Software makes two of the most popular gay dating apps on the market: Scruff and Jack’d. And so I asked them if they’ve noticed any changes in the past weeks as the world has rapidly shifted and everybody is stuck inside.
TODD: We have noticed record traffic on a weekly basis. But what we have noticed is that the amount of times per day that they open it is down a little bit, and we think that that is probably because people are figuring other things out right now.
KATHY: Yeah, I would imagine that the app makers have a lot to figure out right now, too.
TOBIN: Yeah. Like, if you’re the place that so many people turn to when they’re lonely and looking for company, like, as a digital spaces, do you have the same responsibilities of physical spaces to, y’know, promote social distancing and fight the spread of this virus?
JEREMY: Well, I think they do. And app-makers like Todd and Eric are thinking about what steps they need to take. They’ve removed all event listings, they’ve replaced them with links to local public health resources. They’re commissioning a comic book artist to make a really fun, queer guide to the importance of social distancing.
TOBIN: That’s cool! Uh, I am sort of wondering, is that really enough, though?
JEREMY: Yeah, that — that was kinda my question, too. Um, both Perry Street Software and their competitor, Grindr, are encouraging users to follow guidelines by the World Health Organization and the CDC. But those guidelines specifically recommend that you “Put distance between yourself and other people.”
KATHY: The very thing that is not conducive to dating or hooking up.
JEREMY: Yeah. So I asked the apps if they have plans to directly tell their users not to meet up. Grindr sent a kind of press release, said, we encourage people to “participate in social distancing as recommended by local authorities.”
And as for Perry Street Software —
JEREMY: Do you have plans to directly instruct your users, “No, do not meet up!”?
ERIC: Is that something that we would consider doing? Yes, absolutely.
JEREMY: And they did consider it. After we talked, they began the process of sending an app-wide message specifically asking their users to limit connections to only online interactions, and not meet in person. “Now is the time to stay home,” they say. “Remember that being physically distanced from each other doesn’t mean that we’re alone.” And Grindr also ended up sending a similar message.
TOBIN: I mean, I think it’s — it’s good that they’re saying something about not meeting up in person, but I have to say, like, if your app is primarily used to meet up, and to hook up, like, is just saying “Don’t do it!” enough? Like, part of me is like, shouldn’t they just shut down the apps for a little bit?
JEREMY: Yeah. I — I think the thing is, though, that, um, contrary to stereotype, queer dating apps can be — actually, they’re — they’re about more than just hooking up. Um, there was a period of my life that I was living in Istanbul, Turkey, and when I was there, I really discovered how these apps, for a lot of people, can mean a lot more than just an opportunity for casual sex or dating. And really, apps, and, at that time, websites, were really kind of the focal point of a kind of digital space that the queer community used to come together. I dunno. I think maybe this is an opportunity also to show that queer dating apps can be about more than just hooking up. And, in fact, Todd and Eric told me that over half their users say that they’re just looking to chat, and they’re not even really looking to meet up in the real world at all, pandemic or no pandemic.
ERIC: If people ask if we’re used for purpose XYZ, our answer is “Yes, and … !” You know, I fully expect that Scruff and Jack’d and queer apps more broadly are going to be used as a source of emotional support as much as anything else.
JEREMY: In — in the age of social distancing, are there any other options you think you would suggest your users consider?
ERIC: I think the idea of scheduling dates in the future is a great one. It gives us something to look forward to and it’ll, you know — we’ll have a very full social calendar once the crisis is past and people can go out again.
KATHY: I do like that idea of keeping something in mind down the road that you’re looking forward to. That — that feels very helpful to me right now.
JEREMY: Totally. Um, and if you are looking for more explicit — get it, “explicit”? [CHUCKLES] — guidelines —
KATHY: Jeremy! [A MIX OF LAUGHTER FROM ALL THREE]
JEREMY: — for more explicit guidelines on sex and hooking up right now, the New York City Department of Health released a really helpful, cool, sorta hip guideline sheet all about the realities of sex during the COVID-19 outbreak.
TOBIN: Oh, I saw those! It kinda reminded me of, like, a hip, badass sex ed teacher I wish I had in school. [ASIDE] But I did not.
JEREMY: [LAUGHING] Yeah, totally!
KATHY: [LAUGHS] Yeah.
JEREMY: We’ll link to it on the show page. It’s really inclusive. It even advises you to, like, wipe down your keyboard after any hot sexting or video sharing. And [WHISPERING] it even covers rimming!
TOBIN: [QUICKLY] Okay! Bye, Jeremy!
KATHY: Bye! [ALL LAUGH]
TOBIN: You know, Kath, while we’re on the topic of being maybe a little horny at home …
KATHY: Oh god, Tobin. No. Where are we going with this? No.
TOBIN: Stick with me. Stick with me. [KATHY SIGHS] I’m just saying, this is reminding me that, if someone is looking for something they can enjoy on their own, and that also maybe has a little steam to it, Cameron Esposito’s new book is coming out.
KATHY: That’s right! Cameron’s new book is called Save Yourself. It’s her memoir all about growing up, figuring out her gender and sexuality. And she sent us a little reading from her book for you all to enjoy.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC FLOURISH]
CAMERON: First I touched her face. I’d never understood where to put my hands when kissing men. I may have held the back of Nate’s head when we kissed, or I might have touched Ian’s arm.
But when I began kissing Jo, I suddenly understood that no gesture makes more sense than resting your fingers under a person’s ears, pressing your palms against their cheeks and pulling them toward you. We were both small but she was smaller, and she had to tilt her head up to kiss me.
For a moment, everything was slow. Then shit got frantic. We kissed a feral, summer-apart, therapy-parents-crying kiss. Jo whipped her t-shirt off over her head as I unbuttoned her jeans and mine, and soon we were naked and lying on top of the crustiest, itchiest motel bedspread.
I’d seen parts of Jo: her shoulders, her breasts, and the tattoo on her left ankle. But not all of her, all together, like that. For the next hour — for the next eight hours — I felt and looked at her.
The man I had dated were muscular and slim-waisted, with broad shoulders and an action figure’s upside-down triangle shape. I had compared myself against them and felt bad about myself. But Jo’s body was’t proportioned like theirs. She had strong runner’s tights and rounded shoulders. She was more petite all over than particularly small at the waist. Seeing her, I felt something new. I had always imagined my boyfriends loved me in spite of my body. I hadn’t imagined that I was beautiful to them — that I turned them on. But here I was with this person and her body, which looked a lot like my body, and I was basically about to explode. It’s not like I was healed overnight, but seeing Jo that way shifted the body dysmorphia I had been trapped within for so long, and that my heterosexual relationships were totally unequipped to bridge. It was the beginning of my understanding that you could be utterly attracted to and in love with the way a person looks without any thought of how it compares to the beauty standard that we’re sold our whole lives.
[AMBIENT MUSIC FLOURISH]
KATHY: That was comedian Cameron Esposito. Her book, Save Yourself, is out now.
TOBIN: Alright, I think we have one last phone call to make.
KATHY: And that is to producer Zakiya Gibbons!
KATHY: How’s it goin’? [ZAKIYA SIGHS A LONG SIGH] Wow, that sigh says it all.
TOBIN: Yeah! [ALL LAUGH]
ZAKIYA: I know. I’ve just been, like, sighing … You know “Dancing On My Own”? It’s “I’ve been sighing on my own,” which is even sadder. [ALL LAUGH]
TOBIN: Aw, Zakiya!
ZAKIYA: No, no, no! Let me — I [LAUGHS] — I’m being dramatic. There are worse things happening. But honestly, um, [SIGHS] social distancing is hard! [LAUGHS]
ZAKIYA: Especially as — I would consider myself an extrovert, it took an unexpected toll on my mental health. Like, it really affected me more than I thought it would. I’ve been honestly pretty, um, pretty depressed.
ZAKIYA: Lonely isn’t the word, but it feels like part of me is missing.
ZAKIYA: Yeah. So, uh, luckily, I do live with a roommate — uh, my friend Lauren. And we decided to do something fun. Just to, you know, shake things up, try to get back to normal life. But first, we had to get ready.
LAUREN: Zakiya, too much?
ZAKIYA: [EXCLAIMING] Oh my god! [LAUGHS] You look amazing, though! Wait, should I put on my dress?
LAUREN: Put on your dress! Like, let’s do it!
[AUDIO FADES UNDER]
KATHY: Wait, Zakiya! What do you mean, you guys are getting ready to do something fun? Like, we’re all under quarantine right now! What are you doin’?
LAUREN: This club is cat-friendly, people!
ZAKIYA: Pop your pussycats! Okay!
[DANCE MUSIC PLAYS]
ZAKIYA: Okay, so, we did not leave our apartments. We stayed our asses in Brooklyn, because leaving our apartments would be very irresponsible!
TOBIN: Right, true.
ZAKIYA: However, we did go — quote-unquote “go” — to a club called Club Quarantine, which is this really cool, really fun, queer virtual dance party. It’s, um, held on Zoom — you know, the video conferencing website. You know! We use Zoom for our meetings!
TOBIN: Very familiar.
KATHY: Yeah, Zoom. Mhm!
ZAKIYA: Yes! So, um, they put up a code right before the party starts at 9 o’clock, and then you sign in. Um, so yeah, everyone is just partying in their apartments, but together, online.
KATHY: And — and then, like, you — you can see each other?
ZAKIYA: There’s, like — there’s — oh my god — 118 participants. There’s, uh, a couple people dancing with a backdrop of these sunflowers, you see all these other squares, Brady Bunch-style, of people just boppin’ wherever they’re at. Oh my god, someone is wearing a sheet face mask! I wonder if people are in the chat room. It’s like when you go outside to smoke, and you just chat with random people.
ZAKIYA: The chat room is going outside for some air. Oh my god, people are talking!
LAUREN: Let’s talk!
ZAKIYA: Oh, someone is asking, “Where is everyone from?” Someone says, “Earth.” This is like AIM days! [TYPING] Brooklyn! What would I do at a real party? I can shake my ass!
LAUREN: Yeah, you could!
LAUREN: Twerk sesh!
LAUREN: [READING A MESSAGE] “Damn, y’all cute.”
ZAKIYA: Oh! Oh, it’s like we’re getting hit on at the club.
TOBIN: Oh my god, Zakiya, that sounds so fun!
ZAKIYA: Oh! They’re voguing! They’re voguing! “Ok, hands!”
[AUDIO FADES UNDER]
ZAKIYA: It was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. You know how I said that something felt like it was missing?
ZAKIYA: I felt like, that part of me — I got it back, and I’ve just been able to carry that glow with me. And I just [BREATH] feel like myself again. Yeah.
TOBIN: That’s good. That’s what we like to hear!
ZAKIYA: Oh my god, I’m actually making a friend in this club right now. Aw! “Hi from Sudbury. Best party I’ve been to in months.” Aw, that’s so sweet! “Everyone should cheers to the camera at the same time!”
ZAKIYA: Someone says “Ready? On ‘one’, we cheers.” Three, two, one! Cheers! Aw, everyone’s cheers-ing! And someone says, “I’m gonna cry in this bitch.” [LAUREN LAUGHS]
KATHY: You gonna go to another one?
ZAKIYA: Oh, for sure. And I’ve been inspired to get back on my party-throwing grind, and I think I’m gonna be throwing a lot of virtual parties, so look out for my invites. Turn up.
TOBIN: [LAUGHING] Amazing.
ZAKIYA: Oh my god, someone says, “They are saving our mental health!” That is very true. This is, like, the most normal I’ve felt in a long time. [LAUGHS] Someone said, “Everyone, make out. Go.” [LAUREN AND ZAKIYA LAUGH] Okay, so I said, “When we’re not all quarantined, we should have an IRL dance party,” and one of the organizers said, “We will, bb.” Aw! I would love that. [PAUSE] Oh my god. [PAUSE] “Stay Healthy.” “Iconique.” This is iconic. This is. [LAUGHS]
PERSON ON ZOOM: Thank you everybody! Thank you, thank you, thank you! [ZAKIYA AND LAUREN CHEER]
[MUSIC OUT, AS AUDIO FROM CLUB QUARANTINE PLAYS UNDERNEATH]
TOBIN: That’s our show. We’re still dreaming up ways that we can connect with you all, so make sure to join us at the “Friends of Nancy” Facebook group, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. We are @nancypodcast.
KATHY: Our staff includes Jeremy Bloom, Zakiya Gibbons, and B.A. Parker. Suzie Lechtenberg is our executive producer. I’m Kathy Tu.
TOBIN: I’m Tobin Low.
KATHY: And Nancy is a production of WNYC Studios.
TOBIN: Stay healthy. Stay isolated, folks.
ZAKIYA: Um, is everybody leaving? Like, what’s going on? Did the club just close?
[MORE CHATTER UNDERNEATH, THEN IT FADES OUT]
ZAKIYA: Everyone is single, oop!