KATHY: We have some guests today!
TOBIN: Guests that we love.
TOBIN: You wanna introduce yourselves?
BEN: Aww, man! We love you, too! [AMORY LAUGHS] This is Ben Brock Johnson.
AMORY: I’m Amory Sivertson.
KATHY: Tobin, you have some, uh, you have some history with Ben.
TOBIN: I used to be his intern. It’s true. [AMORY LAUGHS]
KATHY: Ben, what was Tobin like as an intern?
BEN: He was … almost as good as he is now.
KATHY AND TOBIN: [SIMULTANEOUSLY] Aww!
TOBIN: Wait, was that a compliment?
BEN AND TOBIN: [SIMULTANEOUSLY] Yes! [KATHY LAUGHS]
TOBIN: Wait, I’m trying to … [TALKING TO HIMSELF] He was almost as good as he is …
TOBIN: Oh! It is a compliment!
BEN AND KATHY: Yes!
TOBIN: Thank you! Thank you.
BEN: It means you’ve always been great …
AMORY: You’re getting better and better.
BEN: But, like, you’re getting better with age. That’s all I’m saying.
TOBIN: Ugh. Thank you!
BEN: It’s true!
KATHY: Ben and Amory, we have you on the show because we are excited to play one of your episodes of your show, called “Endless Thread,” about Reddit.
KATHY: Tobin, how much do you know about Reddit?
TOBIN: I know that I'm scared of it. [KATHY LAUGHS] I know that I am terrified of it. Every scary internet story mentions Reddit [KATHY LAUGHS] so I can only imagine it's the “Bad Place.”
BEN: But Tobin, we’re there all the time, and we’re — we’re still okay!
AMORY: We’re good! But you’re not alone.
TOBIN: That’s exactly what someone who joins a cult says. [KATHY AND AMORY LAUGH]
BEN: [INVITINGLY, BUT CREEPILY] Join us! Join us!
KATHY: Okay, will — will you — will you all please, um, dissect Reddit just a little bit for us.
AMORY: Yes. So, Reddit is basically just this big online forum of communities. So, the communities are called “Subreddits,” and the communities are sometimes devoted to a very particular interest, like ultra marathon running, or something crazy like that.
AMORY: Or it's something really broad, like the “Aww” subreddit which just features adorable animals.
KATHY: Oh, I've been there. [TOBIN AND BEN MAKE NOISES LIKE “AWW”]
TOBIN: Oh, I get it!
AMORY: Yeah! There you go. So the next time you see something scary, Tobin, just go to “Aww.”
BEN: So, the thing I've realized is that as the Internet goes, so does Reddit. And Reddit calls itself “The Front Page of the Internet,” right? So, if you find things … dark corners of the Internet … Reddit may also have some of those dark corners, too. And one of the things that's interesting is, Reddit is essentially run by volunteers, right? Each one of these subreddits actually has moderators — these people who, on a volunteer basis, kind of control this subreddit and have the ability to make the rules and enforce the rules.
BEN: So that's another interesting aspect to how it works. So, for this episode we talked to a lot of moderators. One of which is this guy, named Brad.
BRAD: Um, my Reddit name is PM_me_your_tits_girl.
AMORY: Okay, so, his Reddit user name, we admit, sounds a little unsavory.
KATHY AND TOBIN: Uh-huh. Yeah.
AMORY: “PM,” as in personal message, on Reddit. And then the rest, I think, is pretty self-explanatory. But Brad told us that his username is just a joke. It's all meant in good fun. Although you may be skeptical of that when you hear this.
[ECHO-Y BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
BRAD: Some of the subreddits that I've taken over are [OVERLAPPING] “Fat Pussy,” “Pocket Pussy,” “Wet Pussy,” “Pussy Pics,” “Pussy GIFs,” “Small Pussy,” “Shaved Pussy,” “White Pussy,” “Pussy Licker,” “Black Pussy,” “Hot Pussy,” “Guys with Huge Pussies,” “Skinny Pussy,” “Loose Pussy,” “Pretty Pussy,” “Tiny Pussy,” “Chubby Pussy,” and that is it.
[ECHO-Y BACKGROUND MUSIC FADES OUT]
KATHY: I just don't know if I believe him. I just — I don’t know.
TOBIN: Yeah. It's a hard sell.
BEN: That is totally fair, um, and some might say the jury is out. But Brad is talking about taking over subreddits. Um, and this is what this story is about. So, when you go to these pages you don't actually see things that are Not Safe For Work [NSFW]. When you go to these subreddits that Brad is talking about, you actually see cats
TOBIN: Aww, cats.
BRAD: So the latest one is “Hot Pussy,” which is basically … it's gonna be cats in front of heaters, fireplaces, windows … cats in warm places.
AMORY: So Brad is kind of one of these super-users on Reddit, or super moderators, that not only oversees specific communities but will actually take over communities, like the ones that he listed before, and turn them into something else entirely.
BEN: And we kind of think of them as this, like, League of Extraordinary Trolls.
KATHY: In other words, a bunch of Internet trolls.
TOBIN: Trolling for good.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
AMORY: Which is why we want to introduce you to DrewiePoodle.
DREWIE: Hi I'm DrewiePoodle on Reddit.
AMORY: Drewie is a super Reddit user, and a trans woman, with a doozy of a life story.
BEN: And where are you from?
DREWIE: How much time do you have? [BOTH LAUGH] I was born in Singapore.
DREWIE: Went to the army there.
DREWIE: And, um, went to school there, graduated, came … here to the US, started working, then stayed. Got married.
BEN: So you were in the Army in Singapore?
DREWIE: Yeah. Well you really haven't lived life until you've actually tried to cross a river filled with crocodiles and people on either bank with loaded M-16s looking out for you. Like almost any other trans person, a lot of us just joined because it would be easier to die in the service of your country than it is to come out. I just signed up for the most, you know, the unit that had the most training accidents, I'd say. So … Singapore is a lot of things, what it isn't is conducive to life for any queer person.
AMORY: This unit that Drewie was in is called the Singapore Guards. It is no joke. Elite. Versatile. Focused on combat.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC FADES OUT]
[RECORDING FROM SINGAPORE GUARDS TRAINING PLAYS, WITH A PERSON YELLING ORDERS]
BEN: Also, Drewie purposefully got into a river with crocodiles, which means she knows about dangerous situations.
DREWIE: I figured if I died in that service I wouldn't have to go through the rest of, you know, life … figuring out how to leave. But I lived through that and … the next step was basically coming over here. I got a student visa, came over here. By the time I got here I was, like, 24, I thought it was too late to transition. So I figured, “Meh. I'll just party as hard as I can.” And I didn't expect to hit 30.
BEN: Can I ask you how old you are now?
DREWIE: I'm 46. I came out when I was 39. We call it second puberty ‘cause it's literally going through puberty again. Your body's trying to get used to these new hormones. I literally have the sex drive of a teenager and it's driving me nuts. In this, like, middle-age body.
BEN: Tell me a little bit about how you came to Reddit.
DREWIE: Um, I came like almost any other trans person. There's a support sub I moderate now call r/asktransgender. And that's pretty much the first stop for almost … everybody. A lot of the other posts that we deal with are for cries for help and there are a lot of, like, suicide posts there. At least like one a day.
[SLOW BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
AMORY: This tells you a little bit about where Drewie is coming from. She has a personal experience of being in a marginalized group, and she’s also seen the fallout of that online.
BEN: And at a certain point, Drewie became aware of some misinformation that was being spread about trans people on parts of Reddit. She wanted to help stop the spread of bad info. So she tried to locate the source.
DREWIE: Which kind of led me into the hate subs, right? It was just like … There were a couple of anti-trans subreddits. They were called “Coontown” and “Transfags.” And they were essentially a cesspool of hate. “Coontown” was anti-black but — again — they hated queers equally. “Transfags,” obviously, used to follow all the posts on all the trans subreddits and they posted snippets and they would twist our words.
BEN: Drewie found terrible stuff. And we should say that the two subreddits she just mentioned got straight-up banned by Reddit administrators for running afoul of the site’s rules. But there are others. Some fall into this gray area. Subreddits built around offensive topics, but … that are kind of abandoned.
[SLOW BACKGROUND MUSIC ENDS]
AMORY: Still others that aren’t anything yet, but COULD be a thing in the future. Think of it almost like how people buy website domain names, or grab Twitter handles, and then squat on them — either so that they can profit, or so they can prevent them from being used for nefarious purposes.
BEN: Right. And then there are other communities where the moderators have been stripped of privileges for bad behavior. And in the vacuum, other people, like Drewie, can swoop in and request moderator powers over the subreddit.
DREWIE: So, there's a small window where there's a chance for you to actually step in and if you have a good idea, you know, use your troll power for good and not evil … then the chances are they'll give it to you. So I just wrote a really funny post requesting r/faggots and telling them I would turn it into a sub that was all about bundles of sticks.
BEN: Drewie had this plan to retake ownership of the word by making the subreddit about its less offensive definitions: bundles of sticks, cigarettes.
DREWIE: What better way to troll the trolls than to actually take over those subs that they’ve — you know, that they use for hate?
BEN: This trolling for good seems like another version of Drewie swimming with crocodiles. But she’s not the only one wading into dangerous waters. She’s part of a unit.
AMORY: A unit of internet badasses — many of them trans women.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
PENNY: Hi, I'm Penny Oaken. I go by BardFinn on Reddit.
BEN: Penny saw what Drewie was doing, and enlisted.
PENNY: I said, “Let's do this. Let's make it so that this completely subverts the expectations of anybody who visits this subreddit and there's going to be a lot of people who have a lot of hatred in their heart who type in this URL.” And we did.
AMORY: Penny’s been involved in a number of other takeovers since then.
PENNY: There's “Trannies,” which became, uh, transmission oriented, um, about automotive transmission.
AMORY: Also “White Rights,” which used to be a white supremacist subreddit. Now, it’s about different shades of white. And whether or not eggshell is technically a white paint color.
BEN: Eggshell, by the way, totally not white.
AMORY: I agree. [BOTH LAUGH] I actually agree! And Penny says this type of humor serves a very specific purpose.
PENNY: Every hate group, every fascist movement … they all tend to gravitate around a narrative that they have a purpose and that, by doing these things, they are fulfilling this mythical purpose. And the very best thing you can do is to puncture their balloon. [LAUGHS] Show how they’re ridiculous. Show how they’re funny. Lampoon them. Do exactly what Mel Brooks did with Hitler in The Producers.
BEN: The Producers! You know, that ‘60s film that became a stage musical that became a film of a stage musical starring Nathan Lane, as Hitler.
[CLIP FROM THE SHOW, WITH TWO CHARACTERS SINGING “HEIL HITLER” OVER BROADWAY MUSICAL STYLINGS]
BEN: The show is about two guys who come up with a highly offensive Nazi-themed musical designed to flop … that is a hit when it is mistaken for satire.
PENNY: And in a second, in an instant, just [SNAPS] snap! — He goes from serious mythological figure to entirely camp, gay nellie. Complete stereotype. [SINGING WITH THE MUSICAL] “Heil … myself! Heil to me!”
[MUSICAL CONTINUES ALONE, WITH ONE SINGER AND A LAUGHING CROWD IN THE BACKGROUND: “I’m the crowd who’s out to change our history. Heil myself! Raise your hand! There’s no greater dictator in the land! Everything I do, I do for you …”]
[MUSICAL FADES OUT, BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
AMORY: I think Penny’s point here is that even though this elite team of Redditors is using humor, their larger mission is much more serious. They want to take power away from people promoting hate.
PENNY: That is what we aim to do, is to put in front of people that kind of moment where they can look at anybody that they have set on a pedestal, that is spewing hate, and we want them to laugh at them. Because, as soon as they laugh at them, that's the moment in which they change their mind.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC CHANGES, BECOMES MORE DRAMATIC]
AMORY: This is a really important point to get. Before the takeover, a subreddit might have long lists of pictures or videos of LGBTQ people or people of color being attacked, or articles from dubious news sites encouraging hate. Or maybe it’s crude, misogynistic pornography. You don’t even need to look at the comments to see that what happens in these places is ugly.
BEN: And lot of the stuff that gets posted in these communities once they’re taken over — the pussycat jokes, the bundles of sticks … Even the infamous subreddit for the early white nationalist website “Stormfront” being turned into innocuous information about extreme weather patterns …
AMORY: Such a good one.
BEN: … it all may be humorous or absurd. But it’s also a form of activism. And sometimes, it works. Here’s Drewie again.
DREWIE: I've gotten PMs from people, direct messages, that said, “Hey, you know,” it's like, “Thanks for that post. You actually, instead of yelling at me, you actually explained it enough that I can kind of, you know, I — I’ve changed my mind, like, I'm sorry for the hate.” And I've had a couple — quite a few of those.
[DRAMATIC BACKGROUND MUSIC ENDS]
AMORY: People like Drewie and Penny are in what they consider to be an existential battle. Their group is small, but fierce. And committed. One more person we talked to who’s fighting this battle is Melinda Brown of North Carolina. Known on Reddit as T-Dumbsford.
MELINDA: I don't mind linking my real name to my Reddit name. I don't care. I was doxxed a long time ago. I'm a trans woman. I’m 48 years old. And I spend most of my time on Reddit fighting against hate speech, and I'm very active in activism in real life as well.
BEN: Melinda’s life story is her own. But the challenges she has faced may sound familiar.
MELINDA: I grew up in Charlotte. I … uh, a pretty stereotypical queer childhood. I didn't have a lot of friends, I got beat up a lot. You know, the usual. But it wasn't really until a couple years ago — that I started transition — that I felt completely comfortable and happy with myself. And that's when life began to sort of turn a corner. But leading up to that point, I don't know … I'd had a divorce and that's sort of what threw me into that tailspin. And I realized that, you know what? You're going to have to fix this. Because I'm not going down without a fight.
BEN: Part of Melinda’s way of fighting was finding the trans community on Reddit, and Reddit, she clearly loves.
MELINDA: I mean, uh, there's awesome stuff on there. You can learn about dinosaurs and horticulture and, I mean, all kinds of things. It's great! The good outnumbers the bad. There's a lot of, like, political subreddits that aren't hateful that don't align with my ideologies. And I view them! Because I don't want to live in an echo chamber. I'm distinguishing between the actual hatred — I mean, sometimes you can't hear the good because the bad is so damn loud!
[BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
AMORY: Because the bad is so damn loud, Melinda has become focused on subreddit takeovers. She’s part of this elite force.
MELINDA: I'd say there's a — a cohort of about 20 of us [PAUSE] who are plugged into social justice. We're not all queer, but a lot of us are.
BEN: Melinda’s a little bit unique, though. Because, while a lot of these takeovers are about simple requests for abandoned or yet-to-be-claimed hateful communities, Melinda has gone undercover. Infiltrated hateful communities to try to take them over, from the inside, like a Trojan horse.
AMORY: Take, for example, the subreddit “Slut Justice,” which Melinda says used to be all about — quote-unquote — slut-shaming.
MELINDA: It was created by someone who I was aware of. And I literally just asked the guy, “Hey, can I mod here?” And he was like, “Yeah okay.”
BEN: Melinda was part of the subreddit moderators’ private conversations. And she says she tried to keep a low profile while participating enough in the chatter as to fit in behind enemy lines. It’s often a waiting game, because these users will break the rules.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC SLOWLY FADES OUT]
MELINDA: And then, slowly but surely, all — because they're horrible people, all their accounts started getting banned until I was the last one standing. But the content that we wiped when we took it over was horrible. I mean, it was just horrible. You know. And we just deleted everything and then we started posting body positivity and stuff like that … and it made the old subscriber base — who used to post the hateful content — it made them so mad. And that's where — that’s where they start accusing us of being the real bad guy, ‘cause we hate free speech. [PAUSE] We don't hate free speech. [PAUSE] We don't hate anybody! We just won't tolerate hate. And if people want to spin this narrative that their speech is sacrosanct and what we're doing is horrible and terrible — I can't help em. I'm not going to change their minds. And I'm not going to try to. And you know, I mean, [EXHALES] if someone comes into your living room and starts ranting about black people or gay people or something, you're going to throw them out of your house. And I don't understand why Reddit doesn't do that. Throw them out. You know? Get rid of ‘em.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
BEN: This is a fair question. So, you know what’s next, right? We figured we should talk to our partners in making this show — Reddit. About subreddit takeovers.
AMORY: That’s coming up, in a minute.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC ENDS]
TOBIN: And we're back with an episode of “Endless Thread.”
KATHY: Here's Ben.
BEN: Christine, do me a favor and do what we call a self-ID. So, who you are, and what you do.
CHRISTINE: I'm Christine Moellenberndt and I'm a Community Manager at Reddit.
BEN: What does that mean?
CHRISTINE: So the best way that I can think of to describe my job is that I'm a bridge between the community and my company. So I bring the concerns of the community to the appropriate teams at my company and then I explain the company thinking back to my community. So, I help my community where they need help and I shitpost with them whenever possible. Can I say “shitpost” on public radio?
BEN: [LAUGHS] Yes, you definitely can.
CHRISTINE: Yay! [BEN LAUGHS]
BEN: Um, how did you first learn about how some Redditors are taking part in this idea of, like, taking over and changing the nature of hateful subreddits?
CHRISTINE: So, I kind of found out about it right when I joined Reddit. I think the first one that I came across was r/faggots. Right when the request came in to transfer that over.
BEN: [PAUSE] What is the conversation, how do you decide on how to allow or whether to allow a subreddit takeover?
CHRISTINE: Sure. So, we actually have — we have a whole process for this and we have an entire subreddit for it called r/RedditRequest. You can petition to take over a subreddit. And in order to take it over, the subreddit pretty much has to be orphaned. And then we review the person making the request. And if we feel the request is being made in good faith then, uh, we will go ahead and transfer the subreddit over. We’ll remove any dormant mods that are there and then we'll add the new person on.
BEN: How would you describe Reddit’s approach when it comes to policing things like hate speech, or moderating things like hate — hate speech on the site? That's got to be a tricky needle to thread, right? Like, on the one hand y— the company and the company's CEO has been pretty adamant about protecting free speech. But on the other, there are some communities on Reddit that have been beyond the pale, right, in terms of what they promote? So how do you make choices about who you allow to take over what?
CHRISTINE: So, we don't police belief. We police behavior. Um, we believe that community governance works and our communities are allowed to create their own rules — kind of on top of our own sitewide policies. And we equip them to govern themselves in the way that works the best for them.
BEN: What do these types of subreddit takeovers say to you about the Reddit community, um, and about the Internet in general?
CHRISTINE: Oh, it absolutely gives me faith in humanity. I mean, you know, yeah, there are people who are going to go out there to sow discord and harm and, you know, be not fun people to be around.
CHRISTINE: But there are just as many — if not more — who want to take those hateful and harmful places and they want to turn them into humor and flower gardens and cats purring and things that can just bring smiles to people's faces.
BEN: Some of the users we've talked to point out a complexity here or or an issue here, which is: these subreddits are being taken over but they're not just being straight banned. Why is that?
CHRISTINE: [DEEP INHALE, PAUSE] Well, again, you know, we don't police belief. We police behavior. Um … [PAUSE] so, when it comes to enforcing, like, we focus on the sitewide rules and our policies. And if a comm— if a community is breaking those consistently, then we are going to action them. And [PAUSE] if it gets to that point then we have a team, our Trust and Safety team, that will — that can speak to that a little more in-depth than I could.
CHRISTINE: But, you know, if — if a community has been actioned to the point where that we have banned it, then, you know, that's because they have consistently and constantly broken our rules and that's it.
BEN: I guess part of the thing that I worry about in covering this story and talking about this story is that … [PAUSE] in my mind, as hard as this is, the thing that really needs to happen in this political moment that we are in is that, like, people need to talk to each other and [PAUSE] find empathy for each other that they don't have right now. Umm. And I worry that this is sort of, like, a sidebar, like, other than, like, making the world a better place in a very kind of, like, we made this subreddit a funny thing, or we made this subreddit a better thing, do you feel like it's actually making some of these people who are hateful sort of reconsider some of their ideas?
CHRISTINE: Well, one of the things that I really love about Reddit is that it is a place where communication happens long form, um, which … it doesn't seem to happen a lot of other places. Places like r/ChangeMyView, you know, where people come all the time to — you know — change my view on a thing. There are a lot of places where you can go on Reddit to have these kinds of conversations. And if you can't find empathy through a cat GIF then, you know … I don't know if I want to talk to you.
BEN: [LAUGHS] Fair. Thanks a lot, Christine. We really appreciate your time.
CHRISTINE: Thank you so much.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC STARTS]
AMORY: Like all the internet’s big platforms, this conversation is complicated, for Reddit. Because the site really is built around this idea that it’s run by and for Redditors. Communities self-police through moderators and Redditors upvote content, and so they decide what gets seen.
BEN: Right. And we should also say that Reddit does have pretty explicit rules of the road when it comes to behavior, and that they’ve got people constantly working on enforcing those rules. Things like: Don’t post sexual content related to minors. Don’t sell and buy illegal stuff on Reddit. Don’t post someone else’s personal information. Don’t break the law. There are also rules against harassment, and against glorifying and inciting violence. But … these regulations stop short of what Melinda described as throwing the bigots and racists and homophobes out of your living room.
AMORY: There is a small but committed group of people at the other end of the spectrum, who think throwing the bigots out goes too far. Who would even say that, in its current state, Reddit has bent a knee to the more progressive-minded users on the site.
BEN: There is no question that some of the people making this argument are racists and bigots and homophobes — the people participating in the communities being taken over. But there are others, who say they aren’t any of those things. They’re just committed to protecting free speech. So, we should define the argument for protecting those other perspectives — really, all perspectives. The quote-unquote free speech argument.
AMORY: We did get in touch with a few Redditors who believe and advocate for more free speech across the site. And their philosophy goes like this: The more that Redditors take over subreddits, and the more administrators facilitate these takeovers, the more they’re endorsing a certain set of beliefs.
BEN: And even though they might find a lot of the icky stuff — homophobic, racist, bigoted stuff — personally offensive and abhorrent, pushing it off Reddit is equivalent, they say, to silencing opinions you disagree with.
AMORY: One of these Redditors said that it’s like the Reddit equivalent of using noisemakers to drown out controversial speakers on campus … and that getting rid of offensive subreddits doesn’t actually eliminate offensive perspectives, it only eliminates opportunities for engaging with and challenging those perspectives. Another described takeovers as going against the wild-west feel of early Reddit, which he described as a, quote, “universal platform for human discourse.”
BEN: Of course, many people would argue that allowing bigoted, hateful speech isn’t helpful for human discourse, and actually makes it more difficult. And the women we talked to said over and over again that this isn’t about erasing ideas they disagree with. It is about erasing safe spaces for people who are threatening their existence.
AMORY: Also, there are real consequences even for just cleaning up the mess. Drewie says she got doxxed for the role she was playing in subreddit takeovers. And it interfered with her job.
DREWIE: I had to go to my H.R. department to give them a heads-up because they knew where I worked and, y’know, where I lived. [PAUSE] The death threats were not fun in the beginning but after a while you grow a thick skin, right? It’s like, you get used to it.
BEN: Have you ever had any interactions around your hate sub takeover activity or just your activity on Reddit in general that makes you feel like you're helping to push the conversation forward among people who don't feel the same way you do?
DREWIE: Conversation is always good, right? I would like to sit down with people who are open to it … who said, “I have been taught this hate, but you seem like a decent person.” You know, it's like, “Tell me more.” I would love to have conversations like that, but a lot of the times it's not. It's just that the trolls want to be trolls and the trolls want to — to hate because it makes them feel good putting other people down. So … talking only goes so far with these people. But you just have to keep trying.
[BACKGROUND MUSIC IN]
AMORY: As we have said before. Drewie is not afraid to swim with crocodiles. In real life, and online.
BEN: Yes. Online, she and the rest of this League of Extraordinary Trolls are wading into this teeming environment of users, and moderators, on Reddit. These real disputes over digital spaces, and the challenges of trying to keep that ecosystem healthy.
AMORY: And even though Drewie’s fighting a battle online in a way that’s humorous, it’s also dead serious. Everyone we talked to for this story, in this elite subreddit takeover unit … it struck us that they’re trying to rid the internet of bigotry and ignorance. But they’re also trying to make progress at home. They’re pushing forward. Even when they’re pushing against a wall.
BEN: Tell me just a little bit more, if you’re — if you're comfortable doing this, about your own life, like, how did your parents react to you when you realized you were trans?
DREWIE: [PAUSE] That’s one of those, like, uncomfortable questions. [AWKWARD LAUGH] I don't have that many, like, trigger points. That's kind of one of them. My wish for my parents — it's really simple. It’s — it’s … I want my dad to acknowledge me as his daughter. I want him to use my pronouns, which he hasn't done yet in the six years that I've been out. He hasn't called me by my name in the six years that I've been out.
DREWIE: So, I would like to have him say that before he goes.
BEN: DrewiePoodle, thank you so much for talking with us and telling us your story.
DREWIE: Thank you so much for having me!
[CREDITS MUSIC STARTS]
KATHY: “Endless Thread” is a production of WBUR, in partnership with Reddit. It’s hosted by Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson.
TOBIN: The team includes Jessica Alpert, Iris Adler, Paul Vaitkus, John Perotti, Meghan Kelly, Michael Pope, and Josh Swartz. Extra production assistance from James Lindberg and Candice Lim.
KATHY: You can find the show on Redditat endless_thread.
TOBIN: I’m Tobin Low.
KATHY: I’m Kathy Tu.
TOBIN: And Nancy is a production of WNYC Studios.
[CREDITS MUSIC ENDS]