Well, I never thought I would be writing about the almost dead gay language of Polari, I mean I don’t even have Bona Lallies… (if you can translate that, then you know I have no idea how to speak the language, really).
But regardless of my bona or non bona lallies, I happened to listen to this amazing new (to me) award nominated podcast called “Gayish”, which takes a clever look at stereotypes in the gay community — even though their latest episode is about Aliens! (Once I finish listening I’ll clue you in on the connection!)
Getting back to my opening paragraph, they LOVE Polari, they are so enamoured with it that they are now hiding a Polari word into their weekly podcasts just for fun. So, off I go to listen to as many episodes as possible, (I wonder if they are making a sentence out of the Polari words if you use them in their chronologically broadcast order, Ill get back to you with it, if I ever work it out!)
Now, not only did I take a listen to some of the episodes, (there are now 175) I got to interview the two hosts, Mike Johnson and Kyle Getz.
Richard Jones: Hi guys so great to meet you both., so tell me how you both met?
Kyle Getz: Honestly, I hopped in Mike’s Jeep before I knew he was. And no, it wasn’t a hookup. Mike and I were both part of the LGBT group at our company at the time. There was a social event and I didn’t have a car, so the organizer told me that some dude could drive me there. That dude turned out to be Mike, and we’ve been friends for over 10 years now.
RJ: So when did the idea for a podcast come about?
Mike Johnson: Kyle and I had collaborated on creative projects before, mostly short films Kyle wrote and produced. It was early 2017 when one of us (I’m pretty sure it was Kyle) just said “Hey, could we do a podcast?” We have a lot of fun talking to each other, and friends encouraged us to pursue it thinking our dynamic would work. So we had a couple of brainstorming sessions and it led to this.
RJ: Were there many other ideas and concepts before you hit on the GAYISH concept as we know and love,
KG: Thank you! We knew we wanted to talk about gay stereotypes, so that was always the end goal. But we did a lot of brainstorming on what shape that would take and how we would structure it. We also brainstormed some names that are, in retrospect, completely ridiculous. My favorite is “Mike and Kyle Do Things And Say Things And Are Kinda Gayish.” I’m glad we cut out the 10,000 extra words in there.
RJ: I love that you have the whole Polari element to your show – how did you find out about Polari ?
KG: That was all Mike. He was the one that brought Polari into my world.
MJ: I’m kind of a language nerd, so when we were getting ready for our episode about Fruit (#151) I wanted to figure out where the heck fruit as a synonym for gay person came from. Turns out it’s Polari, and after a little research I was hooked. Then Kyle got excited about it too and suggested we make it a regular part of the show.
RJ: Which are your favorite episodes?
KG: We both love how our Weddings episode (#034) came out. It’s not our usual format, but we got really personal about the experience of being gay at a straight wedding.
MJ: I totally agree on Weddings. Any episode that leaves our audience a confused mess of emotions makes me really happy. I think we bring a lot of ourselves to the show and try hard to be as real as possible. Real life is messy. Some other favorites of mine have been Dogs (#080), several of our episodes on mental health, and our relationship stuff like Breakups (#129) and Gay Divorce (#045).
RJ: And what are you yet to cover?
MJ: We’ve had quite a few “obvious” shows that we haven’t done yet, for instance we only recently talked about being Versatile (#174), and we haven’t yet done similar basics like tops and bottoms. We also had never repeated a topic until just recently. We re-did Threesomes (#104 and 166) purely by accident. Neither of us realized it was a repeat until we were recording. Now I think we need to revisit some really meaty, girthy topics we didn’t do justice the first time around.
RJ: any guests you really want to have on the show?
KG: We’ve had awesome people on like Davey Wavey and Calvin Banks, but there are so many other LGBT people we would love to have on. Dan Savage is a fellow Seattleite and talks about a lot of issues important to our community, so he would be a dream guest. And then there’s Eugene Lee Yang, Billy Porter, Brand Mondo, and Kyle’s new favorite singer, GALXARA. Some lofty goals in there, but I hear you’re supposed to put out intentions or something like that, so that’s me, putting out.
RJ: Thanks guys for talking to us and I cant wait to listen to the ALIEN episode.
KG: Thanks so much!
MJ: Thank you for this, and thanks to all our amazing fans (they’re seriously the best)!
To listen to the GAYISH PODCAST head to all the usual places for podcasts, here’s the Spotify Link just to give you a head start.
And for more info head to www.gayishpodcast.com