It’s been a fantastic inaugural year at The Gayly Dose. We have produced 75 podcast episodes since we launched in November 2020. It’s been fierce. We’ve shed tears. We’ve sweated beads. We’ve escaped a studio brawl, but the drama parade never stopped. Regardless, we are incredibly proud, and we have our Atlanta and Georgia Voice audience and supporters to thank. Each episode was an opportunity for our community to share their story and their perspective regardless of gender, preferred sexual position or pronoun.
Would we repeat history? Yes ma’am, and we would do it all over again. Here’s why.
Vulnerability is damn uncomfortable but immensely rewarding
Ask the cast: I am not a risk taker. I like creating and dreaming, then planning and executing. That’s the world I come from as a health care technology executive.
So, to put my own face, thoughts, weaknesses, and shortcomings on a public stage, amplified through a microphone, felt raw and naked. As author and thought leader Brene Brown shares in “Daring Greatly,” “It’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.”
I marched on regardless and took to the mic alongside my fellow cast and shared week after week with candor, humility, and plenty of awkwardness with the universe. It was surprisingly therapeutic in a time of great uncertainty. I found that even in my darkest of secrets and struggles, I was far from alone.
People in the community are far more beautiful than you could imagine
The adage rings true: you are the friends you keep. One of my core beliefs is that every person we meet has a message for you if you can only stop to listen for it.
The guests we booked came from every connection the cast and I had in the community, including friends, friends of friends, passionate responses on social media, and even a bold DM from Bennett — which led us to having THE Todrick Hall on OUR podcast. Historic.
Every one of our guests left a mark on my soul and improved who I am today. We intentionally sought out a wide range of voices across the queer community, across age, experience, and ilk. Every story was unique, yet the shared struggles, sufferings, visions, and dreams for our LGBTQ future serve as bonding agents to create an interwoven family of sojourners for our listeners to appreciate greater and love more.
The greatest enemy is often me, but I don’t need to wait to love others
My mental health journey with this podcast has been real. My biggest inadequacies, greatest self-doubts, and ugliest flaws have been enemies on my path this season. Some days, I flat out wanted to give up, stop recording, throw in the towel and say adios, bitches! But whether it was the voice of an encouraging cast member, friend, daughter, or stranger, somehow, I kept at it.
This is the ongoing and ever-present road to self-love and actualization. We do not ever entirely arrive because we are hopefully always evaluating ourselves and discovering areas for improvement — doll, when you are perfectly done, please let me know your secret!
That said, we do not have to wait for that perfection to turn that love around to the rest of the queer community that so desperately needs it.
I want to make something very clear. The Gayly Dose is not one gay man’s show. To the moon and back, I love, adore, and respect my fellow cast members Dante and Bennett. They are incredible gay men. We have supported each other this past year, on and off the podcast. I have fallen madly in love.
They are the friends I keep, and that’s a very special thing.
The Gayly Dose is on its way to a new year and season two! Expect new and expanded voices, new angles, and a lot of passion to create dialogue, debate and insight that will engage our community. As we say on the Dose, “Once you’ve learned to love yourself, we need you to learn to love everyone else!”
Helmut (@helmut_smile) is the founder and host of The Gayly Dose, an Atlanta-based podcast hosted by an all-gay cast. Unique in its mission and follow-on format, weekly episodes are known for their real conversations about things that matter to the community and their listeners. Purposefully candid and brutally honest, the cast speaks on a range of topics, including monogamy, body issues, coming out, dating apps and growing up gay in the church. Listen at thegaylydose.com.