Behind Closed Doors (Ep. 182 - Steel Magnolias)

This Week's Guest: Nick Kochanov

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My guest this week is Nick Kochanov, host of the podcasts Squirrel Friends Cocktail Hour and The No Good, Very Bad Gay. Growing up, he dreamt of having his own version of the salon from Steel Magnolias. He envisioned himself hanging out with his own versions of  Dolly Parton and Sally Field and Julia Roberts. But it took years for him to realize that there was a problem with his vision -- that the man he was envisioning hanging out with them wasn't really authentically him.

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BTW, I hope you'll join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat. I want to hear about the books, movies, music, and games that you and your fellow Sewers listeners are obsessed with. The livestream is on Sunday July 29th at 2pm pacific -- there's a link on the Sewers of Paris twitter feed, and you can click a reminder button to get a notification when we go live. 

Also! If you're looking for more queer podcasts, check out the show I host with some fantastically funny drag queens Queens of Adventure. We play an ongoing and very queer Dungeons & Dragons adventure full of action and suspense and shady banter. We've got some big announcements coming soon -- head over to to subscribe to the podcast, and to get on the mailing list to find out when you can see the queens performing live.

This Week's Recommendation: Brene Brown

Thanks again to Nick for joining me. We talked a bit this week about having permission to express yourself honestly and to pursue the things you want. For my recommendation this week, look up the TED talk by a researcher and storyteller named Brene Brown. I don't normally like TED talks, especially the ones that offer vague and only semi-actionably inspiration.

But this 20-minute talk is chock full of promising ideas for you to mull over and process and incorporate into your life. Brenee Brown spent years interviewing people about why they experience feelings of shame, self-worth, and connection. And then she reached a point where she herself was overcome by her findings, baffled by the patten that emerged: that people who make themselves vulnerable have a closer connection to feelings of shame and fear and struggle for worthiness, but also a closer connection to joy, creativity, and belonging. That led to what she describes as a yearlong personal street fight with vulnerability that she ultimately lost, and in the process, won her life back.

There are, like I said, a lot of ideas in this talk, from the root of shame to offering love when it may not be returned to finding inner courage. I come away with different thoughts every time I watch. And wherever you are on your own journey, it's a good point of calibration to ask yourself what you're doing, what you're avoiding, and what stands between you and what makes you happy.

Stuff we Talked About