Most Presents: The Homo Schedule

Bex Taylor-Klaus' Schedule

Episode Summary

Welcome to the Homo Schedule! On today's schedule, Jasmin (she/her) and Liv (they/them) sit down with the incredibly talented actor, Bex Taylor-Klaus (they/them). They discuss queer Shakespeare, growing up gay and Jewish in the South, and the importance of finding your own community.

Episode Notes

Welcome to the Homo Schedule! On today's schedule, Jasmin (she/her) and Liv (they/them) sit down with the incredibly talented actor, Bex Taylor-Klaus (they/them). They discuss queer Shakespeare, growing up gay and Jewish in the South, and the importance of finding your own community. 


- Queering Shakespeare by Sandra Newman at Aeon

- Black, Puerto Rican, out and proud: Aleshia Ocasio blazes a new trail in the world of softball by Juan Pimiento at Chicago Tribune

- The Trevor Project Research Brief: Diversity of Nonbinary Youth

- Check out River Butcher explaining their name change on Twitter


Bex Taylor is a fourth-generation Atlantan who moved to LA to start their professional acting career while still in high school. Whether performing in drama, comedy, or horror, Bex loves breathing life into complex characters. They invite viewers to explore the nuances of life's emotions, whether getting in touch with their playful sides or exorcising their demons. Off the screen, they enjoy Krav Maga, hiking, and hanging out with their family - by choice and by blood.


- Hosts: Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson

- Producer: Eric Silver

- Co-Producers: Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson

- Editor, Engineer & Sound Designer: Mischa Stanton

- Executive Producer: Amanda McLoughlin

- Researcher: Gina Cherelus

- Created by: Jasmin Savoy Brown

- Produced by: Multitude & Netflix

Find Us Online

- Twitter: @Most

- Instagram: @Most

Episode Transcription

[Intro Theme Music]

Jasmin: Welcome to The Gay Agenda, where we're corrupting your children into celebrating their win’s and being proud of the journey! I'm Jasmin, general manager of your local REI.

Liv: And I am Liv! I'm deputy secretary in charge of everybody's pushpins!

Jasmin: We love pushpins. Woohoo! The Gay Agenda we’re here! The Gay Agenda is a podcast about queer success and joy, honoring where we came from, celebrating where we are currently, and looking forward to what's coming next, all with members of our own community. This is a space for us to lift one another up through hilarious and intimate conversation, and perhaps meet a few new people, make some new friends along the way. And as gays are known to do, we're using this podcast to spread joy. We want to make you laugh, we want to create a space for you to celebrate yourself and your friends and chosen family and feel safe.

Liv: Our show title is obviously a flippant repurpose of a homophobic conspiracy. In the context of this podcast, we're using “gay” as an umbrella term for everyone in the LGBT+ community. Because when people say “The Gay Agenda” and mean it, they're talking about all of us. And we're family and we love each other. Also, it's deeply funny for me and you to pretend that the Gay Agenda is real. 

Jasmin: [Laughs] It is real. I don't know what you're talking about!

Liv: It's real, and we're in charge of it. And this is it.

Jasmin: And this is it. So, I'm Jasmine Savoy Brown. I'm an actress. I'm best known for—what's it called? The Leftovers on HBO, where I played Evie. I'm also a singer, I am also an activist, and I came up with this podcast for a few reasons. I was craving a space where there was queer celebration and where we could be ourselves without, like, being so sad. Without all of these movies and shows and things with these deeply sad themes where someone's murdered or died. And I—I often talk about and celebrate other facets of my identity. Like I'm always talking about my Blackness and my womanhood. And I talk a lot about women's rights and access to health care, and how important it is to see people of color on screen. But I'm not talking as much about my queerness. And I wanted a space where I could do that joyfully with friends and bring you guys along. And just, I love making friends. I love meeting new people. I wanted to combine all of that together and have good conversations with people and fans of people that I'd like to get to know better, with my friend Liv Hewson!

Liv: Hello!

Jasmin: Who are you? What are you all about?

Liv: My name is Liv Hewson. I am noticeably Australian. But I spend a lot of time pretending to be American because I'm an actor, and I do a lot of it. 

Jasmin: I had no idea!

Liv: Yeah, I know! What the fuck?? I'm nonbinary. I use they/them pronouns. I have been doing that with my friends and those closest to me for almost 10 years now. But I came out professionally, only in the last couple of years. And, I also have been like, in my work in like the wider world, and like, especially coming into my mid 20s. It's like, okay, so this is—this is the part of my life that's really central and important, and I want to connect with people for whom that's also true. And I want to give that out and like use it to connect and use it to find joy and spread it. And yeah, I think I'm coming from a similar place as you and so I was really stoked when you asked me to come and do this podcast, and I'm excited about it.

Jasmin: I'm stoked that you're here. What are you excited about, for it? What do you think this show can do?

Liv: I'm excited to meet and talk to other like cool as shit LGBT people, both in our industry and out of it. I'm excited to like, make community in the most literal ways by talking and getting to know each other. I'm excited to have an excuse to hang out with you professionally. 

[Jasmin laughs]

Jasmin: And I'm excited to like, use this podcast to be serious in ways that matter and have fun in ways that matter and see those things as equally important.

Jasmin: Oh, yeah. I love that. Do you want to know the real reason I'm doing this podcast? 

Liv: Yes!

Jasmin: Because, I need a new lover. 

[Liv laughs]

Jasmin: And I'm hoping that I'll meet someone who wants to be my new lover. So, on that note, welcome to The Gay Agenda everybody, and I hope that you're excited, we have a great season in store. And please engage with us on social media, especially if you're also looking for a lover All right, here we go.


[Transition theme music]


Liv: Alright, enough chit chat! Everybody shuffle your papers. What's on the agenda for today? Let's talk about our guest.

Jasmin: Today we have a person who happens to be a good friend of each of us. Bex Taylor-Klaus, a gay and nonbinary actor who happens to have been in basically everything you've seen. We're talking Arrow, we're talking Scream: The TV Series. We're talking 13 Reasons Why, we're talking Voltron: Legendary Defender. So many wonderful TV shows! In November 2016, Bex came out as gay on Twitter saying, “Hello, my name is Bex. And yes, the rumors are true, I am gay.” In July 2018, they came out as nonbinary and stated a preference for they/them pronouns. 

Liv: Woo!!!

Jasmin: How do you know Bex? 

Liv: Um, we connected over social media. I think it was just a symptom of like nonbinary actors being like, hey! Hey! Hello! And then we finally met in an audition room. And when we met in person, it was like, less of an introduction and more of a reintroduction. It was like, Ah, finally! Hello! It's so good to see you! And I was really struck by that. Not, it's good to meet you. But it's good to see you.

Jasmin: Those are the best friendships. I love that when you can meet someone online and then it's like you've known each other in person for the whole time. I also met Bex at an audition. And just like with a few other friends, I went up to Bex and was like, [lowers voice] so we can be enemies or we can be friends.

Liv: That is so funny. Guys, you're gonna love Bex. They are smart. They are funny. They are passionate, they are kind, and we are so, so, so excited to have them as a guest on The Gay Agenda. Quick note about this episode, at one point, we talked about the comedian River Butcher using an outdated name. In the time between this episode recording and release, River announced their name change on Twitter, and we will link that thread in the show notes.

Jasmin: We wanted to keep the conversation because we find it really important. We were talking about mentorship and community and we think it's a really great part of the conversation we wanted to share with you guys. But we wanted to honor and acknowledge that River’s name is River.


Liv: Yeah, and we won't be using that name going forward because, it's not their name.

Jasmin: Right. So, with that in mind, let's enter it into the record. Gavel! [Bangs gavel]

[Liv laughs]

[Transition theme music]

Liv: Bex!

Bex: Hi!

Liv: Hi!

Bex: Thank you for having me! I’m so happy to see your faces! 

Jasmin: Thank you for being here! This is so exciting. How are you?

Bex: I'm much better now that I get to see you.

Liv: Oh my god! Charmer!

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: Swoon! Well, we like to start our podcast by saying our names and our pronouns and how we identify, so I'll go first. I'm Jasmine, my pronouns are she/her. I'm queer. And I also identify as an actress, a singer, an activist, a cat mom.

Liv: My name is Liv, and my pronouns are they/them, and I identify as gay and a nuisance.

[Jasmin laughs]

Bex: Yep. My name is Bex, My pronouns are they/them or it, and I identify as a problem.

Liv: [Laughs] Oh my god, you guys!

Jasmin: We love to see it.

Bex: Or as 90 Bees. That's what the NB really stands for is, “Ninety Bees.”

Jasmin: You're joining us from back in the closet. 

Bex: Yeah…

Jasmin: Sad to say.

Bex: [Laughs] Look, it's only temporary.

Jasmin: How does it feel in there?

Bex: Honestly, it feels so comfy. It's got lots of blankets. It's very soothing. I've got a skull.

Liv: That’s very a Hamlet of you.

Bex: Thank you. I—I've named him Yorick. How did you know?

Liv: I could tell! I could sense it!

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: Hey, this is a great lead in actually, because doing research on you, I saw that you discovered acting via Shakespeare. And I just thought that was so cool. And I want to know more about how that felt.

Bex: Well, I really lucked out. My first second grade drama teacher was way out there and really love to teach us the classics at a very young age. And so, we would do Shakespeare and then she would have us modernize it with her. So she really made it accessible for young kids and older kids for us to really, you know, fall in love with the old stuff as well as modernizing it and making us fall in love with what can be new as well.

Liv: Way out there drama teaches like, heroes.

Jasmin: Truly. [laughs]

Liv: Works harder than anyone on the planet, in my opinion.

Jasmin: [Singing] Does not get paid enough!

Bex: Truly, snaps to that.

Jasmin: Were the queer characters in Shakespeare, when you were working with this teacher, were they allowed to remain queer? Like was queerness and LGBTQ characters celebrated? 

Bex: I believe so—it was a Jewish Day School. And she was this really wild South African woman. When I say she was an outside of the box drama teacher, she really went out there. So, while I don't remember, like, blatant queerness I do remember not shying away from anything. And really going in on the content.

Liv: As a fellow Shakespeare queer myself, like, one of my favorite things about Shakespeare is like how flexible it is. And it's like, the guy has been dead for hundreds of years. Like, he doesn't give a shit what we're gonna do with it. So it's like, you know, are these characters queer or are they not? Well, personally, I'm like, yeah, yeah, they are. They are a two heterosexuals in Shakespeare canon, and everyone else is—has their own shit going on. 

Bex: Absolutely. 

Liv: The mutability of Shakespeare is like exciting, but also inherently queer to me. Like it was so, so helpful when I was growing up as a little theatre gay.

Bex: 100%. Shakespeare is fluid. And, also the idea that we don't exactly know who Shakespeare is—the theories that Shakespeare could be, you know, a bunch of women writing under a pseudonym.

Jasmin: Yep, I played one of them actually on a show. 

Liv: Did you really?

Jasmin: It was called Will, it was on TNT. Amelia Bassano. And I will not do the accent, because it's been too long [laughs].

Liv: I keep trying to make Jasmin do the accent, and she won’t.

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: We also saw [laughing] that you were on the softball team in high school, which is just so gay.

Bex: So gay. My—my favorite thing is that my sister took me at face value when I was in the closet. So when I came out, she was like, [surprised] What???

Liv: She was surprised?

Bex: I was like, “How did you not know??”

Liv: I love that. That's its own special kind of allyship to me. Where it's like, well, yeah, whatever you say. Whatever you say, whenever you say it, you let me know. That's lovely.

Jasmin: So, you knew? You knew in high school? You knew earlier in life?

Bex: I knew that something was different [laughs] in like, second/third grade when everyone started, you know, talking about their crushes, talking about, you know, the boys, and I was like, I just want to go play games. I knew something was different, I just couldn't figure it out, and didn't want to figure it out until I was like 12/13, and I was like, huh, there are actual feelings here that I can't explain. 

Liv: Mh hmm.

Bex: And unfortunately, I got some really bad advice from a, believe it or not, a queer guidance counselor. 

Liv: Oh, come on, man!

Bex: Right? A queer guidance counselor told me not to come out and that I was too young.

Jasmin: Oh!

Liv: Okay, yeah. So, I understand what this person was trying to do. That's like a backhand at trying to keep you safe, almost. 

Bex: Exactly. 

Liv: Where it’s like, if you come out now, it might be dangerous. You're young, you might not be ready for the backlash you're gonna get. But, they neededto tell you that in those words. 

Jasmin: Exactly.

Bex: Exactly!

Jasmin: Be clear [laughs].

Bex: I was already a weird kid. And like, it was my first time with like, a friend group, friend group, that wasn't like, family friends. And so everyone was like, no, no, no! Don't mess this up!

Liv: Yeah. And that's so common too, especially for LGBT children, to have your, like latent identity be treated as like a bomb that's gonna go off at some point in time, that like, you have to be responsible for the fallout of and it's like, cool. I'm 11. So…

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Really, it’s a lot of responsibility for me to have…

Bex: Too much pressure, let's do something else…

Liv: Do you guys want to make a puzzle? Like…do you want to go climb trees, maybe?

Bex: [Gasps] Yes!

Jasmin: I have been called a tree hugger. And it's not an offense to me. I wear that badge with pride. And speaking of pride— [laughs]

Bex: Me??

Jasmin: Do you have the transitions today?

Bex: You’re so good at these 

Jasmin: Very smooth. Very effortless. So, your whole journey with your queerness your identity has been had publicly. You've been coming out over and over again on Twitter. And I'm curious, the ways that's impacted your personal life and your career? It seems to be going well, it seems like all of those decisions have panned out beautifully. And I would just like to hear more about that. 

Bex: Well, um, I am impulsive. 

[Everyone laughs]

Bex: I'm impulsive. And once I feel like I'm figuring something out, I'm like, awesome. This feels good. Let's talk about it! I think that it's normal for that to change and shift. And so I want to be able to be an example of that so that people don't feel like they need to suppress themselves until they're, you know, absolutely positive they found the perfect thing—because the perfect thing may change. Human beings are ever evolving.

Liv: I think it's important to resist the idea that there are rules, where it's like, oh, but you can't—you can't like, evolve your understanding of it or like talk about it before you really know what's going on, because that's against the rules!I'm like, What are you talking about? [Laughing] Like, the—

Bex: Why are there roles?Who—who put these rules in place? 

Liv: Yeah,there fundamentally aren't and shouldn't be.

Bex: Exactly.

Jasmin: Yeah, we talked about that a lot. Like Liv, you've talked about how straight women quote, “experimenting” shouldn't be bad. But we look at it as if it's a bad thing—similar to how if a person in the lesbian community decides, well, actually, I'm going to date this cis guy for a minute, then everyone's like, she abandoned all lesbians!

Liv: And it's like, no. Like, it's like a bi woman who like thought she was lesbian for a while, or like, vice versa. Oh, yeah, me and Jasmin have talked about that before, where I'm like, no, no, it's all good! Like, it's like the freedom to explore and safely look at yourself and look at other people and like move through the world and like follow joy and like try to lean into your own impulses without shame. That's the whole thing. Right? So, people having the space to move around is a net positive for everybody.

Bex: I mean, fluidity is the goal. 

Jasmin: Yeah. 

Bex: My brother is 20. And I love his philosophy on gender and sexuality. He's agnostic about it. Truly. He is of the belief that it's necessary if you deem it necessary, but otherwise, just be who you feel like being and love who you feel like loving like, just exist. We don't need labels unless we feel like they're necessary.

Liv: Part of the excitement for me is hearing different worldviews about it from people, because you know, there are people who think that and then there are people who, you know, feel that the labeling is actually very important to them and very empowering for them. Or it's like, well, actually, the like—the language is the most important thing for me, because it gave me a framework to understand myself and communicate about that with others. And so there's like, there are as many worldviews as there are people on the planet.

Bex: And then some.

Liv: [Laughing] And then—and then a few more than that! It's just exciting to me to hear about as many different viewpoints as possible, as long as everybody's like, getting their joy and feeling safe and feeling actualized.

Bex: I mean, chasing joy is a lovely thing.

Liv: Did you find that when you were sort of like, coming into your realizations about yourself as like a young queer person? Were there like moments of joy or things that you found yourself chasing as you were figuring it out?

Bex: Absolutely. Honestly, the thing that streamlines the process of coming into myself, every time that I've done so, has been opening up that worldview, just being like, Hmm, let's think about this a little bit differently. Let's stop sitting in a little box that feels comfortable and kind of stick my hand out and make sure that sun's not gonna melt me.

[Liv laughs]

Jasmin: Did you have any mentors or people that you looked up to, who were an example in that time?

Bex: Yeah, I've got a beautiful friend group of a bunch of just, queers who live out here in LA. And I had just gotten out of a really, really bad relationship, where I had been suppressing myself in nearly every way. And I met this group of people and started expanding my friend group, my interactions with others, and really leaning into the queer community and finding my friends helped me find myself.

Liv: Hmm.

Jasmin: Yeah, I love that.

Liv: Yeah, community can't be understated, ever. I think.

Bex: Mh hmm.

Jasmin: Community is everything.Truly.

Bex: I grew up—I'm Jewish, and I grew up in the Atlanta Jewish community, heavily. And I've always known the value of community and tribe and all that. And I had resisted a queer tribe for so long, because I had been afraid. You know, again, I grew up in the American South, so not always so—

Jasmin: Not the safest place. 

Bex: No! Especially not for a queer Jew! Like, you hide. And so when I came out here, I was still hiding. And when I was finally free of a relationship that kept me hiding, I was able to just like with the box, start creeping out and be like, Oh, hello! Oh, you're fun! Oh, you're bright! I like this!

Liv: Yeah, to like, branch out and like, participate in the world in a new way. 

Bex: Yeah!

Jasmin: And then the world was pretty inviting and welcoming, would you say?

Bex: Yeah, it was bright and beautiful. It reminded me of Wizard of Oz.

Liv: Oh, my God!

Jasmin: So gay!

Bex: So gay!

Liv: Yeah!

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: We're all friends of Dorothy here, right?

Bex: You know it!

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: When I was little, I had Dorothy's shoes. My mom got me a pair of her little ruby red shoes. Should have also been a sign.

Bex: When I was little, I had six pairs of Dorothy's shoes—

Jasmin: Six??

Bex: —because I kept growing out of them.

Jasmin: yeah, I had two, because I grew out of them twice. And then my mom was like, Those are expensive! I would love to know a little bit more on how your friends helped you through that time, and about any mentors that you had. I—mentorship is really important to me. I have a couple older mentors, and I mentor a couple people younger than me. And so, I'm always curious about those relationships.

Bex: I—it's been really interesting because a bunch of my mentors from this friend group have been a little younger than I am, and a few have been a little bit older. It was really beautiful to be able to meet people a few years younger than I am, who had already gotten to the point where I wanted to be in terms of self-love and acceptance and self-knowledge, self-understanding. It started with my first Trans Pride out here in LA. The relationship I had been in, every time I had tried to talk about you know, gender or anything, I got completely shut down. But as soon as I was out of that, I jumped in headfirst. I was like, there's something here I've—I need to jump in. I need to dive in. It started with Tegan and Sara, actually. 

[Liv laughs]

Bex: Teagan and Sara foundation.

Jasmin: It always starts with Tegan and Sara.

[Everyone laughs]

Bex: You know it! The Tegan and Sara Foundation did this education program and fundraiser and I ended up sitting between Eli Ehrlich and Hayley Kiyoko.

Liv: Wicked.

Bex: Uhuh.

Liv: Not a bad place to sit, okay.

Bex: And then right behind me was Cameron Esposito—

Jasmin: Jesus Christ!

Liv: Okay, so you died and went to gay heaven

Jasmin: Triangulated in this environment…

Bex: I did!

Jasmin: Fucking hell…

Bex: And this was—this was when I was still in that bad relationship and suppressing everything. And so, I managed to hold on to that experience. And so, once I was free, I went right back to it. I was like, these are the people that I sat by. These are the people I want to reach out to and talk to for real this time. 

Jasmin: Yeah. 

Bex: And I got to talk with Rhea Butcher several times. Rhea’s—

Jasmin: Ugh, legend!

Bex: Right? Rhea’s the best! We went to Home State and got tacos and talked for a while. As I was like, starting to get into the whole gender thing. And so was Rhea.

Jasmin: Oh, beautiful. So you guys walked through that part of your lives together?

Bex: Sort of, yeah.

Liv: It's really important as I was coming to terms with like my experience as a nonbinary person, like I—there are friends that I have, who, it's like, it wasn't completely simultaneous. But in the pocket of a few years, we were all kind of figuring this out together. It was beautiful to like, be able to support each other through that. And then in hindsight, to be able to be like, Yeah, I was connected to you through this. And it's like, even if we weren't on the same page at exactly the same time, we were reading the same book, you know, and that's exciting.

Bex: Yes!

Jasmin: I love that.

Bex: That's beautiful. It's the queerest and most beautiful book club.

Liv: What was your experience of like coming into the industry as a performer and then also coming into your understanding of yourself?

Bex: Well, that's actually what Rhea and I first started talking about when we met, was I was like, how did you come out in an industry, and Rhea was like, I didn't have to. I just started this way. I was like, Ahhh, I wish I had been able to do that! But it was at that point in my life, when I was still on that trajectory, talking to Rhea who had started there was magical in a way that I wish I had words for. I was upset that I felt like I had to change myself when I realized I only had to change the public perception of me, because I wasn't any different. I just had to—

Liv: Yeah.

Bex: —change preconceived notions.

Liv: Yes. 100%. I know exactly how you feel.

Bex: And talking to Rhea really helped me figure that out, because that's not something that they had to do. And it really got me thinking, even though it wasn't something Rhea could like, give me advice on, it was something that really helped me to understand. 

Liv: Yeah.

Bex: Like, even if I shift public's perception of me, I can still be me. Even if I didn't start this way.

Jasmin: Oh, yeah. And I would argue that actors and people in the public eye are doing that all the time, just perhaps not with gender and sexuality, but people are chopping off their hair or quitting acting, or XYZ. So, that thing isn't new, but around gender and identity is newer. And that's scarier.

Liv: It can be, yeah. I don't know about—about you, but for me, personally, too, I had to, in recent years, come to a place where I was like, Well, what people think when they look at me is not any of my business and like, doesn't control who I actually am or what my actual experience is. It's this tricky, nebulous space, where it's like, I want so badly for people's perception of me to align with my perception of myself. But then I also want to be free of the expectations of behavior and presentation that people have of me.

Jasmin: Yeah, it's tricky. One of my best friends and I talked about this, how we are so evolved, and our minds are so evolved, that we know now like, psychologically, I don't actually care what more than like the six people closest to me think of me. I don't actually care or need these people's approval. But internally, like, our survival mechanism, for so long has been keep the group happy, make sure that everyone does approve of me and make sure everyone is on my same page. And those two things are not in alignment. So my mind and body are at odds. And it's confusing, because, you know, you go to a thing that's like, what does everyone in this room think of me? Do they care? Wait, I don't care what they think of me. I just care what my best friend thinks of me. Wait, but I don't need the group's approval! Ahhh!!!

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Ah, no, I think that's that ongoing conversation is also part of us being the age that we are like, I really—I hope anyway, that that kind of comfort with oneself improves over like, time and life and, you know, learning more things and being around more.

Jasmin: Totally.

Bex: I mean, it has to.

Liv: Yeah, oh god, please! [Laughs]

Jasmin: Please…

Bex: With age may not always come wisdom, but it does come experience.

Liv: Yes.

Jasmin: True. And so now, you've been out in more ways than one for a while now publicly. Is it getting more comfortable?

Bex: Significantly. Absolutely. And it absolutely helps that, you know, other people are coming out too, and the rest of the world is kind of shifting with us.

Jasmin: Yeah. Well, I think that you're a big part of that. I really do. And I'd love to hear about that. Like, are you aware of what a great example you've been for other people and that you, being yourself publicly, has no doubt literally saved lives. Do you ever think about that? That's really cool.

Bex: It's really cool. And I would love to think about that more. [Laughs]

Jasmin: No pressure. [Laughs]

Liv: I, like, can’t ever think about it, because then I start freaking out. [Laughs]

Jasmin: But what's the freak out?

Liv: That’s a great question. What is the freakout? I think part of it is like feeling responsibility.

Bex: The other part of is imposter syndrome.

Liv: Imposter syndrome,feeling like the stakes are very high and feeling like you know, I'm just—I'm just a person putting on costumes and pretending to be American a lot, you know, like—

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: So there's a lot of joy. And it's like, wow, that's amazing. At any time, I'm able to connect with like, queer people and nonbinary people who've, like watched me and gotten something out of it, I'm like, This is exactly why I do any of this! And then also, I needed to go sit in a room that's dark and lie down for a while!

[Jasmin laughs]

Bex: Big mood. Big mood.

Liv: It's a lot. It's a lot. 

Jasmin: Yeah.

Bex: It is. It is. I relate heavily to that. It's like, whenever I hear that I'm helping someone—exactly with like, what Liv said. It's like, oh, Yay, I'm so glad. Also, let me go curl up in a ball and cry happy and sad tears. 

Jasmin and Liv: Mm hmm. 

Bex: And then, when I get asked for a pep talk, or when I get asked for advice, that's when it gets hard. That's when the imposter syndrome like kicks in overdrive. You know? It's like, I'm still figuring it out. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, I'm not an expert!

Jasmin: But I think it's okay to say that. The advice that I'm asked for usually has more to do with being a woman of color in the industry. But it's, I think that's a big helping point is when I say I don't know everything, here's my experience. And lead with that, like, I don't know. But this is what I know about what I don't know.

Liv: Yeah, actually, that might be what the fear is, or what the feeling of high stakes is, is that feeling as though you're being asked to be an authority on the subject. 

Bex: Yes!

Liv: Yeah. When, you know, instead, it might be better to look at it as just like, Oh, I'm just connecting with somebody, or like, I'm connecting with a group of people. It's like, I'm not—no one's asking me to be the boss. 

Jasmin and Bex: Yeah.

Liv: Sometimes it feels like being asked to be the boss.

Bex: It does. It feels like you're asked to be the ranking expert on something that you're still actively figuring out.

Liv: Yeah. And I'd love to move to a lived experience of like representation, where it's like, representation doesn't mean that I'm a representative.

Jasmin: Yes.

Bex: Yes.

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: I’m just—I'm just hanging out.

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: I'm just existing and happens to be in this body, happens to be with this face. 

Bex: Yep. 

Jasmin: Happen to know about three things, and that's all.

Liv: Yeah, so far. I'm working on three and a half. 

Jasmin: I will reach four by 30—[makes sad noise]

Liv: Um, I have a question. When you were growing up, how did you imagine success? Like what—what did you imagine success was? And like, how do you think that's changed?

Bex: Oh, dip. What a loaded question. [Laughs] Well, um, I grew up a tiny Jewish bean in Atlanta. And one side of my family is very, very, very well educated, and very excessively productive. So, I had a really warped perception of success. It had to be productivity was success, and I was also extremely ADHD and, you know, mentally ill, and I had all these health issues. So it felt like I would never be able to achieve success if success meant productivity. Jasmin: Yeah. 

Bex: So I grew up thinking that I would never be able to survive on my own. Because, I knew that I wasn't good at school. And I was, you know, from a family of, my grandmother went to college at 15 years old.

Jasmin: Woah.

Liv: Jesus.

Bex: Yeah, like,I had a lot of pressure to be smart, educated, good at school, successful, you know, lawyer, track, doctor track all these things. And I knew that I would never be able to do that. As much as I wanted to be like a forensic scientist, I didn't have the school savvy that I needed. 

Jasmin: Yeah. 

Bex: So I always felt like I was broken. I always felt like I was in need of fixing, I was wrong. I was bad. Because, I wasn't the same as the family I had come from. So I actually found softball and was like, I can't do what my family does. But maybe I can be a softball, or maybe I can be good at this, or maybe this can be my thing. 

Jasmin: Yeah.

Bex: So I was like, getting scouted and everything. I was like, this is going to be my track. And then I was like, wait a minute, someone said I could do acting. Let me try that instead. So, I still have trouble internally with like, my own childhood warped perceptions of success, meaning productivity, and acting is not easy to fulfill that, you know—

Jasmin: [Laughs] That's the darn truth.

Liv: There’s not really a metric as such.

Bex: Exactly.

Jasmin: Yeah.

Bex: So like, sometimes it's really, really hard for me to be like, I'm successful, because it doesn't match the, you know, the scale that I grew up marking to.

Liv: In your most peaceful moments now, how do you conceptualize what success would be for yourself as—as the adult you've become?

Bex: I mean, I still have this warped perception of like success means a steady productive job, right? No, no, no, no, no. I think for me success would mean peace. You know, like sitting on a property, sitting in a house with my wife. Definitely some creatures, furry creatures running around—

Liv: Well, you gotta have some creatures!

Bex: Always creatures. I always wanted to farm like, I want endless furry creatures. But maybe, you know, some creatures with human feet too. Maybe, you know—happiness, family, community. That's success to me now.

Liv: Yeah, totally.

Jasmin: I relate to everything you said. And Liv knows I am actively unlearning success equaling productivity.

Liv: This is like, an aim of mine is to try and talk my friends out of their like, capitalist expectations around work.

Bex: Yes!

Jasmin: It's harmful. It's to the point that I've promised to myself, I'll take on nothing else for the rest of the year, which isn't like me. 

Bex: Wow!

Jasmin: I was working on three things. And, I'm gonna do things like, go to the park and read a book. 

Bex: I love that.

Jasmin: A fucking concept to me. It's hard because when I first lay down in the grass, my body's like, nope, nope, you should be launching a business! [Panicked noises] Or, I’m not!

[Everyone laughs]

Bex: I'm so proud of you!

Jasmin: Thank you.

Liv: And there's something about should that always makes me so curious too, where it's like, oh, I should be doing this. I should be doing that. I'm like, Okay, what for? Why?

Bex: Don’t “should” yourself! No “should-ing” yourself!

Jasmin: But it is capitalist, because what—the thought always in my head is you haven't earned this. You haven't earned yet rest. 

Bex: Yes.

Jasmin: I used to say I had to earn—used to as unstopped, four days ago—

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: —I had to earn going to sleep at night. It's a sickness. It's a disease. It's capitalism. It's the patriarchy. It's white supremacy. It's all of the things that, [singing] I don't fit into!

Liv: You’re a human being alive on the planet! You don't like—things like rest and peace and like connectivity—

Bex: That's hard enough, being a human being alive on the planet? 

Jasmin: Oh, it’s hard.

Bex: My brother keeps saying like, we were designed to sit on the couch and eat snacks. Having to go to work every day—don't dream of labor. Don't dream of labor.

Liv: Yeah. You don't have to—you don't have to earn the perks of being alive. 

Bex: Yes!

Liv: Like, sleep, fun—

Bex: Wow, saythat one again.

Liv: [Laughing] You don't—you do not have to earn the perks of being alive!

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: I'm getting tattooed on my forehead, backwards, so I seriously—

Bex: See it in the mirror. Everyday.

Liv: I should do a t-shirt.

Bex: [Gasps] Yes, please!

Jasmin: A little question just came in from our producer. I'm just gonna pop it in here for us. This is for all three of us. Have any of you struggled that being on Netflix or network TV feels like traditional success? Yeah, for sure. Because it's—for me, it's kind of like that imposter syndrome of like, all my friends think that I'm rich, mentally stable, and happy. And by the way—

Bex: None of the above! None of the above!

Jasmin: Currently, none of those things are true. Just kidding. But happiness, it comes and goes. Overall, I am happy. Because I have love in my life. I'm mostly healthy. And I do get to do the things that I love. But that doesn't mean I'm happy all the time. And I deal with depression and like financially, it's never what people think it is. At all.

Bex: Never. 

Jasmin: I've had some hard—hard hits there.

Liv: And this is an interesting industry because it like, part of doing it is like keeping those details kind of vague. 

Bex: Yeah.

Jasmin: Mh hmm.

Bex: Well, I'm going to be ridiculously candid right now. Because, I have nothing to lose. I did this pilot, and we've been waiting the whole run of contract to hear if we're going to get picked up. And then, we just found out yesterday, we're not getting picked up. 

Liv: Yeah.

Jasmin: I’m sorry, dude.

Bex: Which means, I've missed out on everything—

Jasmin: A year of money. Yep.

Bex: I've missed out on the entire seven months of money. And now I have to hit the ground running. And that's just reality that—that we don't ever talk about. But I think we should.

Jasmin: Oh, yeah.

Liv: Yes, I agree. Like being a working actor is a success. And it's something that I try to really enjoy and like ring the experience dry as it's happening to me. Because my favorite thing is the act of doing it. It's like doing the—doing the job of being an actor, because really good job is getting a job and then doing the job is the fun bit.

Bex: Yeah, the audition process is the actual work.

Liv: That's your job. Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: Yeah. And it's free labor. 

Bex: Mh hmm.

Liv: Yeah. But it's also—it's like, I try to stay fluid with it. Because it's like, this is an industry that naturally comes and goes, you will go through periods of like, very intense work, and then periods of like very intense rest and nothing happening for a while. I try not to be too attached to success in general, because I'm like, yeah, no, I'm doing stuff. And that's great. And then I might stop, or I might not be doing stuff for a while. And that's great, too. Like I try to enjoy all of it as much as possible.

Jasmin: Yeah.

Bex: Well, the question I hate is, “What are you doing next?”

Jasmin: God

Liv: Ah!

Bex: Or, “What's next for you?”

Liv: Leave me alone!

Bex: Exactly!

Liv: Having a shower, I don’t know!

Jasmin: Exactly. Taking a nap!

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: That’s what I'm doing next. You know, a big part of this for me, of success—it's just everything we've been talking about. But I—I am creating other projects where I'm completely in control, creatively. Or in control in more of a collaborative way. Then TV, where you show up you say the lines. They could splice six takes together, that's not at all what it looked like on the day. They could cut a line, add the music—

Bex: Oh, don't forget ADR for the emotional scenes.

Jasmin: ADR is like—it's manipulation at its finest. But, for me, having other things—like, I'm really leaning into my music right now—

Bex: Yay!

Jasmin: I've been writing a lot of music. 

Liv: It's good too.

Jasmin: Thanks! I'm proud of it! 

Bex: [High pitched voice] I’m pretty proud of it! I’m pretty proud of it! Ahh!

Jasmin: [Laughs] Thanks. And other—like, cooking. I used to always say—again, used to as in until four days ago—I would say I don't have time to cook. I only cook when I'm stressed. I don't have time for that, because I'm too busy. Now, I'm learning to cook for fun. 

Bex: Yay!

Jasmin: Also, a concept. Anyway…

Liv: That's gonna change a bunch. That's gonna change like how living a day feels a lot in a positive way. I'm excited for.

Bex: Yeah.

Jasmin: Yeah, I'm probably gonna call you a couple times going. I tried to light a candle, and I had a panic attack that I'm not running a marathon!

Liv: Like, okay, I’m coming over. Don't worry about it.

[Everyone laughs]

Bex: Ugh, I love that for you.

Liv: Bex, I would love to ask you something that I hope will become a recurring segment on this podcast. 

Bex: Yes!

Liv: This is in reference to the wonderful musical Fun Home by Allison Bechdel—

Bex: [Gasps] Yes!

Liv: And, I want to ask you, what was your “Ring of Keys” moment? Did you have a moment when you were younger of like recognition or affirmation from an older, like, LGBT person or like, moment or feeling. Like, do you have a ring of keys moment that you remember?

Bex: I read Fun Home in high school. 

Liv: Mh hmm!

Bex: I read Fun Home in a graphic novel class in high school, sophomore year. So my “Ring of Keys” moment was, Ring of Keys.

Liv: Shut up! That's—I can't. I quit.

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: What frickin’ high school did you go to? My high school was like not nice like that. [Laughs]

Liv: Can you imagine being in like a high school art class, and they hand out Dykes to Watch Out For?

Bex: [Gasps]

Liv: That would have changed everything for me.

Bex: Look, I was like Alison Bechdel. I love this story. Let me read more. And I found Dykes to Watch Out For, and I was like— [dramatically gasps]

Jasmin: I have not read that. 

Liv: It's where the Bechdel test comes from. Alison Bechdel did like a comic series called Dykes to Watch Out For.

Jasmin: Gotcha, gotcha.

Liv: And there's a particular comic where two lesbians are like talking about going to the movies. And one of them is like, “I'm not going to movies unless there are two women talking to each other about something other than a man.” And then the other one says, “What was the last movie you saw?” And the other one says, “Alien,” because at one point they were talking about the monster.

Jasmin: Oh my God! [Laughs]

Liv: Yeah. It's great. That's where—that's where the Bechtel test comes from!

Bex: Hey,they talk about the cat at one point.

Liv: They do. They do, yeah. 

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: But is the cat a male cat?

Liv: In as much as cats are anything.

Bex: Cats are nonbinary. Youcannot change my mind.

Jasmin: Okay, that actually leads us—we're going to play a little game with you. You know how I love playing games on a podcast. So—

Bex: Gaymes. G-A-Y-M-E-S.

Liv: [Laughs] Oh, God—

Jasmin: This is called, “Gender This”.

[“Gender This” transition music]

Jasmin: I’m just going to throw out a bunch of words, and I want you to just rapid fire, gender it, first thing that comes to mind, then you can explain it. And we're going to do Bex's Edition, with bees.

Bex: Love it.

Liv: Me and Jasmin have been doing this in real life a little bit, because this started when we were talking about the fact that we subconsciously like, gender things like food or each other's cars, or like little objects. We're like, Yeah, my sandwich is just a little guy. Like, what is that? What is that about? 

Jasmin: Why?

[Bex laughs]

Liv: And I was saying that like, especially as a nonbinary person, I like—I just I get a real kick out of like, assigning gender to things that aren't me in a way that's low stakes—

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: —and fun and kind.

Bex: I'm warning you that the genders that I like to gender things with are insane.

Jasmin: That's great. 

Liv: No, that’s good, that’s good, we want that.

Jasmin: Here we go, then. Are we ready? And: balloons?

Bex: Aww, those are just sweet little helium beasts!

Liv: Um, I think balloons are drag. Like any—any kind of gender fuckery associated with drag, that's balloons.

Bex: Oh, definitely the balloons with confetti in them.

Liv: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Big time.

Jasmin: [Laughs] Balconies?

Bex: Trans.

Jasmin: Baloney?

Bex: Gross. That—

[Liv and Jasmin laughs]

Bex: —the gender is—gender is, gross. The gender is gross.

Jasmin: Ballroom dancing? 

Bex: They/them/she/her.

Jasmin: Billboards?

Bex: Dude. 

Jasmin: Brisket?

Bex: Yum. 

[Jasmin laughs]

Bex: The gender is yum.

Jasmin: Ballads?

Bex: Uh, the gender is three geese hissing in a trench coat.

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: Yes.

Jasmin: Buttons?

Bex: Ooo. Gender is…toe fungus.

Jasmin: Liv, this is for you—brown paper bags?

Liv: Oh! Um, like—like Peter Pan. Like boyhood, but like agender boyhood. 

Bex: Ooo, B-O-I hood.

Liv: Yeah, yeah, yeah. exactly.

Jasmin: Yes. Yes! Brokeback Mountain?

Bex: She/her.

Jasmin: The color burgundy?

Bex: Hmm. Oh, that's a good one.

Liv: I think burgundy is like a dude, but like a deeply bisexual dude. Like a Dorian Gray figure.

Bex: Burgundy might even be bi wife energy. 

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: Bi wife energy! We love to see it.

Jasmin: That’s incredible. Bible camp?

[Bex laughs]

Bex: Um…uh…a urinal cake.

[Liv and Jasmin laugh]

Jasmin: “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber?

Bex: [Laughs] Okay, that's trans. 

Jasmin: Okay, two more. Big Time Rush?

Bex: Oh, uh—uh—uh…gay kickball league.

Jasmin: Okay, this is for both of you. The most important one: abolishing the police?

Liv: Well, that's everybody, baby.

Bex: Uhuh. That's fluid. That's gender fluid.

Liv: Amen!

[Jasmin and Bex laugh]

Liv: We love to see it!

Jasmin: We have a final question for you. What are you going to do this week to further the Gay Agenda?

Bex: Hm…

Liv: The very real gay agenda.

Jasmin: And with that, sub question, what does “The Gay Agenda” mean to you?

Bex: Ooo. Well, first of all, I think that this was a missed opportunity to call it the “Homo-Schedule”.

[Everyone laughs]


Liv:  Oh, God, we have to change the name of the podcast!

[Bex laughs]

Jasmin: Oh, God damn it, Bex!

Bex: I apologize for nothing. 

Liv: That's very good.

Bex: Well, okay—so, the Gay Agenda, also known as the “Homo-Schedule,” I think that it is spreading as much queer joy as humanly possible. 

Jasmin: Hmm, brilliant. 

Bex: And, how I'm going to do that is…on Sunday, I'm having a bunch of queers over to my house to wreak havoc and be gay and post on Instagram.

Liv: Oh, beautiful! That sounds like so much fun.

Bex: When you're in LA—

Jasmin: Whyaren’t we in LA?? Get me out of this hell! I mean, I love Vancouver—

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Thank you, thank you for having us, as working guests in this country—

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: Yeah…Thank you…

Bex: They're invalid, and once they release you—come hang out with us.

Jasmin: Oh, immediately.

Liv: Just you wait. You're gonna regret that.

Bex: Make me.

[Jasmin and Liv laugh]

Bex: Don't threaten me with a good time there. 

Jasmin: Don’t threaten me with a good time!

Liv: One of my favorite gay affirming times ever in my life so far happened in Vancouver, at Vancouver Pride 2016. It was a magical time. It's the best pride experience I've ever had to date. Obviously this year, a lot of things were made digital and not happening in person. Cause restrictions—restrictions are lifting like, now.

Bex: Look, Atlanta's all the way in October. I feel like pride is year round, so just—

Liv: Yeah!

Jasmin: Yeah!

Bex: —it can be vibing. 

Liv: And then, in Australia it's Mardi Gras and it happens at different times so like it just those the Gay Agenda is really traveling from place to place—

Jasmin: All year long.

Liv: whenever pride is on—

[Jasmin laughs]

Liv: I think that’s—that’s what we’re all striving for.

Jasmin: That is success.

Liv: That’s success!

Jasmin: Someday, when we take a whole year and go country to country, state to stay celebrating pride, we will have made it. Bex Taylor-Klaus, our friend, thank you for being a guest on our podcast!

Bex: My absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me as a guest on your podcast.

Liv: Thank you for attending this meeting of The Gay Agenda.

Bex: Yes!!!

Jasmin: Homo-Schedule.

[Everyone laughs]

Bex: This is the best! I love you both very much. Thank you for having me.

[Transition theme music]

Jasmin: After every interview, there is still so much more for us to read and learn and talk about and share about.

Liv: So we have some citations we want to share with you if you want to do some further research on your own.

Jasmin: You can find all of these in the episode notes in the episode description. So “Queering Shakespeare,” is an article by Sondra Newman at Aon, and it is an article about queerness in Shakespeare's plays. Here is a little quote from the article that I like. “We know that the sonnets treat gay love as pure and real and absolutely serious. Already in the 1590s, Shakespeare and at least some of his circle could see that love is love.”

Liv: There’s some academic speculation that Shakespeare was bi!

Jasmin: Oh, I'm sure. Shakespeare was bi and also women of color. Anyway—

[Liv laughs]

Jasmin: What article would you like to share this week?

Liv: I want to talk some more about softball. So the article I would like to share is called, “Black, Puerto Rican, Out and Proud: Alicia Ocasio Blazes a New Trail in the World of Softball.” It's written by Juan Pimiento at the Chicago Tribune and it is about softball star Alicia Ocasio talking about her experience as a Black, Puerto Rican and LGBT athlete, and what that represents to her, and I think it's wicked and worth a read.

Jasmin: Again, you can find all of these links and more in the episode description. And after you read them, tweet us! Tell us what you think! Tell us what you like about the article! Tell us if there's anything else that you think we should read. 

[Outro theme music begins]

Liv: This has been The Gay Agenda

Jasmin: I'm Jasmin Savoy Brown, your host, producer and creator of the show.

Liv: And I'm Liv Hewson, your host and producer. 

Jasmin: The Gay Agenda is produced by Multitudefor Netflix. Our lead producer is Eric Silver. Our engineer and editor is Misha Stanton. And our executive producer is Amanda McLaughlin.

Liv: Be sure to follow Most, Netflix's home for LGBTQ plus storytelling on Twitter and Instagram, @Most.

Jasmin: And the best way to help us keep advancing the Gay Agenda is to tell a friend about the show!

Liv: So, post about us on socials! Or text someone a link to your favorite episode! 

Jasmin: We'll see you next week!

Liv: This meeting has been adjourned! [Bangs gavel]

[Outro theme music ends]