Ever wonder who the person was behind the podcast #DoTell? Though she tells a little bit of her story each times she chooses to record, there’s more than you think going on in the mind and life of Dandy.
Whether you end the podcast laughing, crying or reminiscing, #DoTell is a no-holds-barred space for queer people, for people of color and for anyone who’ll listen. Not only does Dandy tell it like it is, she uses her platform to share, empower and uplift communities she is part of and passionate about. Find out more about the person behind the podcast.
Has the digital medium of the podcast always been your creative outlet? Why the spoken word, as opposed to the written?
I have always utilized my voice. I recall my mom and I rehearsing poetry that I would recite for a service at church, or how I would lead prayer in front of the congregation on Sunday morning as a youth. I also recall getting frequent butt whoppings because I had to have the last word when I argued with my mom. My voice was and still is a source of power. There is power in the tongue. Power to uplift and the power to breakdown. I wanted harness the good. Having those experiences as my foundation made podcasting very natural.
Can you tell us a little about the pen-name Dandy?
My beloved nickname came from my roommates in college. At the time, they were reading a book entitled The Art of Seduction authored by Robert Greene. In the book, Greene describes different types of seducers, one of which is The Dandy. Dandies were said to create an ambiguous, alluring presence that stirs repressed desire. I only read that excerpt and I felt like I found myself in the text. Hence, how my I received my pen-name.
What kind of response has your coming-out story warranted for listeners of #DoTell?
My coming-out story has been well received. It brings me joy to receive messages from listeners saying they were inspired by my courage, or how an episode resonated so deeply it moved them to tears. In sharing my story I am daring others to do the same in whatever capacity that brings them liberation.
Have you realized anything new about yourself as an individual or a creative after the public emergence of #DoTell?
I have learned I have a lot more growing up to do. However, I do give myself credit for the gains I have made. I am not the same person I was last year. I thank God for that. I look in the mirror and vanity aside I love the person I am evolving into. Often, people believe that they are their mistakes. People make mistakes. People are not mistakes. I had to learn to love myself unconditionally even through my shortcomings.
Do you see yourself revisiting the physical church or the idea of church now that you’ve established your mark of freedom?
As of now, the thought of attending church feels very intimidating. For a long time, I hated myself because of my sexuality. I was repeatedly told homosexuality was a condemnation. I do not trust the church to help me flourish spiritually. I feel as though my relationship with God has been compromised because some of His followers try and dress up their own prejudice and biases and call it the armor of God. God’s word is a sword. A tool meant for sharpening each other not to cut one another down. Obviously, this is a generalization because not every church operates this way. Nonetheless, until I find a church that is inclusive I’ll be at Bedside Baptist.
What has been the most liberating part of the creation of #DoTell?
The most liberating part of creating #DoTell is the healing I have received. Each episode I release I feel a piece of myself being freed as well. It is an indescribable feeling to come into yourself.
Is there a podcaster who has inspired your own work?
I listen to a number of podcasts. My daily rotation consists of The Read, The Friend Zone, Jade and XD, and Overqualified and Drunk. That’s a heavy rotation and many others I did not mention but my podcast is unlike any of those I named. I feel empowered to create my own content because I see each of these podcasts excelling. My inspiration came from my own experiences. I want to be the outlet I needed when I was coming out and that is my driving force.
How do you decide what to #tell on the air?
I am practically unfiltered on my podcast. It is never my intention to make myself out to be perfect; it is quite the contrary. I highlight my imperfections and my journey of self-discovery and betterment. When I offer myself up and become vulnerable, it gives the listeners permission to do the same whether on the podcast or in their personal lives. There is an element of empowerment when an individual has control over their narrative and how they would like to share it. I want to inspire others to use their words to bring hope to themselves and others within the LGBTQ community.
What is your ultimate goal for the podcast?
I am currently working towards a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, where I hope to one day serve the LGBT community in the mental health field. Ultimately, I want to use my education to build my podcast and expand my reach through live shows and speaking engagements at higher learning institutions.