Feed Swap Friday with I’m Feeling Queer Today podcast – The Label Game

Welcome to our Feed Swap Friday. Today we’re excited to share an episode from our friends at I’m Feeling Queer Today! In this episode, Alex and Lily unpack the roles that labels play within queer identities and how they serve (or don’t serve) queer young people as they explore who they are, who they love, and who they hope to become. Listen to I’m Feeling Queer Today wherever you get your podcasts!

Contents & Content Warnings…

00:00 – Introduction from Eric Eubank/What’s your hope for this podcast?

1:35 – Episode intro with Lily & Alex, All About Labels

3:21 – Labels with Eric Eubank & Wallace

10:15-10:21 – Mentions of homophobia and transphobia 

11:20 – Benny 

13:55 – Coming out between generations/commentary 

14:52 – Queer Crushes with Zorian

15:40-15:56 – Instances of homophobia (invalidation)

18:08 – My Queer Identity Journey: Frankie

21:55 – Coming up next 

22:12 – Show notes & resources

22:52 – Credits

FPP Information…

To learn more about The Future Perfect Project and all of our free arts programming for LGBTQIA+ youth, visit thefutureperfectproject.org or find us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and bandcamp @thefutureperfectproject

For more information on Future Perfect Records, one of The Future Perfect Project’s programs, check out our website or bandcamp, Stream Not What You Pictured or Divinity on your favorite music streaming platform, or find them @futureperfectrecords on Instagram.

Crisis Resources… 

If you or a young person you know between the ages of 13-24 is currently in crisis, check out thetrevorproject.org for LGBTQIA+-specific support through text and chat, or call 1-866-488-7386.


Interested in Mady G. and Jules Zuckerberg’s A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities? Head to your favorite bookseller or local library, or support its creators on Instagram @madygcomics and @juleszuckerberg


I’m Feeling Queer Today is produced by The Future Perfect Project with support from Radio Kingston, WKNY AM1490, FM1079, Kingston, NY.

Episode two of I’m Feeling Queer Today was produced by Alex Masse, Lily Mueller, Frankie Gunn, and Wallace, and features Benny, Eric Eubank, & Zorian Edwards. Special thanks to executive producers and mentors, Julie Novak and Celeste Lecesne, as well as Future Perfect Project team members Ryan Amador, Jon Wan, and Aliya Jamil. 

The I’m Feeling Queer Today theme was composed and performed by Alex Masse & produced by Emma Jayne Seslowsky. Additional music was composed by Alex Masse, Frankie Gunn, and Epidemic Sound. 

Mixing & mastering for I’m Feeling Queer Today by Julie Novak, with assistance from Emma Jayne Seslowsky.

For more information and episode transcript, visit the show page at http://www.thefutureperfectproject.org/podcast.

TikTok/Insta: @thefutureperfectproject


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Family, welcome to our feed swap Friday of the month. This month we are featuring the podcast. I’m feeling queer today. Child, I be feeling queer every day, but this pod is called I’m feeling queer today.

This podcast is part of the work coming out of the Future Perfect project where their goal is to amplify the voices of queer youth.

What’s going on? We got Sam, we got Alex, we got Julie in the building. Hey y’all. Julie, I want to start with you because there’s a lot of people who may not know, um, what the future perfect project is.

Click here to read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Family. Welcome to our feed swap Friday of the month. This month we are featuring the podcast. I’m feeling queer today. Child, I be feeling queer every day, but this pod is called I’m feeling queer today.

This podcast is part of the work coming out of the Future Perfect project where their goal is to amplify the voices of queer youth.

What’s going on? We got Sam, we got Alex, we got Julie in the building. Hey y’all. Julie, I want to start with you because there’s a lot of people who may not know, um, what the future perfect project [00:00:30] is.

And so I would love for you to just give everybody the 411 on that.

Yeah, I’d love to get some background. So we’ve been, um, in existence for about seven years. Uh, the organization was co founded by, um, the same person that Co founded the Trevor project, which everybody, most people know, um, the 24 seven hotline for, uh, queer young people who are in crisis, um, Celeste Lucene and Celeste had met up with a singer [00:01:00] songwriter by the name of Ryan Amador, um, a queer performer.

Um, I don’t remember where they met, but they both struck up a friendship and talked about their experiences. Ryan on tour, Celeste doing different, um, Appearances at schools and stuff. Celeste was also a theater performer and had a one person show. Um, and noticing that the queer youth they were meeting were different than any other generation of queer youth that [00:01:30] they had met before.

That what was coming out of, of the mouths of these young people was very, um, very based in social justice, and activism, and autonomy, and really, understanding themselves in a way I know for myself as a young queer person. I was not in touch with that. I was so busy keeping the closet doors closed. So, it grew out of that.

Uh, Celeste and Ryan started doing different workshops. They were like, let’s See what these kids have to say, [00:02:00] um, through the lens of art. Uh, so what we do at Future Perfect Project is we offer free arts programming to queer youth all over the country.

We do a bi monthly writing workshop. We have this podcast that we’ve created, which is all done over zoom. Um, we’re about to take it on the road for season three. We also have a program called future perfect records, um, that we. And we pay all these young people too, which is a really nice part of our model.

All the producers of the podcast have been paid. We have a record [00:02:30] label called Future Perfect Records. All queer, young queer artists up and coming. We help produce their music and get them distribution rights. And, um, but you know, I think the bread and butter of what we started with was just these small group discussions with young queer people, um, Getting a chance to really tell their stories and true storytelling is a lot what we’re based on, you know, and, um, trying to help young people also develop themselves [00:03:00] as artists and encouraging them to know that you have something to say and it’s important and it’s beautiful.

Um, and all of it’s free and we’re very happy about that. Yeah, we’re just putting our tentacles out there and, uh, doing, doing the good work.

Definitely doing the good work. I had no idea you all were doing all of that. I started doing my research. I’m like, man, they busy. Okay. And I love, I love the fact that you’re also paying young people, uh, for their time and their energy and their talents. I think [00:03:30] that’s really dope.

And so Sam, I know you are a producer of this podcast, so I would love to hear how you got involved and why you got involved.

Yes. So, um, I got involved I believe November, 2022. It was my senior year of high school. Around that time my teacher sent me the, um, the link to the play build application.

And um,

I was like, OMG. ’cause when I was like, when I was in middle school, like I used to like dream of being on a podcast where I could talk [00:04:00] about like. Queer issues and black issues, because like, it was like, there’s, there’s things that were always very important to me.

so I jumped on it and,

I’ve been writing, I’ve been creating ever since I was in middle school, but like, I’ve never had a, a platform for these ideas and these, these, these, these ideas. These patterns that I’ve noticed that happen to a lot of queer youth, a lot of queer black youth, a lot of black youth, and It’s important to me to have this this platform as a queer black person because a lot of times in black spaces The [00:04:30] queer voice is kind of silence and in queer spaces, the black voice is kind of silence.

And I believe that because I sit at the intersection, my voice is very important because there aren’t that many people like us at the intersections to, to speak with people like us. And so it’s, especially for the, for the little, little kids that are like me, that, that needed somebody to look up to, cause I didn’t have that many people to look up to with a platform who were going through the same things as me.

So I just wanted to be that.

And you’re doing it. And y’all doing it with this pod. I think that’s so dope. Uh, and I [00:05:00] think one thing you said was that it was something you wanted to do since you were a little kid. And I think it’s, it’s interesting when these spaces are created because you just never know who you’re going to impact or who it’s going to reach.

And so the fact that they wanted to start something, allow for your dream to come true. And I think that that’s. That’s pretty cool. Uh, and then we got, we got Alex in the building and Alex, you actually Hello, and you actually co produced the episode that people are going to hear on our [00:05:30] feed today Or whenever they tune in and so you actually co produced this one the title of this one is called the label game

Indeed it is.


so, and so I would love to know while y’all are putting this episode together, what were things that were important to you all? Why did you all want to talk about labels and how that’s impacting queer youth today?

Well, as Julie stated, there is something about like this generation, my generation of queer youth, where we have a lot of access to information and concepts that I feel like previous [00:06:00] generations.

They, they laid the groundwork, but it’s like, it’s a relatively new concept to just be able to like, go out there, or like, open up your phone, and like, be introduced to all these concepts, and like, experiences of queerness, and one thing that I’ve noticed a lot is that people are finding solace in labels, and that’s something that I find incredibly beautiful, but it’s also like, Not a universal experience.

That’s one thing about queerness is that there, there are like all kinds of different ways to experience it. Like some people like [00:06:30] lean towards certain labels. Some people don’t want to label themselves. And I don’t think that like either of those people are less queer than the other. And yeah, I found that when we were recording this podcast, we definitely had a lot of experiences and like unique relationships with labels and just.

the different ways that people can connect or feel disconnected from them, especially when intersectionality becomes, like, part of the picture. Like, queer people of color probably have different experiences, and like, disabled queer people, speaking as a disabled queer person, have [00:07:00] different experiences.

And yeah, we’re very privileged to have, like, youth from all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life and experiences who Perhaps as a result of that or perhaps as a result of different experiences entirely have different relationships with labels. And at the, at the Future Perfect project and on I’m Feeling Queer Today, this concept that we worked with was speak from the eye, which basically means like speaking from our own experiences and not trying to like make those seem realer or more legitimate than others.[00:07:30]

So yeah. That’s, that’s one interesting thing about I’m feeling queer today is you could hear two people come to entirely different conclusions about what labels work for them or what like terminology they use or what they feel comfortable with and both of them are equally right. And that’s kind of how I feel about the concept of the label game as a queer non binary disabled person.

I love this child. People tried to find labels for me when I was coming out. I was like, what are you talking about? I was [00:08:00] so confused. They’d be like, Oh no, you’re not a stud. You’re like a soft stud. I’m like, I’m a soft, what? Um, and I just had no concept for any of this. And then these labels begin to inform how you show up in the world, because these are these expectations that people have now put on you based upon however they see you in the world.

Sam, I’d love to hear how have labels impacted your lived experience. Alex talked about the intersections. I mean, and you mentioned that too.

This is a great, this [00:08:30] is a great time to, to talk about this. a few months ago, uh, I was in, I was talking to my therapist and I was saying like, um, you know, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a boy, like, I think, like, you know, I use he, him pronouns, but like, like, I would say maybe a year ago, two years ago, I put on my Instagram, he, she, they, and like, I, like, I just, I just changed it in my bio.

Didn’t say anything about it. A few months later, I got posted and I was like, yeah, these are my pronouns and like, and preferred pronoun order or whatever. But then last year [00:09:00] I was talking to my teacher about it and I was like, yeah, he, she, they, and he was like, No, you’re not, like, you’re not, like, no, you’re like, you’re a him, like, look how you dress, look how you act, like, you’re a him, you’re one of the boys.

I was like, okay, well, I guess, whatever, and, um, I think it was, like, something, something I dealt with a lot was trying to figure out what, what my label is, and am I, you know, am I a boy, am I non binary, whatever, whatever, I talked to my therapist and I was saying like, I feel as though it’s, [00:09:30] it’s, am I being disrespectful like, saying that I don’t identify as a boy because I do not live the, the, what we think the trans experience is and like, I feel comfortable in my body.

But like, I also don’t really feel like one of the boys and I don’t, I don’t want to be one of the boys. This is something I mentioned, I said, talked about in my episode about queerness. And, uh, black femininity. It’s like when I was growing up, I was ostracized from the boys, and I wanted to be one of the boys so bad.

But also, I [00:10:00] really didn’t because I wouldn’t hang with the girls. I wanted to sing and dance, and the boys would play basketball. And like, uh, like, hello? It was when we played basketball. It was boring. Um, and then, also when I was younger, I had an afro. And, um, I, I wore like a lot of my step mom’s clothes and she was also a stud, but like, you know, she was just, you know, so like the clothes were not boy clothes, but they were, you know, they were like, I thought they were cute.

So I wore them, whatever. And people are a lot of time. I also had like a pretty high voice and I was, you know, I had, I was [00:10:30] feminine. And so people thought I was a girl often and it used to upset me very, very deeply because a lot of times it was also like their homophobia and, um, like it was like supposed to make me feel bad.

Yeah. As I’m older now, like, I’ll throw on a crop top and like, I’m like, I’ll be feeling it. The other day, I put on, um, I put on, uh, from my acting studio, uh, I’ve had to put on a button up in Slack. And I felt like I was getting in drag. And I was like, I was like, like, did like this, like, this is like, this is, this is not me.

But I feel kind of [00:11:00] cute though, but like, this is not me. Like, but it’s like, this is drag. Hello? Um, and like, I’m like, I’m still trying to figure out. What the label is. I recently read that you can be non binary, so identify as a man. Like, a lot of times, like, my, like, I have, like, two straight men that I’m friends with.

Like, I be like, um, I’m a lady. Y’all talk about that boy stuff. I don’t know what that boy stuff is. I’m a lady. Hello. but sometimes when they’re, like, talking about, Like, like, the boy, the boy stuff, like, video games, which I [00:11:30] do like, and like, you know, certain sports I do like to watch. Not to play, but I do like to watch.

It’s like, I kind of feel like, on the outside a little bit. I’m like, I don’t know why I feel like Like, why, like, why, like, why, why do I want to be included on that? And it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s something that I’m still trying to figure out. And, like, to wrap it back around to labels, it’s like, being, being a, being a queer person is being asked questions about your identity all the time.

Ever since before I even identified as a queer person, [00:12:00] Before I identified as a queer person, people were asking me questions about who I was. I didn’t always have the answers. And like also being an advocate, sometimes I like to educate, but I have to know the answers to the questions that people are asking to educate.

And it like, it frustrates me to not have the answers about myself or not, or not have the words or the labels to put on myself. And like, it’s like, it kind of, it kind of sucks. But like, also it’s like, I’m also just me. And, um, Yeah, like, [00:12:30] like, like, they’re like, the, the, the labels are nice to have, and I think that it, they’re also the fostering community, having a label, and I think, like, it’s also how I, how, what intersection, intersectionality is based on, if our labels match, but, um, sometimes it’s like, you’re just you.

And I’m just me and in like my like I don’t know like I’m an I’m a I for the first time yesterday Literally yesterday last night. I used her non binary as a like as [00:13:00] a as a referring to myself. I was like Okay, but also I’m a man because like I was socialized and I grew up a man and I’m I feel nice in my male body and as an actor like I do a lot of pieces that are written for women like I sing a lot of songs that are like written for women or the female voice and I change the key and like I feel very affirmed but I don’t know.

I think that’s okay, and I think that might be the idea behind this episode in its [00:13:30] totality. And also, Sam, I appreciate you sharing your story and your journey, because child therapy saves lives, okay? Saves minds. It does. Right? Okay. And so, working through your process, and I appreciate you sharing that.

Because it is a process. And I say, don’t rush your process. It’s going to be what it is. And Alex, we’re putting this episode together. What are you hoping that young people, and even the people who are going to listen to it on this podcast feed, get out of listening to this episode? What do you hope is the message they receive?

I [00:14:00] hope that the message they received is that there are so many ways to be queer and to relate to or not relate to labels, like, that’s the one thing that we keep coming back to, there is no single right answer, there’s no way to like, there’s no way to get like an A plus on being queer, whatever that means for you, like, I’m a non binary lesbian, some people don’t know.

Don’t really get that, and I try to explain it to the best of my ability. Some people are openly listening to it, some people aren’t. That doesn’t impact my legitimacy as a queer [00:14:30] person. I, I’m still a non binary lesbian, whether people say that or not. Say, whether people agree or not. And like, yeah, the non binary experience, the lesbian experience, really any kind of queer experience, it’s, it means different things to a lot of different people.

Like, some people look at me saying my lesbianism affects my gender and they’re like, Well, that’s not the truth for me. I I’m a lesbian and I’m happily cisgender and it’s like, well, good for you. I find that my [00:15:00] experiences as a lesbian really alienated me from womanhood and I don’t identify as a woman because of that and other factors, like gender dysphoria and how my neurodivergences affect me.

Impacts how I perceive gender, like there really just are so many experiences and I feel like as long as you’re not hurting people, none of them are really wrong. Like, yeah, like I said, the label game, there might be stories that come to different conclusions. Some of them might be contradictory. I don’t know.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the episode, admittedly, but like, yeah, [00:15:30] just. Take what resonates is kind of the vibe, but don’t, don’t like, trash on what doesn’t, I guess. There is no wrong answer. I

love that. And Julia, as you sit here, oh, you wanted to, I was coming to you right

now. Oh, yeah, yeah.

One thing I wanted to say that I think, you know, this podcast is for queer youth, but it’s also for people who want to understand and learn more about the queer experience, who might not be on board, who might Have a child that just came out and they’re like, what is this all about [00:16:00] for me as the adult in the mix and I’m 50, um, 51, actually.

So when I first started working with, with queer youth of this generation, for me, it was a little confusing because sometimes we have a zoom and somebody would show up one day as, you know, Sam and the next day they’d come to a workshop and they were maybe, Bill with like different pronouns and different and what I’ve realized is that some people in my [00:16:30] generation Look at all these different labels and all these, you know chosen names and all these things As a sign of confusion, but really it’s a sign of curiosity, um, that these young people get to experience because of the work that queer elders have done.

I think too that one of the things that comes across really strongly in throughout the episode is this idea of fluidity, um, that some young people, Wallace and Eric in [00:17:00] particular, who are at the beginning of the episode being interviewing each other. They’re like, I was going to choose a label, but why bother?

Because it’s probably going to change. So I thought that was a really interesting piece. I wonder if like Sam or Alex wants to talk about that phenomenon. Cause it seems to be. They both were very much wanting to reject any kind of box because they were like Ben Pete that’s all people are gonna see me as so kind of just like that exploration to me is a big part of this [00:17:30] episode too that I think Will be really cool for people to hear who are Confused about like, what are these kids doing?

You know? And it’s like, they’re, they’re, they have freedom. They’re figuring out who they are, you know?

And I think to your point around older generations, you say curiosity. The first thing that came to me was freedom and liberation that we did not have. Right. And I think it is something scary when you see that people are free and that people are liberated to live outside of [00:18:00] the labels.

So Julie, if people want to support the future, perfect project, how can they do that?

if anyone wants to support what we’re doing and support this great work and keep this podcast going, you can go to the future. Perfect project. org at the top of the page.

There’s a button that says donate. You can also go to our, uh, about us page. You can find ways that you could volunteer, get involved. Um, so yeah, all you have to do is go to the Future [00:18:30] perfect project.org and you can find us on social media at the Future Perfect project across platforms. Check out what we’re doing.

Uh, we could use all the support we can get.

So yeah, check out the future perfect project. org.

All of that, of what Julie just said.

And now we’re going to actually play this episode, the label game. I hope that y’all enjoy it. actually, you should enjoy it. You should be looking forward to it after hearing this dope interview, Julie said. [00:19:00] Sam and Alex. So get ready to enjoy the label game. And when you get done listening, go subscribe to their podcast.

I’m feeling queer today. And then you’re going to listen and then you’re going to rate and review and give it all fives. Okay. And I know y’all going to do that. So thank y’all for coming on and family. Enjoy the episode.

Thank you for having us.

Feed Swap Friday with I’m Feeling Queer Today podcast – The Label Game

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