Musician, producer, DJ, and dancer Brian Eley joins The BodPod to discuss many aspects of their bodily experience: dancing, body awareness, the intersection of mental and physical health, sex positivity and sex anxieties, the performative body, gender identity (and thus, naturally, masculinity and femininity), sexting, dick pics, eating disorders, HSV2, and how we should tend to all of our orifices. Brian, who uses they/them pronouns*, holds nothing back in this frank discussion of their body. Brian raps under the name Brian is Ze and produces and DJs under the name Queermo. You can check out their work at https://brianisze.bandcamp.com/.
You can read press reviews of Brian’s work at Outsmart Magazine and Houston Press.
*EDIT: There’s a part in the middle of my introduction where I misgender Brian as a “he.” While I could take this episode down and re-upload a corrected version, I think it’s important to call this out when it happens and own up to these mistakes while using it as an opportunity to learn. There is no excuse for this sort of error. It is easy to refer to people as the gender in which they identify. This error underscores how deeply ingrained the gender binary is in our brains and how we have certain defaults we fall into when speaking of others. Transformations of consciousness can only occur with conscious efforts. I can only hope the mistake will help people be more aware of the way they use language when addressing the identities of others, and the respect we give each other in honoring their identities. I clearly have more work to do with regard to deconstructing binaries in a way that becomes a new default. The BodPod regrets the mistake.
Absolutely thrilled and delighted that this humble little podcast has caught the interest and praise of the Austin Chronicle. A photographer dropped by earlier in the week, but told me she didn’t know the specifics of the assignment. I couldn’t have imagined that it was for this. Thanks to everyone who has agreed to be interviewed for this project and supported it. It motivates and inspires me to continue collecting a variety of stories in all of their bodily glory.
In this conversation with Assistant Professor of English at UT Austin Julie Minich, we discuss categories of disability, how the concept of health affects bodies, especially “irresponsible” or “deviant” ones; citizenship; obesity; flaws in the health care system; health surveillance; the myth of “choosing” your health; the myth of human perfectability; and the collective responsibility of health. Julie is currently working on a book that discusses these issues and more. She is the author of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014).
In this episode, I talk with Double Dick Dude, who now goes by “Clark,” about his two penises, his life since coming out on Reddit in January 2014, his new book, his butt, body positivity, representation of bodies, and many other topics. Clark was a joy to interview and holds nothing back when discussing his body. Be sure to check out my piece about him for the Daily Dot. You can purchase his first book here, and you can follow him on Tumblr and Twitter (NSFW images included on these pages). I’ve also posted the op-ed he reads aloud (about an episode of 2 Broke Girls that featured a character with two penises), and you can get read that here.
In this episode, I speak with teacher and musician Phil Ajjarapu. Phil has experienced a number of physical affronts to his body over the years including typhoid, a violent car-jacking, and a motorcycle accident that probably should have killed him. We touch on all of these – the car-jacking bit opens up our discussion to broader ideas about racism and I get a little riled up! We also discuss his career as a musician and teacher and the album he made after his accident. Phil currently lives in Portland, where he teaches music to grades K-8.
Austin American-Statesman article about Phil and his MoPac accident
Phil Ajjarapu: Sing Along Until You Feel Better on Spotify
Phil Ajjarapu: Sing Along Until You Feel Better on Bandcamp
In Episode Eleven, I talk with cyborg aficionado Richard MacKinnon. Richard is the founder of Borgfest, a festival and expo that celebrates and supports people interested in human augmentation, enhancement, body modification, and wearable technology. In graduate school, Richard studied political theory and identity in cyberspace, which led him to his interest in all things cyborg. We talk about how his personal experience as a queer Asian American affected his conception of the term; how the cyborg label could be used to define many aspects of the marriage of the human and the technological; how the film Ex Machina fulfills certain sci-fi tropes and applies to Richard’s conception of the cyborg; and how the sex industry could be affected by the evolution of technology. A provocative and insightful talk!
Video and article about kicking a robot dog
The BodPod and its host (me!) are honored and humbled to be featured in the latest issue of The Austin Chronicle for Amy Gentry’s column, The Good Eye. You can read the web version of the article here. Episode Eight will feature our mutual (very long!) interview.