Gayish: 310 Qatar

As the FIFA World Cup 2022 continues, claims of homophobia are dismissed and deprioritized. Are the criticisms justified, or do we need to simply respect the culture of Qatar?

In this episode: News- 4:38 || Main Topic (Qatar)- 22:58 || Gayest & Straightest- 1:21:52

Donate to Dr. Nasser Mohamed’s non-profit to advance LGBT rights in the Middle East (with a focus on the Gulf region) at www.alwanfoundation.org.
On the bonus Patreon segment, we discuss brand ambassador to the World Cup 2022, known hot guy, and former(?) gay icon icon David Beckham. Get weekly and monthly bonus content by joining Patreon for $5/mo at www.patreon.com/gayishpodcast.

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

INTRO MUSIC [MIKE JOHNSON SINGING]

When you know that you are queer but your favorite drink is beer, that’s Gayish. You can bottom without stopping but you can’t stand going shopping, that’s Gayish. Oh, Gayish. You’re probably Gayish. Oh life’s just too short for narrow stereotypes. Oh, it’s Gayish. We’re all so Gayish. It’s Gayish with Mike and Kyle.

MIKE JOHNSON

Hello everyone in the podcast universe. This is Gayish.

KYLE GETZ

The podcast that wonders if, when Bernie Sanders orgasms, does he jizz universal basic sincum.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Spelled “cum”?

KYLE GETZ

Yes, yes.

MIKE JOHNSON

“Sincum”

KYLE GETZ

That’s what I call my jizz, is “sincum.” [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

Great. [chuckles] I’m Mike Johnson.

KYLE GETZ

Jesus made me do it. Um, I’m Kyle Getz.

MIKE JOHNSON

And we’re here to bridge the gap between sexuality and actuality, and today…

KYLE GETZ

Today you sound wonderful, Mike!

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh, thank you. So first, I apologize for last week, everybody. Believe it or not, what you’re hearing right now is a dramatic improvement. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

I’ve been paying close attention to your progress based on the voice texts that you’ve been sending, and yeah, you sound great! Comparatively.

MIKE JOHNSON

Comparatively, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s been- It’s been a lot, I almost died. Not really, but everything-

KYLE GETZ

But that sounds more dramatic?

MIKE JOHNSON

Everything’s better if it sounds more dramatic. [both laugh]

KYLE GETZ

You’re gay. It’s dramatic. We so rarely in our lives take a week off, it’s something we pride ourselves on actually.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Like, we- And so that might have been, like, I don’t know, the fourth time or I- it’s- it’s been a handful of times that we’ve taken a week off, so.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, yeah. Which, maybe we should do more often.

KYLE GETZ

Maybe!

MIKE JOHNSON

Nah.

KYLE GETZ

No. [Mike laughs] I don’t know. I like that. I like being able to brag about that. You know all the big podcasts are like, [in a mocking tone] “Well, we’re taking a week off because, you know, my child died,” or whatever thing, and you’re like, “Come on!” Like, nut up!

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Well, and we- We decided early on not to do seasons, because that’s stupid.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, our season is season one! It’s all of it!

MIKE JOHNSON

Forever! [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

All of it forever. Yeah. So, anyway, sorry about last week. Blame Mike, um-

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s all my fault.

KYLE GETZ

-and not me.

MIKE JOHNSON

100% my fault. Hold Kyle blameless, everyone.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, but just hold me. [Mike laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Umm…

MIKE JOHNSON

We’re gonna talk about Qatar!

KYLE GETZ

We’re gonna talk about FIFA and that country you said.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep!

KYLE GETZ

Which I- Boy, I even- even though I looked up how to pronounce it, people were saying, like, the Americanized pronunciation, they were like, “It’s not ‘Qatar’ [TN: Like the “cu” in “cut” + “tar”], it’s called ‘Qatar’,” [TN: like “caw” + “tar”] but it’s- like, there’s even more to it that you’re doing better than I. I’m not going to attempt to the “Qatar”. [TN: Pronounced with a glottal fricative] Like, that’s not just your throat, that’s how you’re supposed to pronounce it.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] I’m so good at Arabic right now, with my, like, my voice being really nasally.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, it was planned. Yes. Uh, you should have been seeing a bunch in the news about FIFA and Qatar, so we’ll talk more about that in mere moment.

MIKE JOHNSON

In mere moments. But first!

KYLE GETZ

But first.

MIKE JOHNSON

There is 100 words in our email, but there’s a special request in that email for me to do a dramatic reading, and I want my voice to be better for that. So, just hang on one more week, Tim.

KYLE GETZ

Yes!

MIKE JOHNSON

We’ll get there.

KYLE GETZ

Yes! And if you want to send in 100 words to get in the queue then you have to have the $15-level Patreon, and then send them over whenever you want.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep! Uhh, feedback and corrections. Real quick, a couple of small corrections.

KYLE GETZ

Uh-oh.

MIKE JOHNSON

Nope, one small correction.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, it was widely reported that it was a drag queen that had stepped on the head of the shooter at Club Q during the shooting. There’s now mixed reporting that there was possibly a trans person that did that, and that calling them a drag queen was incorrect. I tend to believe that reporting, so, um, yeah. Anyway, just, like, it was unintentional but that person wasn’t a drag queen, probably.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. And it’s- it’s so interesting these days how a tweet then is like, everyone starts retweeting it, and then you’re like… journalism, like, did anyone verify this tweet?

MIKE JOHNSON

Right.

KYLE GETZ

What- If this tweet is to be believed, which I have no reason not to – but I also, you know – then it was just… they said it really well. They seem to either have been there or know this person, and just say, like, “Wasn’t a drag queen, was a trans woman. And I don’t think the person that said it was a drag queen knew that, so now that we know let’s correct it,” which is a very straightforward and fair way to be like, “That’s wrong. Now we know. Now let’s fix it,” and I love that approach.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep, me too. Absolutely.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay. And then, uh, just a couple of updates to ongoing news stories. Singapore did actually finally overturn their anti-sodomy law. It had been proposed to be overturned months and months ago, and we reported on it, and like- but it’s actually happened now.

KYLE GETZ

[quietly] Are we in the new segment yet?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Did I already play the news theme song?

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, fine. Here’s the news.

[News segment intro plays, sung by MIKE JOHNSON]

Shut your mouth hole it’s time for your ear holes, news, news, news.

KYLE GETZ

We don’t have to have been in-

MIKE JOHNSON

Fuckin’ lay off, Kyle, I’m sick! [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

I don’t- I just don’t know- I just need an empty space where the news theme song goes.

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s our editors problem.

KYLE GETZ

That’s true, that’s true. That asshole.

MIKE JOHNSON

Fuck that guy. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, I know.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, a couple of updates to ongoing news stories. [Kyle laughs] Singapore has finally, actually, overturned their anti-sodomy laws, so-

KYLE GETZ

Oh my God, I’m engaged now because I know we’re in the news section! It’s really, like, [Mike chuckles] you know. I’m just excited about the news

MIKE JOHNSON

I can tell you- You really turned it up. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Now I know where we are and what I’m doing, for once in my life.

MIKE JOHNSON

People don’t realize that during the news theme song you do a line of coke, and that’s why- [Kyle laughs] that’s how we get through it.

KYLE GETZ

I mean, just like Dan Rather used to, back in the 60s.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep, yep. That’s-

KYLE GETZ

Did all of that makes sense?

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s why they called him Old Snow-stache. [both laugh]

KYLE GETZ

I thought that was Santa. Santa does a line of coke, that’s how he stays up and goes around the world.

MIKE JOHNSON

God help us, Kyle. Are we gonna get through this episode?

KYLE GETZ

Do more coke.

MIKE JOHNSON

Uh, and the other ongoing story that I just have to report on: I said that, as soon as the CDC figured out what they wanted to rename monkeypox to, I would let you all know what they decided to rename it to.

KYLE GETZ

Oh. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

The big winner: mpox.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Fuckin’ stupid.

KYLE GETZ

They’re what-

MIKE JOHNSON

Fuckin’ stupid!

KYLE GETZ

We were going “MPX” for a while. Like-

MIKE JOHNSON

I just- It took you months to come up with that, and it’s not even that good? Which, I think we knew we were gonna be dis- I knew I was gonna be disappointed, I think I even said so at the time.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Mpox?

KYLE GETZ

I mean-

MIKE JOHNSON

Nobody knows what the M stands for, Kyle, it can’t be racist anymore. Like-

KYLE GETZ

Naming a disease has to be one of the worst jobs ever. That is a thankless job no matter what you call- Like, what person is going into- Like, “I’m in charge for the branding of monkeypox!” like, “That’s my job!”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Sorry, “Mpox”. Call it that.

MIKE JOHNSON

You just- [laughing] You just deadnamed mpox.

KYLE GETZ

Fuck, you’re right.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Don’t deadname people, everybody.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, news the first!

KYLE GETZ

News the first.

MIKE JOHNSON

Alright-

KYLE GETZ

Oh, God. [laughs] And we play the news theme song again.

[News segment intro plays again, sung by MIKE JOHNSON]

Shut your mouth hole it’s time for your ear holes, news, news, news.

MIKE JOHNSON

[Kyle laughs] [chuckling] You can do whatever you want to, as many times as you want to.

KYLE GETZ

You’re sick, this is Kyle’s show. You’re just a witness to this show. [laughs] If your voice stops working in the middle of this you’re gonna have to type down what you want to say and I’m gonna have to read your side of the conversation.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Well, last week’s plan was for me to type it in for Derek to say it, and he can’t talk either. Not because we made out, but just ‘cause-

KYLE GETZ

‘Cause you sucked his dick.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, exactly. Uhhh, okay, news the first!

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Coming soon to the news: the lawsuit of Gayish Media Incorporated by our production assistant.

MIKE JOHNSON

He knew what he was signing up for. [chuckles]

KYLE GETZ

That is very true.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay!

KYLE GETZ

I can’t look at his video.

MIKE JOHNSON

I can’t either.

KYLE GETZ

[laughing] Just pretend like he’s fine with it.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] What the hell are they calling this thing?

KYLE GETZ

Derek.

MIKE JOHNSON

No.

KYLE GETZ

Oh. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

No, no, no, no, no, no.

KYLE GETZ

Mpox?

MIKE JOHNSON

The Senate- In the United States, the Senate has passed marriage equality protections that are meant to protect our right to marriage equality in the United States, in the case that the Supreme Court overturns the Obergefee vel hod- Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

KYLE GETZ

Wow.

MIKE JOHNSON

I know.

KYLE GETZ

You did worse than I did sometimes. [both laughing]

MIKE JOHNSON

I know, “Mbergemell”.

KYLE GETZ

“Mbergemell shnee. Shnodges”. Yeah yeah, I remember that one.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um… It’s interesting because Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is a mo herself – [Kyle laughs] well, at least part of the LGBTQ diaspora – had a lot to do with it getting through. It passed, 61 to 36, so that means 36 Republicans now are on record as saying that they still don’t like gay shit.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Not surprised. I kind of figured it would be more-

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

-that would be against us.

KYLE GETZ

I mean, so many say vocally that they- not vocally, they say out loud with their words, “No, I’m fine with it,” and then when you go and look at the records, look at what’s written in their fucking republican constitution or whatever, it says “I don’t support it.” So you can’t- It’s just- You- You are- Again, you’re- I mean, we need to keep voting on LGBT rights, because we need to keep updating the records and know how they currently think, because a lot of people can just be like [doing a mocking voice] “Oh, no, that was- That was how I felt last week! I’ve totally changed!” you know? [Mike chuckles] Like, so, I’d rather get that- get that shit down, because they hate gay people. I don’t care. It’s written, it’s there, the proof is there, and it’s just- I don’t know. Sorry, it’s the truth.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, and the part- One part that people don’t hear- One thing I didn’t hear this week, a lot, is that if you can pass, by a simple majority, these protections, they can also be removed that quickly, right? Like, the Republicans can and will, at some point, take back power, and can totally undo this, unlike constitutional rights that are enshrined in the Constitution as interpreted by our judicial system.

KYLE GETZ

Right.

MIKE JOHNSON

This- It is still tenuous, but it’s better than nothing.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

At least now, if Obergefell v. Hodges gets turned over and it gets remanded back to the states to decide, there’s a federal protection in place, for God knows how long, but.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah yeah. I mean, everyone- Like, you want everyone – in whatever their sphere is – to do what they can, and so, you know, they have done this. Like, they have at least done this thing, and that’s within their sphere of influence that they can do. They can’t control the courts. They can encourage, or oversight, or whatever they do for the courts, but this is what they could do and they did it, so I’m appreciative of that.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. Uh, the bill repeals the 1996 Defensive of Marriage Act, and establishes in federal law that same-sex marriages in one state must be recognized by another. So, that basically opens the door to federal protections, even though the state of Texas for instance is unlikely to be pro-same-sex marriage in a post-Obergefell world, those people could still travel to relatively nearby Colorado, get married there, and then Texas would be forced to recognize their Colorado marriage even though they’re Texas residents.

KYLE GETZ

It’s like planning for, in the case like abortion, where, okay, went back to the states and now the states get to decide. Well it’s like, okay, if it does go back to the states, you still have to recognize the states that say it’s legal?

MIKE JOHNSON

Correct. Yep.

KYLE GETZ

Cool.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep, yep, yep. Which is still a problem, right? There are people who might not be able to afford to leave their backward-ass stupid state to get married. There’s still potential problems, but, again, better than nothing. We have a lot to be thankful for.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah. But I- I saw a very quick action on marriage equality, and I feel like – I don’t know if it’s even a fair comparison – I don’t feel like I’ve seen the same urgency around trans rights or legislation to support trans people.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

And I think what- where that’s coming from, and I don’t know if that’s fair, I don’t know if we would have the same votes that we did for a bill like this, I just- One of the criticisms is, in the LGBTQ+ community, we often go for the benefits that focus on cis gay men. Like, that tends to be- And lesbians, you know. But that’s- those are the communities, less so than the people of color in our community, the trans people in our community, the disabled people in our community. Like, you add kind of some of those additional lenses, and marriage equality is both important and also there’s all of these other life-and-death things that I just don’t know that I see the same level of action, or, to me it just doesn’t feel like that, as an individual.

MIKE JOHNSON

No, you’re super right, but so much of that has to do with popularity as well, right? Like, ultimately, people are trying to get reelected, and they can’t piss off the people that vote for them. So, you know, support for marriage equality nationwide is somewhere in the, like, 70% range. It’s a very popular stance. Now, it wasn’t, 10, 15, 20 years ago, but yeah, it is now. Support for trans people, like the right to use the bathroom that they want to, is like 50% or less. The right to play in the sport of their chosen gender – their gender – is like 30 or 25%. It’s unpopular to support trans people, and that’s why they’re not getting the protections that they need, and that fucking sucks.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

I hope- I hope we can get there, someday. So much of it, I think, is just visibility, exposure, education, and advocacy, but there’s a long ways to go and I also think that there’s a rebound effect, right? Like we’re panicking because everybody sort of thought Obergefell passed and we were good forever.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

We thought the same thing about fuckin’ abortion rights.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Like, it’d been the law of the land for 50-ass years, and that’s the upside down, fucked up, bullshit, Goddamn world we live in now. Fuck, Kyle, I’m too- I’m too sick to be this mad! [both laugh] I’m gonna drink this drink.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

You should too. I made you a drink.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Do you hate it as much as I’m sure you do?

KYLE GETZ

You’re coughing because your throat is, like, dying and you’re having like, health issues. I started coughing because you made me a whiskey drink that I don’t understand, and it was like- I don’t- maybe just whiskey or something. It was a lot, and that’s why I started coughing.

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s whisking, and honey, and hot water, and is a boop of lemon. You know.

KYLE GETZ

It’s a- It’s a “boop” of everything else, [Mike laughs] and then all whiskey. It’s a lot whiskey.

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s a lot whiskey. Hot whiskey.

KYLE GETZ

Hot whiskey, which is my new drag name.

MIKE JOHNSON

Alright.

KYLE GETZ

Okay, we have to- [laughs] We have to keep talking about other things.

MIKE JOHNSON

Umm…

KYLE GETZ

I want to- Maybe I can cut this later. I sometimes keep in mistakes we make.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Including mistakes we make around, like, trans people, trans issues. When you said “chosen gender” instead of “gender”, and then corrected yourself.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

We can talk later about what-

MIKE JOHNSON

No, keep it in. Absolutely keep it in. I think, you know, I believe that I have earned my chops as somebody who cares deeply about the trans community, and I fuck up too.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

And I’m working on it, and I think demonstrating that is totally cool.

KYLE GETZ

I- And I don’t think we’ve, like, explicitly said that, and this is like- might be a good time to say that out loud. If we had a news podcast, or a reporting podcast, or a polished podcast that is the official final information, we would cut things like that, to be like, “This is how it’s presented,” if we’re an NPR-style podcast. But we’re not, we’re two people talking, so I like the idea of fucking up, correcting it, and continuing on, because that models the behavior I think a lot of people, including me, even to this day, sometimes worry about the wording of whatever issue it is. Trans issues, black issues, disability issues, I worry about saying the wrong thing, and- so I don’t say anything, and I’d rather say some- Every single person, every single group has said, like, “No, say something.” If you fuck up, that’s fine. And you probably will, and correct it and keep going. Like, you just have to start, and you have to talk about it. So, I like leaving that in, to show- to model that behavior, and that’s why it’s in there even after editing.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, absolutely. I’m down.

KYLE GETZ

There it is.

MIKE JOHNSON

I also have no shame, so, like- [laughing]

KYLE GETZ

I know. I’m the one, like, sitting there at like 2 a.m., and I’m like, “Should I text him about this, or should I like, leave it? Does he care? He doesn’t care. Maybe he will though, about-” You know. Yeah. Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, alright.

KYLE GETZ

[laughing] News the second.

MIKE JOHNSON

News the second, finally.

KYLE GETZ

We’re got your voice. We’re putting it up to- This is- Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I love this. So, British Airways has changed their strict guidelines for their flight attendants, to allow male flight attendants to wear piercings and makeup while on duty. So, they have non-gender-specific rules, so all rules apply equally to everybody regardless of gender. So, therefore, employees in uniform – again, regardless of gender – can wear mascara, false eyelashes, earrings, nail polish. There are some restrictions; staff are encouraged to use subtle shades for a natural look, and their nail polish cannot be black or neon. They are-

KYLE GETZ

That’s offensive to Goths.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, you know. You know.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] One step forward, one step to the left.

MIKE JOHNSON

We know that they’re all on United. [both laugh] They can also carry accessories, including handbags. They also are allowing man buns under their new hair grooming guidelines, which were previously prohibited. I just think it’s really great that British Airways is like “Yeah, this is dumb. Let’s fix it.”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah. It should be the same rules for every gender.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, and I just- I think it’s really, really cool. So, I hope to God that the next time I’m on a BA flight that I run into a nonbinary flight attendant with, just, like- just decked out in everything, and-

KYLE GETZ

Just uses all the rules at once.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Like, a skirt and a pocket watch, and, like, just, the whole thing,

KYLE GETZ

Like coat, and nails, and man bun, and- [chuckles]

MIKE JOHNSON

Yes.

KYLE GETZ

I guess it’s just a bun. I don’t-

MIKE JOHNSON

“Person bun”?

KYLE GETZ

“Person bun”?

MIKE JOHNSON

That doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

KYLE GETZ

No.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, anyway, the guidelines came into effect just a couple of weeks ago, on my birthday.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, happy birthday.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

You’re still milking that. Man, that was a while ago.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, you know?

KYLE GETZ

That’s fine, you just found a way to mention it again.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well…

KYLE GETZ

Happy Birthday, Mike!

MIKE JOHNSON

Thank you! [both laugh] Oh, noteworthy for this episode: they made a point of making those policy changes before their services in and out of Doha, the capital of Qatar.

KYLE GETZ

Oohh, fuck youuu.

MIKE JOHNSON

So, there were ostensibly some flight attendants who got to- Some male flight attendants got to wear their fake eyelashes and nail polish on flights servicing the World Cup, so.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, that’s fucking awesome.

MIKE JOHNSON

News the last. Actually, I think this is an update, but, DC Comics- Oh, wait, where’d Derek go? You’re gonna lose your shit, because I’m talking about comic book shit!

KYLE GETZ

[both laugh] Oh no, he’ll have to hear it on the episode when everyone else does.

MIKE JOHNSON

Alright, alright, alright. Alright. He’s dying, we’re all dying, everyone’s dying.

KYLE GETZ

He’s getting a Kleenex, I think because he just jizzed because he heard you talk about comics. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

Uh, DC Comics’ Batman and Robin. So, Tim Drake, also known as Robin, is, on the cover of an upcoming edition, going to be kissing his boyfriend.

KYLE GETZ

[singing] Show me love, show me life.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. His boyfriend is Bernard Dowd, and last year they started dating, and there was a whole coming out thing, and of course backlash from dickbag-

KYLE GETZ

Idiots.

MIKE JOHNSON

-idiots. Um, but now, on Issue #6 of Tim Drake: Robin, the two are gonna be kissing on the cover. He’s fully Robin-ed out [Kyle chuckles] and he kisses Bernard in the night with his cape blowing in the wind, covering Barnard, and the Gotham City skyline in the background. The edition is- it doesn’t come out until February of 2023, so I guess they’re trying to get all of the, like, bigoted bullshit out of the way now by announcing it. I don’t know.

KYLE GETZ

Interesting.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um… But yeah. Yeah. So, anyway, they’re just- they’re adorable, and now there’s a same-sex kiss between Robin and his boyfriend on the cover of a DC comic, and I think that’s pretty fuckin’ fantastic.

KYLE GETZ

That’s- I’ve seen the squares of him coming out to his dad or something, and it’s like a very cute, like, whole coming out, and him being supportive and stuff, and, you know, we need all kinds of stories, including stories where just, like, you come out and someone is like, fiercely still loves their child unconditionally, as most parents say and only some parents do.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Like, he actually did it, so, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Anytime in fiction, of any form, that there’s a supportive Dad, I’m a blubbering mess.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

I have daddy issues for sure.

KYLE GETZ

Did you- Was- Did that happen to you in Love, Simon? I was like, “This is not that good of a movie,” but I cried when he came out to Josh Duhamel. I was like, [speaking dramatically] “He’s so hot and supportive!”

MIKE JOHNSON

[whispering] I didn’t see it.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, spoiler. Sorry. [Mike laughs] Back in time, spoiler. Hit the back button 30 seconds, Mike! I mean, forward 30.

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh my god, can you imagine if you could edit my brain? [chuckles]

KYLE GETZ

God. I think you- Is- Have you been editing my brain? Is that why I forget everything? You’re just like “Ahh, let’s take away that dumb thing I said.” Like-

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, and I’m gonna have to edit this. [chuckles]

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, that’s true…

MIKE JOHNSON

That time he realized.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. [laughing] “That time he realized.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Uh, that’s the news!

KYLE GETZ

How many other times have I realized that you’ve edited- [whispering] How many times has this happened? I’ll never remember! [gasps]

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, did you use the flashy thing on me, from Men in Black? [laughs] That’s the news, Kyle!

KYLE GETZ

Um, speaking of the flashy thing from Men in Black, these are our flash new Patreons-

MIKE JOHNSON

Superheroes, Kyle! These are our superheroes!

KYLE GETZ

Fuck me, that was better. [Mike laughs] Flash me, Mike! Let me redo it! And, thanks for that transition, Mike. And now I’m gonna talk about the superheroes from Patreon, a transition I thought of myself. Thank you to: Michael McCrohon… I didn’t do that right.

MIKE JOHNSON

Nailed it.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, I didn’t even try again. Trevor Nelson. Got that one.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, good work.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, way to go, Trevor! Uh, Christopher Cash –  Johnny’s grandson.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, Christopher’s slightly less cash now, but…

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] I mean, Christopher likes cents, based on what he’s donating.

KYLE GETZ

Um, and Sam… Weiller? Wheeler? We-iller? Weilleuler. Weilleueelelurr. Um, thank you so much [laughs] to our Patreon members, and I apologize! If you want to join Patreon for bonus content, last month’s bonus episode was about math, and there was a lot-

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, and brunch.

KYLE GETZ

Eh, math brunch. Brunch math. [Mike laughs]. And there were some really interesting studies, I thought, that was there. So, if you want to join, you get full bonus episodes every month as well as weekly stuff, more bonus shit, lots of bonus- We need to count up how many hours. It’s got to be over 100 hours by now, because we’ve done so much. Anyway, patreon.com/gayishpodcast.

MIKE JOHNSON

Do it.

KYLE GETZ

Do you want to talk about FIFA and…

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh my God, Kyle.

KYLE GETZ

…[trying to do the glottal fricative] Qatar?

MIKE JOHNSON

Qatar.

KYLE GETZ

Qa- Qatar?

MIKE JOHNSON

Qatar.

KYLE GETZ

Qatar? It sounds more like an H when you’re saying it.

MIKE JOHNSON

Qatar.

KYLE GETZ

Qatar. I’m not gonna do that every time!

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s my understanding. And now, like, I kind of want to just say “Qatar” [TN: Like “cotter”] because that’s how I- that’s how I, like, naturally said it before-

KYLE GETZ

“Qatar”, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

-going down this rabbit hole of “How do you say it?”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

But yeah, I watched a couple of YouTube videos and I’m an expert now. It’s the Dunning-Kruger effect in in play.

KYLE GETZ

[both laugh] That’s literally our podcast. That’s- Like, “I read two articles, and now let me teach you about it.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Which one are you, Dunning or Kruger?

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Oh, I’m for sure Dunning.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, great.

KYLE GETZ

You’re definitely Kruger.

MIKE JOHNSON

Great. I love this for us. [both laugh]

KYLE GETZ

Okay, I think we are- Just, the fact that we’re not saying Qatar [TN: like the “cu” in “cut” + “tar”], the fact that we’re saying Qatar, [TN: like “cotter”] that alone I think is a step up from a lot of Americans, so I’m giving us basic, minimal credit of doing a minimal amount of work to know that part.

MIKE JOHNSON

Great.

KYLE GETZ

Thank you. Thank you, me, from the credit I gave myself.

MIKE JOHNSON

Thank you. We- Yeah, we’ve surveyed every Arabic speaking person in the room, and it is- [both laugh] and we won.

KYLE GETZ

I hear no object- Any objections? Any objections? None! Cool. It passes.

MIKE JOHNSON

Going with it.

KYLE GETZ

We’re trying.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, we’re trying. We are trying. First of all, Kyle…

KYLE GETZ

First of all, Mike…

MIKE JOHNSON

…are you a soccer fan? Are you a football fan?

KYLE GETZ

Um, I grew up- My dad played soccer. He, like, still played- plays soccer, like, kind of a little bit. Hi dad, if you’re listening, please pause the podcast and stop doing this. I told you not to. [Mike laughs] He, like, played in leagues that were like, you know, 50 and up, whereas like… should you be playing this game at your age? But he- Like, so he is a lifelong soccer player. He coached my brother’s team. My brother played through high school. I’ve been to a million soccer tournaments. It’s one of those things that I- when I joke about being gay, I joke about things like not understanding sports or whatever. I understand football, I understand soccer. Soccer, if I was gonna pick something, tennis and soccer would be the two that I would actually pick to, like, actively- That’s not- Yeah. Like, those were the ones I understand.

MIKE JOHNSON

So, the reason we’re talking about soccer, anybody under a rock is- Like, the FIFA World Cup is happening right now in Qatar, and when the World Cup comes around it’s only every four years, which, it feels more often than that, because I don’t care.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Do you tune in? Do you pay attention, or you don’t follow?

KYLE GETZ

No. No, no, no. I don’t give a shit. I have- It lasts for forever. There are a million different leagues and I don’t know or care, that’s the part that I don’t know. Do you? Do you know about or care about FIFA, or soccer, or…?

MIKE JOHNSON

No.

KYLE GETZ

No.

MIKE JOHNSON

None whatso- I just don’t.

KYLE GETZ

Do you know, like, the rule- Do I know more about the rules of soccer than you?

MIKE JOHNSON

So, the- I played soccer when I was, like, five, which is not really soccer.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s “put a ball out there and watch kids run into each other”.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, yeah, that’s “just swarm the ball because you don’t know how to, like, not go run after the ball that’s sitting there”, and like, you’re like, the fielder.

MIKE JOHNSON

“Position”? What’s that? [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

I just- Like, the reason I want to have this conversation with you though, is because I, listening to all of the discourse about FIFA and all the issues that they have, and their selection of Qatar, and Russia the last time, I very much approach it from this position of: It’s a fucking game and I don’t fucking care, get your shit together. And I need to- I need to check that, because it is the world’s sport, and people care deeply, and it is billions if not trillions of dollars that are involved. And so, for me to be so flippant and dismissive of the whole institution is really… it comes from a position of ignorance and insensitivity that I- that I want to understand better.

KYLE GETZ

There is a- You know… yes and no. [Mike laughs] Like, it is a like a-

MIKE JOHNSON

Or fuck it all, Kyle!

KYLE GETZ

Or fuck it! Okay. It’s a world- It’s a cultural, worldwide phenomenon that the US just hasn’t caught, so there is a bit of, like, if you just believe it doesn’t matter then you’re kind of dismissing a lot of things that every other country or most other countries give a shit about, so I don’t want to do that. At the same time, when we’re- when we’re putting into the scale of things, it is, in fact, a game that people are choosing to play. Unlike a lot of things, you are not born a soccer player, you’re not born a football player. Like, if we’re kind of stack ranking the importance of things, it is very important, not as important as other identities that belong to a person. So, that’s the part that I- I think it’s good coming from this place of, like, so much of what we hear is like trying to balance with the importance of soccer, and how much people care about soccer, and what- And I’m gonna call it soccer, because I don’t know, fuck you, this is where I- I just, I live here and this is what we call it. [In a mocking tone] Respect my culture, here we call it soccer. Um, but like-

MIKE JOHNSON

No, some cultures suck. More on that later.

KYLE GETZ

That’s true. [both laugh] Oh no, I need to leave this episode right now, I already got uncomfortable. Um, but like- Yeah, I don’t know. So I- Yes and no, you know? I don’t know.

MIKE JOHNSON

Mhm. Okay, so-

KYLE GETZ

Most gays only care about the hot soccer dudes.

MIKE JOHNSON

‘Cause they’re hot. Cristiano Ronaldo, sit on my face.

KYLE GETZ

That is- That has not worked for Darren Criss, it def- Darren Criss-stian Ronaldo.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yet.

KYLE GETZ

That’s true. [both laugh] I think you gotta- But like, you can’t spread the facesitting around to different celebrities. I think you gotta- if you’re gonna-

MIKE JOHNSON

Spread those legs! [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

I think you gotta go hard at one. So you’ve got to stick with Darren Criss If you’re gonna stick- Right?

MIKE JOHNSON

Ohh.

KYLE GETZ

You know, you can’t- If Darren Criss is like, “Oh, maybe I’ll sit on his face,” and he’s like, “Wait, but you also said that about Cristiano Ronaldo?” like, “He doesn’t actually care about me,” you know?

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, counterpoint.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I get three.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I can choose three, but I’m only allowed to change them every six months, and then I- like, one of them has to fall off to make room for another one.

KYLE GETZ

Okay. I’m just picturing the Friends scene where Isabella Rossellini sees him and she goes “But it’s laminated.” [Mike laughs] There’s a select number of Friends people that will understand that, but anyway, this doesn’t matter.

MIKE JOHNSON

[sighs] This doesn’t matter.

KYLE GETZ

Um, what did you want to talk- Yes, we’re talking about it because it’s the World Cup and people care about it.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Okay.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

FIFA is the HBIC of soccer in the world, – football in the world – and the World Cup which is the pinnacle- it’s like, actually a World Series.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, unlike baseball. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

Unlike ours, which is just us and Canada. But it is the governing body of international soccer, and it is a shitty institute.

KYLE GETZ

Corrupt, right. Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

It is corrupt as fuck. So, they awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar amid lots of controversy that there were payoffs, and bribes, and that it didn’t actually represent the will of the body. Like, there was- There are a whole bunch of serious, serious issues, and all of that’s because of this guy named Sepp Blatter, which I think sounds like a UTI.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, yeah. [laughing] “Sorry, I can’t tonight, honey. I got Sepp Blatter.”

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Exactly. “If your Sepp Blatter lasts more than four hours, go to the ER.” Uh, he was the president of the organization at the time that all of these decisions were being made, and he and other top executives were facing corruption charges, and they since, as part of cleaning up their act, agreed to require, quote, “Minimum human rights standards for countries that apply to host soccer competitions,” including zero tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation. What they didn’t say was that – again, this is before Russia and Qatar – that they were going to enforce or protect those things the next two times.

KYLE GETZ

Ohh.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right?

KYLE GETZ

Like, so that comes into effect after this one?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

KYLE GETZ

Ohh, sure.

MIKE JOHNSON

There’s this weird, like, tiptoeing around recognition that “We are just a game, we are just an organization, a very rich and very famous and very popular organization, but this is still a sovereign country where we are going and doing business, and we are subject to the laws of that place and need to be mindful of that,” and lots of people not from that country are going to go to that country to attend this event and they’re going to bring with them their own sensibilities about what they should be allowed to do, and- Anyway, it just-

KYLE GETZ

There’s a lot about this that seems reasonable at face value, the “Respect our culture, respect our country, respect, what we stand for.” Like, there are certain things- Like, a lot of it is like, yeah, okay, yeah, we can do that. Like, you know? So, I think that’s one of the challenges that you have to dig more into to understand more, and remember that what people say is not always- they’re not gonna illuminate the full picture of what’s going on. So.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So, I know that you’re gonna talk more about, like, LGBT rights or lack thereof in Qatar, and, just, I think that there’s been a lot of focus that’s been placed on FIFA choosing that country for this year’s World Cup.

KYLE GETZ

Mhm.

MIKE JOHNSON

They also chose Russia four years ago. That was in the midst of all of the Chechnya gay purges that were happening, their anti-gay propaganda law that was coming into effect under the Putin regime. And we should not be surprised. Like, the fact that people are all of a sudden “What!? FIFA’s doing what!?” is-

KYLE GETZ

Oh. Yeah, yeah. It’s not like they have an impeccable record of only, you know, pristine human rights countries in their background or whatever.

MIKE JOHNSON

You can only- You can only have that opinion if you’ve had your own head up your ass.

KYLE GETZ

Right. Right, right.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right? Like, this- this is, yeah, this is an organization that has had problems with this in the past, and I think we can have every expectation will continue to. So the shit that’s going down in Qatar is around, first, by awarding that to that country, there was a whole bunch of migrant work that had to be done to build up the infrastructure to be able to host it that’s basically akin to modern day slavery in terms of the rules around it, and how much they’re actually getting paid, and their ability to leave the country if they want to without permission of their employer. It’s horrific, and the camps that they live in while they were building these things. Then there is the big question of alcohol, which, they had said there was going to be alcohol allowed in the stadiums, then just a few days before World Cup was set to open they said no alcohol allowed in the stadium during play, but there still would be alcohol just outside, which, it was all handwavy bullshit. They reneged. Basically, Qatar said, “Yeah, sure. You can totally drink. It’ll be fine,” and then, like, days before it started, said “No.”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Which, that- I mean, like, those two things are clearly not on the same level, but I think it speaks to things that they say are that are going to happen and then changing. Like, how much does your word mean? And so, that, to me, is what’s important about the alcohol thing.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Yes.

KYLE GETZ

Like, I don’t really care that much about defending the right to drink alcohol, like, that’s not on my list of priorities.

MIKE JOHNSON

I don’t either, except that I love booze, but-

KYLE GETZ

Same. I mean- Yeah. As I drink my whiskey, honey, lemon, whatever shit-

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s so good, I hope you love it.

KYLE GETZ

It’s- I’m drunk. [laughs] Goodbye.

MIKE JOHNSON

Great. Okay, good. Good work. And then there’s the whole controversy which we talked in the news here not too long ago of, of, you know, rainbow attire and outward support for the LGBT community has been banned from the stadiums. There were a bunch of captains that were gonna wear armbands that were in support, that were then told not to, or if they did then they were gonna get a yellow card and that’s bad news, like, within the rules of the game, that is gonna impact, you know, the outcome. And then they said that they would allow it after all. Like, there were stories of people having their shit taken away from them on their way into the stadium, and then that stopped after a statement was made by an official that they were going to allow it after all. All the stuff leading up to the World Cup about, like, “Yes, gay people, you will be safe, just maybe don’t hold hands,” which, that’s bullshit.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

There’s- There’s a lot going on that we’re gonna talk more in- it- Like, taking an institution that’s a global institution like this, and so popular, hosting it in a place that’s so problematic, especially for queer people, and then see real-time the culture war in a way different context than we are prepared to approach in the United States. I’m super- I’m super interested in it.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. I mean, I wrote down just, like, a tidbit more- more gravities that 1000s of migrant workers have died during the construction of the infrastructure.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. But were they drunk? [both laugh]

KYLE GETZ

Um, which, they’re- It’s interesting, because I was talking to a straight friend of mine who was like, “Well, there’s more- Like, there’s more important things than the LGBT rights piece,” and it’s- it’s really difficult because the- that even comes up around the issues of trans people, like, the percentage. When you look at the percentage, you know, it’s like, what do you prioritize? And the percentage of people that it impacts, that unfortunately comes up as a: How do you prioritize this? What do voters care about? What do people care about? And the- And so, the death of 1000s of people is huge. That’s really important, and, that doesn’t take away from the major LGBT issues. Like, we don’t have to choose, “I get to be mad about one thing,” you know?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Yep.

KYLE GETZ

And so that’s why we’re- We’re gonna focus on the LGBT issues. That’s what our podcast is about. That’s what we’re doing here. Surely there are other people out there who, well, probably do this better, but also do the other thing better too. Like, you know, this is just what we’re gonna focus on.

MIKE JOHNSON

Also, I think that, largely, mainstream media has sort of forgotten. Like, “Oh, yeah, of course a bunch of migrant workers died. [chuckles] That always happens. Moving on. What can we actually care about?” and then they focus on booze and queers, right? Like- And that’s really- that’s really unfortunate, but I think that’s what’s happening. There’s this sort of, like, understanding that anytime a big major international event comes to a place, the Olympics comes to mind.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Like there’s gonna be this building of infrastructure, and “Yeah, people are gonna die, but it’s fine.”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s not fine. It’s absolutely not fine.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

But like, that’s the- There’s like a collective sweeping under the rug that happens that I think we’re sort of complicit in.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah. Or, queer issues get more clicks because they’re more controversial or something? I don’t know why that would- Even as I say that, that’s dumb that queer issues would be more controversial than fucking slave labor. Like, I- I mean- But there- We have, you know, effectively slave labor in the US, and that’s what some of these votes on were in the midterms recently. Like, I mean, we have- How often does that get spoken about? Like, it’s…

MIKE JOHNSON

I was just listening to somebody on NPR talking about immigration policy and how we need to fix what’s happening at the border so that we have workers to do the work that Americans don’t want to do, and I was thinking, well, that’s- that’s basi- It’s the same thing, right? That’s like, “We need to open the borders so we have brown people to do the shitty labor and die,” right? Like-

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. The idea that, like, everyone’s like, “Oh, like, immigrants steal work,” and then here we are like, “God we need that fuckin’ work.” [Mike laughs] Like, that’s- Yeah, it’s fucked up. So, I mean, none of this is to dismiss the US as- I sometimes like to make- or, remind people; it’s easy to look at another country and be like, “Oh, we would never do that,” or “We’re better than that.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So, some of these things, I think, are useful, not to say that they’re the same, but to be like, “No, we’re not fucking better than them.” Like, this is not your excuse to be shitty to anyone who – you know – lives in that country or whose faith is Islam. Like- Okay, but I’m gonna talk- That’s not what I’m gonna talk about. I’m talking about LGBT rights in Qatar.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, great. Yeah. Let’s do it. They have none. Good segment. [laughing]

KYLE GETZ

Sssso, yep, it’s bad. Goodbye. What the-

MIKE JOHNSON

[coughs hard] [whispering] Sorry, I’m dying.

KYLE GETZ

[quietly] Stop it. Die quieter. [both laugh] Um, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has promised-

MIKE JOHNSON

That sounds like bullshit!

KYLE GETZ

There’s some of these- Like, it’s like “North Korea’s supreme leader”. Like, some of these words you’re like, Jesus, that already- I’m like- Yeah, I don’t love the-

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s like anytime the Senate puts forward the, like, “America Number One Freedom Act”, and we’re like, “Oh, this is for sure against brown people.” [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Oh yeah, this is definitely racist. Um, but they have promised – before the world cup – they promised a discrimination free event, and they said that it is welcoming, safe, and accessible to all.

MIKE JOHNSON

Liars.

KYLE GETZ

They said – in the statement – they said, quote, “Everyone is welcome in Qatar, but we are a conservative country and any public display of affection, regardless of orientation, is frowned upon. We simply ask for people to respect our culture.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, I have heard that.

KYLE GETZ

Which-

MIKE JOHNSON

I have heard that there’s some truth to that, which doesn’t make any of the rest of it okay.

KYLE GETZ

It’s one of those things that seems reasonable. When you hear that and you’re like, “Oh, we just need to respect the culture of the country we’re going to,” that’s reasonable. And especially, like- you’re like, “Okay, I’m a good liberal, so that’s important to me that I do that,” and so when someone says that to you, you’re like, “Okay, shit, I need to stop and think about this,” and you do, and you definitely do need to. So, like, let’s look at what’s actually happening though.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So, a lot of what we know about is from people that said they needed to remain anonymous, because it’s bad, that you don’t want to say your real name. Like, that would definitely get you repercussions.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep, yep, yep.

KYLE GETZ

So, in the Doha News an anonymous gay man named Majid said – I’m just gonna read this part – quote, “It is very jarring living here, it is traumatizing to see that you are the cause of your parents’ anguish, that you are shaming your family. It is a constant onslaught, and it is killing me. It has caused irreparable damage to my mental health. I wouldn’t have chosen to have been born in a place where my life is tantamount to my death. There is no prospect or future for me here – no normalcy. What are my choices? Should all of us gay Qataris emigrate? I have thought of that, but this is my home country. I love my country and I am proud of it, and I don’t have anywhere else to go.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Mm.

KYLE GETZ

[sighs] So, part of what’s happening, especially within the country – this reminds me a lot of Russia – is there are- mainstream media censors any kind of discussion reports of sexual orientation, or gender identity. And so, I think that’s- Within a country, that’s how you try to make people believe that it doesn’t exist. Or, like, if you see an uprising, if you see that there’s- there are actually- this group of people that do exist and in other countries are fighting for the rights or whatever, that might empower you. So they kind of squelch any kind of discussion or news about LGBT issues.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. If you don’t see it, it isn’t real. [chuckles]

KYLE GETZ

Yep, yep. And then, within the country, you’re like, “I don’t know any of the truth. The news has been, like, changed so that I don’t see any of the real information. I just see the propaganda, or, you know, any of the bad reports or anything.” So, what we’re actually talking about, what’s- the laws, then, article- There are a couple, but the biggest one is Article 285 of the current Penal Code, which punishes-

MIKE JOHNSON

Hah, “penal”. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

“Penal”. It’s like “penis”. Um- We need to find joy anywhere we can in this story, Mike. Let’s do it. “Penal”. It punishes extramarital sex, including same-sex relations, with up to seven years in prison. So that actually seems- There’s a lot of talk about the death penalty, but that seems to be the most realistic kind of actual punishment that is listed in the laws. The death penalty is only applicable for Muslims, because of Sharia law. So, like, if you’re not- If you’re Muslim, and live there, and gay, well, extramarital sex is punished by death, and because same-sex marriage isn’t legal then any gay sex is extramarital sex, but that technically also applies to anyone who’s had straight sex.

MIKE JOHNSON

I had read a couple of times, there are things that are punishable by death that have never actually resulted in the death penalty, like that somehow justifies it.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, and this is one of them that it’s like, you know, everything is like, this- You know, we don’t have any kind of recent information about any of this.

MIKE JOHNSON

Hypothetically.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. This doesn’t actually happen. And- What were you gonna say? Like, is that fine?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. No.

KYLE GETZ

No. Okay, cool, [both laugh] that was your- Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

No, my- My point was that there are lots of people who say “Well, but nobody’s ever been actually put to the death for it,” like that somehow justifies the law, or like that somehow nullifies the understanding that that’s happening. Like, it’s still a deterrent. It’s still this, like, oppressive wet blanket on your entire life, whether you- Like, okay, so nobody’s actually been put death for it, but they might, and that’s scary.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Like- Yeah, “Oh, my neighbor has threatened me and pointed a gun at me, but he’s never actually shot me,” so like, “Oh, well, I mean, I guess it’s fine.” Yeah. Like, the- living under this threat, who knows if and when someone could use it. And the belief – the underlying belief – that makes it okay that it’s sitting there is that it still affects society.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep.

KYLE GETZ

Society believes it’s okay that that’s sitting there on the law books. What I saw less of, but is huge, is that they often will detain people based on Law No 17 of the 2002 Protection of Community, which allows for provisional detention. You don’t have to be charged, you don’t have to have a trial. You can be detained for up to six months. If there is some kind of belief that there was a crime, or – it reminds me of the morality laws that are in Iran that they’re protesting against – like, if you violate public morality, then we can detain you.

MIKE JOHNSON

Sure.

KYLE GETZ

They’re detained by the Protective Security Department, [TN: Preventive Security Department] which is technically not the police. I might accidentally call them police, but like, that’s the department. It’s a national security team.

MIKE JOHNSON

Going back to Iran: that’s like the morality police in Iran. They’re not, like, really the police, but they are- They are.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah. I mean-

MIKE JOHNSON

They were just supposedly abolished this week.

KYLE GETZ

We had- But then I’ve seen the Instagram things that I handle… that I handle- the handles that I follow are like, “No. Like, a person made this proclamation. There’s no laws that’ve been passed about this.” It’s not like- They’re like, “No, it didn’t actually happen.” Like, the New York Times fucking published this thing that’s like- I’ve been hearing real shitty things about the New York Times, like the public transphobic shit. Like, I’ve not been hearing good things about the New York Times.

MIKE JOHNSON

Really?

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh.

KYLE GETZ

They, like, publish this transphobic op-ed, and then later will be like, [doing a mocking voice] “Crazy wave of transphobia.” Like, they’re-

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh, oh, oh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. There’s a bothsidesism, maybe, to it. I don’t know. The New York Times- Let’s talk later about this, because I’m very interest- As a subscriber to the New York Times, I’m very interested in this.

KYLE GETZ

Okay, so, the Preventative Security Department that is detaining people, as of October 20…22- Why did I stumble over our current year of existence? I don’t know.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Well, sometimes I see 2022 on paper and I’m like, “What year is that?”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Some year.

MIKE JOHNSON

Is that the future?

KYLE GETZ

It’s like, a bunch of twos with an 0 in it, you know? [Mike chuckles] Um, this is serious and sad. Um, reports that the Qatari police use – and maybe I wrote “police”, I think it’s the Preventive Security Department – uses gay dating apps to entrap men, subjecting them to sexual and physical violence before arresting them. There was one report by an anonymous person that went by Ali, who was lured to a hotel from dating app. When he got there, there were six people there, including the person that – you know – that he thought he was going to meet. [Mike laughs] So he walked in and was like, “Fuck.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, that never happens to me. I show up and the OP is never there. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

There’s- [laughs] If I walked in there and there’re six people there, there’re context, that would be hot. ‘Cause it’s not – absolutely not – one of them. So, serious for a second, when he showed up there were six people from this department. He was gang raped by them and- And that was the end of my story.

MIKE JOHNSON

That seems not not gay.

KYLE GETZ

It’s- It’s- It’s so weird that that would- I also- Like, that’s such a weird thing. Like, “We are so against gay people that we’re going to rape a man.” Like, that doesn’t-

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

KYLE GETZ

I don’t know. How do you- What’s the- What’s the weird workaround logic? Like- I don’t know.

MIKE JOHNSON

There’s this- There’s an argument in, like, Judeo-Christian circles about, like, is sodomy the violence of it, or is it the fact that it was in the butt? Because, like, most people think probably that God and Jesus, the thing that they’re not down with is violating a person.

KYLE GETZ

Right, right. The bad thing is actually the rape, not the butt part.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. But we’ve interpreted it as- Yeah. According to Dr. Nasser Mohamed, quote, their “biggest targets are feminine gay men and transgender women – because it’s visible.” I’ll talk more about Dr. Nasser Mohamed later, but the- this- I mean, we have had this in the US. This is why we often say that trans women, especially trans women of color, are the ones that started this movement. It’s not because they intended to, because they are often the ones targeted. So it’s interesting to see that, you know, continue to play out, that when you are visible, and – whether you want to or not – you are then targeted, and then you unfortunately have to become an activist.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Like, that’s not your- A lot of times it’s like “I don’t- I didn’t want to be an activist. I was just targeted by the police so fucking much I had nothing else to do.” And whereas someone like me, who is- I could more easily pass – here’s that word again – I would be less likely to be targeted.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So I have some benefit that I don’t look a certain way.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. Yep.

KYLE GETZ

So, they arrest LGBT people and subjected them to ill treatment and detention. That’s the most light-hearted way to describe that.

MIKE JOHNSON

“Ill treatment”. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

I don’t- I don’t know where I wrote that down, but it’s- The Human Rights Watch documented, from Dr. Nasser Mohamed – again, we’ll talk about it later – but he made these connections to- Because, like, you cannot be out in Qatar, so- like, there are all these connections. Even in the gay world, this is why, like, getting catfished on gay dating apps is, like, so horrific. It’s like, you are- you’re underground. You’re doing things through connections of people. You’re not- You know, you’re trying to hide it. And to find out one of those channels is not safe to be on, or, you know, let’s say one of your friends ends up – this happens – being converted to an agent because you got caught. Like, things- You never know for sure that something’s safe. So anyway, this guy connected the Human Rights Watch with six people, which is more than I’ve seen anywhere else, that they documented six cases of severe and repeated beatings between 2019 and 20…22. [Mike laughs] I don’t know why that date’s fucking me up! But it’s- “Six” is not to say that’s all that has happened. That is, like, again, like you have such limited connections to people who are willing to speak, and, you know, all of them are doing it anonymously. There are five cases of sexual harassment in police custody between that same timeframe. For example, they required – for release – they required that one of the trans women attend a conversion therapy session, what they called a “behavioral healthcare center,” but it’s, like, flat-out conversion therapy.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

They forced them to unlock their phones and take screenshots of all of your chats, and pictures, and everything to then find other people.

MIKE JOHNSON

Hey Kyle.

KYLE GETZ

Hey Mike.

MIKE JOHNSON

I was in Dubai.

KYLE GETZ

Uh-huh.

MIKE JOHNSON

Not too long ago.

KYLE GETZ

Mhm.

MIKE JOHNSON

You may have heard I did some traveling.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Did you tell them about me?

MIKE JOHNSON

I told them all about you, and they’re ready for you. [Kyle laughs] No, I deleted Grindr off my phone before we landed because I was afraid of, like, what if I’m going through immigration and they’re like, “You seem pretty gay.”

KYLE GETZ

“Unlock your phone.”

MIKE JOHNSON

“Unlock your phone.” I was like- I deleted a whole bunch of dick pics, [laughs] and I took Grindr off my phone. I was like, “Oh my God,” because I’d heard stories like this. And I’m like, that is so fucking terrifying.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

And it was fine.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

I just, like, waltzed right out of the airport.

KYLE GETZ

But I mean, the thing is, like, often, all of these conversations, they’re like, if you’re poor you’re more likely to be targeted, if you’re more fem or trans you’re more likely to targeted. Like, if you are a white person, if you are a visitor-

MIKE JOHNSON

I am.

KYLE GETZ

As you are, based on your skin. Um, If you’re- Like, there are certain things that are like, you’re more- you’re less likely to be targeted.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

And so the same- I think, for Qatar, if people go there they are going to not target anyone that’s visiting internationally because they don’t want to make this a scene. They may be, you know, more discreet about all the shit they’re doing. They may be nicer to other people and they’re like, “Oh, no, I went there and it was fine! Oh, I just didn’t hold my boyfriend’s hand and everything was fine!” and I think that’s to hide some of these underlying things that are going on. So.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep, absolutely. There’s also, like, a true thing in the Muslim faith, of they actually don’t care that much about what non-Muslims do. Muslims have to toe the line. Like they- there’s a zero-tolerance policy for them. But like, if you’re not Muslim then it’s maybe okay. It seems to be part of the dogma. Like, there are lots of majority-Muslim countries where they can serve alcohol but only to non-Muslims. Like, there’re whole districts in Doha – in Qatar – where, at least in the past, you were able to sell liquor as long as somebody wasn’t a Muslim. Which, I don’t know how you tell that. Is it like, you have like a non-Muslim ID card?

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

But there does definitely seem to be part of the part of the faith that is way more interested in policing their own behavior as opposed to the behavior of others.

KYLE GETZ

Hm, interesting. That’s weird. There’s something refreshing about that, of like-

MIKE JOHNSON

But still not okay.

KYLE GETZ

Not okay. It’s like, I wish Christians were like “Let’s only police Christians behavior.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Absolutely.

KYLE GETZ

Because they clearly want to be-

MIKE JOHNSON

At least in this country, they’re fucking it up.

KYLE GETZ

In this country- Yeah, they’re trying to police literally everyone’s behavior. So, is that a good segue into your segment?

MIKE JOHNSON

I don’t know, Kyle.

KYLE GETZ

Oh.

MIKE JOHNSON

I’m gonna get us kicked off the air.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I need to pee.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, okay. Is that why- [laughs] And now, here’s a two minute segment of the sounds of Mike peeing.

MIKE JOHNSON

I’m doing it now. Some people would be into that, I’m pretty sure.

KYLE GETZ

That’s very true.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, we’re back.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

Are we- Are we back?

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

No, that’s not what happened. Okay. I want to talk about cultural relativism-

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

-and the idea that you have to understand and mitigate your feelings about another culture based on how they think about themselves, as opposed to a universal truth.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

And it’s sort of the same principle by which we let, like, old people off the hook. You know what I mean?

KYLE GETZ

Oh, yeah. Like, “Oh, no, they’re from a different generation, and that excuses racism, homophobia, transphobia.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

So, I’ve been sick, as everyone can hear, and I-

KYLE GETZ

Some people think your voice has just been getting sexier. [Mike laughs] So, I don’t know- I don’t know if you want to find a way to maintain this level. You got some positive feedback on your sick voice.

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s true. That’s true. Or was it my sick hair, because my sick hair was also pretty good.

KYLE GETZ

Ohh, that’s true.

MIKE JOHNSON

Pretty good in that picture.

KYLE GETZ

You did one of those [in a mocking voice] “I just woke up,” but you had clearly, like, spent some time?

MIKE JOHNSON

No!

KYLE GETZ

No? Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I woke up like that!

KYLE GETZ

Okay, okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

I did! I woke up like that!

KYLE GETZ

Okay, Beyoncé, that’s fine. Yeah. I get it. Yep. That’s how you look.

MIKE JOHNSON

I was adorable. It was good lighting. [Kyle laughs] Um, okay. Okay. So, I went down this k-hole of watching YouTube channels run by Muslims, and their thoughts, feelings, and opinions about FIFA and the World Cup, but specifically about gay stuff.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

And I have arrived at this point where I find now the whole faith terrifying.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

And I- I’m legit nervous about it. Like, I- I’m- The stance that I want to take, or have taken in my heart and I’m just afraid to, like, say it, is that that religion, almost without exception, hates gay people. And I think that I am- I’m prepared to say that that’s wrong, that moral relativism is unacceptable in this context, and that there are a universal set of truths that we can rely on that supersede religion or culture, and basic human rights and dignity trump those things. So, I want to have a conversation about that. I have lots of, like, facts about, like, what’s halal and what’s haram, and like, what Islam says, and what’s in the Quran and what’s not, but, like, I really- There’s this weird sandwich, as a liberal person in this country, there’s this weird, like, layered approach that I have that still arrives at “Islam as wrong, and I think they’re stupid, and I hate it.”

KYLE GETZ

Mhm. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

I also feel that way about most Christianity.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Yeah, yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

And so, there’s a certain amount of like xenophobia that might be present in this, but like, on the whole, that religion subjugates and oppresses women, hates gay people, is absolutely intolerant of have any outside influence or appeal to higher principles, and the whole thing is really terrifying. Like, have you- Have you studied this at all? Have you looked into this at all?

KYLE GETZ

I want to say, like, what you described is also exactly how I feel about Christianity.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay.

KYLE GETZ

All those things you said: hates gay people, on the whole oppresses women, rejects outside influences or whatever. Like, that, to me, you also described Christianity. Is that- I mean, would you say the same things about Christianity?

MIKE JOHNSON

I- [sighs] Not to the same extent.

KYLE GETZ

Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

And- Close, but not to the same extent.

KYLE GETZ

And is that just because we know some of the nuances, or we know people. Like, Joseph Peters Matthews is a priest that is supportive about LGBT issues. There are certain sects, or divisions, or, I don’t know, denominations that are supportive of LGBT people. Is that- Is it just because of our knowledge of Christianity that we give them a little bit more leeway? That would be the part that I would worry about there’s a difference in.

MIKE JOHNSON

I have not studied this, but my gut tells me that Christianity slowly but surely is yielding to Western principles of egalitarianism and feminism, and being affirming of gay and sexual identity minorities, GSRM, gender and sexual relationship minorities.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah. And I- This is- No, I have not gone down the, like, this kind of level of understanding, so I mostly just need to learn from what you’ve researched, I think, to understand that.

MIKE JOHNSON

One thing that has emerged from watching all of these YouTubers is that they very much are posturing our angst about gay rights at the World Cup as just us being Islamophobic and hating their religion, and they therefore don’t have to look any further than what’s being said. They can immediately just, like, dismiss everything as being like, “Well, you’re just Islamophobic,” and-

KYLE GETZ

I think that’s a fair concern to be worried about. We certainly, on the whole, like, any kind of- the average American is going to be Islamophobic and xenophobic, so I understand that concern. But, I mean, I just described a bunch of things that I didn’t talk about. I talked about religion literally one time, and everything I described and what I described is horrific.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

The treatment of LGBT people in that country is horrific.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep.

KYLE GETZ

And so, I’ve- And if that’s being influenced by their religion, which I think it is, that- I mean, you can’t- Yeah. If you just purely dismiss it then that’s- that’s homophobic. Now we’re having a war of, like, “You’re xenophobic,” “Well, you’re homophobic,” like- and- Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Well, so Qatar’s constitution says that Sharia law is the main source of their legal system, and it includes a whole bunch of stuff, including family law, inheritance, criminal act. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff in there that just is wrong, like the idea that, in family courts, a female’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s. Islamic polygamy is permitted, so men are allowed to have multiple wives in that system.

KYLE GETZ

And, I take it, not the other way around?

MIKE JOHNSON

And not the other way around. Corporal punishment is the way that they enforce a lot of their rules. Flogging or caning is employed as a punishment for alcohol consumption. Sexual relations, outside of one man and one woman for the purposes of procreation, for instance adultery, the penalty is 100 lashes. Like I was saying an earlier segment, Muslims are the ones that receive those punishments. There’s a sort of understanding that they police their own and are less interested in the crazy shit that non-Muslims do, but stoning is still a legal punishment under that system. Apostasy, homosexuality, are crimes that are punishable by the death penalty.

KYLE GETZ

What is apostasy?

MIKE JOHNSON

Apostasy is-

KYLE GETZ

You can’t pretend to be an apostle?

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Apostasy is saying that you’re no longer a Muslim.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, you can’t- You can’t even leave?

MIKE JOHNSON

You can’t leave.

KYLE GETZ

Wow.

MIKE JOHNSON

That’s punishable by death. Uh, blasphemy, you can go to prison.

KYLE GETZ

God, I haven’t been blasphemy’d in so long.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Blasphemy me, daddy.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Blasphemy, daddy.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, quick aside, just because I- I just saw the note for it.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Sure.

MIKE JOHNSON

There was, just like Canada in the 50s or whatever with the fruit machine, there was a proposed homosexuality test called the GCC test, [TN: The GCC homosexuality test] which, that stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, which is a group of countries that are all, like, in bed together because Islam.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

And they were trying to prevent any homosexuals from traveling to those countries. And, several years ago, the Director of Public Health of Kuwait was trying to say that all of the countries that are in that conglomerate should impose this test ahead of the World Cup so they can make sure that no- no faggots came to their-

KYLE GETZ

I saw that, like, that proposal that, like, didn’t come to fruition, luckily, because what the fuck are you going to do? Like- But I saw that was like a potential, or in discussion.

MIKE JOHNSON

Apparently the- they didn’t really know how they were gonna implement it either, except that there’s lots of documentation about routine medical examinations: anal probes. They were going- they were gonna inspect buttholes to see if they had been “violated” recently, to decide whether you were a homosexual.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah. God.

MIKE JOHNSON

Which, it’s just- And you’re right, it did not come to fruition, but, like, [chuckles] putting the “fruit” in “fruition”.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Sure.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, but that was a seriously discussed thing, to make sure that no gays would come to this thing.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Here’s the thing. The sentence that I’m afraid of, I guess, is: if owning women and controlling their lives, if killing gay people, is Islamophobic – and that’s what a lot of them are saying on YouTube, is that it is – then I guess I’m Islamophobic. Like, I don’t know- I don’t know how to reconcile that. Can you help me figure out how to navigate that? Because I feel like a bad liberal, but, like, I- I guess- I guess I am, because I think it’s wrong. I’m prepared to say “Your religion is wrong. Fuck you.”

KYLE GETZ

I- So- Okay. Here’s what I figured for- in the US. And I got into a discussion with someone on Facebook Messenger – and I forget your name and don’t even know if I’m allowed to say it, but thank you for the discussion – when I mentioned that a practice in conservative Judaism is to suck the blood off of an infant’s penis during the circumcision.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

I think one of the complaints that they brought up, that is important, is that does happen and it is very rare. It is not, like, commonplace.

MIKE JOHNSON

Sure.

KYLE GETZ

One of the issues- And I thought through that a lot, because any kind of- Any- Same as you, I’m like, I try- I view myself as a supportive, liberal, understanding basic human rights, you know, kind of person. What- When I complain about Christianity, I feel very confident saying “Fuck Christians,” and I don’t care if there’s- there are denominations that support LGBT people. We have friends who- I don’t know. Like, whatever. They are the dominant religion in our country that are attacking LGBT, and specifically trans, people in this country, so I feel really comfortable with that. Because of- And especially because they are the majority. So when you attack other religions, especially in the US, when they are minorities, it can give people- make them feel like it is okay to then be xenophobic, to be Islamophobic, to be- Like, as much as I say- If we say, “I disagree with this religion,” I also don’t want anyone in the US to be attacked because of their practice, or believed- or perceived religion. Like, I don’t want that. That should not give us a license to treat people differently. I believe basic human rights means that I both hate that treatment of women and gay people, but I also don’t want anyone to be treated poorly because of their belief.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So I both don’t want- I want that- I don’t- I can dislike the religion, but I want the fundamental person to be- have that same level of respect that I believe everyone deserves, which is why this conversation is happening in the first place.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

It just has disproportionate- Like, criticizing Christianity, versus other religions, in the US, has a disproportionate impact and can’t be treated the same, and that’s what I kind of realized through this religion. So I may continue to criticize them, but I think I’ve done a fair job of, like, I mostly critique Christianity. I- That was one critique that I had against conservative Judaism. I may have misled to make it seem like that was every practice, when I should have been more specific about what they do.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So, I don’t know. That’s kind of the balance that I’ve tried to understand or bring to it.

MIKE JOHNSON

There- Is it possible for a redneck and me to say the same thing for different reasons and have that be okay, or am I just automatically a dickbag bigot? Because, you know, I’m not automatic- You just said all the reasons why, but, like-

KYLE GETZ

I think- Yeah. I think- Here’s the thing, I think I can easily slip out something like “Fuck Christians,” or “Fuck Christianity,” and that should be fine, and I need to be careful about anything else. If you just said- If you said something without context, or without- If you just said, like, “I hate Islam,” like, that alone, that’s pretty fucked up. Like, you have to give a little bit more context because someone could very easily take that and run with it, and then start targeting people in the wrong way.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. Yep.

KYLE GETZ

I think you  have to give more context and information around what you’re saying and be more careful about how you say it. So yes, I don’t think you should say- And, so many times online, you have, like, you hear these dog whistles, and time and time again people say the same thing. Someone just asking “Define a woman,” automatically I know you’re transphobic.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

There is an interesting conversation to be had around “What is a woman?” That’s an interesting conversation to have, that I don’t- 99% of the time someone’s asking online, I don’t think they mean that.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. For sure.

KYLE GETZ

And I would love to have that conversation with someone who actually wanted to talk about it.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Probably even a trans person, or trans doctor who could talk to us about that.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So the same- Like, so you should not make the same statement as that Republican dickbag. Sorry, I changed- [laughing] I changed the whatever you said to “Republican”, because that’s what I heard.

MIKE JOHNSON

It’s- Yeah. I mean, yeah. Mostly-

KYLE GETZ

Mostly Republicans.

KYLE GETZ

Mostly Republicans, yeah. One thing that I think is really interesting, that I found watching all of these YouTubers, is, first, how sincerely they seem to believe that it is just- it is true and impenetrable. Like, the Quran and the Muslim faith seem, to me, to be far more organized and unilateral than most of Christianity. A lot of Christianity is like, “Well, it’s all about faith and-” and, you know, there’s so many different sects that you can choose from. As near as I can tell, the differences between different Islamic faiths are very minor compared to, like, Christianity. That’s just what I saw online, which is probably a skewed sample, and I fully am aware of that and would love to learn otherwise. But I heard- I heard lots of variations on “We hate the sin but not the sinner,” and I also think that the Quran is far more definitive than the Bible on- that, like, homosexuality is bad.

KYLE GETZ

Mm. I mean, some Christians would say it’s definitive, so.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right. There’s more academic discourse about that in the Christian sphere. I- I’m not an expert.

KYLE GETZ

No, you’re the one that watch this, so, like, I’m just trying to provide the, like, there are similarities in Christianity that that make it not- Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

One question I thought was really interesting. Somebody said, “If the World Cup were in England, and a Qatari player wanted to wear an armband that was pro-polygamy, would that be tolerated?”

KYLE GETZ

I mean, I hope so. I’m full- I’m totally fine with polygamy, if you divorce all of the other surrounding meanings, and religion, and everything. Polygamy- Like, I mean- Like, open relationships and like non-monogamy, cool. So I’m fine with polygamy, but then you get the context of culture, and religion, and everything is what makes it weird. Like, people associate it with, like, underage marriage, and, okay that’s because of the Mormon Church. That’s not because of the concept itself, that’s because of Mormonism. Like, so yes, I’d be fine with that.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, so, the thing is, this person said this as if it were a slam dunk.

KYLE GETZ

Ohh.

MIKE JOHNSON

Like all you have to do is think about it that way and then you realize that it’s okay for them to hate rainbows. When it didn’t have the impact that he thought it was going to have on me, the listener, because my first thought was, I would hate it, but yes, go for it! Put a fucking swastika on your uniform. I will hate it, and I will think that you are a dickbag, but like, go for it. They- Free speech and freedom of expression is not a value that we share. The fact that they thought, of course we would shut that down and it wouldn’t be okay- I- It would be controversial, people would flip out, but I- It would probably be okay. I don’t know, FIFA might shut it down, though, because pinkwashing. I don’t know.

KYLE GETZ

‘Cause who knows. Yeah. [laughs] Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Um, and then the other thing that I wanted to touch on briefly, is there was a guy who was talking about how, in Islam, if you are tempted to do something, and don’t do it because it is a sin, that equals rewards in heaven. So, from their perspective, it’s actually a blessing to want to bang dudes and not do it. Like, that’s part of the messaging.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, whoever wrote that was deffo gay. [laughs] That’s what all the- Like, that’s what gay people are all- like, closeted gay people are always like, “No, no, everyone can decide, because I chose to be straight. I chose to marry my wife,” and it’s like, nooo, beep, not everyone. You- You just don’t know that you’re just gay and not everyone feels that same feeling.

MIKE JOHNSON

Right. Right. Right, right, right. But like, add on to- Like, in the Catholic faith, it’s okay to be- it’s okay to have same-sex attraction or to [in a mocking voice] “struggle with same sex attraction,” It’s just not okay to act on it.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

This is the same thing. The difference is, in Islam, you will be rewarded in heaven for not doing it.

KYLE GETZ

I mean, but with what? [laughs] What do I get out of it?

MIKE JOHNSON

Like- Like virgins.

KYLE GETZ

Oohh.

MIKE JOHNSON

You get- You get, like, tangible rewards in the afterlife.

KYLE GETZ

Man, I would love to be rewarded with virgins. [Mike chuckles] I don’t think- I- Wait. Hold on. That’s not- I want to have the sluttiest dudes. [laughs] I want them to fuck so many fucking people that they know what they’re doing. The reward isn’t virgins-

MIKE JOHNSON

I don’t want to teach them!

KYLE GETZ

I don’t want a new- Like, “Oh, here’s how you do sex good.” No! I want-

MIKE JOHNSON

I want a worn-in, comfortable sweater.

KYLE GETZ

I want a dick that has been inside so many assholes he’s forgot what it feels like to touch air. [both laugh] [Mike sighs] …Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

The brainwashing of that, I find disturbing.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

The idea that “We can affirm that you might be gay, or want to be gay, and fighting it is not just a neutral thing or an expectation, but fighting it is good. Fighting it means after you’re dead you’ll get more awesome shit in the afterlife,” that is so toxic, and I am so against that.

KYLE GETZ

There’s an additional level- Besides just like, “Oh, it’s not bad, it’s actually good that you’re fighting this,” like, that’s an extra level of, like, mindfuck that is adding to it.

MIKE JOHNSON

Like, “I wish I were gay so I could not fuck dudes, so God would love me more!”

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

Like, what’s wrong with you- It just- It’s fucked up, and it’s stupid, and I hate it, and I just- I’m so- I’m disturbed. This whole episode has now disturbed me, and I wish we hadn’t done it. Great.

KYLE GETZ

Great. Alright, well, edit, delete.

MIKE JOHNSON

Let’s move on. [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

Well, we’re skipping two weeks in a row, sorry you don’t know that because you never heard this episode. Something that I wanted to read, that I think is valuable-

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep.

KYLE GETZ

So I read there is one out, gay, Qatari.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

His- I mentioned it before, he’s the one that referred the Human Rights Watch to six people to get some of those anonymous stories, Dr. Nasser Mohamed, and he said this, that I think is a useful way to kind of recap this whole thing.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay.

KYLE GETZ

But he’s- He’s done a bunch of awesome shit. He’s started an organization- He lives in the US, so- He can’t live there and be out, so he lives in the US, and has come out, and he’s a fucking doctor, which, that’s- he’s a physician, which is amazing. So he’s- he’s the right person to do this and make this change, and he started the Alwan Foundation to advance LGBTQ+ rights across the Gulf region and especially Qatar. If you want to go to alwanfoundation.org, that’s A-L-W-A-N foundation .org. You can donate there. He’s in contact, he says, with hundreds of Qataris, which, that’s far fewer than of course are out. He started the Proud Maroons, which, that’s apparently- Qatar’s national team’s color’s maroon.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay.

KYLE GETZ

I wouldn’t have known that. But, like, LGBTQ+ supporters of their national football team, which is, like, really cool to be like, “Yo, I’m gay and fuckin’ love this sport.” Like, that’s- He said – about attending these events – he said, like, you know, sometimes we, as trying to be good liberals, are like, “Should I even go to this? What level of support-” He said, quote, “if you’re a diehard soccer fan and you really, really want to go, then you’re not an awful person for going and watching the games. But there are ways to advocate for the cause and push it,” so he’s not just an absolutist, and it seems like a reasonable- He’s done a lot of awesome shit. Anyway. And I’m building up to, the point is: they asked the question in this interview I read, “Isn’t there a risk that the LGBTQ+ outcry is emboldening…” “Emboldening”? Did I say that right? Awesome. Good work. I should’ve done that in my head instead of out loud. [Mike laughs] It’s fine. Emboldening “…Islamophobia?” So, I will just read what he said. “There are, of course, xenophobic and Islamophobic twists to the topic. It’s being used by everybody. It’s being used by the abusers to gaslight people that are trying to advocate to keep them silent. And also there are truly xenophobic and Islamophobic people who are having that confirmation bias moment:…” and “…they’re like, ‘Oh, I knew Islam is shit’ or ‘I knew Arabs are shit,’ which is bringing more hate and is really not helping the situation. I think everybody should participate in human rights conversations, regardless of where they’re from, or what their religion is. Believing that violence and human rights violations [are specific to] any culture or any religion is totally xenophobic and Islamophobic.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Wait, say that last part again.

KYLE GETZ

“Believing that violence and human rights violations [are specific to] any culture or any religion is totally xenophobic and Islamophobic.” What are you having trouble with there?

MIKE JOHNSON

I think I disagree.

KYLE GETZ

Okay. Explain.

MIKE JOHNSON

This is the conversation I was trying to have about, like, higher principles. The idea that, like, gay people are okay, leave them alone, I think trumps any religious text, or dogma, or interpretation, or messaging, and I think- I think it’s okay to say specifically Islam hates gay people.

KYLE GETZ

But to believe that Islam as the only religion, and others are good. He said, like, to believe that this country-

MIKE JOHNSON

I do not- I do not believe that they are the only ones.

KYLE GETZ

So I think you’re fine. I think you’re covered.

MIKE JOHNSON

I think many, many, many do.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah, yeah, and I think that’s the point, to be like, “Oh, it’s just Qatar” or “It’s just Islam” that does this. That’s what he’s saying. To believe that it is specific to any culture or any religion, It is just that culture, just that religion. I think that’s the point he’s making. I think you’re safe in your belief that it is not just Islam that’s the problem. It is not just-

MIKE JOHNSON

Limited to. Limited to, is what I’m not, like, getting. Okay. I’m with you.

KYLE GETZ

I don’t know. You can send him an email if you want to argue that wording of that, but I think the point is to be like “Oh, yeah. Oh, Islam, they’re treating people shitty. They’re a shitty religion,” and not look at the shittiness that goes on in all religions, including Christianity.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Like, that- I think that’s the point. We’re not singling out one for its bad treatment, when other religions get a pass.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Which I don’t think you’re doing.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Hey, Kyle.

KYLE GETZ

Hey, Mike.

MIKE JOHNSON

Dicks are great.

KYLE GETZ

Okay. [both laugh] We’re gonna start our own bible, and that’s gonna be like the first – what the fuck is the stone tablets? – the First Testament or whatever, is going to be “Dicks are great.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Yep. Yep.

KYLE GETZ

I love it. I mean, kind of end of Bible, right? End of the Gayish Bible? Do we need to keep going? [Mike laughs] I don’t know.

MIKE JOHNSON

Let’s do a Gayish Bible next year. That’ll be fun.

KYLE GETZ

Okay, I can’t wait. Oh my god. It’s gonna be in every hotel.

MIKE JOHNSON

[both laugh] We can just start printing them and leaving them in nightstands.

KYLE GETZ

Just leaving them-

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. We’ll leave them in hourly motels, because honestly that’s our target market. [both laugh] Let’s be honest, they’re more likely to be done with us. Um, something we didn’t talk about, that I wanted to talk to you about over break, because this episode is already, well, fucking long, Is David Beckham.

MIKE JOHNSON

He’s hot.

KYLE GETZ

Known hot person, David Beckham, is a brand ambassador for the fucking World Cup.

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

KYLE GETZ

So, I want to talk more about him and his uh, his gay icon status.

MIKE JOHNSON

See? I want him to sit on my face, but I will not put him on my punch card.

KYLE GETZ

Ohh, you would refuse that ass on your face?

MIKE JOHNSON

I didn’t say that.

MIKE JOHNSON

Mike, had- If you’re gonna draw the- You’re gonna draw the line. You can’t let him sit on your face. Or, when he does, you got to make it real bad, like he sits on your face and you go [makes a fart sound], [Mike laughs] like something real bad that’s just, like, makes it horrible. Like, technically you got it on your face but you- but he didn’t feel good about it. We’ll talk about this during the Patreon segment.

MIKE JOHNSON

Alright, let’s- You wanna take a break and talk about it?

KYLE GETZ

Let’s take a break.

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Let’s take a break.

[Break music plays, sung by MIKE JOHNSON]

This is the part where Mike and Kyle take a break!

MIKE JOHNSON

Are we ready? Are we good? Are we missing anything?

KYLE GETZ

I think we’re good.

MIKE JOHNSON

So, are we back?

KYLE GETZ

We’re back!

MIKE JOHNSON

We’re back!

KYLE GETZ

We’re going to do our Gayest & Straightest.

MIKE JOHNSON

We’re gonna do Gayest & Straightest, but first, our website is gayishpodcast.com. [laughs]

MIKE JOHNSON

We are on social media, mainly. Our communities are Discord, or the Gayish community on our Facebook group, or Spaces, so join us there.

MIKE JOHNSON

Our hotline – you can send us text messages or leave us voicemails – is 5855-GAYISH. That’s 585-542-9474. Standard rates apply.

KYLE GETZ

Your voice is getting, just, to the homestretch. Just hang in there, and then it can peter out.

MIKE JOHNSON

Doing great.

KYLE GETZ

Um, our email is gayishpodcast@gmail.com.

MIKE JOHNSON

And our physical mailing address is Post Office Box 19882 Seattle, Washington 98109.

KYLE GETZ

Uhhh, Gayest & Straightest?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah, let’s do our Gayest & Straightest.

KYLE GETZ

I’ll go first.

MIKE JOHNSON

Okay, do it.

KYLE GETZ

My gayest is: when I washed my jeans I don’t dry them, because someone says that wears them out, so I turn them inside out and then hang dry them. Which, having a specific drying technique for your jeans feels kind of gay to me.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Okay, so, someone I used to live with taught me that he would just put his- instead of washing them at all, would just put his jeans in the freezer, that that would kill all of the germs so-

KYLE GETZ

And kill the bedbugs?

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. So- Yep. And just- And then it was fine.

KYLE GETZ

I don’t know that I- Okay. I don’t know that I- Not that I’m too- I mean, I rarely- I mean, who am I to- [Mike laughs] I don’t know. Okay. My straightest. We already mentioned the whiskey drink that you made me, so instead I’ll go with, my straightest is: there are some, just, basic tasks that don’t feel gay or exciting, and they’re just things that you forget that gay people have to do in their lives. I had to like, call insurance about something, I had to call the unemployment line about something. I just do, like, basic boring shit, that you’re like “Being gay is fun, and you fuck all the time,” and it’s like, no, sometimes you have to call insurance and be like “Hi. It’s me. I’m a poor human.”

MIKE JOHNSON

Sometimes you have to get your oil changed. [chuckles]

KYLE GETZ

Sometimes you have to get your oil changed, metaphorically, because I don’t have a car.

MIKE JOHNSON

Yeah. Dipstick.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] That’s rude!

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Well, the straightest thing about me this week is so many hot toddies.

KYLE GETZ

Yeah.

MIKE JOHNSON

They are full-on grandpa-style. [Kyle laughs] Like, it’s just-

KYLE GETZ

Yes.

MIKE JOHNSON

They are hot and they are whiskey-y, and-

KYLE GETZ

And like, “toddy” is like- Yeah. “Hot toddy” is like- Who says that?

MIKE JOHNSON

It is 85+ year old-style. Okay. And then the gayest thing about me this week was uh, SNL this weekend had a sketch about women who had dated Drake.

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Okay.

MIKE JOHNSON

And at the end they all held hands and they sang 525,600 Shawties, [Kyle laughs] and I was- like, my gay- I was indignant. I was like, “You can’t ruin that song! You get make Drake banging a bunch of chicks be that, like, that song from Rent! You can’t do that! That songs for us, that is not for you!”

KYLE GETZ

[laughs] Okay. I think it was Autostraddle, the website that I found this in, where they call- they said, because of a lyric in the song – I think I even read it on this podcast – they were like “He’s a he/him lesbian,” and I cannot- I can think of literally nothing- It was something like, “Oh, like, you like women? I do too,” or something that he said, like, “Oh yeah, like, I like women. Like, I’m a lesbian,” or something. They were like, he/him lesbians, were like, Drake. I just cannot think of anything else but that with him, and apparently, now, the Rent song.

MIKE JOHNSON

Also he’s hot.

KYLE GETZ

Also he’s hot.

MIKE JOHNSON

Uh, we have a gayer- We have a…

KYLE GETZ

Do you need me to-

MIKE JOHNSON

…listener’s Gayest & Straightest. Oh my god.

KYLE GETZ

Okay. Almost- We’re so fucking close, Mike. I’m so close, I’m so close, I’m so close.

MIKE JOHNSON

In the homestretch now. Stretch me out. [both chuckle]

KYLE GETZ

Um, so this is from our Discord server, and I’m going to read the full thing, which is very Mike of me. The context is: “This last week I was on a work trip to San Antonio for centrifuge training…” What the fuck does that mean? I have no idea, but it sounds very cool. You’re cooler than any of us. “…This is where they teach us”- Thank you. It’s spinning. “…This is where they teach us how to not pass out under high sustained G-forces (up to 7.5Gs) by putting us in a huge centrifuge and spinning us around.” Again, that explains technically, but not, like, are you a fucking astronaut? If so, you’re the coolest listener. Or maybe you just love being spun. Which gay doesn’t? Um, “Straightest: debating with another student the best ways to rope a cow from horseback”. Uh, “Gayest:”-

MIKE JOHNSON

[laughs] Like, mult- I only- I only know of one way, which is to fail. Like- [both laugh]

KYLE GETZ

Which is to stare at the rope and be like “You’re not doing what I- You’re doing nothing.” Um, “Gayest: barely holding my shit together while the instructors kept spitting out these golden quotes while coaching us on our technique in the centrifuge:” Here are some of those quotes.

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh, are you gonna put on your instructor voice for this?

KYLE GETZ

[speaking like a drill instructor] “Be on the offensive with your butt”!

MIKE JOHNSON

Yes! [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

“Squeeze your cheeks like you’re going to pick up a cob of corn”!

MIKE JOHNSON

Oh, God.

KYLE GETZ

“Legs, butts, abs – TIGHT”!

MIKE JOHNSON

Tight!

KYLE GETZ

“(spoken repeatedly as a mantra)” Legs, butt, abs – TIGHT! Legs, butt, abs – TIGHT! [laughs] I’ll say that too. “Get it TIGHT keep them TIGHT”.

MIKE JOHNSON

Get it right! Get it right, get it tight!

KYLE GETZ

So, thank you, Volente1.

MIKE JOHNSON

Thank you, Volente1.

KYLE GETZ

That was a- That was a beautiful Gayest & Straightest and I loved it.

MIKE JOHNSON

Is that it?

KYLE GETZ

Yeah. [sighs]

MIKE JOHNSON

Thank you to Mohamed.

KYLE GETZ

Sure. Love him.

MIKE JOHNSON

There is one God but Allah, and Mohamed is his prophet.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, let’s post an image of him to show how much we care. [Mike laughs] Um, thank you to Mike’s voice for holding out, and-

MIKE JOHNSON

I mean, that’s a strong- [laughs]

KYLE GETZ

For some of you, you like this voice better, and I’m gonna have to punch my throat from now on to replicate the experience. We’ll s-

MIKE JOHNSON

They might be into that too, actually.

KYLE GETZ

Oh, you know what? So much you’re all into, I- so excited about it. [Mike laughs] Um, I don’t know. Thank you, um, the uh, this fucking dude who I keep fucking forgetting his name, Dr. Nasser Mohamed; thank you for being out and being awesome. Also, thank you to our Super Gap Bridgers: Christopher M, John Crawley, Stephen Portch, Joh Stoessel, Harry Shaw, Josh Copeland, Jonathan Montañez, Forrest Nail, Patrick Martin, James Barrow, Steve Douglas, Explosive Lasagna, Just Jamie, Kevin Henderson, Thomas B, DustySands, AE Coleman, Chris Khachatourians, and Jerome York. Thank you for supporting us in the largest way we offer.

MIKE JOHNSON

Thank you, even though we skipped a week.

KYLE GETZ

Yeahhh.

MIKE JOHNSON

And we don’t deserve your money, you’re still giving it to us.

KYLE GETZ

We dooo. Give it to uuuusss.

MIKE JOHNSON

Uh, that’s it! This has been Gayish, from the Chris Khachatourians studios. I’m Mike Johnson.

KYLE GETZ

I’m Kyle Getz. Until next week, be butch, be fabulous, be you.

[Outro music plays, instrumental]

[Transcriptionist: C Dixon, CMDixonWork@gmail.com]

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