Staying Chic with Ryan O’Connell

Ryan O’Connell on The Antidote

Staying Chic with Ryan O’Connell

In this episode of The Antidote, Amy and Grace connect with writer, actor, and disability advocate Ryan O’Connell  (“Queer As Folk,” “Special,” “Awkward”) about finding the perfect swing set, working out, and staying chic. 

Amy and Grace share their bummer news of the week: Russia extending the detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner and people finding fentanyl on crumpled dollar bills in Tennessee. 

Amy and Grace also share their antidotes for the week, which include: listening to the “Sibling Rivalry” podcast and taking a long walk with ya’ mama. 

This week’s Creative Tap-In: 

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” -Gloria Steinem 


BetterHelp Online Therapy -

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Amy The world is a dumpster fire. I'm Amy.  

Grace And I'm Grace.

Amy And we want to help. And fair warning. Our help comes with some strong language attached. So you know the drill by now. Hide your kids, because we've got to say something.

Grace As a reflex to the f---ing madness on the news. We're keeping it positive, uplifting, but opinionated.

Amy We talk about cultural moments we love.

Grace Talk to people we adore.

Amy Crushes we have.

Grace And self-care we stand.

Amy During these trying times. We all need a show that focuses on joy.

Grace This is The Antidote. Hi, everybody. Welcome to another week.

Amy Enough with that welcome. We need to talk about Beyonce. That's enough. It's time to talk about the Renaissance. 

Grace Okay. Okay, okay, okay. All right. This was the jump straight in, which I appreciate because I'm also a member of the hive.

Amy Of the big hive.

Grace Okay. So we were just peacefully enjoying well, I don't know if enjoying our existence.

Amy Peacefully? Enjoying?

Grace That we were doing.

Amy We were alive on a Thursday.

Grace You were alive on a Thursday when all of a sudden my friend Amy texted me out of nowhere and says, Did you get your Beyoncé box? I was like, What the f--- are you talking about? Beyonce box? What the f---? It literally I texted, what the f---? Dash, dash. Never mind. I'm buying them all. So then I go straight to the website and I did not buy them all because I was just like, Grace, calm the f--- down. So I ended up buying boxes one and four because I know.

Amy I bought two and four.

Grace Because one, you know, I love the number one for obvious reasons. And then number four I know is Beyonce's favorite number.

Amy I was gonna say people were doing Beyonce math. They were like four is what she the tattoo she has four blue ivy her song one plus one people were like oh one is going to be something having to do with relationships. Or maybe two is the best box because one plus one equals two.

Amy So people we're like doing Beyonce like beautiful mind sh--, trying to figure out the boxes.

Grace Well, listen, you know what I think is probably going to happen? I'm probably going to buy two more boxes.

Amy Here's what I think. I think because the description of the boxes is the same, I literally think there's going to be a music video that drops on July 29th and there will be poses that she does from the music video.

Grace That's on the T-shirt.

Amy That'll we see on the shirt. Yeah. Because they say pose one pose two three and four. So I'm like, it's going to be the same box just with a different shirt. That's my theory.

Grace I don't know. All we have to do is sit and wait. I was like, Why did she tell us so early?

Amy She's teasing us with this f---ing Vogue British Vogue cover. She's like, That's right. I'm on my marketing sh--.

Grace My God, first of all, I like my eyes. Couldn't handle the beauty. Like, first of all, that gold outfit, the pink outfit. There's just so many fits like the one where she's like in metallics and she has f---ing bubbles all around.

Amy Like come on.

Grace And she looks like a robot Beyonce.

Amy The red. For me, it's the red horse. Like, I'm like Black woman on horses. I'm like, Go on, cowboy, come on cowgirl.

Grace Yea, I heard that there may be some country elements to this album.

Amy Of course, there will. Beyonce tackles all genres, all forms with the melodic melodies of her voice. No matter what she does, we will be staning her. Even if she's just like, Here's a note. Y'all don't get a whole song on the 29th, okay? The Renaissance is my voice going, Oh. And then that's it's.

Grace Literally I'll be like, I stan.

Amy I'm still going to be like, Beyonce the Legend.

Grace She can do nothing wrong. Queen.

Amy This is all we deserve. We are garbage. We are filth. Give us nothing.

Grace Okay, well, now that we have reached Peak Joy because of our Beyoncé staning, we kind of have to bring ourselves back down, unfortunately, because we cannot have the antidote, the title of this podcast, without having something to have an antidote from.

Amy That's right. So we're starting up top now with our bummer news of the week. So the first bummer news item is something that's been going on for a while. Brittney Griner, who is the WNBA star and has played for the Russian Premier League since 2014, was detained in Moscow on February 17th after officials claimed to have found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her bag. Hashish oil is illegal to possess in Russia. As of last week, Russia has extended her detention.


Grace Yeah, I mean, I honestly, I have to tell you listeners that I almost didn't want to do this story because it it is it breaks my heart every day. My sis is over there, you know, this Black woman in this very racist European country, and I want her home. I want her back. Yeah. I want you to send in Navy SEALs to go get her from where the f--- she is. And I understand that there's all this diplomatic bullsh--, but I don't want her where Putin is. I want my sis back home. Yeah. So I can't. I can't go missing because Anderson Cooper is not going to be talking to my mama on the news, trying to figure out where I am if I go missing. I know it's not the same as if a white woman goes missing. You know, we don't we don't care. We don't hear about the Black women that go missing. So I know this is not that. But it's bringing up that for me. What can we do to help, you know, our sis get home? Yeah. So this. You know, this has been really hard for me to even think about. And I know it's important for us to think about it because, you know, not thinking about it brings less awareness to it. But this has been so hard to even process.


Amy Yeah. And part of that, the difficulty of processing it is why we bring it up anyway, because stories about Black women missing are often underreported and we have to call attention to this. And even though we're a podcast and not a news source, I think it's important to shine a light on the fact that more often than not, when Black women go missing, they don't make the headlines. And she's one of the most famous Black women to be in a situation like this. So it is important to keep talking about it. You're right. That's not our only bummer news, though. There has been a warning in Tennessee from police telling people not to pick up folded dollar bills because they could have fentanyl in them. And authorities in Tennessee, just to give the full, full logline on this bummer news is that authorities in Tennessee are warning residents not to pick up discarded folded dollar bills because they may contain fentanyl. And I got to tell you one, it kind of reminded me of the pilot of that show, Workaholics on Comedy Central.


Grace Yeah.


Amy Where they had the folded dollar bills in there always poop in them. And it's like, don't pick it up. It's a poop bill. It's a poop bill. So I was like, it remind me of that first and then also just reminded me of an urban legend, like the idea of like, whoa, something your parents tell you before you take the train alone. Like, Yeah, be careful.


Grace Yeah. It's so wild. that this is an actual story because we actually had to check it out because we're just like, Is this real? But but yeah. You know, what this actually brought up for me is that when I first moved to New York when I was 23, I would find money on the street all the time. Well, I don't know if it was just God being like, Oh, look at this poor little broke girl. That she moved here on the Greyhound bus with nothing. So maybe maybe we'll just help her. But literally on the street all the time. When I was in New York, I got.


Enough to pay rent?


Grace I were like, No, no. I would just find like a 20, a five, you know, dollar bill. And like for the first whole year in New York, I used to just find money on the street. 


Amy But just to be clear, the county sheriff's office has said it's not like you touch the money and fentanyl gets on your fingers and then, boom, you're dead. It's literally that you can inhale it.


Grace Protip don't put your face near any money. It's filthy. There's literally nothing more filthy than money.


Amy How are you feeling, Grace? After discussing this bummer news.


Grace Well, it has brought me down from my Beyonce glow.


Amy Yeah. Feels dark. Guys, don't sniff your money. I feel like we. We might need the antidote.


Grace Yeah, well, let's get into it.


Amy So, guys, this is a segment where we talk about the culture we consumed and things we did this week that made us feel better about the bummer news. What was your antidote this week, Grace?


Grace Well, you know, it's been really tough even to like watch TV at all because know it's been like the you know, I've said many times that RuPaul's Drag Race is the only thing that brings me joy as far as watching anything. Also, Girls5Eva shout out. I think they just had their season finale. It was great. But so I was just like, What do I watch sometimes? You know, even though we work in the industry, sometimes I go on Netflix and stuff like that. So overwhelming, like, what do I watch? Like there's just so much stuff on. So I was just like I, you know, went on YouTube because I've been watching a lot of like silly things on YouTube and also like, you know, fashion videos and stuff like that. And I saw that two of my favorite drag queens have a podcast and I'm like, Oh what's this.


Amy Wait, what?


Amy Yes. And then.


Amy Did we inspire them?


Grace No, no, no. They've been doing it for years, it turns out.


Amy But did they inspire us.


Grace Unconsciously. Because literally I feel like so connected to the. To the drag race girls. They're all friends in my head, but so it's on YouTube and it's called the Sibling Rivalry Podcast, and it's starring Bob the Drag Queen and Monet Exchange. So I love these queens and they are best friends and their friendship is so sweet and they just talk about whatever. Like they, they'll just pick a topic like, like I listen to one last they called the one about porn or whatever. I so like they'll talk about just anything. And then they have this very cute, like, arguing, banter or whatever, like, like, like brother brothers, you know, like two brothers. And it's very adorable and they're so funny and so on a YouTube, you know, they have a whole a channel, you know, for sibling rivalry. So they do sibling rivalry, which is just a topic that they talk about and they do sibling watchery, which they either watch the current season of Drag Race or they watch past seasons of Drag Race. They're watching a past season right now because Monet, um, one of the hosts is on a current season of Drag Race, so they don't want to like obviously talk about it with Monet kind of being on it. And then they also have advisory where people are writing advice like right in for advice. And so I was just like, Oh my God. So it's like three different experiences. So I started going back and watching a bunch of the old ones, and then I saw that halfway through on YouTube. It kind of drops off of the video and you're just hearing audio. And I was just like, Oh, wait, I want to see my friends. And so they have a Patreon. So I just signed up for my very first Patreon. So now I pay, I think I whatever, whatever level is like $10 a month I pay now. So I could see the whole entire video and I get the videos a little bit early. And um, yeah, they have like Patreon exclusive things like you could watch. Like Bob hosted the thing called the Pit Stop where they talk about the current season of Drag Race. That Monet is on. So, so like you could watch the pit stop with Bob like today with Bob I could watch the Pit Stop at 3 p.m.. So it's just like brought like a lot of joy to my life because it never gets super, super heavy. Like the one of the ones I watched just recently. Like, Monet was crying, but he was crying because he was so happy and I was just kind of laughing instead of crying too, because I'm just like, Oh, to be so happy, to be brought to tears. I have not felt that happy in a while, but I was just like, It's so beautiful watching this queen, like in the midst of, like, this massive glow up that he is going through because of the show, like being on this all winter season. And he's so happy. And Bob has a show on HBO called We Are Here, and it's just so beautiful to watch these like two just like really just super Black men because they love their Blackness and and everything like that, too. To watch them be so successful, to see their joy and witness their joy and be a part of their joy and even like contribute to it through the patriot. It just really, really made me happy and it just made me so glad that you and I are doing this because I was just like, Oh my God, when my sister's show gets picked up, we could celebrate it all year. And like, when big things happen in our lives, we can celebrate that and communicate our joy through this podcast. That definitely like lit me up this week and I watched way too many of those because, you know, at the end of the night, I just want to smile. And so thank you, Bob The Drag Queen and Monet exchange for being my antidotes this week. So how about you, Amy? What is your antidote this week?


Amy Well, I am currently in Texas visiting my family. By the time this airs, I shan't be here anymore. But my antidote has been long walks with my mom every since I was a child, actually when I was a kid, since I was a wee bit in North Texas, I love a long walk. And actually when I was in high school, my dad and I used to go for morning runs together and after I went away to college, I came and went. Every time I would visit my mom and I would go for walks. She's like, I can't run like you and your dad, so let's go for a walk. And it sort of just became that now my dad don't even walk with us. Like, it's just like a tradition, no matter how long I'm home, if I'm home for three days, one of these mornings we're getting up early and going for a walk more if we can. But you know, this is kind of a quick trip. I just went to see my dad for Father's Day, so my mom and I went on a nice long walk this morning and it's really hot. There's like a heat wave in Texas, so we had to go really early and we're just sweating our f---ing nuts off, like going on this walk. And also, I taught my parents how to listen to the podcast. She's going to hear me say that I sweat my f---ing nuts off. Sorry, Mom. But.


Grace Sorry, Miss Aniobi.


Amy Yeah, exactly. Sorry. But we walked together, and it just. It's one of the things like, you know, when you go home and your parents, like, try to make you their little kid again, like, they're going to make you meals, and they're like, you need your laundry washed. And there's so many things that I like kind of do to make my parents feel better. Like to be like, Yeah, of course, buy me a sweater, you know? And I'm just like, I don't need this. And I do it to make them feel better. And sometimes it's a little annoying to have to kind of like, revert to like a slightly needy place when you are so adept at taking care of yourself as an adult. But I find the walk with my mom is something that I do to make me feel better. And she loves to walk like she walks all the time, even when I'm not home. But it's something that is a reminder of my youth and being a kid with my mom because we've always done this that doesn't feel it never feels like, okay, yeah, Mom, let's go for this walk. Like I'm always like, Mom, when are we going for a walk? Like, it's the thing that's mine that I feel like I give to her instead of the other things that I feel like she's giving to me where I'm like, I don't need this anymore. But the walk is something that we both love and both need and both enjoy and look forward to. So sometimes when I come home, as much as I love my family, like family can kind of be a stressor. So there are times where it the antidote of family isn't always something that I latch on to, but there will be moments and I always know. Like when I came home on this trip, I was like, My aunt is going to be making sure that I squeeze in and walk with my mom. And it made me feel really happy.


Grace Oh, I love that.


Amy I do really like to tie our antidotes together and I don't know the natural tie this week, except that you can very often listen to a podcast when you're on a long walk.


Grace Yeah, that's true. And you know, we're in two different places right now. You're in Texas, so it's okay. We can have different things this time.


Amy Yeah, yeah. We'll tie together next week.


Grace Yeah, maybe. Who knows? We might. We might never tie together again.


Amy Oh, no. Also, we want to know what your antidotes are. Our listeners tell us your self-care stories. Head to our website Scroll to the bottom and press contact us. You can even send us a voice note or a video. Have fun with it. We might just play it on a future episode. We'll be back right after the break.


Grace So welcome back to The Antidote. We have a very special guest today. Who is it, Amy?


Amy Well, our guest today is a comedian, writer, actor, author and activist. His Netflix show Special comedically detailed his life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. In 2019, he received the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award and was named one of the 50 trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people. He's starring in the reboot of Queer as Folk on Peacock and look out for his new book, y'all. It's called Just by Looking at Him. And it's on shelves now. Please welcome Ryan O'Connell.


Ryan O'Connell Hi. Very nice to be here.


Grace Well thank you so much for coming.


Ryan O'Connell Of course.


Grace We're so thrilled that you're here. You are very, very impressive. But we are here to talk about your many, many accomplishments. We are here.


Ryan O'Connell Why not? I was. Get my publicist on the f---ing phone. This is bullsh--.


Grace Oh, my God. He's right here. Actually, we're sorry. We're going to change the whole format of our show.


Amy But Grace is right. We're here to get deep, so we want to check in first. How are you feeling today? Like, for real? Not small time. Is there anything weighing on you?


Ryan O'Connell I feel very strange. I feel like I'm turning my brain into the container store because I feel like I'm having to do press for these two things that I care very deeply about. But I'm having to do it against a backdrop of tumult and dread. And it feels it feels sort of tasteless and it feels like, I don't know how to navigate this, however, I guess. So basically it's like container store vibes in my brain right now. And I don't quite, I don't know, it just feels like it just feels like not chic, like none of it.


Amy And you know what? I really identify with the Container Store metaphor, a store I loved as a child because I'm a Virgo and I like order.


Ryan O'Connell Oh my God, wait. You're a Virgo?


Amy Yeah.


Ryan O'Connell Honey, that explains all the deadline announcements. By the way, by the way, I'm just saying that because I'm a Virgo too baby, so.


Amy I love it. But that's why I identified with your Container Store metaphor, because this time is really bleak and there's a lot to hold, and we somehow have to keep pressing forward. So me, I want to keep those good vibes going because we need that right now.


Ryan O'Connell Well, I feel I feel guilty because I feel like I'm a relentless pursuer of joy. And I feel like that feels almost like it almost feels like not conscientious. Like, in a weird way. I know it sounds crazy. I mean, I also think social media has, like, warped our brains in terms of, like, what is history activism and showing up. And, like, I don't post things I don't like, post like outrage. I just don't do that because it's at a certain point, what am I actually doing? Like, what is this actually doing? And I feel like after the pandemic, we were robbed of so much pleasure during those two years. I mean lol I'm acting like it's not, you know, it's over. But, but basically, yeah. So I felt like when, when I got vaccinated I was like, okay, I'm going to pursue pleasure. And like that was like my, my keyword. And it kind of has been like kind of my guiding word the last year because momma needs it. You know what I mean.


Grace No. I love that for you and I love that I think more people can take that lesson because we're only on this little blue orb for a little bit. So you might as well. And I don't know about you, but like as I've been getting older, like life just keeps moving faster and faster. Like the years keep flying by, so you might as well get some pleasure out of it. But let me let me ask you a question.


Ryan O'Connell Sure.


Grace Ryan, do you have any specific rituals that you have in your life that sort of help calm you?


Ryan O'Connell Oh, my God. Of course. I mean, some are some are very basic, some are not. And some are very basic in the sense that, like exercise. Ever heard of it? I've heard of it.


Grace Yes.


Ryan O'Connell Like I think as you get older, it's sort of an all hands on deck scenario with your endorphins. And yeah, I'll take mine. I get really greedy when it comes to endorphins and I'll take what I can get. So yeah. So I exercise this huge part of my life having a healthy connection to my body. As a writer, we obviously are living up here in our house for brains, so it's really good to, like, not return my brain's texts for an hour. And just like, you know, also I love, you know, I'm vain. So there's also that. So


Grace There ain't nothing wrong with it baby. You know what I'm saying.


Ryan O'Connell This idea of, like, perfectionism, like, bigger, faster, stronger. It's like, obviously, like, especially like being born into a body that I could not control. I feel like I have sort of control and every other aspect of my life. So like it makes a lot of sense. So exercise is really, really important. And then I go on swing sets like I love the swing.


Amy I love this about you.


Grace Still you love swing- okay, so.


Ryan O'Connell I'm obsessed with swings.


Amy Okay, so what kind of swinger are you? Are you a glider or are you a or are you a pumper? Like, do you do a lot of leg, you know?


Amy Oh, that's a great question.


Ryan O'Connell That's a really great question. So when you are on swings as much as I am, honey, she's verse. She is like. I like, oh, yeah. I mean, because I go and like when I'm done, like the hands are raw and I'm like, I probably have like 80 diseases.


Amy Cause of those frickin metal cable, like why are the swings so-


Ryan O'Connell No, I know, I know. I'm feeling like it's like, literally like skin is peeling and I'm like, okay, I'm like, okay, I'm an athlete.


Amy These are your battles scars.


Ryan O'Connell I'm like, you can tell that he works with his hands. And so yeah. So I've been going on swings, I mean, ever since I was a little kid duh. But then seeing it transition to adulthood, there's a really good swing set. I mean, I'm very specific about my swings, first of all. Oh, there's a lot of


Amy Let's hear the criteria.


Ryan O'Connell Well, a lot of them are not up to snuff. So I used to go to Coldwater Canyon Park, loved it. I also loved it. It was like all nannies. Like I had truly it was like so dark. It's like in the hills of Beverly Hills. Like the Hills Hills.


Amy No, you're right. I know that park.


Grace Nobody taking care of their own baby.


Ryan O'Connell Honey. When when the hills have hills, you know it's dark, do you know what I mean? Yeah, so but I loved it because great swings you could really gain traction. It was really and it was like sand on your feet, which I love because, like, I hate the beach, but I love sand. Make it make sense? Um so. So that was a way for me to like engage in sand culture without having go to the beach and culture. I So I really loved that. I loved it. But then, but then something happened. Something catastrophic, something that really threw me off my axis, which is that they they took out the sand and they replaced it with just like, concrete. And it was like, Oh.


Amy That's not okay.


Ryan O'Connell It's not okay. It's not okay.


Amy Why'd they do that?


Ryan O'Connell Probably to get me out of there.


Amy Yeah, they were like this man like sand.


Ryan O'Connell Because, by the way, when I. When I go, I go up for up to 2 hours, you know what I mean? And so yeah. When, when I.


Amy It's a day trip. It's like half a day.


Ryan O'Connell Yeah, oh totally. And so, and kids will come up to me. I mean, I wrote this in to my show, but like, kids will come up to me and really be like, we're waiting. And they, they have no tact. They'll just say, it's my turn and I'll just look away because I've my headphones on. And I'll pretend they don't exist.  Yeah. And then the parents look at me very disturbed and then it's like we move on from that whole moment and we don't address.


Grace Also, I just want to say that I live for the fact that you don't get off the swings for the children because guess what? They got to learn. They got to learn that the that the world doesn't revolve around them. So you are giving them an early lesson. My Aries spirit loves that flame.


Ryan O'Connell Yeah. Well, I'm a teacher. I'm a teacher in so many areas and. Yeah, yeah, totally. I thank you for acknowledging that because, I mean, I never would. Yeah.


Grace So, Ryan, I really loved this NPR interview that you did recently.


Ryan O'Connell I did?


Grace Too much. Press, darling. Too much press.


Amy I don't remember.


Grace Basically, you said in the interview that when you wrote your first book or whatever, you had not yet dealt with some of your internalized ableism. Yes. And I've heard talk of internalized racism, internalized misogyny, internalized phobia. But I was just like, oh, wow, that's the first time I've really heard that term use. But I just wondered what lessons you've learned about internalized ableism that you can now articulate.


Ryan O'Connell Yeah, I mean, it's like internalized abelism feels like carbon monoxide in the sense that, like, you're breathing it in all the time and you don't even realize you're slowly poisoning yourself. I mean, I think I think even when we talk about the gym and when we talk about exercise, I think even that can be a very complicated slippery slope for me to live in because on one hand, it's been really empowering to see my body, which I not normally used to see as sort of like this defective flop, like like and all I could see it was as something as a failure, as all I could see. It was through the lens of the things I couldn't do. Then when I went to the gym, I was like, Oh, chic. Like, go truly go off. Like. Like you're. You're you're surpassing my expectations. But a part of me also feels like I am striving for a body that presents as. I mean, I'll never present a stable body because I have a limp and it's very visible, but like part of my body, like, it's so complicated. It's like I lost weight during the pandemic, and it was like I and in some ways I felt better because my muscles are very tight and felt I felt like looser in general. But then also I was like, oh, am I like, am I like trying to make my body more conventionally attractive? Am I trying to again, it's like, am I chasing this kind of able bodied ness that is, by the way, elusive and I'm never going to have. But like but like where does that where where does like, genuine self-improvement? And am I kind of like internalized? It wasn't begin because it's like they kind of need each other and it's really hard to parse out which is motivating which. So it's like, I mean, I think that. Interrogating it and being aware of it is still miles away from where I used to be, where I'd even know what it was. Yeah, but it pops up in really kind of unexpected ways. Mm hmm. You know, it's again, it goes back to, like, even, like, my drive for success is sort of like, I'll show you, because I've been like I've been, like, chronically underestimated my entire life. And there's something I really get off on, like, showing, like, what a person with a disability is capable of, but also like. But also that feels problematic because I have this, like, superman complex that is like, doesn't allow me to actually, like, rest, but it's also brought me so many amazing gifts. So it's sort of like it's really complicated, babe. It's like, not a simple thing, you know what I mean.


Grace 100%. And neither are any of the internalized things because, you know, as a Black woman, I identify with a lot of what you said, that like I am chronically underestimated, constantly. So it feels like I have to there's so much to prove. But then it's sort of like and it has brought me a lot of blessings and success, but then also I'm just like, why do I feel like I have to prove so much to and to whom am I proving it? You know what I'm saying? So I think that it's a very relatable thing to anyone who is is different in any way can relate to that.


Ryan O'Connell Do you guys ever wonder what it would be like, though, if people estimated to you the right amount? Like like do you ever wonder, like, where you would be in your life if if so much of the motivating factor wasn't also you? Like, I'll prove you wrong. Like, I sometimes wonder that if I like. If every day wasn't just like this hill that I had to climb, I'd be like, F--- you guys, I can do it. Like, I wonder what it would be like, basically. Like, what would it be like to be like Rob Schneider in the late nineties?


Amy Well, it's funny that because the thing that I always find myself wondering is what would it be like if what if I knew that someone would bet on my potential instead of my achievement? I think that's where I'm like, Oh, I'm always wanting someone to bet on my achievement instead of the fact that, Oh, maybe she could do it, which is really hard.


Ryan O'Connell That's so,that's so I relate to that so hard and it's like, Oh, anyway, that is so real.


Grace So I feel like in life it's just like all the preparation that we as like women or people of color or, you know, disabled people like we are all the preparation that we think that we have to do. There are certain things you can't do it until you actually do it. So you just kind of have to bet on yourself and believe that whatever things that are in your personality that need to come out to be effective at that thing will come out and show themselves.


Ryan O'Connell But but there's also like it makes sense, though, that we're not, like, second guessing ourselves because because. Okay. So for every champion that, like, there's always like there's 80 million people that are like, no, you know what I mean. Like that are not that are not betting on you. And it really does take one person to be like, no- who has power and who is like, no, no, no, this person can do it and they can lift you up and do all that stuff. Because like beyond that little utopia of, like a party of two or three, it's still a scary f---in landscape. 


Amy Well, it is really hard to, like, stay motivated when you're being creative and you feel like all these gatekeepers are keeping your out. So I'm curious, like, when was the last time you had to talk to yourself to motivate yourself? And what did you say?


Ryan O'Connell I have a very thick skin and I know how to emotionally bottom like nobody's business. And this this business is a lot of emotionally bottoming. And and and it's like I just know how to do that. And I know how to not get discouraged because I am very, very laser focused about what I want to do. And I've been trolled since the moment I was alive, so like you throwing some more trolls, I was like, honey, fine. Like, join the pack, baby. It is disappointing, though. I mean, I think I just went out with a show Accessible, which is gonna me an all disabled boarding school and.


Amy Oh, that sounds great.


Ryan O'Connell It was going to be like John Hughes, but like make it without obviously the problematic stuff too. But but like, it was going to be really amazing because like, what a wide spectrum of disabilities, what a fun thing to explore. There's all kinds of people, all kinds of walks of life. I just realized walks of life is an ableist term whatever. So but everyone, everyone passed. And it was sort of like, wow, like people still really don't care about disability in this really profound way. Like, I like and it wasn't, it wasn't it didn't I didn't take to the bed, but it was very much like, all right, that's information, baby. That's information. That's another thing I always say. That's information. My friend Catherine's taught me that


Amy I say that.


Ryan O'Connell Where she was like, It's something- You do.


Amy I do. Well, no wait. I say, I've learned a thing. That's that's my that's it. I say, I learned a thing.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, my God. Isn't it?


Amy I learned a thing.


Ryan O'Connell By the way, isn't it kind of incredible? Like, it's so it's so minor, but it's like the perspective shift that allows you to have is mind blowing. It's like, okay, that's information. I know that now. Okay, moving on. Moving on, do you know what I mean?


Amy Yeah, exactly.


Grace Honestly, like in four years, those same people will be like, Oh my God, I'm obsessed with you. Like, they won't even remember that they passed on your show.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, they won't. Well, by the way, everyone passed on Special. Everyone. I mean, I can I can say this now. I don't really give a sh--. Netflix passed on Special in 2015 and then bought it in 2018.


Amy So you never know until you know.


Ryan O'Connell You never know. You never know.


Amy It's literally nuts.


Ryan O'Connell Absolutely.


Grace I really enjoyed the video you made for your coming out story, and I wonder if, like, coming out to your friends.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, yeah.


Grace I wonder if you could describe that for our listeners and share how how your friends reacted when you did that.


Ryan O'Connell Well, I was gonna say you only come out once, but that's not true. You can actually come out multiple times.


Amy Many, many, many times.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, but I wanted to only do it once. I'm an efficient Virgo, okay? I'm not here to f--- around like I know when I've decided something. It's on and like, that's it.


Amy Fall in line world.


Ryan O'Connell Yeah. So I came out when I was 17. I just, I did it by appointment for like my first and second tier friends and that was exhausting. But I also love, love, love being booked- honey, it was the original press.


Amy Hello. You are second tier.


Ryan O'Connell It was. It was. Hello. It was. But it was the original press. It was the original doing press. It was doing press. And and so then when when I got done with those, I was like, oh, god, am I going to send a mass text? Like, How the f--- am I going to tell people I know, Oh, I'll just throw a party chic. My mom went out of town. Ha ha ha. And I was like, I'm going to throw a giant rager. And then so I sent a text to everyone on my phone being like, Hey, guys, come to my house for a secret that will change all our lives forever. And then I made a


Amy Drama.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, honey. By the way, if you didn't know I was a person that would gay after I sent that.


Amy They were like we know what this is about.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, I know. Shockingly, a lot of people didn't. But it was 2004 and so it was like Jack McFarland or bust. So yeah, it was a simpler time. So basically I was like, okay, I'm going to go to and I went with my friends that knew I was gay and we went to Spencer's gifts in the mall and got like all these, like kind of, I like, like penis pasta, these phallic little gifts blah blah blah. I put up a Morrissey and Marr poster and like and then I filmed the video with my friend Katie where she, like, goes in to kiss me and I'm like, No. I can't. And she's like, What do you mean? Why are you not into me? And I was like, Because I'm gay, bitches. And then I turned around and everyone started cheering and it was so good. And I invited my crush and I definitely saw his dick that night. Not to brag.


Amy Oh.


Grace No. First of all, that story is iconic.


Amy Iconic.


Grace It is so perfect. I also love.


Amy I was producing.


Amy I loved it. You were already a showrunner.


Ryan O'Connell I was already a showrunner. I'm in really though like you know what I mean.


Grace Yes.


Amy Do it again, Katie. That wasn't it. I don't believe you.


Ryan O'Connell No. I know that. Katie, you're not landing the joke but okay, okay. I love you, but.


Grace There was a set up. There was, you know, some lead up to it and there was just, you know, a climax. So it was like great storytelling.


Ryan O'Connell And I did what I had to do, you know what I mean?


Grace Yeah, you do what you had to do.


Ryan O'Connell In Ventura the opportunity to tell a story like that medium rare, so. so I, I, I was, I was grasping at coke straws, you know, as a storyteller.


Amy As a young storyteller.


Ryan O'Connell As a young gay storyteller in Ventura, CA I didn't get many opportunities. So I had to take what I could get.


Grace I love it.


Amy That it's an iconic story. I love it and I feel like that's a beautiful place to end. Wow. Ryan, I feel so much better. Now that we've talked to you.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, good.


Grace Yeah. Well, obviously, your your show is coming out soon and your book is coming out. Would you like to take a moment to plug it?


Ryan O'Connell Oh, sure, yeah. Queer As Folk comes out on Peacock June 9th. If you haven't gotten it already, I don't blame you, but you should.


Amy Now is the time, bitches.


Ryan O'Connell There's a lot of streaming platforms. I understand, but this is worth it. Uh, trust me. And then my novel, Just By Looking At Him, comes out June 7th. No, I would never choose to have two projects come out in one week. However, if you're gay, you are legally required to have things released during Pride Month. It's not my fault.


Amy And if you don't buy it during Pride Month, guess what? You're homophobic, you're homophobic. You better tune in and you better buy the book.


Ryan O'Connell Exactly. And speaking of pride, all these products are sponsored by Chase Bank.


Amy And Coca-Cola.


Amy Well, m novel is sponsored by OshKosh B'Gosh and Massage Envy.


Grace That rainbow can of coke.


Amy Yeah. We're allies for thirty days.


Ryan O'Connell Feels good to be gay.


Grace And where can people find you on the Internet?


Ryan O'Connell Oh, I mean, if you are that unwell that you want to follow me, I guess you can call me RyanOconn - O-C-O-N-N.


Amy Oh, I love that.


Grace Sweet.


Amy This is. This is fantastic, Ryan. Thank you so much. I loved every second. Grace and I just got our life.


Ryan O'Connell Oh, thank you. This is so fun to you guys. Thank you so much.


Grace Ok, to close us out. We're doing our creative tap in, which is our segment about creativity. Amy, are you ready for this week's quote?


Amy Let's go.


Grace Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. That's by Gloria Steinem. I read it one more time without leaps of imagination or dreaming. We lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.


Amy It's interesting. I know. I usually like love the quotes. This one to me is a little it's a hard for me because and I'll say something that was also quite Virgo is I dream about work a lot and I hate it like it makes me feel like I worked all night and I constantly dream about work. Like I'm constantly, like, kind of like not I'm not like a savant and like solving story problems in my sleep. It's not that I'm literally, like, dreaming of myself, like writing on a whiteboard or dreaming of myself at my computer writing a script.


Grace Oh my God, that sounds stressful.


Amy I hate it. Yeah, it's like, I hate it. And I. When I dream about work, I know it's because I'm stressed out about the thing I'm dreaming about. So I'll dream about pitching and I'm like, Oh, I'm stressed about pitching. Let me practice my pitch. But it's not quite pleasant for me to dream about work. And dreaming about work is my brain trying to plan for the stressful thing. So this quote I would like to keep imagination and dreaming separate from planning, because as a Virgo I plan everything like I literally just to have something to cross off every day I write, wake up as the first thing on my to do list.


Grace Oh my God.


Amy So that I at least start my day having accomplished one thing. I. Wake up and so I plan everything. So this quote doesn't quite speak to me. It's the first one. And I love Gloria Steinem. Believe in everything she stands for, the things that I know that she stands for, at least. But this one doesn't. I prefer to think of imagination and dreaming and the excitement of those places as completely separate from planning. But I think I see her point. But anyway, what do you think? What do you think about the quote?


Grace Well, I don't I don't process dreaming as like sleep dreaming. I process that as dreaming like like actively thinking about the things that you would like to happen.


Amy Okay. Oh, that's nice. Okay.


Grace Yes. So that that's how I process that. Anyway, so dreaming, after all, is a form of planning to me is just the whole idea of if you can't see it, you can't be it, you know. So even like thinking about our guest today, you know, we talked a little bit about, you know, internalized ableism and all this different stuff. Like in order for me to try to be this person in Hollywood that doesn't sort of fit the mold of what you typically see in Hollywood, I had to be able to imagine it. I had to be able to see it. So I try to spend some time actively dreaming and imagining every day what I want for my life professionally, creatively, dreaming of other ideas for scripts or other ideas for things that I want to do. It feels like before, before I can bring the fullness of the life that I want into existence, I have to imagine it first and I have to dream it first. So it's kind of a little bit like a manifestation.


Amy Yeah. I was like, I want to swap the word for myself of dreaming with manifestation manifesting.


Grace So I feel like the time that I spend, like thinking of like my idealized life, like the career that I want, the the movies that I want to write and then the the shows I want to create. Then like how I want to be processed as someone in the industry that can rise to a level where I can reach back and help other people. Like it's all in order for me, I think to get there someday I have to spend active time dreaming and imagining that for myself. So I think Gloria Steinem for this quote, because it is reminding me today that I in order to write that, come to fast. I have to imagine it. I have to dream it.


Amy I like the quote more now. I understand.


Grace Good. I'm glad. I was just like, okay, drag me for this quote this week.


Amy I understand it in a new way. I was thinking of dreaming and sleeping and I was like, she telling me to dream about work. I was so mad. But now I get it.


Grace But it's so interesting to me as your friend that you are like. There's nothing that says work about this. Mm hmm. There is absolutely nothing that says work.


Amy Planning to me is equal to work.


Grace Yeah, but that's what I'm saying. But that's. But that's how you process it. Because you are like. You like me also like, you know, we are very identified with our work. So. But but yeah, that that's really interesting. That also just the different ways that we thought. Dreaming is really interesting. So this is the interesting quote this week. Yeah. So thanks, everyone, for listening to The Antidote. We hope that this injected a little bit of joy into your week. I know it did mine. How about you, Amy?


Amy Yeah, I feel good, girl. We should do this again sometime. Oh, we'll be here next week.


Grace And in the meantime, if you like to follow us on social, follow me. Grace. At Graceyact. That's G-R-A-C-Y-A-C-T.


Amy And follow me. Amy at AmyAniobi. That's A-M-Y-A-N-I-O-B-I. And follow the show at theeantidotepod.


Grace That's thee with two E's.


Amy If you like feeling good about yourself, please subscribe and rate us five stars at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.


Grace Goodbye.


Amy And stay chic honey. The Antidote is hosted by us Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards. It's produced by Jenna Hanchard and our associate producer is Taylor Polydore.


Grace Our executive producer is Erica Kraus and our editor is Erika Janik. Sound Mixing by Rachel Brees.


Amy Digital Production by Mijoe Sahiouni. Talent Booking by Marianne Ways. Our theme music was composed and produced by TT the Artist and Cosmo the Truth.


Grace APM Studio Executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert and Joanne Griffith, concept created by Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards.


Amy Send us your antidotes at And remember to follow us on social media at theeantidotepod. That's thee with two E's y'all.


Grace The Antidote is the production of American Public Media.


Amy Yea. It is.