The futures that we build for ourselves with Steph Colbourn

Hello!

Our guest today is the CEO and founder of editaudio, Steph Colbourn.

editaudio is a podcast production company with a mission to hire more women, nb and trans people in media. Founded in 2014, Steph put together an amazing queer team of producers and staff to make the audio industry more representative of what the word actually looks like. And it looks queer!

Steph (they/she) shares with us the book that saved her life: The Waves by Virginia Woolf. And what are we exploring in this episode? What’s that feeling when you read an unrequited love story from decades before your time? How does that feel, to know we were there, queer people falling in love? And how does it feel feel to read on the page your queer life being normalized, even your anxiety?

The Waves is one of Woolf’s most experimental novels. Some say, her masterpiece. It begins with six children—three boys and three girls—playing in a garden by the sea, and follows their lives as they grow up, experience friendship and love, and grapple with the death of their beloved friend.

Connect with Steph

Twitter: @steph_colbourn
Instagram: @stephcolbourn
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/steph-colbourn-52b11212a
email: hello@editaud.io
website: https://editaud.io

Buy The Waves

Visit our Bookshop or buy immediately: https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9780156949606

Become an Associate Producer!

Become an Associate Producer of our podcast through a $20/month sponsorship on Patreon! A professionally recognized credit, you can gain access to Associate Producer meetings to help guide our podcast into the future! Get started today: patreon.com/thisqueerbook

Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Awen Briem, Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.

Transcript

[theme music]

J.P. Der Boghossian:

Welcome to the podcast This Queer Book Saved My Life!

My name is J.P. Der Boghossian. I’m a essayist, LGBTQ health educator, Lambda Literary fellow, and founder of the Queer Armenian Library.

This is the podcast where our queer guests share the queer books that saved their lives. Why? Because I believe that through these life-giving stories, we’re connecting to this exciting, and messy, and sometimes scary, but also loving queer world of ours.

Our guests describe coming out, transitioning, facing homophobia in the family, living through an abusive relationship, or finding queer family.

What are we exploring today? What’s that feeling when you read an unrequited love story from decades before your time? How does that feel, to know we were there, queer people falling in love? And that feeling of your queer life being normalized, even your anxiety?

My guest is the founder of editaudio Steph Colbourn. Back in 2014, steph put together an amazing queer team of producers and staff to make the audio industry more representative of what the word actually looks like. And it looks queer.

We’re talking about the book that saved Steph’s life: The Waves by Virginia Woolf. This is one of Woolf’s most experimental novels. Some say, her masterpiece. It begins with six children—three boys and three girls—playing in a garden by the sea, and follows their lives as they grow up, experience friendship and love, and grapple with the death of their beloved friend.

This is a novel that at 17 years old, Steph was obsessively taking quotes from it and writing it down in their journal. Steph was traveling across the country on their own self-discovery journey and reading about these kids coming of age, getting separated, coming back together – moving like the waves.

So, here we go, welcome to This Queer Book Saved My Life!

[theme music]

J.P.: Hi Steph, thanks for being here today.

Steph Colbourn: Hi, thank you for having me.

J.P.: How are you?

Steph: I’m very good. I’m excited to be talking about this.

J.P.: Likewise. I was saying that I always wonder when we’re going to get these books and the authors because we just recruit guests, you know. so I was wondering how long until we get a Virginia Woolf book and here we are. you’re our first Virginia Woolf guest.

Steph: That’s shocking to me because she feels so Queer to me.

J.P.: I know, right? I know. So real quick, before we get started, a wonderful shout out to our promotional sponsor, Quatrefoil Library. They are an LGBTQ library and event space in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. They are one of my favorites, as you can imagine, especially though, because they have set up a section of their e-lending library specifically for our podcast. So if you can’t buy the books we talk about here, you can still read them. We’re including links in the show notes. Okay, well, Steph, podcast company, writer, music maker, funky wine drinker, tell us everything about yourself and your pronouns if you would like to.

Steph: I use they, she pronouns. I am originally from Canada, but after 11 years in Montreal, I moved to New York. I started in music and creative writing. That’s what I went to school for. I I don’t even know if podcasts really existed back then, but I somehow translated those skills into making and creating podcasts and making them sound good. I wasn’t originally thinking of owning a company. I’m very much like an artist at heart who now is somehow a for-profit business owner. Ha ha ha.

J.P.: It’s always interesting to me to see the paths of how people come into podcasting, because it’s such an interesting and weird and wild medium. But then when I hear the pathways, I’m like, oh, that obviously makes sense, right? Your company is how many years old? It is so legendary to me.

Steph: I really should know that number. I’m gonna say like seven-ish, but I was freelancing before that for a few years. So a long time. Thank you, you’re legendary to me.

J.P.: Yeah, but that’s like…Oh, please. I mean, to get to, we’re not even to our one year anniversary mark, so the idea of getting to seven years is just like, congratulations, that is fantastic.

Steph: Thank you.

J.P.: We were saying we could have a whole conversation about podcasting, but we are here to talk about Virginia Woolf.
So tell us, Steph, what is the book that saved your life?

Steph: It is the Waves by Virginia Woolf. I discovered this book when I was much too young to understand it, I think. Maybe not, but I think I put a lot of implied meaning into the book from my own life. I think that’s part of why it saved my life. So I think I read it the first time when I was in grade nine.

J.P.: Wow!

Steph: And then I read it again. And I read it again when I was 17 when I had finished high school. And the time I read it when I was 17, I was obsessively taking quotes from it and writing it down either in my journal or typing it up. At this time I was moving across the country to go on my self discovery journey and become an adult type thing. So it also felt very timely because I was reading about these kids sort of growing up and, getting separated and coming back together and moving like the waves.

J.P.: How would you describe it to folks who haven’t read it yet?

Steph: I think it’s one of Virginia Woolf’s weirdest books. It’s definitely more of a conceptual book than it is a book. Like the book is entirely made from narration. There’s no character that you’re following. You’re just listening to all of these people speaking to each other and every chapter opens up with the waves. So the waves are, you know, dark and gloomy today and the objects look flat or something like that. That’s not a real quote.

J.P.: Ha ha ha!

Steph: You are walking through this story of these six friends who are all very much in their head, trying to discover who they are and what the meaning of life is while dealing with trauma and growing up. You follow them through childhood, then college, then after college. In my opinion, the book kind of flops at the end, but we can talk about that later.

J.P.: Oh, yeah, let’s get to that. I wanna come back to this idea that everyone on this podcast interprets saved differently. So unpack for me, what were the saving features of the novel for you? You were getting a little bit into that, but share more about that for us.

Steph: I think I’ve read this at such an important time in my life, mainly because I was so young and I came from a pretty conservative family. I was Gay very young. I think I knew I was Gay very young. I had my first partner when I was still in elementary school.

J.P.: Oh wow!

Steph: But with the idea that it was always wrong. I was told it was wrong. I was not allowed to be open about it. I always had this thought that, you know, I was somehow flawed or this was wrong, and like, I would get over it or something. Then I remember reading this book. A male character falls in love with this other guy at his college and it’s his friend and he loves him dearly and he is obsessing over him and it’s really beautiful and also sad because it’s unrequited love. Neville ends up realizing that he needs to get married and to a woman. But that was really eye-opening for me just because this book is so old and I was reading this book at 15 and being like, wow, this is like ancient text to me. In that time there were Gay people and it’s not gross; it’s not being shit on in any way It’s actually really beautiful and you feel kind of sad for him that he doesn’t get to be with his partner or the guy that he has a crush on who ends up dying. So that was really important to me. Then there’s this other character, Rhoda, who I don’t think in the book, she’s Gay. So I reread parts of the book, because I knew I was coming on here. I don’t think she is Gay in the book. She’s like this sick person. I think I also found parts of myself in her. She seemed very anxious and distraught: sort of like upset with the world a lot. In the end, unfortunately, she ends up taking her own life. But there are moments before that where that also felt normal. I remember this one scene, she’s at a party, and she’s talking about one of the other characters. She is beautiful and sort of like fluttering between rooms just getting attention and then moving on to the next guy and is loving it. She feels like people are glancing at her every once in a while and smiling, but that it’s fake, like that there’s some sort of act that they’re all in on. I just remember being like, Oh, that’s how I feel like. That’s like anxiety. and it’s normal. It just normalized a lot of things for me. In my head, I made her into a Gay character, which is also kind of cute and lovely for me.

J.P.: Oh, absolutely. I can hear that. Do you subscribe to the idea that Rota is based on Virginia, or has parts of Virginia Woolf in her?

Steph: Yeah. I think it saved me in a lot of ways. I think she sort of nods to herself in a bunch of different characters, but I do think Rhoda and Bernard, right? Because Bernard is the one that can’t ever finish writing something or can’t ever end the poem that he’s writing. He’s trying to write the perfect thing and he can’t. I do think Rhoda has a lot of Virginia Woolf in her and she puts character traits onto objects, which I always thought was really beautiful: like an artist’s mind, right? And I think that also inspired a lot of my work. I think separately from how this saved my life, it was like a book that is written like a giant poem. I didn’t know if I thought that was possible before then.

J.P.: The reason why I ask and why I actually subscribed to your idea that Rota is Queer is that Virginia also, I feel like had some ambiguity. I mean, yes, there was Vita, her , paramore, right? But I feel like she had this ambiguity about how to name her own sexuality. So when you said that in the pre-exchange emails that we had, I was like, yeah, Rota, I think she’s Queer, but she can’t yet admit it to herself, maybe.

Steph: I also remember one part in the book where she sort of says that she’s, I think it’s right before she leaves where she’s like, I’ve tried on the lives of the other women around me. I’ve tried to look like them or act like them or wear their clothes or whatever. I’ve sort of perfected the act of looking like I fit in. I mean, if that’s not, a very Queer relatable trope, I don’t know what is, you know? I think I was living in a place where I was like, okay, I have to fit in. How do I fit in? But I never really felt like me. I was like, okay, I have to fit in.

J.P.: Were there things that Rota did that you found yourself trying out? In terms of fitting in.

Steph: There’s multiple dinner scenes in the book, right? They’re all sort of sitting around a table. The beginning of the book is written like she is not really in it. She’s kind of grumpy. Then at the end, yes, she’s acting. You can tell that it’s an act. She recognizes it’s an act. She says she’s acting to fit in and she’s trying on the lines others use. I always felt I was really good at that. I was really good at molding to the situations I was in. I don’t think it ever made me feel good. I think she’s the same, right? In the end, she never feels like she has a clear feeling, but she does have a sense of self, you know? You don’t feel sad for her in that way. She’s not strong or something. She comes across as someone who’s very strong and knows a lot about herself, but she’s just not ready to, or maybe the world wasn’t. ready to have her be that.

J.P.: Reading it so young, I’m curious, did you also see her journey as a warning sign or as a, I need to make different choices so I don’t end up having the same fate as Rhoda?

Steph: That’s an interesting question. I think I felt mostly comforted by the idea that she was like mentally unwell and that that was fine. I don’t think I really focused on her ending her life very much. I more so just focused on her observing the world and not really fitting in. I don’t know. That is a really good question.

J.P.: Tell me more about that. So there’s young Steph who’s taking out these quotes, writing them down. Like, do you remember the ones that you were most impactful or the ones that you were really drawn to?

Steph: So there was one quote that was about a star and it was “There was a star riding through the clouds one night and I said to the star, consume me.” I remember being like, oh, that’s so beautiful, to be part of the sky and part of nature. The waves in this book are very like a character as well. So I thought that was always really cool. This was my favorite, my very favorite quote from it was, “I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.” I thought that was nice because it sort of has the feeling of the whole book, right? It’s like a wave that’s like coming up and being brought down. It’s very circular and it always made me feel like, I am growing and evolving and changing, but the people that I interact with take different things from me or put different things into me or you know, take their own meaning from who I am.

J.P.: Could you read that again?

Steph Colbourn:I love that quote. I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.

J.P.: Virginia Woolf just has an amazing way with sentences that just strike to the heart of it all. Tell me more about this journey,this self-discovery journey. It feels very like Jack Kervorkian.

Steph:Mine?

J.P.: Didn’t you say that you were driving across country or traveling across country and you were taking quotes and thinking about yourself in the world?

Steph: I was in high school and in high school, you have to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life, which feels quite silly. But I was very stressed about it. I always did well in school. I did a bunch of art, but I had no idea what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to be or anything. I was just sort of floating. I got into a bunch of schools. One of my friends was moving to the west coast of Canada to live at a ski resort for a year. At the very last minute I was like, can I come with you? I joined that trip after seemingly thinking I would be going to university next year. My parents were pissed. I imagine because they were scared that I’d never come back. I was going across the country, I had no plan. I really made a last minute decision to do this. I had saved up some money from working, so that was fine. But we just went across the country. When we arrived, we stayed at a hostel. I was living in a hostel for… six months. But that was one of the things that would keep me company. Whenever I was bored or didn’t know what to do, I would read this book and write out quotes because I wanted to remember them so badly. Then after I wrote them out in my notebook, I would take them and transcribe them onto my computer at the time so that I could keep them. That is such an adorable representation of how important it was to me.

J.P.: I want to squeeze in a quick sponsorship break for our listeners. If you’ve never been an associate producer of a podcast before and wondering, oh, how would I go about doing that? Or should I? We’re giving you that opportunity through Patreon to be an associate producer of this podcast. I know I’m just a delightful voice behind the mic, but I hope that you take a moment to consider joining me on this podcasting journey. I also have important info on your book buying and how it can help this podcast. We will be back in a moment.

(Music)
J.P.: Welcome back. I’m here with Steph Colburn, founder and CEO of Edit Audio. We’re talking about the Virginia Woolf novel, The Waves. Steph, in our pre-interview email exchanges, you shared with our executive producer, Jim Pounds, that you remember deeply relating to Rhoda’s feeling faceless and like her body was ill-fitting during a time when you were trying to be free of the world and be yourself. The work you do with Edit Audio is very much putting a face to marginalized voices and stories that don’t quote unquote fit in. I’d like to know what you think about how The Waves, intersects, or inspired the work that you do with edit audio.

Steph:Oh, that’s really lovely. I don’t know if I’ve made that connection so much, for myself, but I do think from a very young age, I always felt I was othered. I was other and I was told that my otherness was wrong. I also developed a very strong sense of self. I was like, well, to survive. I have to realize that these people are wrong and I believe that. These values are not important to me. I have to have my own values that are important to me. I had very strong moral values at a very young age. I think one of those is community building and helping or lifting up other marginalized people or voices, which is what we do with our company and what I try to do in most aspects of my life.

J.P.: I thought it was interesting knowing your work with Edit Audio and this particular novel, which is, as you said earlier, just voices, right? I thought, oh, how perfect for a podcast company owner to have a novel that’s literally about people telling their stories and there’s no third person narration.

Steph: Oh my gosh, you’re so right. What’s hilarious is I was always so bad at writing dialogue: horrible at it. I was just terrible at it. I wanted so badly to write it, but I could never write characters believably. I was really good at writing the other stuff. It’s the opposite with audio. I’m very good at crafting stories from people’s voices. So it is interesting. Oh my gosh, should we make a podcast version of The Waves?

J.P.: If you do, I want in! Please!!

Steph: Like an art piece.

J.P.: I would love that!

Steph: Oh my gosh, I’m realizing this too in my art practice. When I did music and sound stuff, I made really weird conceptual art, like sound art. The main thing that I focused on was multi-channel sound installations where you would have multiple voices and poems and songs sort of speaking at you with speakers around you, which is also very much The Waves.

J.P.: It is. It is.

Steph: Wow, you just blew my mind, J.P..

J.P.: It’s what we try to do on podcasts.Recognizing that though, Virginia Wolff is always an adventure to read. I want to know if you have any advice for folks about how to jump into The Waves and how they should go about reading it because there is just first person point of view narration. So what would your advice be for folks as they jump into it?

Steph: I think knowing that going in is important. That’s the first step. The second thing is it’s gonna be awful for the first few pages. It does take a level of getting used to, right? It feels like you’re reading a very long poem, which is beautiful, but we’re not used to reading books like that. So I think you have to sort of stick with it for a bit, but once you do, there’s a rhythm to it. There’s a cadence to it, and you won’t wanna put it down because of that. It feels like there is a literal ocean, like the motion of an ocean going through the dialogue of the characters. It feels very much like there’s a timbre to it that you want to stick with. So I think once you get on that rhythm, you’ll feel it within yourself and want to keep reading, but it does take a few pages. I also think the chapters are very concise. So, you know, being able to finish a chapter and put it down, I find really helpful. There’s always the character of the waves to sort of set the scene, which feels like a cleanser or something. I think it’s really cool to be able to just sort of picture these characters, you know, throughout their life. I think especially because you’re so much in their heads that you feel like you get to have more creativity with how they look I mean.

J.P.: Absolutely. What was that? Was it an Oprah book club? Am I, I’m remembering that right? Isn’t there like an Oprah book club, that gave advice, like you have to read the first 50 pages before you give up on a book. If you haven’t done 50, then you haven’t really tried it out. I may be misremembering that, but whoever told me that I was always like, yes!

Steph:I love that. My grandfather always used to say, because my sister hated olives and this is similar. He would say, if you eat 13 in a row, you’ll love them forever. Which I always am like, okay, I just have to try this like 13 times. If for the 14th I still don’t like it, I’m done. So either read a little bit 13 times or read the first 50 pages. Then if you don’t like it, you can write me a message and tell me you hated it.

J.P.: As you’re reflecting back on it and you have such wonderful memories of the quotes,, are there particular monologues, soliloquies, parts of the novel that you remember when you were reading it, either grade nine or, or thereafter when you were on your trek across Canada that really stood out for you?

Steph: Yes, there’s one:The scene with Rhoda at the party. There’s another scene that is Neville, and it must be in the middle of the book. He sort of recognized that he loves Percival, and they’re all going to a dinner because Percival’s about to move somewhere: he’s about to go away. I think it’s somewhere far away. I think it’s India. He moves to India and they’re like, okay, he’s about to move. So let’s all get together for a dinner. Neville is adorable and gets there early because he’s so excited and like, God, I can’t remember the quote he says when he gets there. He’s like, I want to taste every last minute and soak it all up.
He gets there early and the door opens and Neville is sitting at the table. It’s always another character, it’s never Percival. He says something like, if Percival doesn’t come, I don’t know if I’ll survive: you know, being like young and in love,
I felt that so much. I was like, Oh my God, I will die without seeing this person. I need it and you get so excited to be within their presence and just to be around them. Then Percival does come in and it’s sort of like a goodbye to him. I loved that scene because I remember being like, oh, my God, I feel that so much in myself. Are they going to be here? Will I see them again? Being excited, but also deeply hurt if they are not.

J.P.: That happens on such an extra level, I feel , for Queer people because finding our folks, right? We’re already, when we’re born, we’re isolated. Then to finally find somebody that you’re attracted to, have a crush on, want to have a relationship with, it’s just so much more heightened if it doesn’t work out, or if it’s not clicking because you’re like, is this gonna happen again? But when you’re at that age, right? Is this gonna happen again? Like you’re the first one. Will it happen to me again? Will I find another Percival?

Steph: Oh, for sure. I remember being like, I mean, first of all, young love, I think everyone thinks like the first person they fall in love with is like the be all and all. But I do feel like when you’re Queer, there’s another layer that’s like, oh, am I ever going to meet another Queer person? How do you go about that? Now living in New York City, that seems much easier, especially with apps. But still, there are less of us out there. And it does feel scary. And I think there’s also a tension that comes from the unrequitedness of it, you know? There’s a build up and a let down that is always happening and that door swinging and Neville being excited and then let down and then excited and then let down like that is really like a depiction of his whole relationship. Because he’s never able to get that satisfaction at the end, which is sad. If Neville were around today, I would hook him up with someone.

J.P.: Can you imagine the novels Virginia Woolf would write today with apps and all the technology? Oh, that would be wild. I wish we could have those novels.

Steph: Well, I mean, that’s also the wild thing I was thinking about, you know, when I wrote to you for our pre-chat. All of these threads that go through this book are still so prevalent and poignant and hard. And in a lot of ways, that’s really sad. I’m like, why haven’t we moved forward in a way since like the 30s? But in other ways, it is nice that we have books that we can read and be like, okay, hopefully there’s some comfort in knowing that we’ve existed this whole time there is love and self-discovery that is beautiful.

J.P.: You’ve just got the mission for this entire podcast.

Steph:There you go. And, end scene.

J.P.: There you go. We’re good. We reached it. Earlier, you had mentioned the value the novel had for you in, normalizing, mental health and anxiety. Could you unpack that a little bit more for me? If you would like to share, I don’t want you to feel like right now you have to spill all of your mental health or behavioral health.

Steph:Oh, I’m very comfortable with how sick I am. Ha!

J.P.: Okay. Thank you.

Steph: I do think there’s an aspect of this. I was always denying. No one was talking about mental health when I was younger. At least not anywhere that I saw. The internet wasn’t what it was now either. So you couldn’t really search it out. But I have OCD, anxiety and PTSD. So I’m very sick in the head. But I’m very aware of it and I do a really good job of managing and living. I’m very happy and in love with my life. It’s hard, but you know, it is what it is. I think this book did a thing for me where I was like, Oh, other people feel this way. It’s normal, you know?
You feel bad and not all the other characters are feeling that way. So you recognize that it’s different, but it isn’t also made into a villain in any way. No one’s disgusted by her. No one is ashamed of her. She’s not ashamed of it. It’s very matter of fact. I felt like a lot of the anxiety that she had, I also had. Thinking about it, my unhinged OCD, writing down the quotes from the book. I mean, who knows?

J.P.: I don’t know, would that be OCD?

Steph: I don’t know if that was fueled by that. I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. But yes, I’m very medicated. I have a lot of great self care practices. So it’s all good. I do think that was a moment where I felt, Oh, I’m seen from a mental health perspective, and that’s not bad. I didn’t admit to myself that for many, many years, but I do think I felt that when I read this book.

J.P.: This may seem like a stupid question, but given the work that you do, what is the value of being seen and in podcasts being heard? What does that bring to the table?

Steph: I mean, I was just making this connection as we were speaking, but you know, what this book did for me is what this podcast is doing for you and the listeners and what I hope my company does for the world. Saying representation matters is such a cutesy way of saying it, but it really can be life saving and so impactful. Just to know that there are futures with you in them. I think knowing, as we were saying, knowing that other Queer people exist around you and that you could fall in love with one of them or knowing that people have mental health problems and are also feeling anxious and like everyone is talking about them at the party or knowing that, there were Gay people in 1930, like that is important. Not because it is true, but because most of our lives were spent seeing these versions of our futures that we’re supposed to live up to that don’t fit us in them. That’s true for everyone, but especially true for Queer people. So I think the representation of seeing yourself in something else is very confirming for establishing who you are, but also for valuing a future that you could build for yourself.

J.P.: You’re a storyteller, particularly for marginalized communities. Maybe more importantly, hiring marginalized folks to do the work and tell the stories. From that, how are you processing the book bans and the don’t say Gay legislation?

Steph: Oh my god… I don’t. I can’t relate at all to a world where you think saying anything or describing anything will make that thing happen. Reading about a Gay character doesn’t make you Gay! I’m sorry. iIf it did, we would all be super Gay by now, which would be great. But you know, I don’t understand the fear. I can’t understand the fear. I can’t understand the bans in the legislation. It just seems like another form of oppression that isn’t going to work. To me, it feels like Republicans are scrambling constantly to ban certain things or get rid of certain things. But at the end of the day, we existed in 1930, and we will exist in 2030. Whatever they do, there’s always going to be loopholes. There’s always going to be communities. There’s always going to be local mutual aid organizations. There’s always going to be this pushback against it. So I think it’s futile and quite honestly very stupid, but I do feel for all of the kids right now who are being affected by it.

J.P.: This novel came out in the early 30s as Fascism was really kicking into high gear. Do you see any parallels in that regard from The Waves or from Virginia Woolf’s writing that provides some lessons on how to specifically deal with Fascism?

Steph:I do think there is a lot of themes throughout this book about class and the roles women play, especially. But even the men in the book like Louis, one of the main characters. He is at one point jealous of Bernard and Neville because they, exude, money or like upper class-ness. II don’t know how it’s described in the book, but they get to live these lives and Lewis is working a job. I think he describes himself as a businessman or a banker or something and he’s working this slog life that he likes but he is jealous of others. So there’s this class warfare that’s happening. There’s this really important part of the book. I remember being pissed when I read it. They all go off to school, right? And the boys in the book, and Virginia makes a point of saying that the boys go to Oxford and these fancy schools. She says us women we went to lesser schools and it keeps calling them lesser schools, lesser schools, lesser schools. The girls are pissed about it.

J.P.: Thank you. Thank you.

Steph: Which is very telling of the time and is still true, you know? Education is not given to everyone at the same level, access to education is not distributed evenly among everyone. So I think that is really interesting. I don’t know if she sort of solves anything or gives any tips, but she does position the whole book as community being important and friendship being important. And Bernard sort of saying that like he, you know, they’re all very different people and they’re they always get together and sort of talk about their past and now like how they’ve grown up and they all become very different people or sort of like poles of their own. But together they are something else and together they like to keep each other going, which always feels really cool because, you know, to me that feels like queer family.

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J.P. Der Boghossian: I’d like to thank Steph for being on the show. Editaudio works with several companies to develop podcasts, and this year they are also producing new original series.

I recommend the show Well…adjusting which Steph executive produces. Author, actor, and funny lady Robin Hopkins helps guests manage stress, set some boundaries, find a new apartment, and save a dime or two. Robin’s disarming, connected, and forthcoming style allows her guests to open up about what’s really behind all that self-sabotaging. It’s not NPR. It’s not credentialed. Just honest talk about real problems Gen Z’ers and Millennials face today.

They also have an original true crime podcast called Ozarks True Crime, for all you true crime nerds. Season one covered The Springfield Three: A Small-Town Disappearance. In season two, host Anne Rodrique-Jones returns to her hometown to report on the Feeney Family Murders.

If you or your organization are thinking about starting a podcast, editaudio provides one-on-one consultations, pre-production work, content development, editing, and post-production. Find out more on their website editaud.io. You can also search for editaudio in your favorite podcast app.

We are putting all the links to all their socials, including Steph’s, in our show notes and on our website.

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That’s our show for today! Do me a favor, right now, click or tap 5 stars for our show. It’s right there on your screen! This helps us with recruiting guests and authors! And if you liked this episode, post a message on whatever social media you use thanking our executive producer Jim Pounds as well as our Associate Producers Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Ollila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shea, and Sean Smith. Tag us and we’ll share the love. We’re @thisqueer book on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Do you buy books? Do you? If you do and you like them at prices the same or better than Amazon, we have a bookstore through Bookshop.org. Buy all the books at thisqueerbook.com/bookshop.

My name is J.P. Der Boghossian and until next time see you queers and allies in the bookstores!

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