Brandy Howard confessed that she was nervous to come to Austin for a live remote of her show ” Dumb Gay Politics” with her on-air co-host, writing partner and BFF Julie Goldman.
The two will be at the Spider House Cafe, 2908 Fruth St., at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb 16. Advanced tickets online are $20 and can be bought at purplepass.com/dgaustin or $25 at the door.
Special guests include Texan Lea Black of the Real Housewives of Miami, a University of Texas at Austin graduate, and Reid Umstattd, a contestant on The Voice.
“I’m stressed out about doing the show in Texas,” Howard said. “I’m not sure how we’ll be received.”
That statement is funny to those who know Howard. The former Marble Falls resident didn’t show the signs of stress or discomfort when she was a student two decades ago, often displaying the confidence and grit of someone who had bigger dreams that could only be fulfilled in the City of Angels. And it takes plenty of you-know-what to pursue a career in acting and modeling, but Howard has shown she is more than a pretty face, even if she refers to her looks quite often.
Still, she and Goldman are very serious about exposing the realities of the country where people are beaten or killed because of things about them they didn’t choose.
Goldman, a stand-up comedian and former series regular on Logo’s Big Gay Sketch Show, said the goal of each “Dumb Gay Politics” is to create an atmosphere that invites honest conversations that affect people’s everyday lives.
“We want to try to get back to a place where everyone can listen,” she said. “We want it to be a place for everyone.”
The two were on a show called The People’s Couch on Bravo during the 2016 election. By December of that year, “Dumb Gay Politics” was launched. It began as a podcast that is now a nationally syndicated radio show on Channel Q on Radio.com. They said they’ve had plenty of content in the last 24 months.
The duo said they see people of all ages when they have a remote for the show. It’s mothers and daughters, gays and straights and people of all races. They especially see young people because of their time on The People’s Couch.
They want individuals to come as they are where everyone feels like they’re around the dinner table. No conversation or topic is off limits, especially if it pertains to politics.
The show is for anyone who wants to talk politics, no matter if they follow it on a daily basis or only during an election year.
“Don’t be afraid to talk about anything anywhere,” Goldman said. “We all have something in common — we’re alive. So grab a seat and sit down.”
The two follow state and national races and offer commentary based on research and conversations. They also make efforts to talk to people of every political party and are willing to have the uncomfortable dialogue.
Goldman said that’s because the two create a safe space where even a gay Republican can come on the show to talk shop without the fear of being personally attacked.
Two years after Donald Trump took the oath of office for president of the United States, Goldman summed up the feelings of many in the LGBTQ community. She said she sees lies, greed, corruption, homophobia and discrimination based on someone’s lifestyle.
“My life is worse off than two years ago,” she said. “We’ll see what happens when I do my taxes.”
“I love (former U.S. President Barack) Obama,” Howard said. “I’m so happy that when he was president, I was sort of good looking. You never know the effects of a president until they’re gone. I think the Trump effect will last much longer. My life does look different.”
One change they’d like to see are more honest conversations that don’t involve smart devices or computers where people listen to one another, even if the content is uncomfortable. The duo said those honest talks where people can part ways with a better understanding of the other, even if they can’t be friends, is the best way to unite the country. The division where people are unwilling to meet in the middle, they said, will simply grow. And that’s not good for America.
“There’s zero tolerance,” Howard said. “Have a normal, polite conversation with people.”
That’s why the two are making efforts to reach across party lines in attempts to truly understand the other side.
“We want to teach people to put down the social media,” Howard said. “We’re making social media the news. We’re trying to get away from that and talk about real things.”
Listen daily on Channel Q on Radio.com. Go to julieandbrandy.com for more on the duo.