Leo mentions Lil Nas X, which sends him and guest Alli Santos into a long conversation about representation in media. They discuss the evolving role of personal identity in our society, the fallacy of binary thinking, and the importance of representation in media.
By: Leo Yockey
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Leo Yockey show the show where I Leo Yockey interview guests about the universal truths in their unique life paths. All right, I got to make this quick because there's a whole bunch of construction going on next door like all week. But before we dive into the interview, I want to share a little bit about how I know this week's guest. Ali Santos, do you ever think about how so many different things had to align just right, for a certain person or situation to come into your life. This is kind of how Ali and I met. So back in early 2018, I had just moved to West LA and started my first job as a software engineer. And I had a friend that lived really close to me, l hopefully another future guest to the show. So l and I were hanging out in a bar in our neighborhood. And she told me that she thought that I would get along really well with her friend, Ali. So l arranged for us to all meet at that same bar, like a week later. When that day arrives, I get a text from owl while I'm at work, saying, Hey, I'm sorry, something came up. I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. However, I think you and Allie would get along. I still think that you too, should meet. And at first, you know, my introverted ass was like, absolutely not no way that I thought about it for a while. And I realized, you know, I'd had a stressful day at work. I could use some social interaction. Fine. I'm going to do it. So Ali and I and Ali's roommate we all meet and we had a great time. And now Honestly, I think I think I ended up seeing Ali more than I saw l while we all lived in that neighborhood. So thank you l for bringing us together. And this conversation, this interview. It's really not an interview, this one really is a conversation. Y'all are really going to get to be a fly on the wall for the kind of conversations that Allie and I honestly, anytime we talk this is these are the kinds of things that we talk about, you know, we are both people of color in the LGBTQ community who work in tech, but have creative passions have and I think our conversation reflects a lot of that. So without further ado, here's Allie. Oh, wait, Allie, when is your birthday? I keep forgetting. I know you're a Leo. So it's either. It's like now ish. I feel like right. Ah, close. I'm on the cusp. So the 20th of this month. Okay. Okay, cool. So it'll, it'll probably be belated by the time this comes out. Anyway, hello, Ollie. How are you doing today? What's up Leo? From Leo to another? Right. I'm like, not even. I My name is Leo. But I'm actually astrologically the opposite. I'm an Aquarius. I know. I know. It's so I like to think that it makes me a very well rounded individual. Okay, I believe in that. I do. I truly believe that we should all be you know, reaching for and balancing out and, you know, we're going on some kind of equilibrium. Yeah, absolutely. So I'll take that. I'll take that Aquarian Leo. Yes. Hey, yo, Cray. I know that's, that's what I should. If I was like, if I were to become a rapper or something, maybe that oh my god, yeah. What a time you think that name would fly? Aquarian Leo? Yeah, why not? Who cares? That's right. There's like rappers named like lil uzi vert, like who who cares what is lil NAS x even mean? Like, of course, I could be Aquarian Leah. She that also blessed little NAS x. Okay. Series really just wanted to do what I want. And I'm gonna do it my way. is actually the perfect segue into this because, Allie, the reason why I want to have you on this show is because I feel like I talk a lot about how the world is changing. And there's just opportunities available that weren't before and we're in this like revolution. slash Renaissance period. And it's time to just live the life that you want. And I think that out of all my friends, I think you resonate with that the most and the, the existence of someone like lil NAS x is absolutely an example of that like this, you know, very openly gay man would not have been able to do what he's doing, like having some man lick his face on SNL performance and stuff like that, like, yeah, you know, and the once a call, call me by the devil, exactly. Like none of this would have been possible before at a time. Yes. You know, he's getting like, what 100 million streams on his songs or something like that. Like, if here's what's cool about that, right here he is, is one part. But the other part is he's thriving. Yes, that is, I think the difference why this time in place matters. Exactly. Because back Back in the day, someone like little NAS x wouldn't have been able to have access to the resources avail needed to reach this level of stardom. And now, you know, you can essentially, I mean, I was talking about before we started this, you know, recording this podcast recording this interview in the past, it would have required a sound engineer on site, and we would have had to be in persons who would have needed to book some space. And we would have, you know, and for the video, we would have needed camera, people in good lighting, and good acoustics and all these things. And all that is wrapped up in, we both just open up our laptops and open a zoom meeting and and it's all taken care of for us and we can put this out on the internet, we don't have to pay for copies of it to be printed in any way for people to be able to listen to at home, you know, so there's just all these different ways that the barriers have just come down like all these, I mean, they're not arbitrary music gatekeeping they're real, you know, infrastructural art, obstacles that are just not there anymore. And so that means, you know, people like us people who are not just white cisgender middle class, mostly men, you know, like we have we have avenues to do what we want to do, you know, I was gonna see how much further you went into that list. Christian leaning, right. Like, how specific of the majority do do we want to get into? And how much of that do we really divert from it? Right? Yeah, seriously, I was reading about this author that died. I think his name, his name is like Anthony so. And he had this artist description where he he described himself as a gay immigrant, Cambodian American, diagnosed with manic depressive disorder. And I was like, I was like, Yeah, I relate to this. I mean, not, not manic depressive, and not gay, and not Cambodian, American. So what do I relate to I relate to just having that many things that you can list, you know, like, I, again, it's like, the fact that we can even be out here, you know, people, you know, we talk a lot about representation. And there's been a decent amount of black representation. But when you get we get to drill down into the specifics of the diaspora, like, most people have never even heard of the country that my dad is from Tanzania, you know, and so, I don't know, it's just, it's cool. We're able to put ourselves out on the map in a way that just was not possible before. I know for sure, and even in the description of the author, I mean, rip that said, news that passed. But how often do you hear someone just talk about Cambodian? Right, or, or any, anything more specific, you know, in regards to Asian representation, which I think is still, I mean, that's still what happens, right? People will just clump it in, it's just like Asians, right, but then you want to get into that, and there's like, a whole bunch of other, you know, countries and races within Asia, right. And then I think what gets seen most of the time, or what people are used to is right, East Asian representation, right? And then more recent, you know, at least I feel that it's like Southeast Asians are getting you know, more recognition and there's talks about that. And you know, people getting real specific and if you really want to get into it, you can deep dive at any time because you know, the internet loves to just talk and everyone get has an opinion about things and I have a lot of mixed emotions when I get into this kind of stuff because it's like When we're talking about, you know, technology, right? And also being in tech, right, I like, I love tech, but then there's also, you know, everything has its dark sides. Yeah, say, right. And even with this thing of like the filter, and having lower barriers, I think it's great that we have that option, right? Like, literally anyone who has internet access and has access to a device of some sort, right? Whether that's like a mobile phone, or a, you know, a camera, log your webcam, like whatever, right? Like that is the age that we're living in, that people can use anything. And this is where content really is, like, the most important part, right? It's not about the quality of things, it's about what are you putting out? Right, it's the quality of what is being put out in ways. So it's like, I think it's a great time because, you know, 510, whatever years, whatever, X amount of years before this, right, whatever, whatever you want to place, right? It, you know, is definitely a much harder thing to do. But because technology continues to expand exponentially, right, like, the ease of things has also exponentially gotten easy. You're in So yeah, I mean, it's, it's what a time, what a time that we're living in and, and even with, like who we are as people. That's true. We, you would not see or hear our voices, or see us, you know, if you're see this clip on video somewhere, like, you wouldn't hear or see, like, you know, these voices together on any major type of production, right, it was just a totally different time. It's also the access, right? And I'm sure there's still things like that are going on in Hollywood, right, like all the stuff about casting and all of you know, there just wouldn't be roles or anything for us. Yeah, and that's just the way because the stories that were written, were not being written by us either. You know, and so it's like, all the things that you also listed before that, right? sexual orientation, gender identity, you know, presentation, religion, whatever, right? these are, these are all things that we use to like, divide ourselves, but at the same time, we, we use it to also identify with and find community. So that's why, you know, I feel like everything is just relative, and we go back and forth. It's all just like, how you utilize, you know, whatever that thing is. Yeah, yeah, definitely. And it is interesting how, you know, at the end of the day, all of these things that we use to identify ourselves, they're all manmade constructs, you know, race is a man made construct, gender is a man made construct. You know, the borders that we use to divide countries are obviously man made constructs. And I've been thinking about this a lot, too, it's like, there, we use these identities as a way to find community to find simple, universal language to be able to reach out to people who have backgrounds in similarities to us, but it's, it also has the capacity to create this, like ego driven, like us versus them mentality, that becomes really destructive. So identity, kind of has the ability to people's constructive and destructive, just kind of depending on how you use it, you know? Yes, and I think it is, all of this ties back to human nature. Right? Yeah. Um, because if we were really to be objective about things, right, if you didn't feel one way or another, like these things would just exist, right. But it's what we do with those things. type of deal. So it's like, I mean, that's why I think like, when people ask if like, something is good, or something is bad, I mean, who is who who's to say, right? Yeah, what is good and bad, and also good and bad is going to vary so much, based on who you're talking to. Right? Like, I know, this is extreme, but, you know, this is something we all went through literally, the whole world did, right? So COVID is, is you know, it's happening, right? And then people are gonna have all kinds of feelings about it, I'm sure and I'm sure those feelings still exist, because you know, we're still going through it, y'all but that in So this whole nother thing, right? But why is it during this time that some people really loved it really enjoyed it and were thriving. Right? But then other people probably hit like rock bottom, and it was the worst times of their life. And, you know, so it's just like, technically an objective thing here is a pandemic happened, you know? Yeah. And then based on who you ask about what it was, or how was it? Or what do you think on it, you're gonna get, however many answers based on how many people you asked, you know, and I feel that you could do the same with anything. And so with identity and like how people feel about themselves, or identity or identities, you know, that is going to vary from person to person. And it's the same thing of like, I think it's great, the where we're headed of you can't just assume something about anyone. Yeah. I mean, people will write. And, and that's, but that also is just what happens, right? But, you know, we're in a place where people are asking pronouns, people are asking about, you know, how they identify more. So, you know, I'm not gonna say that this is I'd say, this is standard practice, by any means, you know, but the fact that more conversations like this are happening, is a sign of progress. And, you know, for me, I think that's really cool. Because it's like, we're getting closer to a place where you can't just assume something about someone based on looks alone. Yeah. And if you want to, you know, and then people want to, like, complain and say, like, Oh, my God, like, this is so much work, or like, oh, like, what is this? And like, people are being so sensitive, or, you know, insert whatever thought or feeling about it, right? Yeah. But it's like, this idea, though, is not new by any means. Right? How many people have heard never, you know, judge a book by its cover that is old as hell? Yeah. But that's essentially the same principle here. Right? Because what is happening when you see someone, if you were to look at either of us, how can you How could you possibly know, any of those things that we just mentioned? How could you know, how we identify how could you know, what our pronouns are? How could you How can you do any of this, you know, everything is just presumptions. Yeah, and I love that. And it's so it's so true, it's like, and that's why it's so great that we have the ability to kind of own our platforms and talk about it. Because Yeah, it's like, you can't guess by looking at most people what their experiences are. And it's so easy to judge a book by its cover. And part of that is because I think we've been given such a small sampling, before in media representations, stuff like that, of what the human experience actually is, that we don't, it's limited our creativity and how open our minds can be, you know, like, what we're humans can be and what we do and what we want and who we are. But I like, you know, your example, about COVID, I think it's so interesting, because as you're talking about, you know, like, people can kind of see it as a good or a bad thing, kind of just depending on who you ask, I started like, thinking in my head about people that I know, that would say that it was either a good or a bad time, you know, like, I have people who got into dream jobs that were kind of as a result of COVID. And I have other people who, you know, know, people that they were really close to who died. And so this was obviously a very difficult time for them and kind of everything in between. And there's people who, you know, kind of reassess their values and other people who, you know, kind of live their life as if there was no COVID and continue to go out and travel and refuse to wear mat, you know, there's all these different things. And the reality is that COVID-19 circulated through the world, and all of our lives were affected, and how people responded to it has everything to do with their life, and the combination of who they are in their past leading up to this point, as well as the things that they experienced as a result of COVID because the person who was a, you know, essential worker and still had to work all the way through, had a very different experience than someone who, you know, got to work from home, even if all of their life leading up to that point was exactly the same. And I think that that same concepts can be applied to everything in the world, you know, race, the concept of race, and what has happened in our world because of race is a thing that has happened that has circulated the world and has affected everybody, and how you feel about it, and whether you think it's a good or a bad thing and whether you think the changes in the tides turning are is a good or a bad thing. And how much do you think it even exists? Because there's people who think that COVID is a hoax. There's people that think that the Holocaust never happened or that's Slavery wasn't a bad thing or didn't happen, or whatever the case may be, like, there's people who think these things. And even to have that opinion, it has to do with who you are as a person. And so I think it's, it, it's really interesting kind of applying this very objective thing, to, like COVID, you know, objective meaning, like the disease itself is just, it's just a thing that happened. And to kind of take it to something that we take so personally like race, because no matter what your race is, no matter what your identity is, especially right now, in America, most people have very strong opinions about race and racism, and its history, and its past and its future. And at the end of the day, there really is no saying like, who, who is right. And who is wrong in that, like, everybody's experience is just their experience. And we're, I don't know, we, we're in this position now, where we kind of have to move forward, knowing that this thing happened, but also knowing that everyone's experience is different. And I don't know, for me personally, I think about the people who say, you know, like, if you have to explain race to a racist, they're winning, because they're taking your power away, and they're, you're spending all that energy, you could be using creating, on trying to convince them that racism exists. It's like, I want to just, you know, take this time to, like, create and to express myself. And if they, if they still think that racism is a hoax or whatever, that's their world, that's their reality. But I'm going to enjoy my reality, which is that all these doors of open, like we've just talked about, you know, and I'm going to do what I can to empower and to educate the people who want to hear from me, but I'm not gonna try to waste all this energy trying to convince other people otherwise, you know? Yes. Sorry, I was a long tangent. No, no, no, this is good. I'm just I was just listening to all the things. And I will say yes, to all of what was just mentioned. And there was so many layers, also to what you just shared, you know, but I think at the end of the day, or in summary, what I am getting from that, or how I would approach it is it comes down to choosing your battles, right. Yeah. Because humans, and human nature is not anything new. Right. Like, why is it that we have those examples? Like, you know, the Holocaust? And people still think it's a hoax. Right. And, and then, you know, but we got so close, you know, in the last few years to repeating that, yeah, you know, in ways like, a modern version of that could have repeated, we were so close. And we all saw it coming. Right? Yeah. And it's like, why are we still shocked? Because it is it has happened? Like, wouldn't you think that this is a situation of like, no better do better. But at the end of the day, it's the it's the human condition, right? This is why history repeats itself. This is why we go in and out of like, these phases. And you know, when people are like, oh, life is a roller coaster, there's like, so many ups and downs, like Yes, yes, it is. But you know, it also is a roller coaster. History. Yeah. You know, because why are we continuing to go on similar paths of what has happened? And it's like, we saw what has happened, you know, we have evidence, and we have concrete things, and documentation of what has happened, but why do we still either repeat or get really close to repeating, you know, and it's just because people as, as people are, right, all of those things come into play, right? It's always like, and you said that people's opinions, I would go further and say that a lot of these things is not just an opinion, a lot of these are actually beliefs, right? Yeah. And I make the distinction, because an opinion to me, is like, you know, did you like that drink? Like, yes or no, that's an opinion on it. Right? But but a belief is like, you know, I am not going to have this drink because of x. y&z reason that I believe in, you know, what that is religious or whether it's for your health, like, whatever, I don't know, you know, I feel like beliefs are changeable or movable. Yes, these are things that are part of your core as a person. Right. And I think that beliefs is also what gets us to where we are, right? Because if whatever people really believe in that is what's going to drive them at the end of the day. Yeah, you know, and that's the thing, right? You could believe in anything, and you could really believe that you are doing, you know, what is right in the world. Right. But this is also why in the past, right, Nazis really thought they were doing what was needed in A world, you know, and it's like, well, what do you do? You know, how do you change someone who believes so strongly in this, this this mission in this in this purpose? Right? That they commit their lives, their lives their life to it, you know? Yeah. And so like, take any of that and apply it to modern day, that's the same thing we're doing right. We're all, you know, theoretically, let's say we're free agents, right. But we can get really into that, because it can get super complicated super quickly, because, you know, conditions circumstances, of course, these are all things of life, right. But let's say on the theory that we're all free agents, technically, right? We're all we all can do and believe whatever we want, you know, yeah. And so at the end of the day, right, what are your beliefs? Like? What is the thing that drives you? It's the same thing of like, if you believe that there's a binary, well, then I don't know where to go with that. You know, what I mean? Like, whereas to me, like, Yes, I believe, you know, that, or Oh, no, not really, I understand, right? that most people are going to function off of a binary, but also, it's because that is what most people have been given as a tool for understanding, right? Or we were told that right? Or we were colonized, to think that, you know, because if you look further back on histories, and like histories of people of color, right, and let's be real specific, I'd say this is more American, I can't speak for anyone else. Because born and raised here, you know, this is where I grew up, you know, what I mean? So it's like, the dynamics of the culture that I'm speaking on is like experiences here and in America, you know? And so it's like, yeah, this idea of like, you know, binaries, and, you know, Christianity being like, the primary religion, and like, this idea of like, a god. I mean, it's been, it's in our thing of, like, you know, one nation under God, you know, like, does everybody believe that? I don't know, but, you know, it's there. And it's just, it really goes back to like, Who ever had the power at the time? And even if you look back on that, like, who made and wrote these things, you know, not not us, not us, the people of color, people of color also had no voice when these things were being made. So it's just like, you know, context is important. Yeah, you know, and it's like, I think, context is important in the belief, shaping and forming, you know, because it's like, if, sure you can believe something, but Okay, put that belief into play in the context of your, you know, what you're living, how you're acting, right. Is it still in line? You know, yeah, with whatever that belief is, and then that can get really complicated. But, you know, that that's, that's, that's how I look at things essentially, right? Like, what is it at the end of the day, that I believe in? Right, and then I act from there, you know? And so like, this is simple, but sure, the binary like, that's the binary, okay. Like, like, this is stuff that we were told and taught, and it was a way to try and control us, you know, yeah. And so it's like, do y agree and understand the need for it, I understand the need that people have, because people are also just trying to figure out, you know, things and most people are functioning from this or that place, right? And I'm not just talking about gender, right? Most people live in a very, like, this is the same thing, like how people live in a black and white world, right? Yeah, everything is either this or that. Right? The binary is just another version of the the black and white thought, right? Everything is this or that it's us or them, right? And it's just like, I can't agree with y'all. And also what a what a bleak place to live in that you only think there are two options to everything, you know. Yeah, seriously. And I think I really think that that goes back to again, you're seeing like one nation under God like this is say anything that you want about you know, religious freedom, First Amendment, all that stuff. The fact of the matter is, the people who started this country and the people who have continuously held power for the entire duration of America being America have been Christian. And I really do think that you know, the two non Christian presidents we've ever had, were Catholic, like, Come on, get out of here like that's still Christianity. At the end of day you still believe asis, Jesus Christ as your Savior and all these things. Yeah. But I really I've been thinking about this a lot. How Religion shapes culture. And I really think that this binary because it drives I totally agree with you. And I can't stand this constant, you know, everything is this or that everything is so binary. And I think that if you really take a step back and examine why it's so hard for Pete, for most people to get out of that, and why we're so easily conditioned into believing that is, because whether you are a Christian or not, we did grow up in this country that was led and run, and all of its policies were shaped in all of its culture was shaped around the idea of Christianity. And Christianity, more or less does preach like a very binary based way of looking at the world. Everything is either good or bad. It's either Christ like or it's devil, like, you're either going to heaven or you're going to hell, there is one God, there is one way, so you either believe it or you don't. And there's no room for gray area. And I and again, even if you're even if you don't believe in Christianity, personally, you're still affected by growing up in this environment, where all of the policies, all the dishes, everything is based around this understanding of how the universe works. And I, yeah, we were stuck. Right with with what it is right, just because of where we are, you know, physically and also the time and space, right, like, everything you said that you're stuck with these ideas is because that is what we were functioning from that is what we were taught in schools, that is what we are taught in workplaces, like that is just as a whole what the majority of people think. And also, that is what is presented to us in media. Right. Yeah. Which is huge. And I'd say that, in ways media is more powerful than education in this country, let's say because not everyone, unfortunately, not everyone's access to education is the same. Right? Right. But but most people's access to the TV, or to movies is about the same, you know, oh, that's a good point. I never thought about it that way. You're totally right. Yeah, there's, there's money involved. There's class involved. There's all kinds of things involved in terms of education and like that, like, don't get me you know, don't get it twisted, though. I truly believe that knowledge is still power, you know, like I like as cheesy and whatever, they talk to you about that? I think it's true, right? Because knowledge and information, like education can still take you a long way. It's also how we are able to, you know, be able to think about things in different ways. Right? You got to learn how to learn for sure, yes, or unlearn. Okay, more importantly, yeah. Right. If there's a distinction of like, here's what has been said to me, what do I want to learn? What things do I need to unlearn? You know, yeah, um, but but that's the thing, right? If we're talking about education, and, and, you know, access to information, there's still a bunch of like, barriers to that, because not everyone, you know, can afford college, not everyone can afford private schools, not everyone can afford, like, the quality and the type of, of education that we all get is so varied, you know, and then even if we talk about, like, people who come here to immigrate here, you know, school systems and education around the world is also very different. You know, so it's like, there's no like, way to really say that we're all starting from the same thing, because we're not, but you know, why is there more barriers to education than there are to like, media and entertainment. Right? Right. So at the end of the day, who really is teaching us media is, you know, the things that we think we're being entertained by, yes, we are using it and viewing it as entertainment. But how many people are going to, you know, use that as the example. And as the thing of like, well, I saw, you know, in this movie, that this is, you know, what they said about a group of people or like, you know, and whether they consciously know that right, but the way you saw how these people were treated in this series is is is what you're going to form your your thought and opinion about these people, or about this situation or about, you know, whatever, you know, Allie, you're blowing my mind. I haven't thought about this at all. And it really, it really goes to show to why. Why it's so exciting that the barriers to creating and sharing media have calmed down. And yes, it because it you know, we've always known that media is a big part of culture, but culture and education are so intertwined like we are influenced by what we see by what we hear and there's so much more of that coming from media than there is from you know, Traditional institutional education. Yes. So So us being I mean, us even being able to have this conversation and put it out in the world, even if it affects, you know, just one person, that's one person that would not have had exposure to these kinds, I mean, shit, it's already affecting me. You know, one person, I am that person, it is me. Yeah, but seriously, it's like, That's why, you know, I've, I have felt that it's so important to have representation and for me to put myself out there and for me to not just slip away into being stealth, and just live in the privilege of being recognized by most people. You know, judging a book by its cover, most people see me as a cisgender. Man, even though I'm not even though I was assigned female at birth. And to me, it's always been really, always in the three years that I've, since I've been out in transitioning, but I, I've never really wavered from this idea of, you know, obviously, in certain situations around strangers, I'm not always gonna be like, Hi, I'm Leo, and I'm transgender. But for the most part, just my, I had to have my public persona out there being very out, making sure that the the Tanzanian flag is visible as often as possible you to do all these things, because that is part of influencing the greater world and to be like, hey, it's not just this one way of thinking, it's not just this one way of entertaining, it's not just this one way of viewing the world. There are other ideas out there. And hopefully, over time, we're able to, you know, very slowly but surely, you know, change those waves of history, because history does repeat. It's more like a ferris wheel than a roller coaster. And when we really look at what the human condition is, and and kind of where we fall into that we can kind of then choose, do we want to stick in this one box? Or do we do we want to change because I mean, that's what I saw with, with, you know, education and the, you know, the people talk about like the school to prison pipeline, there's also just like the school to factory pipeline, like school, traditional school isn't really teaching you how to think it's, it's, it's teaching you how to be a good employee that doesn't talk back to your boss, who just does your job. And, and I saw that for what it was, it was, you know, and I'm doing everything in my power to not just be a cog in that kind of machine. But a lot of how I have come to understand that hasn't been what I learned in school, none of that was what I learned in school, it was what I learned from the media that I sought out, that offered me a different way of viewing the world, whether it was a book, whether it was some influential No, you're no matter what it was, you know, a movie Music Music was a large part of it for me, and I think it's a large part of it for a lot of people. But yeah, I mean, that's why it's so exciting. When we say it's exciting, that we have these opportunities, it's because we get to be part of that new education in the world. I mean, whether we want to say this is new or not, you know, I think this is something that people have done throughout history, right? You always have people who were seen as outsiders or like crazy, or, you know, literally, this is the basis of witches, right? This is because that's, that's why people came to think of what witches were just like powerful women, it's like, we must take them down. Like even That in itself. Okay, y'all, that is, like, people who thought differently, is not something new. Right. And also people wanting to censor, and and control and to, you know, also, in some unfortunate ways, literally take out those voices. Right. That is also not new. Yeah. You know, but I think if we look at now versus then, you know, hopefully we all know a little bit better as, as a as a race of people. Right, but better is relative. But you know, in terms of like the access, right? We do have more access in that way. Technology is great, right? Because, and there's and there's less barriers, like literally anyone can put out whatever they want, you know, but also there's that right? Everyone can and some people really do. And then but here's the thing, people are also still spewing their hate stuff out there. Right? Yeah, people are still putting that out, you know, and, and, and so it's like, those are the things that don't change, but at least we all kind of have chances to, you know, share our voices and put them out there, you know, because I think everything at the end of the day comes out to balance right? And a lot of my thinking of why you know, I would and this is also the back to what you said about like, you know, you're not going to meet everybody you say, Hey, I'm Leon, I'm a trans man, you know, like, right, not necessary in most situations. And also, at the end of the day, we need to talk about safety. Right? Because that is also ultimately for me what I choose, right, based on whatever interaction like you want to be safe. Yeah. Because also the world is crazy still. But you know, but we, we can also do things like this, right? where it's like, you know, we can put our voices, we can share our stories authentically, in ways that, you know, it just wasn't before and like, you know, I was always looking and seeking myself and representation in ways, right, I was looking for the movies that had a TV shows, whatever books, you know, comics, you know, and it's like, I'm, like, I can't be the only one right looking. So there's, like, that's the thing, people are also looking for themselves, right? Whether they, you know, want to, for to understand themselves better, or to feel like, you know, I'm not alone, I feel like at the end of the day, that's what it is. Right? Like, we see others and we see community and, you know, as people in ways we need, we're social beings, right? level of social will vary, okay, I get that. Like, there's introverts, extroverts are a whole nother thing, but you know, in ways, you know, we are social beings as people, and we want to find others like this, because we want to, you know, have feel understood, right, feel less lonely. And so I think, you know, media really is a great place for that. But, you know, we, we still have a lot of work to do, right? Because if we look at stats, and if we look at all these other things, like, you know, glad releases the report every year about, you know, representation and media, and it's just like, man, looking at those numbers, year after year. It's, it's just like, I mean, I'm glad that the numbers go up for Asians, right. But, but, but but it's still so insignificant, you know, compared to other things, but, you know, maybe maybe this is what it is, right? We're at that kind of it feels like, that's where we're headed. Right? as the largest community and that, you know, there's more pressure Now, on the industry, and in Hollywood, right, who really is like a major factor in this, you know, um, and, you know, there's more, there's more really cool stuff that's coming out, you know, like, I mean, let me tell you animated series, right, is really where it's at right now, like, the gays are winning there. Yeah. Like, and I just like watching these like, series that are like, you know, made for kids or whatever, but I'm just like, wow, wow, well, well, well, I'm sorry, you're holding hands with your girlfriend. And you are also a girl like what? Or like, you know, like, there's like people who just have like, crushes on everyone. And like, you know, they don't think twice P. Okay. There are characters that use they them pronouns in there. And I'm just like, excuse me, and everyone in this world doesn't question it. They just, they just carry on and use the correct pronouns. Like, wow, what a time What up? Yes. Seriously, it's like it kid series can get this. It's just like, okay, yeah. Well, also, if a kid series is doing that, that is shaping the next generation to be more open minded. And to you know, really, because I think what I, you're right, the numbers still don't look great. But I think I'm, I feel like I'm seeing the potential, it's like, I see that we're just getting started in this new wave. People who have always, you know, kind of made their voices heard or been different, you're right, they're not new, but the quickness and the way that they're able to get their voices out to the masses as a whole, as opposed to just being in some underground, or immediately being, you know, thrown in jail or thrown into the lake with a fucking anchor tied to them in like in a witch hunt. Like, these, these things are not happening. And so when you see that, even that little bit of representation is going to change things for the next generation. It's like we are, you know, when you're in a revolution, you kind of have to understand that you're not going to live to see the results. And we're kind of you were putting down this groundwork where, you know, 234 generations from now, these things that we're talking about, just being on the precipice of are probably things that are going to be taken for granted, hopefully, anyway, I mean, cuz that's the other thing. It's like, it can really go in either direction. Like you said, we came real close to having a holocaust. So it's like we but the more that we put ourselves out there, the more that we do that work, and the more that we find ways to do it in ways that keep us safe, the more of a chance there is for things to keep bending in In the direction towards, honestly just freedom from all these binaries, because I don't I don't know that they really do anyone any favors. Yeah, it makes things simpler because that's how how we're taught to believe things. But I remember hearing a trans activists saying that the existence of trans women in women's spaces, f helps to reject the notion that women's role is just to be a baby making machine. You know, it's like these these binaries, they trap everybody. And so, to be able to free ourselves from that, you know, that's, it's a beautiful thing. Like, I love to see it because I feel like I've, I've lived in the, you know, like, I'm biracial, black and white, I'm, you know, transgender, I have lived experience in the two like, binary genders that we've set up. And it's like, I feel like I have this bird's eye view to be like, it's all bullshit. Like, life is so much better in the gray area, I used to joke people would ask me what I was raised by as in high school, I'd say I'm gray, because I'm black. And I'm white, you know? And black or white makes great, but it's true. It's like, there's so there's so much beauty in that gray area. And there's so much more potential for human growth and expansion and all the things but you know, it, but isn't, they have a long way to go. Great in ways, though. And I think I mean, that's, I mean, okay, speaking about queer experience, speaking about, you know, multicultural, like you just shared, right? If you were not these things, can you imagine what your point of view with the world would be? I can't, I literally can't, I have no idea because you're right, all of all of the way that I see the world, I see. So clearly now how much my life experience shapes, my beliefs. And that's true for everybody, you know, even people who are in the like, queue and on circles and stuff like that. I'm like, I vehemently disagree with you. But at the end of the day, I understand how you got to where you're at, you know, like, right, which is unfortunate, but, and scary. But, you know, it's just, we're all people living in this world based off our experiences, and all I can do is make my experience more known so that other people like me, feel empowered to also, you know, make their voice heard and make their difference in whatever their corner of the world is, in whatever industry, they work in whatever the case may be. Right. And I think, you know, quick thought on that, right? Because you mentioned purpose and things like that, you know, even soul right as the movie, the Disney movie, so yeah, its whole thing was like all this hype around, you gotta find your purpose, and you got to know what you know, you're living for, and bla bla bla, but at the end of the day spoiler for those who haven't watched it, but, um, you know, at the end of the day, the message wasn't find your purpose, right? The meaning of life was just to live and to experience it, you know, and I think that was brilliant. Because in ways that takes off, like this crazy pressure that gets put on us as people to like, you have to have a purpose, like you need to find your life purpose you need to be doing, you know, whatever your thing is that you were here on earth to do. Right. But, you know, why isn't existing? The purpose, right? Because, even, you know, if we look at the end of the day, the fact that we exist, the fact that we go out, and we navigate the world, the fact that we interact, we are also changing the world that way. Yeah. You know, like, if people if we didn't interact with people, where else would they get some information? right? Exactly. And that's the thing I think about, like, it's great to be, you know, in your bubbles, find your community, of course, right. Like, that is important, but also, it's like, it's the work outside of there, right? Like when we enter spaces, and when we interact, like, the fact that we exist as we are and we and we feel safe enough and authentic enough to to share that with others. Like that's the things that really changes thoughts, right. 100 that's really what gets people really like thinking and could potentially at the end of the day, change a belief. Yeah. And so it's just like, why, you know, like, I get the whole purpose thing and all that but you know, for people who just want to exist, why can't people also just exist because not everyone also has that luxury, right? Because if we talk about being closeted, you know, things like that or like having to hide parts of who you are. Right at the end of the day. The fact that we can exist out loud is also big. Yeah. Which is what some people are still struggling to just do so it's like know what so you got to put you know, you got a point there, just, just just living life as as you you know, feel is best for you, you know, whatever that is. Exactly. I love that and that is you know what, Disney is a big part of the the beginning blossoming of our friendship, and we are just about out of time, I think I think that's a perfect place to end. We've See, we didn't talk about fucking anything that I said, I think I said initially that I wanted to talk about, we mentioned a little NAS x. And we just went on all these tangents. I love it. I mean, this was, this was great. I really enjoyed this conversation. And I appreciate you because again, I think that this conversation really helps exemplify and articulate a lot of what I mean, when I say that, I see that the world is changing. So thank you for participating in this in this discourse with me, it was great. I sure appreciate it as well. Anytime This is feels like what we would have talked about on any other occasion. So Oh, for sure. We finally record that we've been talking for a while and a lot of this has been interesting. It would have been plenty good for the podcast. Yeah. is great. Perhaps just to start? Yeah, yeah. Let's see. Let's look maybe this will be like an ongoing series. I love it. dives into Disney. Yes. Yes. taught me about life. Oh, yo. millennial than that. I love it truly. From queer people's perspective, okay. Oh, yeah. Hell yeah. I'm all for it. I yeah. Okay. Well, we'll talk about that. Yes, sir. Is there anything you'd like to promote? No. Don't find me Don't look for me. was like so quick and so easy. It's like, No, I'm, I mean, I just am not on social media as much as there's really not much there right now. No, I will say I am, you know, at the precipice of a of a, you know, getting back into the game and creating more. And so, if you want at least Santos, it's my handle for everything. Great, but don't expect too much, y'all. Okay. Taking a break. Now that expectations have been appropriately tapered, no one, no one at how you sent us if you are dissatisfied with the lack of content. All right, Allie, thank me on a post. It's fine. You know, I'll just read through your account. I mean, I'll definitely tag you in any posts about this episode. So that is post show. All right. Allie, thank you so much. This has been great. I will hopefully talk to you very soon. I'm sure man. All right. Take care. See ya. All right. Once again, that was alley Santos. alley, we got to get this Disney from a career perspective, web show series, whatever. We got to make this happen. Cash when I listened back, and I heard that I was like, Oh, yeah, yeah, we got to do that. So stay tuned, folks. We'll figure out how to make that happen. And hey, if you enjoyed what you heard, please consider giving us a five star rating review, especially on Apple. It is like currency. It helps us get to more people. Make this your Instagram story. Take a screenshot of the podcast posted on your Instagram story. You can tag me at Leo Yockey. That's LEYOCKY. And let me know if there's someone that you think I should be interviewing for this show. I had a couple of suggestions come up. And I've scheduled at least one interview now. So I'm really looking forward to upcoming shows. This whole this whole project has just been a blast so far. So thank you for being on this journey with me. Have a great week. I'll be back next week with another one of my tech friends should be great. Stay at home.