Dyking Out is a lesbian and LGBTQ podcast hosted by New York-based comedians Carolyn Bergier and Sarah York. The duo met when they were both writing for feminist variety show The Box, and came up with the idea of creating content specifically for queer women.
“Ultimately the biggest reason for doing this is that we both recognize a lack of content for queer women and we wanted to create something just for us, and something that we would have wanted back when we were coming out,” York explained to me.
“We were always so unapologetically gay in everything we wrote and said in meetings," said Bergier. “We talked about how there really wasn't a funny queer podcast geared toward women that had that same energy, and we thought we could fill that gap.”
Each week, the duo's dry wit and great chemistry are on display as they're joined by a guest to discuss topics that are relevant to lesbian and queer life. Some topics are serious – like when Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased, shared his experience of conversion therapy. Or when Amy Siskind joined them to discuss activism in the time of Trump. And they’ve tackled topics like mental health within the LGBT community and LGBT equality under the law.
Other shows are much lighter, like when writer and comedian Gwynna Forgham-Thrift re-watched the entire series of The L Word and joined the hosts to debrief.
Being a show by queer women for queer women, The L Word tends to come up quite a lot in conversation. In a recent podcast, model and musician Allison Ponthier sat down to discuss what it’s like to be newly out of the closet. Naturally, her coming out story included that time she stayed in bed all week and binge-watched the show.
York recently braved a return trip to the original series, which “has confirmed my worst fears - I absolutely am a Shane and I've dated almost exclusively Jennys.”
“Admittedly I'm still not very far into the original series, but so far I've gleaned that it really shows its age in terms of its lack of representation (or perhaps lack of accurate representation) of trans and non-binary folks,” she said.
“I'm cautiously optimistic that the reboot will be light years better with this, but as with any show or film, that will hinge entirely on representation in the writers' room. I sincerely hope the room reflects as much of the LGBTQ+ community as possible, and not just the femme white cis women it was so heavily centred around in the first iteration.”
Image: Carolyn Bergier (left) and Sarah York from the Dyking Out podcast courtesy of the Dyking Out podcast
Bergier used to watch episodes of the original series with her mum. “I can't decide if I want it to be true to the original and just be a hot mess of a lesbian soap opera, or if I want to see them try to make up for past transgressions," she told me.
Bergier recently had the “amazing” experience of welcoming her no 3 crush as a guest on the podcast - comedian and 90s icon Janeane Garofalo.
“I'd seen her on the comedy scene before but never worked up the nerve to introduce myself, so the fact that we sat and talked for 2 hours was surreal, but also felt really natural because she's so down to earth."
“It was definitely surreal since I've been a huge fan since the mid 90s, and she's called me on the phone since which is even more surreal to see her name on my called id.”
On June 23rd, Dyking Out will do a live recording to kick off Pride Week. In another milestone for Bergier, her dream guest, Rosie O'Donnell, has agreed to appear.
“Her talk show was EXTREMELY queer back in the day, and it made me so happy. I just find her fascinating, but also someone I would love to just hang out with."
York also has a dream guest - out lesbian actress, comedian and writer, Wanda Sykes. “If anyone reading this knows her manager, please DM me!”
Creating a weekly podcast is a steep learning curve and a huge amount of work. Bergier's wife Cecilia is an artist and designer who does all the cool visuals for the website and social media, but the duo do a lot of the hard slog of establishing a show themselves.
According to York, consistency is key. “We release a new episode every week even if that means we record two or three of them in the same day to work around each other’s' travel schedules. There is a lot more work that goes into podcasting than just chatting on a microphone.”
“The time investment is so much bigger than what I thought it would be,” said Bergier. “I put at least 10-15 hours into the podcast each week, and I'm not doing half of the things I'd like to be doing to help it grow.”
After working on the show for over a year and a half, Bergier says the duo are now “close friends who text almost daily and are constantly pitching ideas for fun ways to grow the pod.”
For York, time hasn’t changed much. “I'm still just shouting ideas that Carolyn and Cecilia have the skill and attention span to bring to life.”