Monday was a special episode of Marc Maron’s WTF? Podcast because it reminded us of the power of the podcast’s ability to take things beyond just talking about comedy and gave us a deeper peek into people’s lives.
Todd Glass, the well respected and veteran comedian was the guest on the podcast where he jumped right into the topic of his sexuality where he revealed that he is, in fact gay. The 47-year old comedian struggled to find the words and didn’t completely feel comfortable using descriptive words as he made his announcement. In fact Maron said the words for Glass at first but he quickly followed it up, “don’t get this wrong. I don’t want anyone to be ashamed of who they are—especially younger people. I always hated using that term and that’s partly why I’ve always been sympathetic to people who don’t [want to be labeled certain things]. I hate that word. But I like it better than the other word—homosexual.”
The two comedians had a very frank conversation about it as Glass told stories about feeling comfortable with his parents growing up yet struggled to identify with being gay. But different conversations with friends and other comedians where he was welcomed helped. Glass also stated that his best friend, Jimmy Dore has known for a while and recalled a coming out story to Louis C.K. on a plane a few months ago. He even recalled Dave Chappelle’s joke comparing being gay to being black – which Chappelle stated you can hide being gay but not hide being black. Glass, while not criticizing Chappelle stated, “empathy is not a competition” they can be measured on different scales but and hating on either is wrong.
Glass continued stating he knew since he was about 13 and very close friends of his have known for a while. He officially came out to his parents 15 years ago, even though they, “knew before that.” Glass also stated that he’d been in a long-term relationship for the last 15 years. While was saying what “a lot of people already knew,” he felt he couldn’t keep with his secret mainly because of the rise in young gay men and women taking their own lives because of bullying and abuse, “I can’t do this any longer.”
Glass was angered with hateful speech when it comes to gay Civil Rights, “if you are homophobic, and you are out there, you better be positive that you are right. Because this is going to blow if all these kids are killing themselves…have a soul-searching moment now, go into your house, shut the door and be fucking positive. Because you are making kids feel like crap for no good Goddamn reason.” It turned to politics as well, “I watched those debates and I was going out of my mind. It seems like we’re going backwards. We’re going to live to see when these people are embarrassed about what they are saying…not 20 years, in 10 they are going to have to show their grandchildren this footage and look like fools! They’re going to be mortified!”
The podcast ended with thoughts that no one of any kind should be bullied because of who they are, “I always thought my cause wouldn’t be ‘pro-gay’ rather ‘leave everyone the fuck alone’. How about if you are not gay at all and are a football player but you want to be in the ballet… You know what, I feel bad for him too! Leave him the fuck alone! It’s time that bullies stopped bullying and we started bullying them. Anybody that wants to do anything good…I’m sure that kid would never in his whole life want to tap into something creative, so leave them alone, leave everyone alone.”
As a fleeting joke at the very end of the interview, Glass stated that he was dating Daniel Tosh but it was obvious it was just a joke.
We wish Todd the absolute best, the conversation was honest and cathartic for him. The entire hour and a half conversation is something that should absolutely not be missed. It’s a pretty frank and honest conversation and will go down as a great moment for not only the comedy community but for everyone.