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Coming Out Pod

  • Esplicito

    Episode 292: Jenn Lee (Smith), REDUX!

    27 MAR 2024 · Lauren couldn't put the podcast on hiatus without doing one of her favorite kinds of episodes: namely, a REDUX! When producer and writer Jenn Lee (formerly Jenn Lee Smith) was first on the pod in July of 2022, she was celebrating the publication of a book she had co-edited called "I Spoke to You with Silence: Essays from Queer Mormons of Marginalized Genders." Jenn herself was raised in the Mormon religion, and despite having come out in 2008, she had chosen to remain in a monogamous marriage with her husband of twenty-one years, with whom she shares three children. Suffice to say that a lot has changed for Jenn since the summer of 2022. She explains how the book tour for "I Spoke to You with Silence" kicked off a chain of events, and shares how her love for her children has only deepened now that she is finally living as her whole self ("I have been able to love them so much more since feeling right in my own body and skin"). Plus, Jenn describes her experiences on the dating apps as a "little post-Mormon gayby," and Lauren asks Jenn a question that she's been mulling over ever since the day they first met... Connect with Jenn on Facebook at, and follow her on Instagram at @bewilderfilm. Also, check out her upcoming documentary at and on Insta at @homecourtfilm!
    1 h 17 min. 21 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 291: Chloe Star

    20 MAR 2024 · Pop-punk/alt-rock artist Chloe Star is so obviously comfortable in her own skin that you would never know she struggled fiercely with her sexuality throughout her adolescence. Chloe's mother is Native American, and so Chloe grew up going back and forth between the radically different worlds of Los Angeles and her family's reservation. Some of Chloe's stories from this time are deeply relatable (such as Googling "am i gay quiz" and secretly having a huge crush on Kristen Stewart while all of her friends were Team Edward/Team Jacob), but she was also grappling with more than her share of darkness. This culminated in Chloe being sent to an incredibly intense three-month wilderness treatment program at the age of sixteen; her mother's last-ditch attempt to free Chloe from addiction. Chloe's upcoming single, "Wasted Youth," is all about that experience, which she finally feels a sense of closure on a full decade later. We have a funny, vulnerable conversation about first loves, coming out at diners, songs about exes, and much more! As of this Friday, March 22nd, you can stream "Wasted Youth" everywhere! Also follow Chloe on Instagram and TikTok at @frenchtoastkiller, and watch the videos for "Fool," "Found My Peace," and "Happy Place" on Chloe's YouTube channel,!
    1 h 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Esplicito

    The Pod Is Going To Be Taking A Hiatus...

    19 MAR 2024 · Lauren gives a transparent, hilarious, and WAY the f@#k too long explanation of why she is putting the podcast on hiatus at the end of March! Info and resources mentioned: - The pod's website is That's where you'll find a link to, as well as multiple resources on the "" page (including the and "Lauren’s List of Lighthearted LGBTQ+ Stuff with Positive Queer Portrayals!" - Other queer, female-helmed podcasts that Lauren recommends include,, and - Last but not least, the pod's AMAZING engineer/editor Averie Severs can be found on Instagram at! And stay tuned for two more new episodes on March 20th and 27th...
    25 min. 12 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 290: Leah Lax

    13 MAR 2024 · Author and librettist Leah Lax ("Not From Here: The Song of America") shares a series of incredible stories in a truly one-of-a-kind episode of the podcast! Leah grew up as a Jewish genderqueer lesbian in Northern Texas, and struggled with the fact that she didn't understand how to "be a woman" in the intuitive way that all of her (straight) friends seemed to. So when she was approached by members of the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community at the age of sixteen, Leah felt "like somebody handed me a bulleted list. And all I had to do was follow it, and...I wasn't marginal anymore at all. I was completely accepted." Leah was matched with a man at eighteen; she had seven children in a ten-year period and spent thirty years with the Hasidim. Leah shares what ultimately made her leave the only community she had ever known, and explains the unlikely path that led to her writing down the life stories of over a hundred American immigrants for a new opera! It's a truly beautiful episode, and a reminder of why, to quote Leah, "we all need to be dangerous." "Not From Here: The Song of America" comes out on March 28th! To find out all about it (as well as Leah's memoir "Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home"), go to And don't forget to! You can also follow Leah on Instagram at @LeahLax120, and on Facebook at @LeahLaxAuthor. Lastly, check out to hear snippets from Leah's opera!
    1 h 7 min. 44 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 289: Arohi Kumar

    6 MAR 2024 · Arohi Kumar has been a HERstories participant for the past several years, and in that time, Lauren has seen her confidence and happiness grow exponentially! Arohi (whose identifiers include transfemme, poly, and "bi enough") is a child of Indian immigrants, and the prevalence of male/female separation when she was growing up led to her feeling ostracized on both ends. When it came to attraction, Arohi knew she was attracted to girls, but describes the experience as wanting to be "attracted to girls in the way lesbians are attracted to girls, which is like a very specific, different thing." We debate gender roles vs. gender, and muse on why so many people (including Arohi!) came to terms with their queerness during lockdown. Plus, we talk anxiety, dissociative identity disorder, and OCD...but in a fun, quirky way, like the fun, quirky girls we are! (TW: discussion of suicidal ideation in childhood, but nothing descriptive) Speaking of fun and quirky, Arohi made a fun, quirky board game! It's called Grad Rush, and you can check it out at
    1 h 14 min. 33 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 288: Carmen Lagala

    28 FEB 2024 · Lauren has a genuinely hilarious conversation with comedian and podcaster Carmen Lagala, who spills all the details of her recent coming out story! Carmen grew up in Vermont, which is arguably one of the very best states to be a queer woman (hiking; leftists; liberal arts colleges; you get it). Carmen was so sure that she *wasn't* queer, however, that when a lesbian rumor spread during her freshman year of high school, she actually came out to her family as straight. Carmen, who now identifies as pansexual, describes having "teenage boy levels" of horniness as an adolescent, while simultaneously carrying a deep shame about sex in general, and masturbation in particular. She discusses how being in back-to-back relationships with men led to her feeling like her sexual attraction to women somehow didn't count, and how coming out on stage actually helped her get past that ("it legitimized it to me as soon as people laughed at what I was saying"). Also, Carmen shares her high school obsession with G.I. Jane, and Lauren tells a story about Michelle Rodriguez that she probably shouldn't! Follow Carmen on Instagram at @carmstagrams and on Twitter at @CarmenLagala, and subscribe to her YouTube channel at! Also check out her comedy OnlyFans, and listen to In Cahoots w/ Corey & Carmen wherever you get your podcasts!
    49 min. 28 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 287: Maddy Kling

    21 FEB 2024 · When 23-year-old grad student Maddy Kling asked if she could interview Lauren for her project on coming out stories, Lauren jumped at the chance to sit on the other side of the mic! But not only that; the work Maddy was doing sounded so fascinating that Lauren asked if she would come on the podcast to discuss it! Maddy is getting her master's in Dance/Movement Therapy, and her project explores how DMT can help the queer community "by allowing them to tell their coming out stories through dance and movement." Maddy identifies as both bisexual and demisexual, and regarding her own journey, she says that "the most comfortable space I felt being out was dance." Maddy describes the relief she experienced when she finally discovered the demisexual label, and also shares how she lived the bi dream of coming out in a Vans store! Now THAT'S how you embrace a stereotype! Learn more about Dance/Movement Therapy at
    53 min. 36 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 286: Tina Horn

    14 FEB 2024 · It's Valentine's Day, and the pod is serving up a hot 'n spicy episode with educatrix, writer, and former AVN-nominated director, Tina Horn! Regarding her sexuality, Tina says "as soon as I knew that I had a crush on Fox Mulder, I knew I had a crush on Dana Scully." Unfortunately, she was growing up in a small, homophobic town in Northern California, and so the majority of her early sexual partners were restricted to cis men. Tina categorizes those early experiences as "all right," but even as an adolescent, she was already aware of a fundamental truth: "I knew that I really liked sex, and I wanted to do it all the time, and I wanted more variety and, like, different kinds of sex." Tina discusses becoming a sex worker at a time when the Bay Area had a thriving queer and feminist porn scene, and explains why it is so important for her to be out as such, even though her time in the sex industry has "waxed and waned over the years." We also talk about Tina's comic series, "Deprog" (which features a hardboiled leatherdyke detective and a genderqueer femme fatale!), and her upcoming book of fetish cultural criticism, "Why Are People Into That?" based on her long-running podcast of the same name. All this, plus Lauren gives a special Queer Root Shout-Out (TM) to the most sapphic music video of ALL TIME! Go to to find out where you can pre-order both "Deprog" and "Why Are People Into That?: A Cultural Investigation of Kink" (and while you're there, sign up for Tina's newsletter as well!). Also follow Tina on Twitter and Instagram at @tinahornsass, and check out her podcast "Why Are People Into That?!" on all the usual platforms!
    1 h 17 min. 34 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 285: Chris Tompkins

    7 FEB 2024 · LGBTQ-affirming therapist Chris Tompkins clearly remembers knowing by the age of six that he was gay. So when he was told that his six-year-old nephew was "not old enough" to understand that he had a gay uncle, it started Chris down a path that ultimately led to him a writing a book titled "Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent’s Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground." Chris describes how his religious upbringing made him genuinely believe that if he put all his energy into becoming "the best Christian," he could eventually make himself straight (spoiler alert: he couldn't). A natural storyteller, Chris details several close calls he had during his study abroad in Italy ("I feel like I was trying to come out"), and shares the beautiful story of how he eventually met his first boyfriend through a series of random-but-fateful events. Plus, Chris's record-breaking tour where he came out to a whopping seven family members during a single visit home! Follow Chris on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @aroadtriptolove, and check out his website,, for info on his book, his work, and much more!
    1 h 14 min. 13 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode 284: Tania De Rozario

    31 GEN 2024 · The pod welcomes its first ever Singaporean guest, Tania De Rozario, whose memoir "Dinner on Monster Island" comes out next week! At the time that Tania was growing up in Singapore, positive representations of queer people were literally illegal on public television. Since this was long before streaming platforms and the prevalence of the internet, this meant that all of Tania's childhood teachings about "homosexuality" came from her Evangelical-convert mother. Things culminated in Tania being subjected to a gay exorcism (or as it was called at the time, a "casting out") when she was just twelve years old. Tania, who now lives in Vancouver, shares this and other stories from her past with a good deal of perspective, and an admirable amount of levity. Plus, we discuss how the horror genre is intrinsically linked with queerness, which is a real bummer if you hypothetically can't watch scary movies because they give you nightmares HYPOTHETICALLY. Follow Tania on Instagram at (make note of all the underscores and periods!) and at @TaniaDeRozario on Twitter. "Dinner on Monster Island" comes out February 6th; find out where to pre-order/purchase it at, but also check your local bookstores!
    57 min. 12 sec.

Coming Out Pod is a weekly podcast hosted by Lauren Flans where queer folks from all walks of life tell the tales of how they came out to friends, family,...

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Coming Out Pod is a weekly podcast hosted by Lauren Flans where queer folks from all walks of life tell the tales of how they came out to friends, family, and the world at large! Because who doesn't love a coming out story?
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