Thot / That Hoe Over There: (Noun) ‘An individual with a number of concurrent sex partners that is well above the established cultural norm.’
Scroll through Urban dictionary and the common definition of Thot is a promiscuous person, and that’s exactly something this podcast doesn’t shy away from.
It’s unashamedly queer and unabashedly bold.
Writers Tommy Pico, Fran Tirado, Dennis Norris II, and Joe Osmundson discuss all things queer, including sex positivity, literature, daddy issues, reality television, intersectionality, Eartha Kitt, Moby Dick, diversity and Mariah Carey, just to name a few.
They came together to create the magic that is the Food 4 Thot podcast.
The boys describe Food 4 Thot as: ‘a delectable meal of brain food and junk food,’ mixing queer theory with their ‘absolutely filthiest hook-up stories.’
One moment they’re talking about racial discrimination, then a few moments later, Dennis says: ‘He pulls down the rim of my bathing suit and he just starts eating my ass on the dance floor.’
We asked the thots how it all came to be, what they like to read and who they like to read.
Can you describe the lightbulb moment of how the podcast came to be? Also, where did the name come from?
Dennis: We all met at a writer’s conference in Portland and immediately became friends. We would spend every night gossiping and talking for hours over rosé, which would then be the preeminent episodes of Food 4 Thot. We would talk about Baldwin, then Beyoncé, racial identity, then leather daddies. This felt like home to us, even though we were far from home. When we got back to New York, we kept meeting for rosé regularly, almost like therapy, until Tommy finally said, ‘Hey, this should be a podcast.’
Fran: The name came from this dichotomy of our interests and ideologies. We loved talking about queer theory, identity politics, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, but also Mariah Carey’s Vine account, nail polish, and our absolutely filthiest hook-up stories. In a world where those conversations were so often separated, where could one get both? Thus, Food 4 Thot was born, a delectable meal of brain food and junk food, giving thots like us a seat at the scholarly table.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Joe: I saw them across the way and I was terrified. They were already friends, and oh my god, I just knew that they’d ruin me if I didn’t make them mine. Fran’s high-waisted jeans might as well have had ‘third-tier of the NYC gay mafia’ printed across the front; Tommy’s tank top was the most self-assured thing in the room, and Dennis was a perfect thot in his booty shorts.
Tommy: You know that neck roll you do when you spot the other gays and you’re kind of sizing each other up? Depending on the context (like a gay bar) it can be super aggressive or sexual, but I think because we were at a writer’s conference it was more like ‘hey girl I see you oh also what’s yr favorite track on Lemonade?’
The group dynamic is incredible – it really sounds like a group of friends pouring wine and spilling the tea. What’s the recording process like?
Fran: Well first of all—we really do drink wine during the podcast. Second, a lot of preparation and planning goes into each theme, our discussion points, the things we want to touch on. Each episode dates maybe 12 days to create content around, then push out the door. But the priority is to have a good time—if not, it’s not worth our time.
Joe: As Tommy says, we just want to make each other laugh, and we trust that if we get that right, other people will laugh too.
Dennis: To be honest, it’s pretty seamless. Even though this podcast is super important to us, we all prioritize our friendship and that in four extremely busy schedules, this is our time to also just be together so we focus on having fun.
You talk a lot about your journeys on being ‘faggy’ – how important do you think it is to embrace that and be openly queer?
Tommy: It’s what we are. It’s hard enough just being a person with an identity and a body that threatens the heteronormative patriarchal white supremacist state. Embracing ourselves and each other and shining this shade of millennial pink is how we heal, how we love, and yes even how we have a little fun.
Fran: Living openly queer, in this age, is now an act of resistance. That can either be a motivator or a deterrent for those who don’t live openly. But what I will say is—representation is everything to those that have never seen it before. By choosing to go out in public with a faggy earring, or a queer feminist t-shirt, or holding a copy of Hello Mr., or a boy’s hand—you can have an impact like none you could possibly imagine. And, if you don’t believe that shit—do it for you! Living openly is freedom. It’s good for the environment, and for your energy.
You’re all writers and there’s a strong literary focus to the podcast, why did you want to feature this aspect so heavily in the podcast?
Joe: It’s a part of who we are and what brought us together. There are already podcasts that do pop culture or that do sex. We wanted to represent our own lives more fully: we’re thotty, but also literary and academic and smart AF. We know there are others like us.
Fran: And as we said before, there are not enough spaces that allow for BOTH literary and trash-leaning sexual conversations. It was so important to us that we permit ourselves to talk about the highly intellectual alongside the butt-talk.
How important is intersectionality and diverse representation in the media to you?
Dennis: Well, I’ll just say that as a faggy little fifth-grader I remember thinking that I couldn’t possibly be gay because being gay was a ‘white thing.’ My only representation at that point of gay people (that I was aware of) was the predominance of white gay men in pop culture. It’s so enormously important so that we never think we’re alone, because we’re pretty much never the only one.
Fran: And hopefully, in time to come, there won’t even be a precedent to even ask this question. Intersectionality and diversity are not ‘initiatives.’ They are not boxes to check in the societal handbook. They are who we are.
Is there one main message or objective you have for people to take away from the podcast?
Joe: Have sex. Read books.
Dennis: Be yourself while having sex and reading books.
Fran: Consider, even, having sex WHILE reading a book.
Tommy: I’m single.
What are your plans for the future with the podcast and what other projects do you have coming up?
Tommy: In a dream world, making Food 4 Thot would be our full time jobs, but world dominance is gonna take awhile. In the meantime, my second book Nature Poem is coming out in May, and my third book Junk is coming out May 2018 from Tin House books. Also I’m working on a screenplay for Cinereach Ltd.
Fran: Speaking of which, in conjunction with the launch of Tommy’s Nature Poem, we’ll be hosting our first live show to talk about the book at Ace Hotel New York the night of May 23. Details to be announced soon, but save the date.