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Doing Good

Wil Williams
Podcast Critic

Wil Williams is a podcast critic based in Phoenix, Arizona. She's written for her own publication, Wil Williams Reviews, as well as Discover Pods, The Podcast Host, and Polygon.

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Wil Williams
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Monday, 14 January 2019

A Botched Coming Out Between Siblings Leads To A Beautiful Song

When Myosha Smith mentioned her girlfriend to her brother, Joe, she didn't understand why he looked so confused and upset. She was out to just about everyone in her life--except Joe, who'd been in Sing Sing Correctional Facility after being convicted of murder.

Nancy always handles the lives of queer people with intimacy and care, but "Love Song" is as beautiful look into siblings who want nothing more than to connect, but with no idea how.

As the story delves into their lives, the listener is told that even though they were separated from a young age, both siblings saw music as an escape, a necessary form of expression. Myosha's obsession with Michael Jackson becomes a way for her to convey her pain after a heartbreak. Joe’s love of music is so intense that he uses headphones and a Walkman when committing robberies.

But after Myosha’s accidental coming out, the two siblings find themselves estranged again for many years. When Myosha feels something pulling her back to her brother, she finds out he’s learned to compose music to enter a competition by Carnegie Hall—and won. She learns that song is about her, their conversation, and his need to put the pieces back together.

The episode is a beautiful, intimate look into how words can fail us, and how music can bring us back together. It’s a depiction of the sibling discomfort so common when one of those siblings comes out, especially in a religious household. There’s a forlorn ambivalence all the way through to the end: Nancy doesn’t sugar-coat the story, doesn’t try to suggest that this song will fix everything. This podcast has always been aware that living as a queer person, let alone a queer person of color, is always more complicated than that.

But it shows the listener a step towards doing good, towards being more empathetic and understanding. It’s a specific story with a universally important narrative, and it’s some of the best work Nancy has done to date.

A Botched Coming Out Between Siblings Leads To A Beautiful Song
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