Yass Jesus! is a weekly podcast hosted by actor and comedian Daniel Franzese and former televangelist Azariah Southworth that believes you don’t have to pick between gay and God. This interfaith and sexuality affirming comedy podcast centers around what it means to be queer and religious and all the experiences that come along with that intersection.
To talk about the GLAAD Media Award nominated podcast, Mean Girls’ Daniel Franzese joined GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos for a conversation about the brand new season streaming on the WOW Podcast Network.
“This is a special project and I think it’s really fun and funny and bringing a lot of good news to people who need to hear it,” Franzese shares.
He and Southworth are on a mission to people that it is possible to be queer and of faith as well as be of faith and support queer people. “I think that all these organized religions that say that LGBTQ people can’t be a part of them are gatekeeping what they perceive to be life’s most important lessons, proverbs, stories that are supposed to shape us and teach us how to live life. And then they say, ‘because you love someone of the same gender, then you can’t have any of these tales and stories and lessons,'” he says. “And I’m like, ‘excuse me, our people want to see the book too.'”
“I think that we’re meant to wonder, we’re curious beings and we live in the age of information,” he says about religious texts like the Bible.
“We’re not preachers, we’re not teachers, we’re just sinners trying to figure some stuff out.” He goes on to compare their podcast to Ikea. “There’s Ikea and then there’s like “Ikea hacking” where people take the parts and they make their own things out of it. That’s what queer people have done.”
Franzese speaks about his religious upbringing and how God helped him survive being put through conversion therapy. “The loudest thing I could shout from a mountaintop is that God loves you no matter who you are.”
Fans of drag can expect to hear from some of their favorite queens, like Silky Nutmeg Ganache, who have struggled navigating faith and their sexuality as well as many other exciting guests. Franzese also thanks GLAAD’s Ross Murray for his contributions to the series’ success.
He talks about his excitement about the Pope’s acts to make the church more inclusive for LGBTQ people. “I think as people we’re starting to get the information out there and they’re realizing things the mistranslations and they’re getting to know people who are out and proud and living as examples of love.”
He also talks about his excitement for the new Mean Girls movie and how much fun it was to shoot an ad with the original cast. “It was just a really good time to see everybody get to step into their shoes again. It was definitely fun, I loved it.”
He looks forward to seeing Jaquel Spivey’s portrayal of Damien and hopes he provides this representation to a wider audience.
Stream Yass Jesus! on the WOW Podcast Network now!