“Are we talking about sex too much?”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES VIA TWO TWOS
A weekly podcast aiming to bridge the gap between the straights and the queers, Two Twos is produced by Rose Frimpong and Nana Duncan. Two Black lesbians living in London and living their unapologetic truth, they’re empowered to create safe spaces for people like them. After selling out their live show at the London Podcast Festival in 2021, they’re back for more! In an exclusive DIVA interview, the pair spilled the tea on coming out, authenticity and sex positivity.
DIVA: Could you tell me about how Two Twos came about?
Nana: We met seven years ago. We were at a headphone party in Shoreditch, and we met through an ex-girlfriend of Rose’s, you know, as you do with the queer community. And that’s how we met. We spoke a lot about our experiences. We would just strike up a conversation and start talking about our experiences at home with our parents, the dating scene and how incestuous it was. We felt that people would be able to identify with what we talked about, so we thought “let’s just start a podcast.” But we couldn’t figure it out, so we started a YouTube. And we were right about people wanting to hear these conversations and identify.
DIVA: The podcast is also about creating safe spaces for Black LGBTQIA discussions to take place. What representation does it give?
Nana: We speak a lot about our experiences because they’re quite similar to other Black, queer experiences. We exist in very similar spaces, too. We have guests and that opens up our audience, and also, as Black people, we exist differently. We want to represent different kinds of Black and queer circles and to create content that everyone can relate to. We do like to keep things light-hearted, too as that makes things easier.
DIVA: A lot of your episodes explore sex. What does it mean to you to platform these topics and is it important to you to empower queer, Black people in particular?
Nana: Literally yesterday I said to one of my friends “are we talking about sex too much?”. It’s so funny! We’re just at a place where we’re so comfortable. Growing up, I never really got the birds and the bees stories. I was just sat down and told not to get pregnant, and I didn’t know the mechanics of that. A lot of people don’t speak about sex because it can be embarrassing or shameful, and our parents weren’t open and honest about it. I think when you don’t give people enough information, they try to go and find it and make mistakes along the way.
Rose: Same-sex sex is not taught in schools and it’s not part of the curriculum. When we have learned about what to do, that’s been through things like porn and the internet. If we can give information in an educational way and in a fun, light-hearted way, it’s easy to digest. When young people exploring their sexuality are looking at porn, things are fetishised, especially between two women.
Nana: It’s real. That’s what makes people listen to our podcast.
DIVA: And what were your coming out experiences like?
Nana: I was about 19. Prior to that, I had said “I’m not going to be gay.” But when I went to uni, I was isolated. It had been getting to the point where it had been brewing for a long time. And I thought “okay, I have to do something about this.” I started telling my friends and it was so liberating. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. My parents were the last stop, but my sister got in there before I had a chance to. She outed me, unfortunately. My mum and I’s relationship suffered quite a bit, and I was very resentful of her for not accepting me. She didn’t have any queer people in her life growing up and she was taught something completely different, so I helped her to unlearn through the podcast. The last two years have been the most steady for us.
Rose: For me, I got pregnant. I had a baby when I was 20. I always knew from primary school and my first sexual experiences were women. After I had my child, I couldn’t keep living inauthentically because I wanted her to be her truth. I grew up as a woman and I have Christian friends, and it was difficult. Nobody around me really respected queer people. I didn’t tell anyone at first, but then I confirmed it to a friend. And because my dress sense had started to change, my mum would always laugh “is she a lesbian?”, and my brother would just be like “you should ask her yourself.” She actually kicked me out the house, but she’s cool now. It was a journey.
DIVA: You’re returning to the London Podcast Festival on Saturday 17th September at King’s Place. Congratulations! How does it feel to be back?
Thank you! It feels amazing to be back at the London Podcast Festival. We had such an amazing first time experience as part of the festival so we feel very comfortable at Kings Place. We’re back this year with a bigger room so it is going to be bigger and better.
DIVA: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s festival – any shows you’ll be attending?
We are looking forward to engaging with our audience in person because we don’t get to do that often so we are really looking forward to connecting with them, laughing with them.
DIVA: In 2021, you sold out your show. What does it mean to have people tuning in and showing their support in this way?
We did and we were shocked we sold out twice. It means a lot to us to have people showing support in this way because even though we know we have an audience, we don’t think too much about it because we literally just go to the studio, hit record and talk but seeing listeners in person reminds us how many people actually love the podcast and have been listening since the beginning.
DIVA: What have your experiences with live podcast recording been like? How does it compare?
We’ve had quite a few live podcast recordings but At London Podcast Festival specifically, the vibe is amazing, it’s a real show with all the production that goes into it. The stage, the lighting, the music, just the quality of it makes it the real deal.
DIVA: If you could have listeners take one thing from your podcast, what would it be and why?
To carve out the life they want to live, to live with purpose and compassion. To be open to differences and to love out loud.
The Two Twos podcast will be at the London Podcast Festival at King’s Place on Saturday 17 September with the festival running until 19 September. Tickets are available at kingsplace.co.uk. To keep up with Two Twos, listen to the podcast here or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
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