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You and me both is a production of I Heart radio. I'm Hillary Clinton and this is you and me both today, I'm talking to people with firsthand experience, doing hard things. And you know what? Maybe the hardest thing that any of us has to do is being true to ourselves. People tell you that. But, boy, when it comes down to it, making decisions about who you are, how you think about your life, what you want to stand up for, these are really hard decisions.
And I thought it would be great to talk to a couple of people who have lived through that. I'll be talking with one of my favorite couples, Abby Wambach and Glenanne Doyel, and wait till you hear their story. It's so multi-dimensional. It's got so many hard things in it. And I just love hearing from both of them. But first, I'm talking to Bobby Burke. You may know him as the interior design expert on the Netflix series Queer Eye.
And if you've ever watched the show, you know, Bobby can do hard things because in a matter of days, he transforms important spaces and people's lives into places that are both beautiful and functional.
But what you may not know is that long before Queer Eye, Bobby transformed his own life.
I'm so excited to be welcoming you to the show, Bobby. And first of all, how are you doing? Where are you that we're still in the, I hope, tail end, but still in the pandemic?
I'm actually home in L.A. You know, people ask if my life has changed a lot during the pandemic and obviously it has because I'm traveling weightless for work.
But normally when I'm home, like I don't leave the house, I'm like when I'm home, it's pretty much the same for me and I don't go out much.
Well, you are well acquainted with doing hard things. You had to become an expert on that early on. You left home at a very young age, I think 15. Right. Can you describe what led you to make that really hard decision?
I mean, there were a lot of reasons. The main reason, though, was knowing that I was gay, knowing that coming out in my home, coming out in this very small religious community that I was a part of wasn't an option. But I also knew that staying in the closet and wearing that mask every single day of not one person in the world knowing who I was, it was very lonely. So it was either come out and risk somebody else, to be frank, probably killing me.
You know, somebody came out in my high school and some guys ran him off the road one night. So for me, it was come out at home and Lord knows what I'd go through or stay in the closet and, you know, think about doing bad things to myself, you know? And I think that's why they're such a high rate of suicide. And the LGBTQ youth in America is because you are programmed to believe your entire life that you are something bad.
And then finally, one day at 15, you know, through meeting some people online who helped me accept who I was and that I wasn't a bad person, I decided to leave. It was a catalyst. My my parents and I really weren't getting along at that time. You know, I was I was an angry teen, which happens when you put on that mask every single day and you pretend to be somebody else. That society tells you that you should be.
So I got in and I get with my parents one night and their line was always, if you don't like our rules, they're at the door. And so that night I took the door and I never went back.
And where did you go that night? I you know, I landed on a friend's sofa, which I stayed on for a few months. And then I ended up in Springfield, Missouri, the big city of two hundred thousand people. Oh, I've been there.
Yeah, I'm sure you have. You're from not too far from there. That's right. So I ended up there.
I enrolled myself in high school, but I quickly realized that I was not able to pay the bills over my head and stay in school. So I actually dropped out of school at 16 and I started selling long distance at MCI. So you might have gotten a call from me back then to try to Switzerland distance service.
Well, I can't remember whether I did or not, but I'm glad that you found your way finally to New York. Right. You know, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
It's funny you should say that, because then fast forward to twenty thirteen. I moved to New York with one hundred bucks in a suitcase and I built my own brand, my own company and my own retail stores. And I remember I was on my way to the airport and a car service. And, you know, again, that's a huge thing for me back then because when I first moved to New York, I had to walk around the city to look for a job because I couldn't even afford the subway.
So I was in a car on my way to the airport to fly to L.A. for the opening of my Los Angeles store. And Alicia Keys came on that New York song. And I just started bawling in the car. And I just think of the song. The poor driver is like, oh, my God, you know what's going on with this guy?
But it was just such a moment for me to hear that song and realize, you know, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Oh, I love that story. And not that, you know, you've got to go to New York to make it anywhere, but it's definitely making it in New York. Makes it a little easier. Other places.
Well, did you ever reconcile with your family? A few years after I left, my parents called me and they're like, you know, we're sorry. We're sorry. We were bad parents. We're sorry we didn't. How to deal with you and we reconciled and now we're we're very, very close and my parents have come such a long way. You know, my parents have come from being very anti anti-gay and homophobic to now like my dad, any time I'm on the phone with them with face time.
My husband's name is Dewey.
My dad calls him due to and he's like, where's Doodoo? You know, he does. He loves my husband, I think almost more than me.
They've come so far, both religiously and politically. You know, they're in a very, very red state. And I know, unfortunately, who they voted for back in twenty sixteen. But a phone call a few weeks ago, my 80 year old cowboy dad said.
I want you to know I didn't vote for him just for you just because I didn't vote for him. He's like I didn't vote for the other guy either, but I didn't vote for him. But I'm like, well, you know what?
That is a start. You know, a lot of people say you have the hardest job on Queer Eye.
You know, you have to go into people's homes. You have to completely gut and redo an incredibly short time while other members of the Fab Five are giving haircuts. I do think it's fair to say that, you know, what you have to do is the hardest of the jobs. And have you ever felt totally overwhelmed by what you are facing?
You know, I might have the most time consuming job on the show, right. But I wouldn't say it's the hardest job. And I knew what I was getting into going into it. You know, I have a design business. This is actually what I do for a living. So I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I knew it was going to be the most time consuming and I'd be working, you know, quote unquote, physically working more than them.
But every single one of us, if we didn't do what we did, the show wouldn't be what it was. And, you know, often I would say Karolos job is the hardest. He's the one that really has to crack them emotionally when these people have up walls. I mean, that's the reason why they're on this show is we're here to help them emotionally. Like, I'm just using interior design to trick them into opening up about stuff.
You know, his his sometimes is the real, I would say hardest.
Have you always had an eye for design? Is that something that you knew about yourself as as a child or a young man?
You know, when I was little, I still remember. I don't know if you remember Ben Franklin's. I don't know if you had those in Arkansas. Oh, we did. We would go into Ben Franklin all the time because my mom was a big seller. She made a lot of our clothes and she even made I don't know if you remember back in the day of the Cabbage Patch, kids that were so popular, but we couldn't afford a real Cabbage Patch kid.
So you could buy and Ben Franklin, you could buy the heads and then my mom would make the bodies. And so we were always in Ben Franklin and she was buying fabric to make his clothes. And I remember I would go through there and in the décor section and I would always love that. And I was probably five years old. The first time that I wanted to redo my room, I found a poster in Ben Franklin and it was this dinosaur poster kind of cartoon of Trin.
And I talk to my mom and said, getting that I think I used birthday money to buy it. And I coordinated everything in the room from bedspreads and pillows to curtains to the colors in that dinosaur poster.
And I you know, growing up in a small farming town in Missouri, design wasn't a thing. You know, there was home interior parties that my mom would have, but it wasn't really something I thought of as a career.
The owner, the only designers I saw were designing women on television that show, you know, Delta Burke know there were no interior designers in California. Very.
And it wasn't until my early teens, when I walked into Target and I saw their very first design collaboration, which was with Michael Graves. And that book behind me that you can see is the and the twentieth anniversary collection of targets, collaborations with designers. Oh, wow. And the reason why I bring that up is because that collaboration is what inspired me to be a designer. That collaboration was the first time I looked at a spoon and I thought, spoons aren't just utilitarian.
Spoons can actually spark joy. Spoons can look cool, a toaster can look cool. And so that moment twenty two years ago now inspired me to be a designer. And I'm in this book.
Oh, that's so touching, such a full circle moment of that collaboration and that architect and target really going out on a limb to try to be different and democratize design is what inspired me. And then to be full circle, to be able to be a part of that book was just mind blowing.
It sounds like you've really thought hard about who you are, what you do, how you interact with people. And I want to just go back to the point you made earlier about how difficult the church that you were part of when you were a young boy made it for you becoming who you were, accepting, who you were. You know, if God doesn't make mistakes, then guess what? God doesn't make mistakes. And it shouldn't be, you know, conditioned by somebody who chooses to do this, right?
So, you know, one of the hardest things you had to do, I've read, is to, you know, navigate your relationship, often challenging, sometimes hurtful to religion. And in the course of your work, though, I've noticed on Queer Eye you found yourself working with deeply religious people and even redesigning churches. So how did you come to do that? And and what did it make you feel? As you went through that, you know, the first episode that we did in a church with Mama Tammy and that episode was was sprung on us the week before, and normally we know what's going on a few weeks out.
But there was somebody who was supposed to be on that episode and they had a health emergency. And so our executive producers had to very quickly try to recast. And Mama Tammy got cast. And I mean, I'm so glad she did. But I had told Netflix I had told the executive producers in the very beginning when we had our very first lunch after I got cast, that I'm like, I'll do anything you guys want.
I'll go into any situation.
My one non-negotiable. Do not ask me to go into a church.
And they did very good of steering clear of religion until this last episode. And I was told, you're gonna be redoing a community center. And my design producer leans over and he's like, don't believe it. It's church. It's not a community center. You know, producers were then like, yeah, you know, it's a community center next to a church.
And I'm like, girl, I grew up in a church. I know that. That's just the fellowship hall. Don't try to tell me it's a community center.
So I refuse to do the episode. Like I told you guys, this was my one non-negotiable. I have been through an emotional roller coaster doing this show the last year and I know what I need to say no to for my own mental health. I'm like, this is going to break me. And, you know, there was a lot of back and forth and I got called by one of the guys, Joel, at the Scout Productions, the creators of the show, and he went through a lot of the same emotional trauma that I went through in a church, you know, growing up your entire life, being taught to hate yourself more, being taught to know that when you die, you're going to burn in hell and begging and pleading for God to change you.
But he is not. And so you just you hate yourself and you hate yourself. And to be honest, you never get over that. You can come to terms with it a bit, but you never get over it. And so he called me and he's like, I get it. You know, I fully understand why you would never want to walk into that church where you would never want to help the people who damaged you, who are probably damaging kids in their church right now.
But that is exactly why you need to do it. You need to do it for all the little babies and the little Joes still sitting in churches being taught to hate themselves. And so reluctantly, I did it. And I don't know if you've seen that episode, but in the beginning of the episode, you know, the guy, the construction guy was like, oh, come on into the church.
I want to show you all the other boys went in and I refused. And it wasn't in a dramatic way. It was just like I stood outside the front door and I'm like, I'm good, thank you. And he was like, well, no, you know, come on in. I'm like, I'm good. Thank you. And to be honest, I came under some some angry flak from some some people high up not at Netflix that were quite angry with me for offensively not walking in that church.
And that at the end of the day I was so and they were glad actually I did as well because it it really proved a point to people and it showed that you can without anger and without strife and fighting, just stay true to yourself and know the things that will break you and your mental health. And I think it showed a lot of people that it is OK to have a different point of view, but to coexist, it's OK. You know, I'm going to go in and I'm going to help this church, but I'm going to know where the line is for me exactly.
You know, and at the end of the day, the amount of DM's and emails and letters that I have received from people and pastors, pastors who have messaged me and have said my entire life in church, I grew up being taught and believing that gays were an abomination, that you were evil, that you chose to be gay. And I in turn, have preached that same hate in my church. And I am now devastated with myself for the damage that I have done to kids.
And I will never again preach that in my church again.
You know, it was honestly, it was emotional trauma doing that.
And, you know, the arc of it, Bobbie, because you were so honest in the beginning, you know, the viewer could follow not just the experience of the episode, but the arc of your, you know, reactions and how you dealt with it. And isn't it the case that, you know, Mama Tammy's son is gay?
Yes, Miles. So one of the reasons why Mom and Tammy was chosen is because Miles had come out a few years before that and she didn't disown him, but it didn't go well. You know, he left home. He went off to school.
And he was also one of those kids who grew up in church every single day. And when he came out, he was shunned. So one of the reasons why they were chosen is because we wanted to help Mama Tammy except Miles. And we also wanted to help Miles kind of deal with the pain that he went through of having a group of people who were supposed to love you unconditionally and you devoted your entire life to all of a sudden turn their back on you the moment they find out who you are.
So through a lot of talk with Tammy, who is a lovely, wonderful person, she realized where she failed him and that final scene of that episode where she stands up and witnesses in her church and she's like, you cannot claim to love Jesus and not love gay people. You cannot be a Christian and not love gay people was such an amazing moment. We're taking a quick break. Stay with us. Yeah, no, I'm not OK, that's how I feel sometimes, and that's also the name of my new podcast from L.A. studios.
I'm Diane Guerrero.
Growing up, I was taught to say that I was OK when I really wasn't. Young people of color are disproportionately affected by mental health issues and are not getting the resources they need. And I want to change that. So we're making a podcast. We'll be exploring issues that people face all over the world addiction, depression, anxiety, radical self-love and much, much more. We want to start a mental health revolution, a movement that can start by talking to others about how we feel.
Yeah, no, I'm not. OK, your new favorite podcast from L.A. studios and me, Diane Guerrero, listen to. Yeah, no, I'm not OK on the I Heart radio Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast. Do rats like to be tickled? How can we help solve climate change and when it comes to creativity or the arts and sciences are really so different?
Hi, I'm Andy Thomas here from NPR as well in the World podcast recently named. I heard the best podcast for Kids and Families and an hour show. Guy Raz and I bring you the latest scientific discoveries all wrapped up in an audio cartoon for your mind. It's eyes up, screens down, jaws dropped. Listen to Wow in the world on the I Heart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. You know, people change, they grow, they absorb, they evolve, however, we want to talk about it, I certainly have everybody I know has, but that requires an open mind and a willingness to move on from where you were.
And for the church to be close to that is incredibly, profoundly sad to me, you know, because the church is in many ways a place of refuge for people, but so are people's homes. And you spend your life, which is really a calling, Bobbie. It's a calling to help people make their homes, places of security, comfort and beauty.
But during this pandemic where people have been at home so much, how have you talked to them?
Have you even thought about it, that you can help people kind of make their homes, places they want to be after having been in them under such really difficult circumstances?
I would say start with something. Small organization is the best thing. Don't worry about design. You don't have to stress yourself out of, oh, I don't know how to place things. Just start by organizing things. Start with that junk drawer in the kitchen. We all have that drugstore that collects everything. Go through that, get rid of the things you don't need. And that will be a sense of accomplishment and you'll realize, oh, I can do this and then I'm going to move on to the rest of the cabinets and oh, I'm going to move on to that hall closet or oh, I'm going to move on to that guest bedroom.
That's been the catch of all these things that I thought I needed to hang on to. But they've been sitting in this room for an entire year and I've been home and I still haven't done anything with it.
So you know what? It's time to donate them and let them spark joy for somebody else. So start with organizing. And organizing is going to turn into design.
Organizing is designing. I love that phrase. You know, your life has turned out so differently than you could have ever thought possible when you were a kid, if you could tell your 15 year old self what his life was going to be like.
And I think it's really great to hear you do that because I think there are a lot of 15 year olds now, 16, 17 year old. There's a lot of people out there who will find comfort and confidence from what you have to say.
I mean, my biggest advice would be don't let anyone tell you who you are. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot be. And, you know, even as adults, we struggle with this. I'm sure you struggle with this. People try to find you.
They try to tell you who you are and they're just random strangers. Even so, my advice for 15 year olds or 50 year olds or 90 year olds is don't let anyone tell you who you are. Don't let anyone define you. Only you can define who you are. And don't let anyone else's definition of who you are. Hold you back to your greatest potential.
Oh, I love that. And it's a life long journey, the process, isn't it? It is. I still struggle with it. Everybody does. Yeah. Well, Bobby Burke, I'm thrilled to talk with you. You are everything that I thought you would be. And I am so grateful that you're willing to tell your story because it's going to land on different ears in different ways. And there are still so many people who need to hear that you can do hard things and you can make a life that you're proud of and that you want to share with the rest of us.
So thank you so very much. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Madam Secretary, this has been an honor.
If you'd like to learn more about Bobbi's design company, go to Bobbit, Burke, Dotcom, and if you've enjoyed today's conversation with Bobbie, you can also check out my interview with Tan France, another member of the Fab Five. And that interview is from season one of this podcast in our episode on The American Dream. So go give it a listen.
I could not have been more excited to talk with two people that I knew of separately, but boy, they are a true powerhouse together and I think you'll understand why I say that after you listen to this conversation with Abby Wambach and Glenn and Doyle.
I first learned about Abby Wambach in connection with women's soccer. You know, one hundred years ago when I was in junior high school, I actually played soccer and it wasn't very common.
I had a physical education teacher who loved the game. Not very many people even knew about it. But I always was interested in soccer from that experience going forward. And, you know, Abby's a two time Olympic gold medalist.
She has the most amazing record with the Women's World Cup winning it for the USA. In twenty fifteen, she wrote a fantastic memoir called Forward and another book called Wolfpack How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power and Change the Game. So I have followed her from afar, both based on her athletic prowess and what she has to say, which is really worth hearing. I first encountered Glenanne when she was gaining a lot of attention as a blogger about being a wife and a mom and a Christian, and she amassed this very large following because she was so willing to be vulnerable and talking about all the challenges in her own life.
Some listeners know that she has authored two New York Times best sellers, Love Warrior and her latest book, Untamed. And her rallying cry is we can do hard things.
But honestly, I had no idea until maybe the last year or two that Glen and Doyle and Abby Wambach had not just gotten together, but gotten married. And I went, whoa, I have to talk to them.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to talk to you both.
So when I came across and I don't even remember how I stumbled into this because it was before I read Untamed, of course, and I realized you two had gotten together and gotten married. I was like, oh, my God, the universe, the stars, the cosmos is in alignment. How did this happen?
And so, Glenn and you've written about it, I want you to start and then I want Abby to give us her view of it.
OK, so we were at a book event. It was a librarians convention is a super sexy, super sexy love Liberians.
I love librarians, too.
I was at a table full of writers and we were trying to make small talk with each other, which is just a nightmare.
And the woman I was talking to, she was a children's book writer, and I noticed that she stopped talking and she looked turned towards the door. And so all of a sudden the room got quiet. So I turned towards the door and there was this woman standing in the doorway and she was like thirty feet tall and had this like shaved head and platinum hair. And she's wearing this trench coat. And she just had this presence that was very cool, but also very warm.
And she looked like a man and a woman and beyond both and and telling me this was like this is a table full of writers. Like we the level of cool that had entered the room. We didn't understand. It was like the Mockingjay had landed at a nerdy book party. Right. And I it is well known in my family that my spiritual gift is whatever awkwardness is in a room, I am able always to make it more awkward. Yes, OK, that's what I do for the world.
And so something happened to me in that moment. I looked at her. I understood that I was having some kind of reunion. It didn't feel like I was meeting her. It felt like I was reuniting with her. But then unfortunately, I lost control of my body.
And so I stood up out of my chair and threw my arms open toward her at the door.
OK, so I don't know.
This is happening until I come to consciousness and realize that everyone's now staring at me. So now I have to figure out how I'm going to get from this position back to my chair. Did you know who she was? I knew she was. I'm not a fan of the sports, but I did understand something about World Cup, something about the soccer.
And so I. I bowed.
OK, this is a family joke now. People do it all the time when someone walks into a room, because I thought maybe I can just play it off like I'm a weird writer who because when people appropriate. All right. So I bowed and sat down. That was the moment we saw each other for the first time. I'm sure your moment was just as magical. It was a little different. Oh, good.
I want to hear the Abby version of this. Yeah. So I walk into the room and for whatever reason, I'm like running a little late, which is so unlike me and I, I get into the room and they're all there sitting down eating dinner and this person across the way stands up and puts her arms stretched out.
And so now I'm in the awkward position that I have to go unite with her because she has body language told me we are going to embrace. So I have to, like, sidestep.
You know, this is a small room and the chairs are kind of close to the wall.
So I've got to sidestep all the way around to Glenanne and I finally get to her. And at this point, she has since sat back down and she just says, Can I hug you? I was like, well, like that was even an option.
You have energetically forced me around this whole table. So we hug.
And I had done a little bit of research on all the authors that would be there. And she was the one author that I was like, who? I want to talk to her.
OK, why in love, where, where? And the premise of love where was was kind of in the little research that I had. And in it it said that she was sober and I had just recently gotten sober like a month ago.
So I was very interested and curious about how somebody does sobriety period.
So and that she was so fearless in telling her truth. That was something I was very big time struggling with because I hadn't actually finished the book that I was there to publicize because there was a part of it, the DUI that I got at the end of my career, walking straight into my retirement.
I didn't know if I wanted to include it.
And she just said, you know, real people in the real world want the truth and that is what you should give people. And I just thought, oh, that's amazing. And then she said, I also have a rap sheet as long as your arms don't worry about it.
Of course, you know, you got up from the dinner and you went our separate ways. So what happened next? How did that moment, that electric moment evolve into a marriage with three kids and a house? I mean, you know, a real all-American love story. What happened?
Well, it got even weirder. That or not, I was in a very broken marriage to a good man. And that's a tricky place to be because we're supposed to be just grateful for what we have and other people have it worse and yada, yada.
Right. So I really did have to decide whether I was just going to shut down whatever had just happened to me in that room and go back to my broken marriage or whether I was going to be open to it and pursue it. And what I try to explain to me is it didn't feel like a love decision at the time. It felt like, am I going to honor this self that I have just met again like that was buried clearly, you know, this person that announced itself in that room, am I going to abandon her again and just go back to good enough or am I going to honor that?
I kind of felt like spiritually life and death. And so what happened is that we started emailing each other.
I found her email address from her assistant that was at the event. And I wrote to her, you know, just as a good person does, just offering my best spiritual advice. Yes.
You know, I just got no interior motive reaching out into the world.
No, I just really felt like I wanted to do the right thing. And so I wrote to her and we started writing back and forth and we over time fell in love through letters.
We didn't see each other again in person until we had both completely dismantled our lives.
I mean. Well, yeah, we didn't see each other for months and months later. And when I had already sat down with Craig and told him, I'm leaving, I'm in love with Abby, we had talked to the children.
We had started. She had done the same thing.
So we found love through letters. Oh, that makes it even more romantic. But Abby, here you were you were at the beginning of your sobriety journey. You had encountered this spirit in this woman at the dinner and all of a sudden you start emailing. How did you come to the realization that you you needed to continue with sobriety, but everything else in your life had to change?
When you're early in your sobriety life, you're so concerned with how do you rebuild a life? And at the time, so much of my life was revolved or.
Going out and partying, and those were the friends that I had and I knew that I had to have a completely different experience to stay sober.
And the way that Glen and I like to define that word is just peace. So Glenanne gave me the understanding that it is possible. Right. So early on, she was married and I'm like, I was getting a divorce. And I was like, you know what? I just want to be close to this person because she's giving me confidence in this piece that I'm in search of. And then I think that, you know, not that she was a sponsor for me in any way, but I think that having people like that to help you on that sobriety journey, I know that it has completely saved my life.
But at the end of the day, too, when you throw love into the mix and then deciding to build a whole life together, I can't even remember the time that I wasn't sober or I didn't have you, you know?
So I just I'm so grateful for so many reasons, Glenn.
And by that time, how long had you been sober? I got sober the day I found out I was pregnant with my son Chase, and now he is 18. So back then, it would have been 15 years, 15 or 16 years young.
You know, one thing that I have thought a lot about Glennon is because you you really came to public awareness. I first became aware of you because of your writing and your speaking, your TED talk and all of that. And you had a a really large Christian following him.
How has that been affected by, you know, your divorce, by your falling in love with and marrying Abby for your very open description of what your life is like now?
Yeah, one of the interesting things about when I announced online that Abby and I were going to be together the night before that happened, my team, I remember someone saying, well, tomorrow's the bloodbath.
That's what I went to bed thinking, oh, well, tomorrow's the bloodbath.
Right? That morning I wrote a short something that was very important to me to tell, but not to explain. I felt very I thought it was important to tell the truth, but not be responsible for anyone's reaction to it.
And so I wrote a paragraph. I put a picture of Abby and me on Facebook or Instagram something, and then I walked away. I shut the computer and walked away.
My sister, who was my protector in all things, she was going to monitor the world as she tries to do, just fix the world for me real quick.
So a few hours later, she called me crying. My sister does not cry. She called me crying. She said, Glenanne, I need you to get on your social media. I need you to get on. And I need you to read how your community, how your people are reacting to this news.
And I was expecting a bloodbath and it felt like a baptism. It was so beautiful.
And it wasn't just beautiful in that people who, you know, understood it and celebrated it and were super progressive, they were celebratory. Even the people who were confused as all right, who were like, OK, love wins.
I'm like, oh, Lady Gaga didn't have any clue what they were trying. You know, just wow.
You know, I have to ask both of you, as you were talking about and I loved what you told Abby and what Abby just told us you had said about real people want the truth. What do we do at this point in our country where it does seem like a lot of real people want anything but the truth? And I've thought about the two of you in this context because, I mean, you've really been on the forefront of making change.
You know, whether you knew it or not, you have been. And for that, I am certainly grateful. And you've gone through a lot. And I am just wondering if you have any thoughts about how we begin reaching other people. I mean, we're not all going to agree. Fine. But to help create more of a community like the community that received your truths, both of you, the larger community is so divided and it's a dangerous divide.
Any thoughts on that?
You know, the time that I spent with the national team, it was so special because there was this little ecosystem of women who all could agree on one thing, and that was the thing.
Now, we sat around a ton of meal tables for hundreds and hundreds and thousands of hours.
So you sit around the table after you've eaten and you talk. And we discussed we disagreed.
There were Republicans, there were Democrats, there were straight. There were evangelicals. There were every kind of.
Person, yet we were still able to accomplish this thing at winning, hmm, and I think about this all the time because I understand that this is a super complex issue as it relates to the nation where we're at right now.
But I think about this and it does give me hope. I wasn't best friends with every single one of my teammates, but I respected the hell out of every single one of those women because guess what?
Every single one of us I'm like giving myself the choice, hilarious.
Every single one of us would show up, would sacrifice the same amount, and we would give it all because we bought into this idea not only the relentless pursuit of excellence, but to win.
So, yes, we disagreed, but we were able to still function.
And by the way, when you know, this whole idea of the team that I now am thinking, based on what you just said, that, you know, there's another idea. There's another book in you, Abby, about the American team. It's not just the women who play soccer. It is all of us. And we used to think we were on the same team. I mean, even if we disagreed with each other, even if we found each other, you know, totally ridiculous.
We always thought we were on the same team. And we've had leaders recently who have divided us and said, no, you know, only one team is worth being on the team. I'm on the team. I lead the team that believes in me, which is so dangerous and destructive. But this idea of the American team, maybe we can figure out how to explain that and in effect, put it out into the world again. Thank you.
I will send you some royalties for that, but I will take that little nugget and I'm going to run with it. I wish you would know. I love to. Behind Glennon is her mantra. We can do hard things. And you've really seeded that in the world. Glenanne How does it feel to see more and more people coming around to this idea that you first really understood when you were a third grade teacher and another teacher put that up on the wall of her classroom?
Well, it's I mean, I think the idea what we can do hard things is sort of a declaration of hope, right?
Yes. But it's hope based in reality. It's not like this is easy, right?
Yeah. Yeah. I wake up in the morning and do it. Come on. You know, it's like this time it's resonating right now so much because we're all facing the hard stuff. You know, we talk a lot about how this metaphor works, like we're all snow globes. And I had snow globe when I was little and I loved it, but I hated it because it was so beautiful, the snow in it. But there was this terrifying dragon at the center of it and I thought it was so scary.
So I keep it shaken up all the time. So I never had to see that scary red dragon. And that reminds me of myself, right? Just constantly keeping myself shake it up with whatever it is busyness, snark, shopping, food, what used to be boot, whatever it is, you know, so that I don't have to see the dragon at the center of things.
And I think that's what, you know, covid has been this forced settling of the collective snow globe. And we are looking at the dragons of our lives and our relationships and our nation, you know, and that's hard. Like looking at the truth of things is the hardest thing. That's the beginning of sobriety. It's the beginning of any healing of a relationship. I think it's it's the beginning of a possibility for hope, for healing for our nation.
But we avoid that part because the truth is so scary.
But the reason why it's hopeful is because you can't slay any dragon without first looking at it.
Yeah, accepting it. It's there. It's in your nation.
Right. I mean, we think about, you know, the racial reckoning that we've had and that we're having. And then it's just beginning, I think. And you think about how that started sort of during covid and the George Floyd murder. And it's like but what was different about that time? We've been looking at this happening over and over again. But what was different is that we couldn't look away from it. We were in our homes. We didn't have anywhere to go.
We couldn't just can't we couldn't shake the snow globe up again. And so I think that we can do hard things is just a way of saying, oh, my God, we are seeing all of our dragons right now.
Good, good. We'll be right back.
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You don't want to miss it. You can find Michael Black it I heart radio app on Apple podcast away. Empty your pockets. I want to switch gears a minute, because one of the areas that I think about when I think of you, Abby, is your outspoken fight for equal pay and benefits for American women in sports. And it's a disgrace where we are across the board, but in particular in soccer. When I think about everything you gave for the sport, you know, one image that sticks in my mind is that 2010 qualifying World Cup game against Mexico where literally you smashed your head, blood is gushing from your head, and instead of walking off the field and getting a substitute, you stood there and had your head stapled, closed.
I mean, honest to God, I think about that.
And I go, oh, I don't know what is the equivalent in my life. When did I, you know, go back in with my metaphoric staples?
I think about that because then I remember how you were honored, as you well should have been. And as I write about you in the Book of Gutsy Women that I wrote with my daughter, I think the record still is you have scored more goals in international competition than any woman or man in the history of international soccer, which obviously is huge. And ESPN honored you along with Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning. And I was thrilled that, you know, you were going to be given this incredible recognition.
But explain how you felt at that moment, because I think listeners need to understand that behind the glory and the celebration, there was a harsh reality. Well, so I just want to circle back to things.
One, God really loves Glennon because God brought Glennon into my life after my career.
So that had stapling incident would not have flown very well with her.
She would have passed out on the ground, close to passing out.
And then secondly, and this is so great, Christine Sinclair, a woman who plays for Team Canada, has since broken the record that I took over from MIA.
And something so good needs to be shared.
And other women need to experience what it feels like to have worked relentlessly for decades to accrue that many goals.
So I'm happy our children are like, well, what do I say now?
Like, my mom is like number two in the world and things like that for at least a week.
But then, you know, to finish the story in terms of Kobe and Peyton, I felt so glad that they thought of me, you know, and I remember being on that stage, I was a little bit nervous because I had some lines to say and it was nationally televised and I nailed the lines. Hilary, you know, I did. And they don't go, girl, I love it.
I just remember the feeling on stage. I felt so grateful, right. Often the only emotion women are allowed. So when the lights turned off and the three of us turned to walk off stage, something else happened inside of my body.
I started to get a kind of rage that I had never experienced before.
A guilt, a fear and anger, a rage.
I felt sick. I felt sick to my stomach that I didn't do enough when I was in it because this was my exit. Right. And here's the thing.
You know, Kobe and Peyton's biggest concerns at this point in their retirement was where they were going to invest their hundreds of millions of dollars that they collectively.
Yeah, and my biggest concern, and this is a true story is how I was going to find a job to pay my mortgage, how was going to earn any money and.
In the hotel room that night, I promised myself two things. Number one, Crystal Dunne, who's the current national team player, Alex Morgan, who's a current national team player, and Megan Rapinoe, these women would never share this experience with me.
I will do whatever it takes to make sure that their experience is different.
And the number two, most importantly, if this is happening to me, I understood deeply that this is happening to every woman because on some weird level, when you get invited into certain rooms and you are given certain seats at certain tables where decisions are made, you have a sense that maybe I am not a victim to this inequality.
Right. But that night I understood that I was I understood that we all are. And I have dedicated since then my whole life, my mission, my purpose on this planet is to make sure that we do everything possible to fix the inequalities that are rampant through every industry, in every city, in every state, in every country of this world.
Women, they retire with less. They have to work longer, which is just freedom. And I believe that people deserve to be treated equally.
I literally could talk to the two of you all day. So let me end with this question to each of you. Hopefully, in the next few months, enough of us are going to get vaccinated and we're going to see the beginning of a return to the semblance of a normal life, whatever that means anymore. So what is each of you looking forward to most? And Glenanne, you've already gotten your hair done, so you can't you can't say that, right?
I mean, I know in the end, the beginning of the pandemic, it was I follow you on Instagram and there was lots of talk about hair.
And as someone who has both talked about and Ben talked about a lot regarding hair, I think we've covered that. So what besides that, what are you both looking forward to?
I mean, the most honest answer that I can think of for that is I just desperately want to hug my mom. Oh, where does she live? She lives in Virginia. I'm going to I have not seen them since March. And, you know, they haven't seen our kids. And they it's just I cannot wait to just hug my mom and hug my dad. And I hope that I don't forget that.
I hope that I remember what it's like to not be able to and that I value that more in that. Right.
Abbi, what about you?
This is a tough question for me to answer, because I spend my life basically on the road doing speaking events and whatever it is, whatever the heck else I do for my work and to earn money, I'm a hustler.
Doing it this time has been so interesting.
And I bet you you probably would agree, Hilary, that this is the first time my central nervous system has calmed itself down to a ground zero because I haven't been able to travel.
And so as hard as this has been in so many ways, this has been in some ways one of the greatest gifts that I have ever been handed.
And I I've been I promised myself to come out of this whole situation better. Right.
So how can I be more fit? How can I get more organized? How can I? And my wife helps because she starts to clean up the garage and then I have to finish the cleaning up of the garage, starting finishing.
It's hard for me.
But I think that having said all that, what I would say is I'm excited to go on vacation, get out of our system.
I'm with you, girl. I'm with you. Where do you want to go? Do you have any any big dreams?
I mean, we live in Naples, but I want to go somewhere warm and pitch and somebody to deliver me cold water, maybe without the kids.
OK, who's bringing their kids on vacation? No people, dogs, no kill people, nobody.
OK, so D.M. me, when you find the perfect place because I'm more in the go on vacation mode, I find myself obsessing over vacation pictures, pictures of the most beautiful destinations, a little crazy.
Last January, we went to Miraval in Tucson, Arizona. It's that getaway destination place. Yes. And we were setting intentions for twenty twenty.
We were going to crush it. We didn't know that this would be the last vacation we ever to go and be with God, folks.
Sister Abby had to keep up with Abby and Glenanne, follow them on social media and check out their websites for Glenanne. That's Mama Stari Dotcom M0 m a. S t e r y dotcom, and you can find Abby's website at Abby Wambach c h dot com.
I've thought a lot about doing hard things over the last year. My constant hard thing is to get up and keep going every day and that's messed up.
And Demnig, which I'm really getting tired of, my friends, you know, I want to travel again. I want to eat in a restaurant again. And I'm determined that I'm not going to do that until it's absolutely safe to get out there. But, boy, it's hard. And then, of course, there were really hard things like standing up to continuing racial inequity and waging an election during a pandemic and then protecting the outcome of that election.
So to me, it's even more important that we try to do hard things and don't confuse the hard things like standing up to racism, standing up for democracy from things that are necessary, but frankly, not that hard, like putting on a mask in the middle of a pandemic.
I would love to hear stories from our listeners about how you do hard things or people you know who have done hard things.
And if you want to share a story, please send an email to you and me both pod at Gmail dot com. You and me both is brought to you by I Heart Radio, where produced by Julie Soberon, Kathleen Russo and Lauren Peterson with help from Huma Abedin, Niki Toure, Oscar Florez, Lindsay Hoffman, Brianna Johnson, Nick Merrill, Rob Russo and llona Val Morrow.
Our engineer is Zach McNiece.
And the original music is by Forest Gray, if you like. You and me both spread the word post about it on social media, send it to your friends and make sure to hit the subscribe button. So you're the first to know when a new episode drops. You can do that on I Heart Radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. See you next week. From Wauconda all the way to Kommissar, it's entrepeneurs podcast's baby bonus as we debate everything and Bleckner culture.
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