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In early 2022, Kate McLachlan and Lee Robinson decided they wanted to be “more gay, more often.” The pair were already doing a pretty good job: The previous year, they had started Dyketopia, a queer comedy special, in Denver. Over the course of a few months, they had grown the show from a 60-person event in a friend’s backyard into a monthly staple, known to sell out within five minutes, at bars around town.
If it ain’t broke, the saying goes, turn it into a podcast. So that’s exactly what McLachlan and Robinson did in early March. Now, Dyketopia is not only an in-person experience but a weekly podcast, available on Spotify and other streaming services, brimming with banter, dry wit, and—as advertised—gay shit.
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Each episode of the podcast is loosely divided into discussion topics. For instance, the mainstreaming of lesbian fashion, porn star names, and childhood cartoon crushes were on the docket for the March 27 episode, titled “We would be SO cute as dogs.” But along the way, they can’t help but enjoy a tangent or two, or three or four: a transcendent Megan Thee Stallion x Dua Lipa concert recap, a zinger of an ex-girlfriend anecdote, a mock Squarespace advertisement, and more.
The audio experience has some drawbacks—you can’t appreciate McLachlan and Robinson’s matching septum piercings, for one. But mostly it’s more of what fans of the live show have come to love: easy rapport, lickety-split non-sequiturs, and puns so perfectly placed, you laugh and cringe at the same time.
In advance of their upcoming spring live shows—the Dyketopia Film Series at Wide Right on April 27, and the Dyketopia comedy night at X Bar Denver on May 26, both of which are ticketed via their Linktree—we chatted with McLachlan and Robinson about their friendship, their comedy inspirations, and queer life in Denver.
5280: Can you explain your podcast’s cover art?
Lee Robinson: The podcast art is a version of our posters for the live show that we’ve been using since the fall of last year. Kate moved back to town in the spring of 2021 and drunkenly bought a set of Barbie tarot cards on Etsy. Is that right, Kate?
Kate McLachlan: You got it. Hey, who doesn’t like to have a couple glasses of wine and go on Etsy?
LR: I booked her on a comedy show I was hosting, she brought the cards, and that’s when we met and bonded over them. She has no experience with tarot and neither do I, but that was the seed of the show. Kate messaged me with the idea to do a show where we gave bad tarot readings, and over the months that turned into, “Let’s host a queer comedy show of some kind.” So tarot was the inspiration for the first poster, done by Sofie Birkin, an artist here in town. It’s us as tarot figures, surrounded by queer iconography.
KM: Tarot holds such a special place in many queer people’s hearts, and even better, Lee and I know absolutely nothing about it. But tarot symbols are near-universally recognized in the queer community.
LR: The outfits we’re wearing in the poster art are our classic go-tos: You’re wearing overalls, I’m wearing an open button-up shirt. And the other items come from Sofie Burkin’s brain.
KM: It’s been one of the most fun parts of the show for me, getting to meet creative queer people to work with. It’s a large community of queer creatives putting on a show.
What’s one of the best things about being queer in Denver?
LR: There’s a lot of opportunities to make things happen. People are really excited to chip in to create the community we want. In larger cities, like New York or Los Angeles, there are so many amazing established queer artists and queer comedians. And, of course, there are many in Denver, too, but not to the same degree, especially when it comes to queer comedy. So once we came onto the scene, we had a groundswell of support, of people wanting to be involved with us, and of fans for the show.
KM: On the flip side, I moved from Durango, population 18,000, which has maybe one drag show total. Our market here in Denver is big enough for us to play and explore, but still small enough that we can achieve a sense of community.
How about one of the worst things?
KM: I think fall is really hard, because all girls wear beanies and flannels in the fall. And it’s really hard to know, are they gay, or are there just leaves out?
LR: My challenge is, Is she gay, or is she just really into mountain biking? Hard to say…
What’s it like turning a friendship into a podcast?
KM: Lee and I both don’t shut up. If there are two people who can turn friendship into a podcast, it’s us. We’re just so chatty. What do you think, Lee?
LR: It was easy for us. We’d already been working on the live show since July of last year, so for eight months, we’ve been getting closer as friends and developing a great creative partnership. I was surprised at how easy it was. We turn on the mics, and we zip zap zop our way through some pre-established topics. We both have ADHD, so it’s really fun.
What’s the gayest 14er?
KM: I’m going to say Snuffles, because Snuffleupagus is the gayest Muppet—I think everyone knows that—and they sound similar.
LR: I’m currently looking up a list of 14ers. I’ve only hiked two, and I thought I was going to die both times.
KM: I haven’t climbed Snuffles; I need to make that super clear. I think my brother climbed it with his Boy Scout troop, that’s why I know about it.
LR: There’s one called Sunshine Peak, which feels pretty gay to me. That or Mount Massive… *Kate and Lee both throw up double peace signs*
Have you had any brushes with celebrities or personal icons since starting the show?
KM: Are you familiar with the podcast Every Outfit? It started out as this Instagram called “Every Outfit on Sex and the City,” which is self-explanatory, and then it became a podcast. I subscribe to their Patreon because I love them, and I’m obsessed with Sex and the City. Then, they started following me, and they liked my Valentine’s Day post about Che Diaz [a character in the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…], and I freaked out. I was with Lee, and I was like, “Guess what, they’re following me!” And then I read that one of the perks of the Patreon level I donated was, we will follow you on Instagram.
In one of your recent episodes, Kate mentions Goochy the jellyfish, a Beanie Baby she’s been coveting. Kate, how do you think Goochy identifies?
KM: I think Goochy, like Che Diaz, is a queer nonbinary diva.
Which of the following queer comedians would you respectively kiss, marry, and kill: Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Meg Stalter, and Patti Harrison.
LR: Marry all of them. I can’t kill any of them.
KM: Instead of killing, can we just put one of them in the other room?
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KM: I would kiss Patti, marry Meg, and put Grace in the other room.
LR: This is extremely tough. I’m obsessed with all of them. I think I would marry Patti, kiss Meg, and put Grace in the other room—but only because I want to be Grace.
KM: Yeah, we would friend-zone Grace.
LR: But honestly, I would kiss all of them and also marry all of them. They’re all perfect. Patti Harrison’s Dua Lipa song is one of the best pieces of art ever.
If Dyketopia were an actual physical place, what would spring be like there?
LR: I’m picturing a Yosemite-like valley where all the lesbian, trans, and queer folks come out of hibernation and start picking flowers, eating berries, and braiding each others hairs.
KM: A lot of gardening would happen. A lot of cutting jeans into jean shorts.
LR: I’ve already cut off the sleeves of two t-shirts and one sweatshirt. So this is literally just what happens in my regular life.
KM: Yeah, Lee and I are just describing what happens for us in a regular week.
(Read more: Meet the Duo Behind Boulder’s Only Queer Bar)