The Balut Kiki Project

This episode has a transcript provided by the podcast.

This interview talks about my literature advocacy as well as my hard time navigating the intersections of the Disability and LGBT+ community.

Read and listen to the episode here.

Episode transcript.

The below transcript was provided by the podcast producers.

Voice-Over Intro:
 The Balut Kiki Project is a proud member of Bunk Collective.
(30-second ad plays)
Voice-Over Intro:
You’re tuned into the Balut Kiki Project. 
Mel:
It’s another day. It’s another project. Hi, there. I am Mel and welcome to the Balut kiki Project.
Geoff:
We are uniquely Pinoy. We are unapologetically queer. I am Geoff. If this is the first time you’re tuning in to our podcast, welcome and thank you for clicking play. If you are a certified Bessie by now, thank you for tuning in again. As Sally Field said in her moment of victory: “You like us. You really, really like us!” Click on like, Follow and subscribe button. And why not tell your friends about the Balut Kiki project? There’s certainly enough of all of us to go around. And speaking of going around, back to my friend Mel, who’s definitely been around. No, by that, Mel, I mean, well-travelled, well-travelled. So, Mel, tell us who our guest is for today. 

 Mel:
 It will be my honor, fellow, well-travelled friend. Our guest for this project is first of all, a part of our queer community. He identifies as fabulously gay and queer. He’s an author who writes both fiction and nonfiction books and short stories. He’s a journalist, an editor. He’s a prolific blogger who actively contribute to magazines and newspapers. He is a speaker who, according to HuffPost, has received Professional Speakers Workshop Award and has been featured in National Public Radio. He is a staunch advocate of a lot of things, diversity, equality and accessibility, among others. And, Geoff, what is amazing and inspiring of all is that Robert is totally blind and has cerebral palsy.
 
 Geoff:
 And, Mel, I told you this in the process of researching about this guest, I started to fawn over him and I was really admiring this person – Hardcore. What a guy because who wouldn’t, right? Such an amazing guy! And I know he’s not exactly comfortable with these labels. He’s amazing. He’s a miracle. But I just want him to know that we are just in awe and we mean that sincerely. 

 Mel:
 So, Bessies, our guest for this project is Mr. Robert Kingett. Hi, Robert. Thank you for visiting us here on the project. 

 Robert:
 Hello. Thank you for having me and for admiring me. That makes me feel really happy. 
Geoff:
We’re happy you’re here, Robert. 

 Mel:
 Yes, Robert. Is it okay if you play our intro music first before we start our geeky so Geoff can calm himself. 
 Geoff:
 All right. So Bessies we will be talking to Robert Kingett when the project comes back!
(INTRO MUSIC plays)
 
 
Mel:
All right. Welcome back to the Balut Kiki project again. We have Robert King at here with us, author of “Off the Grid: Living Blind Without the Internet”. It’s available on Amazon or wherever you get good books. Or there’s a clickable link on our website on the Resources tab.

 Geoff:
 And this is where Robert talks about – Isn’t this right, Robert? – You lived without the Internet for a month. 

 Robert:
 Yes. Correct. 

 Geoff:
 Oh, my gosh. Unthinkable. 

 Robert:
 Yes. It was a social experiment that one of my African American friends asked me to do. They wanted to see just how crucial the Internet was to a person with a disability. And when I was doing the challenge, I thought about turning my journals into a book and publishing it. The publishing company was bought out. However, it is available now as under a Creative Commons license, so you’re free to download it. You’re free to translate it. You can do whatever you want to with it. 

 Geoff:
 Oh, my gosh, Robert. There was nothing more that I could find out about Robert. That would just blow my mind Mel. And if you want to know more about Robert and his amazing story and his fabulous advocacies, please go to his website that’s www. Dot blindjournalist webpress. Com. All right. And Robert, you were born premature, right. And you don’t know how many months premature, right? 

 Robert:
 Correct. No, I don’t know how many months I was told that I was born very earned clear was supposed to be. I think it was like more than three months. So you could say that I am totally a miracle child. 
Geoff:
 That’s an understatement, because, Robert, that’s amazing to me. And there’s a lot of Filipino nurses listening to us. I’m sure the average Filipino baby full term is probably 67lbs. And Robert, somewhere I read that your birth certificate says that you weighed 6oz when you were born. 

 Robert:
 It’s so strange to me because I thought growing up I didn’t really have an extensive knowledge of my birth. So I had to piece it all together.
So when my grandparents and mother and everything would say that, well, you were 6oz. I’m like, I don’t think that’s medically possible. I just don’t think a person could survive medically speaking 6oz or something. But I was told this over and over and over again. I just never believed it. And recently, as an adult, I wanted to travel internationally because I like learning about different cultures and things. I’ve lived here in America my whole life, and I just really want to travel and experience other cultures and maybe get away from capitalism.
Geoff:
Don’t come to the Philippines!
Robert:
So here in America, getting a passport is a really complicated process for those who are disabled. I think it’s complicated for those who don’t have a disability. But anyway, that’s a whole other other topic. So one of the requirements was you had to have a birth certificate. And I’m like oh, okay. So let me just get my birth certificate. And when I got my birth certificate, it actually says on my birth certificate that I am 6oz, and I’m like, wow, that’s incredible.

 Geoff:
 Because we don’t use ounces in the Philippines. So just for reference – how much the 6oz weigh, what does it feel like? It’s six pencils. It’s 6oz. Three tennis balls is 6oz. A Kindle, anybody who has a Kindle. And that’s how much Robert weighed when he was born. And now listen to this. Twelve tablespoons of water, twelve tablespoons of water is 6oz. I know you’re uncomfortable with the label Miracle baby, Robert, but I mean, my friend, my dear dear friend, the fact that you fought through prematurity and now to be talking to an obscure baby Filipino podcast today. I don’t know, but that sounds like a miracle to me. 

 Robert:
 That’s really cool that you actually put that into perspective for me because I was told over and over and over again by loads of adults in my life that you could fit me in the palm of one hand, like a normal sized adult, which here in America, that’s about 6ft something around those numbers. So lots of adults are like, oh, yeah, you could lay down in the palm of my hand, and I’m like, oh, okay. Wow. 

 Geoff:
 I have small Filipino hands, Robert. They’re small, but we certainly carry 6oz. 

 Mel:
 170 grams. So, Robert, if you don’t know, Filipinos, as with most Asians, love to eat rice. We eat rice morning, noon and night and snack with rice. It’s like rice is life. I will actually get a tattoo next month. Honest – that says “rice is life” with a bowl of rice. And a cup of rice, which is one serving of rice is 200 grams. 

 Robert:
 Oh, my God. 

 Mel:
 170 grams is a little less than a couple hundred. 
Geoff:
Sorry, but, yeah, we just couldn’t get over that.
 
 Robert:
 Now, my birth was not an easy birth. They had to rush me. It was really quick. They had to really rush me to get me into an incubator because I was told that my lungs weren’t. I’m not a medical professional, so maybe you could piece it together. But my lungs weren’t working right or something like that. So they had to quickly rush me to an incubator like that very same day that I was born, and they gave me too much oxygen, which caused me to be legally blind. And I would assume so that’s where the cerebral palsy came from. Okay, because cerebral palsy is a nerve disorder. So my hypothesis is that maybe the oxygen caused nerves in my brain to short circuit or something. Like I said, I’m not a medical professional. 
Geoff:
They said you would never walk. And they said you would never talk. But look at you. 
Robert:
Yes, I sure did. I showed them. And now you can’t get me to shut up. 
Mel:
And we are grateful for that. 

 Geoff:
 You’re mobile and you walk with the cane, right. But limited not long distances. 

 Robert:
 Right. But still you’re busy. Independent. Yeah, it’s not a walking cane
Shoot. I just had a brain fart. It’s not a support cane. It is a cane for the blind and visually impaired. So I don’t need anything for balance yet, but I do hypothesize that as I get all older, I do think that will sort of become more of an issue. I’m not really sure, though. I’m just kind of thinking ahead. 
Geoff:
God knows I need a cane, sometimes.
Robert:
I’m assuming that’s where the cerebral palsy comes in. Walking my tippy toes and my feet are super duper sensitive. They are astronomically sensitive. I cannot stand walking a barefoot, even on carpet or something. It drives me bananas. So I was told that’s a very common thing in pre-mees that their feet are super duper sensitive, but I have no qualifying documentation to back it up. 
Geoff:
Well, as a nurse, neither do I. But the fact that you’re ambulatory and you’re basically independent is just amazing. Thinking about what you went through as a child, you strike me as a very strong willed person. Were you like that as a child as well? You want to be independent? 
Robert:
Yes. I was very strong. Well, my grandmother and grandfather, they raised me for a significant portion of my life until my grandmother had a stroke and my grandfather, he died of cirrhosis of the liver. So then I had to move in with my mother except my grandmother and grandfather. They knew that I was very strong willed, so they nourished, it from an early age. They encouraged me to ask questions. They encouraged me to read a lot. They encouraged me to try new things and see what happens as a result. Negative or positive. They just really encouraged me to, even though my body wasn’t physically as strong as others, they encouraged me to just keep pushing forward and learning new things. 
Geoff:
God bless grandparents. 
Robert:
Yes. Totally agree. 
Mel:
They’re Angels. They are Angels. 
Geoff:
I read somewhere, Robert, that you didn’t want to go to a mainstream school. You were also very adamant about that. Did this affect your social life as a kid? And if so, do you regret this? 
Robert:
It did affect my social life. I do think it affected it in a positive way. There were quite a bit of blind and visually impaired kids that just simply did not have exceptional social skills at the school for the blind individual here so that I could focus on my education and less so on advocating for my needs because I knew that I would have to do a lot of advocating later. I just didn’t want to do so much work during the advocating before College, but I don’t regret my choice whatsoever. However, I vehemently believe that more work needs to be done to integrate disabled students into mainstream schools. Society can learn how to meet their needs without just shuffling them to an institution. 
Mel:
Yeah, that’s true. 
Geoff:
Mel, what are we doing when we were in grade school?
Robert:
I have to advocate for myself because I know I’ll be advocating for a lot of things in the future. 
Geoff: 
My God, what were we doing now? You said that your grandparents encouraged you to read. Just for clarification – Were you blind right off the bat, or were you able to see when you were a lot younger? 
Robert:
So from what I was told, I had 2020 vision, and then something happened in the incubator, and that left me with a detached retina. So that left me with 2200 vision growing up. And so I did have 2020 vision according to the adults in my life. Except I don’t remember having 2020 vision. I hope that answered your question. 
Mel:
I have a question. So you’re blind. But how would you perceive the world around you? Like the imagery in your head if the sky is blue? What does that mean to you? 
Robert:
Sure. 20/200 here in America means that you are legally blind. You’re not totally blind. So you still have some residual vision now, however, I am totally fine. But I do remember what colors looked like and things like that. So I would say now to about four years. So prior to four years ago, I could see not perfectly. But I did have one good eye. So that helped me to see things very close to me. I was near sighted growing up, so I knew what colors and things looked like, but I couldn’t see things farther away from me. 
Geoff:
Did you know you were gay at a very young age? 
Robert:
Yes. Which is super weird. Try us because my family was really socially conservative. So we just never talked about gay people or things like that. Except my grandparents had always told me you should ask questions. You should look into things. And so that’s what I did. I started questioning why I wanted men to physically touch me more than women. And this is not related to the abuse I had as a child or things like that. It happened long before I moved in with my mother. But from a very young age, I was just drawn to men. Except I didn’t really understand why. But I kept probing my own thoughts. And so once I got into my teenage years, MySpace was a huge thing. MySpace here in America centuries ago.
So MySpace was a huge thing. And that’s really where I kind of learned what gay meant and what gay was and things like that. So I was really hooked on MySpace. It helped me talk to older gay men. 
Geoff:
I’m just going to interrupt you there with your permission. But I also heard from the grapevine that you had a big crush on a particular chocolate dish that is LaVar Burton. Is this why you like Mint chocolate chip ice cream?
Robert:
Okay. So LaVar is my husband. He just doesn’t know it yet. But I did not meet him on MySpace, unfortunately. 
Geoff:
Are you a Trekie?
Robert:
No. Why should I be like, Is there a connection? 
Geoff:
Wasn’t he on Star Trek? 
Mel:
Yes. He was on Star Trek. Yes, he is on Star Trek. 
Robert:
I need to, like, watch.
Geoff:
Aren’t you glad came on the show today. 
Robert:
Yes, very much so. I knew him from Reading Rainbow, which was a huge part of my childhood, yes. Well, I did not have a huge crush on him like I do now. That’s sort of litified over the years. But I remember watching Reading Rainbow religiously, and I remember his voice and everything. But what really helped me to really parse these thoughts I was having was talking to gay men, mostly African American men or men that were just any shade darker than me. I was attracted to men with darker skin, for the reason is that my vision was able to see them clearer than white men. Now that I’m much older, I care more about personality and cultures.
Geoff:
Yeah right!
Robert:
So, my attraction has not really waned or changed. And now that I have a massive crush on LaVar Burton, and he’s my husband that he just doesn’t know it yet. Nowadays, I really like what he does in terms of literature, activism. He cares very deeply about kids reading and getting them more involved in reading and everything. And that makes me just love him even more, which is what I tried to do for the disability community. I tried to make publishing and literature more welcoming and more accepting of disabled narratives, because here in the US, it’s kind of an unfortunate kind of fact that disability is not framed as a positive thing. So you have a lot of people that don’t want to publish books about us, where we’re heroes. You have loads of people here in the US that don’t want movies made about us, where disability is seen in a positive light. My goal is to change all that and make a disability as widely accepted as
Lgbt people here. Now caveat: It’s not perfect for LGBT people here in America, but it has grown considerably in the past 20 years. 
Geoff:
Yes, very true. But you have the Balut Kiki Project’s blessings, Robert, you and LeVoir are a match made in heaven. Certainly with your aligning advocacy. 
Robert:
I wish that someone would tell him that. Actually, you don’t even have to tell him that I do the same kind of advocacy. Just tell him that Robert Kingett exists. That’s it. 
Mel:
Your husband exists, right? Robert? From MySpace, he says that he was a teenager.
Geoff:
No, but, Mel, we said we weren’t going to talk about age on this podcast!
 
 Mel:
I was referring to my age. 
Geoff:
Okay, fine. I was just going to ask you, Robert. So, from MySpace, have you gone on to the more modern apps – dating apps? Are you on Grindr? 
Robert:
I am not on Grindr because it is not accessible to the blind individual. Okay. And it’s not because there’s a bunch of shirtless hunks on. There no, there’s a lot of things about the app that are not accessible to screen readers, so we effectively can’t use it. We have to kind of be the old man in the group and use things that are not cool now, like Facebook and all those kinds of things. So I’m sort of left in the lurch when it comes to dating apps because they’re just not accessible. I’m not sure if you guys are web developers or Mel. Maybe you might know if you somebody or something 
Mel:
To develop something for you guys, right? Yeah. I don’t know anyone who can make that happen, but maybe somebody listening! 
Robert: 
But an app has to be designed inclusively. So…
 
 Geoff:
 I never thought about that. 
Robert:
Make sure that your buttons have labels on them so that screen readers can tell the person what it is and what it does and everything like that. Apple makes it super easy for developers to make their app successful to the one they’re visually impaired. Google, on the other hand, they encourage accessibility, but they don’t make it so easy, like easy. Apple does. Apple kind of does the opposite, where they don’t force developers to make their successful. They don’t even really talk about it unless directly asks. But they do make it super duper, easy to make absent things successful. I never thought that I would cheer on a Corporation, but here we are. 
Geoff:
Do you still actively date? And if so, how do you meet guys? 
 
 Robert:
 Yes, I do. 
 
 Geoff:
 Good for you, Robert. You go!
Robert:
I meet quite a bit of guys to be quite Frankly, there’s a real intersectionality problem here in America where the larger our GBT community is not disability inclusive. Or you have the flipside of that. Where the disability community, they’re not as up and up on the Lgbt issues. I do date, but it doesn’t work out as well as like a Hollywood movie.
Geoff:
Well, join the club, Robert.
Robert:
Like a lot of people, they just read that I’m totally blind and they don’t reply or message me back or things like that when I leave out my disabilities and we’re chatting, that feels so wrong to me. It feels like I’m hiding a part of myself, which I think is really gross and horrifying. I tried it both ways, hiding my disabilities as much as I could and just laying it all out there. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to not have a guy take you out for something you are rather than you trying to be something you’re not.
Mel:
The truth will eventually come out, right? 
Geoff:
Yeah. And you want to be with somebody who accepts you for all that you are warts and all. 
Robert:
Yeah. Exactly. Here in America, there’s two models of disability. There’s the social model of disability, where the general kind of consensus is that we don’t necessarily have impairments. We’re just disabled because of how society is constructed. And then you have the medical model disability where it’s like you have this medical thing that’s wrong with you. So you need to mold yourself into society. And that leads to a lot of disabled people here in the US saying, really baffling things like, I try to hide my disability as much as I can. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want people to know that I have a disability, and I’m like, well, that’s horrifying to me. Months of reading, introspection and just learning about American centric. Now I think that the world should adopt the social model of disability. So you don’t feel so terrible about your disability. 
Geoff:
If you were to go out with anybody that you wanted, what would your first date be like with LaVar or somebody that you lke. We’re going to set it up for you. What do you want? Describe your ideal date.
Robert:
Cool beans. Okay. So my ideal date would actually be me going to a guy’s house that has an accent. I’m very much tuned in to accents and things. I love hearing the intricacies of a person accent and dialect and everything. The date would consist of someone that is taller than me. 
Geoff:
How tall are you? 
Robert:
I’m 5ft, six inches, so pretty short in terms of American standards. So like I said, I would like a person that’s taller than me. The only thing I will not relent on is smoking. I don’t want a smoker at all. But anyway, so moving past all those things, we would go into his house or my house and we would just sit and talk one on one or play Dungeons and Dragon together or read a book together or have a slight debate about Star Wars versus Star Trek or something while we’re cuddling on the couch and fitting each other cookies and ice Mint chocolate chip. Right. 
Mel:
But you know what? I think it’s not going to be a slight debate between Star Wars and Star Trek. 
Geoff:
Which side are you on, Robert? 
Robert:
I am Team Star Wars. 
Geoff:
Which is why you never knew about LaVar being on Star Trek, right? So maybe that’s something for you to reconsider – that would be the perfect date, because Levar Burton would engage you in that debate. He would be totally Star Trek. 
Robert:
Oh, that’s true. I would like to find a guy that would also maybe like to try listening to an audiobook with me, too, because I’ve never had a person really interested in listening to an audience book with me. I totally understand that you’re a sighted person. So you’d rather read a book, but just once, though, I would like it if someone were to just try it. 
Geoff:
Would you put out on the first date?
Robert:
 No.
Geoff:
You’re not that kind of girl. 
Robert:
No, honey. Excuse you! I’m not. I would save that for, like, for a second. Or maybe that could be makeup, sex or something right after the Star Wars debate or something.
Geoff:
That would have been a very passionate debate.
Robert:
But if I really had to think about it, I would honestly say no. I would say that for maybe the second date. Maybe it depends. I’m a really particular person when it comes to sex nowadays because I’ve had trauma and things happen to me that’s left me not as sexual as I once was. But I would like your listeners to know that it’s totally okay. If you’re not sexual, you don’t have to be, and your partner will look at that, and they will appreciate it through and through. If not, you have my permission to do something heinous, like, shave their eyebrows or something when they’re sleeping or something.
Geoff:
 Robert, with your permission again, I asked my friends like, what would be interesting to ask somebody like you – somebody blind. Do you use porn? 
Robert:
Yes, I do. And this kind of goes back to my extreme love for accents and things. I’m very audiotorily stimulated. So porn for me, it could be just a guy talking to a microphone like, we’re role playing, like porn for me could be like odd messages that are left on my voicemail or something late at night. So porn for me is very based around the voice. Music in porn doesn’t do anything for me at all. Like it actually obfuscates the sexy accent that I’m trying to listen to.
Geoff:
Preach. Preach, preach. Yeah. Makes it so fake. 
 
 Mel:
 What, no Marvin Gaye?
Geoff:
No. Probably during dinner, Mel. 
Robert:
Yeah. But no.
Geoff:
Thank you. I’m with Robert on this. Robert, you took to writing with a passion. Tell us, how does writing make you feel? 
Robert:
Writing makes me writing makes me feel like I can tell truth in such a way that it makes others’ lives happier. Like, I know that there’s someone out there that is reading my personal essays or my journalism, and they’re thinking about their place in life because of what I wrote like if it makes them happier or learn a new skill, or maybe ask questions of their own. That is why I write. Also another reason why, like I said earlier on the podcast, you can’t get me to shut up. And I have lots of thoughts and opinions about a lot of different things. And my goal is just to try to get you to think, try to get you to ask me more questions, or ask yourself more questions, or maybe learn about a new thing that you’ve never heard of before. And writing for me is also a vast building tool for me, because I do have a stutter, so it allows me to say things without being hindered by this cerebral palsy.
Geoff:
You made true with your promise when you were much younger, that when you would be much older, you’d have a lot of advocacy. Would it be fair to ask you and I asked Mel if this was a correct question to ask earlier before you came on – Would it be fair to ask you what advocacy is closest to your heart? Or is it like asking a parent to pick your favorite child.
Robert:
That is incredibly hard. Advocacy closest to my heart has got to be literature. I really care very much about literature and writing and making sure that the publishing industry is not dominated by CIS, straight, white able buddied men. We really have to get some melanin up in there. We have to get some… 
Geoff:
 Like some rainbow sprinkles. 
Robert:
Yeah, exactly. We truly do. Because I think that writing and literature, I think it teaches us so much about the world. And why would you want to just read about straight, white, CIS eight Americans? It just doesn’t make any logical sense to me. In short, publishing is my number one advocacy efforts that I care very much about. 
Geoff:
Something that a lot of people would probably recognize and relate to these days is that you’ve also been an accessibility advocate. You’ve gotten into social audio description. 
Robert:
You’re right. I eventually created the Accessible Netflix project. 
Geoff:
You want to talk about that briefly? 
Robert:
Yes, sure. So I’m not sure how prevalent Netflix is in your neck of the woods. 
Geoff:
Oh, it is. It is. Yes, it is. Everybody has Netflix. 
Robert:
So here there’s a special audio track that is layered on pop up movies and TV shows that will describe what is happening on the screen. For those who are low vision or blind or visually impaired. Or if you’re sighted and you maybe can’t look at the screen. Right now, there’s an audio track which is called Audio Description. And what that does is there’s a voiceover telling you what’s happening on screen between natural pauses in the movie’s soundtrack. So, like, for example, you have a character named Jane, and Jane says, Hello, Jonathan. And then right after she says, Hello, Jonathan, you hear a voiceover say, Jane smiles at Jonathan. It’s filling in the visual gaps that you may miss. So I saw that Netflix was not incorporating the audio description tracks that were readily available on cable TV here in America. Like, for example, a family guy here in America has odd description on cable TV. When Netflix had it, it did not have odd description. So I thought, wait a minute. The tracks have already been created. So why are you just making that a separate audio option? Like it seems really easy to just transfer some tracks over to Netflix. So that kind of got me thinking, okay, why don’t I reach out to Netflix? And why don’t I ask about it and ask, hey, why aren’t you doing this? And why don’t I blog about it and blog about my journey? So that’s what happened. I started blogging about my advocacy work, and the more that I wrote about what was happening, lots of people were parking up their ears and saying, hey, what’s this lonely person doing over here? It looks like he’s onto something. Eventually that grew until finally, in 2015, Netflix released Daredevil, which did not have description here in America or internationally. And I launched a nationwide social media campaign that went very viral, which was super cool. Yeah. And that got Netflix to say, hey, yes, we screwed up. We’re going to make this successful to America, and I’m like, no, you’re going to make it accessible as well. So now if you’re in the Philippines, I’m not sure what language it’s going to be in, but you should have your own described content as well. You should. So that led to me kind of saying, okay, well, that was nice, but I would like to do more. So I wanted to make a cooperative that would employ blind and visually impaired people to write the description to voice the description and get training in it because it was a service created by the blind and the vision impaired for the blind individual impaired, except sight of people kind of took it over for a better term. Me and a group of blind people and one sided person. We came together and we made this cooperative called Social Idea Description. And I’m very happy to say that actually, we have a lot more clients now. So that’s a good thing.
Geoff:
Yeah. Just listening to Robert speak for the last hour, Mel. It’s just – there’s a lot of things that us sighted and able-bodied people have taken for granted. Yeah. There’s a lot of AHA moments that you’ve given us so far, Robert. 
Mel:
 So true.
Geoff:
Today on social media, we have a lot of what we call influencers, and basically just anybody with a phone and a WiFi connection can become an influencer and do the most stupid things and go viral. But you wrote somewhere I read somewhere that your eventual long term goal is to be influential, even if that meant being a silent influencer. 
Robert:
Yes. Exactly. So I’m not doing this for clout or social media followers. I don’t want to have a fan base. I just want you to help me make the world a more inclusive place. Like, if that makes any sense. 
Mel:
Absolutely. I’m just looking at Netflix now for the Philippines, and there’s quite a bit of shows that have audio description. It’s in English, and they’re English shows. Okay. I actually saw quite a few of them. There’s a lot of them. It’s not all, but there’s a lot of them. 
Robert:
You guys may have less than we do over here because it’s not a huge thing. Except for Canada, the US and the UK. When you go outside of those three main countries, it’s very hard to come across and anything like description. And thank you for asking me that question, because to be honest with you, I don’t like social media. I actually think it’s really poisonous and really harmful to a lot of people. What you can do with that energy is I want you to, like I said, help me help the world. Basically, I want you to stand next to me and not grovel at my feet. 
Geoff:
Yeah, because they’re very sensitive, too, right? 
Robert:
Yes. As a result, you can find me on social media. I just don’t go on it as much as like, an influencer would or something. Just. Ugh.
Geoff:
All right, Robert. So we’ve talked about Netflix. So our last question is if they were to make a Netflix movie about you and your life, who would you like to play you? 
Mel:
Wow. Miss Universe.
Robert:
Okay. So this might seem really weird, but even though I’m white and Lil Nas X is African American, I would still want him to play me. I don’t know how that would work. I mean, he would have to go through lots of makeup or something, but I just would want him to play me. That just seems so strange, but I think he’s really nice and cool, and I think he’s really cunning and nice. So I think he would fit that role perfectly with a lot of makeup, of course. 
Geoff
Well, I’d like to play Fairy Godfather, too, because I think somehow I don’t know if I read right. But I think I read somewhere that you loved acting, so maybe you could play you and Little Nas X could play your romantic interest, maybe? Would there be a bed scene?
Robert:
Yes, ofcourse. And you would see the camera flitting back and forth, and he’ll say, Star Trek is amazing. And then I’ll say no. Star Wars is amazing. And then a commercial break happens.
Geoff:
Okay, Robert. So, as a writer, you said writing gave you power because you didn’t have to struggle as you do when you speak. But we want you to know that we appreciate you. And thank you very much for speakng with us on this exclusively audio podcast. You are so amazing. Don’t forget to visit Robert’s website to learn more about him and follow him and all of his adventures and endeavors – http://www.blindjournalist.WordPress.Com. Tthank you very much, Robert. 
Robert:
Thank you so much. Oh, my God. This is so freaking enjoyable. 
Mel:
Thank you.
(Fade Out)
Voice-Over Outro:
You have just been served. This has been the Balut Kiki Project. Uniquely Pinoy unapologetically queer. We are now declaring this project complete. 
Robert:
Stuffy corporate media is like, so can you tell me about what your favorite – Like ask me these questions they really should have read on the website. Are you blind? And I’m like, yeah, should have read that on the website, but. But, yeah, I’ll answer it for your corporate audience. Sure.
 
 (Fade Out)