who is fran?
Fran is a writer, podcaster, critic, and consultant working in media and entertainment. After heading up the editorial strategy of brands like Out and Hello Mr., Fran’s also created podcasts like Food 4 Thot, The Outcast, Queerly Beloved — and most recently Like a Virgin, a queer pop culture show with Rose Dommu reflecting on cult classics in the modern-day. Previously, Fran was at Netflix managing LGBTQ+ audience engagement strategy and creating gay ass shows like I Like to Watch. Fran’s work has won them the Stonewall Vision Award, Brooklyn’s 30 Under 30, and MTV’s inaugural Logo Legends honor.
Fran’s worked with brands like Google, Nike, and HBO on their various queer-focused campaigns and has also spoken at institutions like Yale, Juilliard, Harvard, Northwestern, and NYU on queer topics. Fran’s work has been featured on Vogue, The Washington Post, USA Today, People, TIME, NBC, BBC, PBS, NPR, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, W, Interview, Elle, The Cut, Glamour, InStyle, Refinery29, GQ, Vox, Vulture, VICE, AV Club, Adweek, and Good Morning America.
The New York Times called Fran a "Queer Champion."
what is fran’s joy digest?
A short, weekly newsletter about things that bring me joy. TV I’m watching, books I’m reading, lingerie, sex toys, self-care hacks, links to read, etc. Very skimmable!!!!!!
These things will take the form of a numbered list, preceded by a short essay or musing. At times, these things might seem esoteric, expensive, or particular to my taste, and for that I blame my taurus sun. But overall, I aim to recommend things you’ll genuinely want to read, watch, subscribe to, buy, participate in, etc. Expect frequent hype for small businesses (no Amazon links from me!!!), digital actions from activists, and a lot of content surrounding sex, pleasure, and eroticism. I’ll also occasionally write *special* lists on a single topic — e.g. queer artists to buy from, favorite shows of the quarter, activists/organizers to follow. I would love you to tweet me suggestions on what those special lists could be as we go along.
why should i pay for this?
Mama, I’m making 100% of the content from this letter free to those who can’t afford it — particularly queer and marginalized folx who come across my pages. There is no “exclusive” content (for now!) and I would like to keep it that way. So, if you *can* afford it, you should be paid subscribers because it helps make the letter free for everyone. Those who have *a lot* of wealth should be Zaddy/Zommy-tier subscribers. As a freelancer, revenue from this letter helps me offset the cost of my time and steadies my income stream for things like rent or health insurance. Those at the Zaddy/Zommy level can expect love notes from me, a free flowing channel of what you like/dislike about the letter, perhaps even nudes.
what is this not?
First of all, no long form writing. Call me Madame Déficit, because I’m out of attention. If you want more, I can be convinced! But for now, the longest thing will be a few paragraphs of musings before every list. I may also excerpt things I publish a piece elsewhere. You also won’t find a ton of personal info in this letter. To paraphrase Fran Leibovitz, “Your life story would not make a good [newsletter]. Don't even try!” I air out enough of my life on social and Food 4 Thot, tbh. Finally, I’ll avoid being super sales-y. If I recommend a product, it’s because I genuinely love it. If I use affiliate links or include sponsored content, I’ll disclose that (no matter how insufferable it may be — girl’s gotta eat)! what is fran’s joy digest?
As if you need a reason. Joy is hard to find these days, yet it remains the singular life force holding a lot of queer and marginalized people up right now. Sometime last year, I built a practice of taking stock of those joys and putting them in a little email to a few dozen of my friends. When the chaos of 2020 hit, it became a gesture as much for myself as it was for them because it forced me to pay attention to my joys and the things/actions/people that sparked it. We’ve all heard that joy = resistance, and some iteration of Audre Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic.” But what if we started seeing it as an essential part of the process? In the words of adrienne maree brown, “Joy is important. It’s not a guilty pleasure. It is a strategic move towards the future we all need to create.” More than a year later, I’m continuing that practice with you in the hopes that you find a ritual for your joy, too.