“It’s very weird to not be in the hosting seat.”
In an odd predicament — that turned out to be an interesting change from the norm — SiriusXM’s OutQ host Larry Flick switched seats with Indie host Pete Dominick for an exclusive host-to-host interview. Flick stopped by Dominick’s Stand Up! show to give a little insight into not only his professional career but also his personal background.
Turns out the all-star, on-air personality had a pretty humble upbringing. Flick grew up a “shy kid” in a blue-collar Italian Catholic family in the Bronx — a kid who didn’t necessarily know his sexual preference until later on in life. “I was the typical kid who everybody knew was gay before I knew I was gay,” Flick said. “So I got bullied a lot. But it pushed me where I needed to go.”
One thing Flick did know even as a tot was that he had a profound love of music. He was that kid at just around the age of five, bopping around his parents’ “psychedelic house parties” and “DJing,” playing records on the stereo.
“Music since I was a kid has been my thing,” Flick said. “I used to walk around with a radio. I used to listen to Top 40 stations of the day…The DJs were my heroes and music was what kept me company.”
Pursuing that passion, Flick started off in the music industry at the age of 21. He went on to become a print journalist covering music, before making his way up to being a senior editor at Billboard magazine for 14 years, then went on to tour with heavy metal bands in the ’80s and even worked for Prince for a short time. During this time, Flick also struggled with his own personal sexuality. Despite questioning his preferences from as early as six, he really didn’t give it much thought until his late teens, finally coming out at 21.
So how does coming out now compare to back then? Flick explains that back in the ’80s people wanted to stand out more and took pride in being unique. Nowadays everyone wants to blend in.
“It was a lot easier to be gay even back then, here, then anywhere else,” Flick said. “It was more fun to be gay back then. There was a romance to it all. There was activism…The differences were celebrated.”
Flick — who is in a “bi-national” relationship with his Welsh partner — admits that when it comes to freedom of sexuality, there are places (like the United Kingdom) that are currently far more open-minded than America. Dominick pointed out that it all comes down to religion, politics and those that are “super radical” and consumed with “ignorant beliefs.”
“When people say ‘I do this in the name of god,’ what they’re really saying is I do this in the name of my fear of you being different from me,” Flick said. “I don’t believe in hate, I believe in hateful actions triggered by fear.”
How does Flick deal with this fear? “I just can’t take any of it seriously. To me, it’s like bad pageantry,” he said.
This year Indie Radio’s Pete Dominick interviewed various SiriusXM hosts for an exclusive series on Stand Up! With Pete Dominick. To listen in on more host-to-host interviews check out the below playlist. And stay tuned here for even more exclusive host chats.