Today I have for you some behind-the-scenes of a big press interview, an interesting write-up about LGBTQ+ legal fundraising, hot links and a new TIkTok obsession, just in time for wedding season.

—Nick Wolny

New interview: the credit card machine

c/o Vox, Canva

Last week, I was the guest on Vox's Today: Explained, a terrific daily news podcast that syndicates to NPR nationwide. Check it out here.

This interview came about on very short notice. The producer emailed me the morning of Thursday the 8th, for a pre-interview to take place that day before 5pm ET, in which I was drilled on the facts as we worked through angles and show flow.

We then recorded for over an hour the next morning for what eventually became a 26-minute radio episode.

Two lessons here:

  1. Quality is better than quantity in online publishing. The producer found me via a feature I wrote several months ago for CNET.
  2. No matter how thorny your inbox gets, still find a way to stay on top of it so you don't drop the ball on opportunities.

As a personal finance journalist, it's become clear that credit cards are a big part of many people's overall money picture. Give this interview a listen to learn more about the U.S.' sprawling credit card machine.

🔗 Listen on Apple Podcasts

Lambda Legal's big ask

c/o Lambda Legal, Canva

The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund -- Lambda Legal for short -- is a U.S. civil rights organization that focuses on “impact litigation, societal education and public policy work,” according to Wikipedia.

Lambda Legal is often the firm that gets involved with LGBTQ+ and/or HIV/AIDS work that requires legal support. Their legal teams have represented queer people during some of the most important decisions in LGBTQ+ history, including Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), Bostock v. Clayton County, GA (workplace discrimination) and Rhoades v. Iowa (HIV criminalization).

Over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were proposed in states over the last year, and over 90 of them became law. On the heels of a recent $25 million gift, its largest in history, Lambda Legal is looking to raise $180 million to bolster its legal team and fight these bills. Mama, that's a shit-ton of money.

Lambda Legal took on 60 cases in 2020, but wants to be able to take on 112 cases a year by 2026. The fundraising would increase the size of the legal team by 42 percent.

The CEO and Chief Development Officer of Lambda Legal did an interview with The Chronicle of Philanthropy to discuss how they're approaching the lofty fundraising goal.

🔗 Read at The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Reading is fundamental



A deal with Apple could help Affirm get out of the red. Affirm, a leading Buy Now, Pay Later provider, has racked up $2.8B in losses since 2019. (Sherwood News)

America now spends more money on dining out than it does on food at home. Residual pandemic behaviors and soaring food prices are both factors. (Sherwood News)

The stock market hit a record high for the fourth week in a row. Performance was buoyed mainly by healthy CPI numbers and roaring tech stocks. (Investor's Business Daily)

Why student loan forgiveness sparks anger. A philosopher, attorney general, sociologist and religious thought expert weighed in on one of the more controversial policy fights related to personal finance. (CNBC)

If Threads feels testy lately, it's because Meta began offering engagement bonuses of up to $5,000 for posts. The offer is by invite only, presumably to attract influential creators over from other platforms. (Social Media Today, from April 2024)


AI and Future Tech

Why Perplexity’s cynical theft represents everything that could go wrong with AI. The AI startup, which has a search engine, has courted controversy regarding the degree to which its LLM plagiarizes stories from media publications, most notably Forbes. (Forbes)

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is building an AI empire. Inside Microsoft's efforts to build its AI functionalities in-house and leave OpenAI behind in the long term. (The Wall Street Journal)

Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address AI, which he did at a G7 summit. (AP News)

The new AI buzzword is 'Slop.' It refers to shitty content, and how production of slop at scale can have disinformation and consumer well-being consequences. (Also, if you can't be bothered to write it, why should I be bothered to read it? 🤔) Glad we have a term for this now. (CNET)

On a lighter future tech note, a Finnish startup has figured out how to manufacture protein from air and electricity alone. The innovative field is known as “cellular agriculture.” (South China Morning Post)



Our Queerest Century: A series on LGBTQ+ people’s indelible contributions. Gorgeous package from the LA Times examining 100 years of queer history. (Los Angeles Times)

Lynn Conway passed away at 86. The Dell engineer who made breakthroughs in chip development was fired in 1968 for announcing her gender transition; Dell issued a public apology in 2020. (Axios)

RuPaul raised $2 million for the Drag Defense Fund at an event in partnership with the ACLU. (LGBTQ Nation)

One year after a national backlash, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Pride night on Friday was the most successful Pride night in any U.S. sport league, with an estimated 20,000 tickets sold. (OutSports)

In ‘Queer Planet,’ Andrew Rannells narrates a Peacock documentary that looks at the animal kingdom through a Pride lens. (CNN)

Gay pride revelers in Sao Paulo reclaim Brazil's national symbols. A profile of Sao Paulo Pride, at a time when Brazil has the highest number of trans homicides in the world for the 16th straight year. (AP News)

The Trevor Project released a coming out handbook. (The Trevor Project)

‘The blue dot in a red state:’ LGBTQ Alabamians celebrate 5th annual Renaissance City Pride. Remarkable profile of an event in the deep South that started as a party in a Marriott hotel ballroom and once attracted a KKK demonstration. (GLAAD)

The American Cancer Society released a pioneering LGBTQ+ cancer report. It examines the cross-section of cancer diagnoses and treatments specific to queer people. (Philadelphia Gay News)

The origins of gay slang, some of which can be traced back to the 19th century. This article also explores the recent rise in gay slang going more mainstream. (LGBTQ Nation)

What happened when one user put “No Republicans” in his Grindr profile. (Slate)


I've found your next TikTok rabbit hole: KVT Fine Art. Kim-Vi Tran is a self-taught painter who quit her day job to focus full-time on a very niche offering: Live wedding painting.

For rates ranging from $3,750-$5,750, plus travel, Kim-Vi will attend your wedding, then paint a portrait of one of the ceremonies' special moments, live, at the reception.

via Instagram

This is a premium service because it demands premium skills: speed painting, rapport with guests and the ability to bounce back from lots of interruptions. In an increasingly AI world, people will crave services like this because we all want to feel something. In my opinion, THIS is the future of solopreneurship.

I had a happy cry watching these and maybe you will too! Check out Kim-Vi Tran's work on TikTok and Instagram.

Cheering you on,


Sign up for Financialicious

A free email newsletter on personal finance, business, LGBTQ+ matters and how they all intertwine. Written by Out Magazine finance columnist Nick Wolny.

You've already made it this far. Sign up for free, unsubscribe at any time.

Sign Up