Finding the right people to be on Hang Up is quite the process, so by the time we have found our Star and their six Callers, I am attached to each of them– and rooting for all six to make a connection with Timo.

So even though I'm supposed to be neutral, the first hang up always hits me hard. It doesn't seem fair for one person to be eliminated from the show after just a seven minute Speed Dial date (yes, I'm aware that I make the rules).

Out of this feeling came the idea for the Caller Exit Interviews, where I sit down with the Caller who just got hung up on in a one-on-one interview. I want to show you why I chose this person to be on the show, and what Timo is missing out on. Also, we get to hear what they really think about Timo and the other Callers 🤭

🚨Spoilers below (if you haven't yet listened to S2 Ep1: Speed Dial)

Our first Caller to get the hang up was Ryan. We talk about roller derby turning them gay, forming Albuquerque’s most popular polycule, and investing in their LLC– which doesn’t mean what you might think.


Hey y’all! It's me, Caitlin Pierce: the creator and producer of Hang Up. Welcome to another Exit Interview episode, where I'll take you behind the scenes with one of the Callers who got the hang up.

So if you’re not caught up and aren’t yet ready to hear who got hung up on, this is your chance to pause and go back and listen.

Today I’m here with… Ryan. They were the first Caller to get the hang up after our Speed Dial date… and only had seven minutes on the phone with Timo. Ryan is our drag king! Which Timo was ~very~ excited about. 

Timo: Be still my heart. I would be very thrilled to get to know somebody who has taken on that very sexy art form.

Ryan and I talk about roller derby turning them gay, Albuquerque’s most popular polycule, and investing in their LLC… which doesn’t mean what you might think.

Ryan has been a massage therapist for 18 years and was lured into that career through their love of Jelly Bellys…

Ryan: I was living in this town that was right next to a Jelly Belly factory. And you can go, like, as many times as you want to the Jelly Belly factory, and they give you free treats at the end like free jelly bellies. So I saw this commercial, it was for a massage school and they were like, come take a tour. And I was like, "tour the Jelly Belly Factory, get free Jelly bellies. Tour the massage school… obviously you get free massages,” which I didn't, but I signed up and it's been a wild ride. 

Caitlin So the relationship to Jelly Bellies is like, if I do it the tour, I get free xyz. So you were like, that must mean I get a free massage. So you were just in it for the free stuff? 

Ryan: Yes, absolutely. Little baby anti-capitalist. 

Caitlin Do your partners get free massages? 

Ryan: When I was younger they did. 

Caitlin I feel like I've always dreamed about dating a massage therapist for that reason. I think we're both in it for the free stuff. 

Ryan: Right?

Caitlin: So we know you're a catch and we want to, we're definitely going to hear more of why you're a catch and all the things you didn't get to show off in Hang Up. Because you are the caller who got the first hang up. Sad face emoji. Yeah. So sad. So before we dig into all that, I want to play two truths and a lie. So of course, this is when you tell me three facts about yourself, two are true and one is a lie and I have to guess which is the lie.

Ryan: So I went to trade school. I graduated trade school four times. I hooked up with someone during their TRL era and I have gay parents. 

Caitlin What's TRL era?

Ryan: Like, they were like on Total Request Live. 

TRL clip

Caitlin: They were on it?

Ryan: Yeah.

Caitlin: Okay. All of these are so believable. I'm going to say you don't have gay parents. 

Ryan: I don't have gay parents. Yeah. For, like, there was a period of time in, like sixth and seventh grade, though, where they always used to tell me, like, it's okay to be gay. It's okay if you're gay. We lived with lesbians. And I was like, I'm not gay, I'm not gay. 

Caitlin So they knew. 

Ryan: I know, right? 

Caitlin Yeah. 

Ryan: 30 years later, I'm like, "guess what?"

Caitlin So, okay, that means we have to unpack this TRL era person that you dated. Tell me more. 

Ryan: I wouldn't call it dated. 

Caitlin Okay. Sorry. You said hooked up. Okay. 

Ryan: Yeah. We hooked up. Yes. In the back of my hand-me-down 1989 Buick Regal that my grandma gave me in the parking lot of a stadium. So they… I guess their band had gone on tour with this other band that I was, like, pretty good friends with. So this person was like hitting on me hard and I was like, super uninterested. And then I was like, “Hold on. You're like, on the radio all the time. You're on TRL. It's like, when is the next time I'm going to get this opportunity?” 

Caitlin You were like, this is a story I will be telling for years to come. And here we are. 

Ryan: I guess people are saying “do it for the plot” now and I'm like I basically invented it. 

Caitlin So I want to also hear about— I know you're a drag king. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

Caitlin What's your drag name? 

Ryan: Ryder Cox. 

Caitlin Oh my God. Okay. 

Ryan: It has been a really cool and interesting way to kind of, like, explore gender and kind of feel comfortable with a masculine side, like how to walk masculine-ly, like, I guess you like thrust your hips out and you, like, walk with your ween. 

Caitlin Really?

Ryan: Yeah. Literal BDE.

Caitlin I wanna like try this.

Ryan: Yeah. My drag persona is very, like, sexual, you know, and very, like, burlesque-y and stuff. So that's just been, like, really fun because, like, before I came out queer, I have no problem, like, hitting on dudes and getting dates and whatever, but then the switch flipped or whatever, and I guess this is like a sapphic trope, but I'm terrified of, like, talking to people. 

Caitlin Like talking to other queer people. Okay. Yeah. So do you feel like the drag king persona helps with that?

Ryan: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I can flirt it up in the persona for sure. 

Caitlin Whoa. What is it about it? 

Ryan: I don't know. Maybe it's like internalized homophobia. 

Caitlin Oh, okay. Because then you're, like, performing heterosexuality. Woah.

Ryan: Oh, right. 

Caitlin That's like, that really just blew my mind. Wow. Okay. 

Ryan: I feel like I'm in therapy right now. I'm having revelations. 

Caitlin I don't know if I'm doing a good therapy role, but I will ask you lots of questions. So. 

Ryan: Fantastic. Love. 

Caitlin Let's talk about your experience on Hang Up. What was that like for you? 

Ryan: It was super fun. I was kind of, like, excited about being able to, like, practice flirting with people without, like, the stress of being right in front of someone. 

Caitlin I like that you said practice flirting. 

Ryan: It's like fully a skill, right? 

Caitlin: Yes.

Ryan: Like I was a very… So I have ADHD and like trauma and like probably a little bit of autism too. So my childhood was a lot of, like watching and like learning and then like in, like middle school and high school, I read a lot of like how to books, guilty of, like reading The Pick Up Artist book, but we didn't know it was a different time. 

Caitlin We didn't we didn't. It’s true. I'm like, I like that you learn that because it's like for men, though, right? Yeah. Okay. 

Ryan: Yeah. But I was like mm. 

Caitlin I need to know. And now Ryder Cox can, you know, use those things. Yeah. 

Ryan: Yeah. I just neg all day. That's all I do. 

Caitlin He's a toxic king.

Ryan: No, that's the opposite of Ryder. Ryder is like such a ladies man.

Caitlin Okay. Okay. Obviously you got, like, a small taste of the other Callers, but I'm curious about. Like your predictions for like how the show or how this season will play out. 

Ryan: There was one person who was very talkative and I was like, this person is more on than me. 

Cedar: I’ve got this in the bag so you might as well just hang up now.

Caitlin That is Cedar. Yeah. 

Ryan: Yeah. So I was like, ooh, a little competition. 

Caitlin What did you think about that energy? 

Ryan: What I'm saying is in the context of seven people being on the phone, like no personal judgments or anything, but, like, I was like, oh, they're like a little, like overbearing. Like they definitely like, draw the attention, you know? But you're on a dating reality show. So of course that's what you're going to do. But I was just like I felt like a little shrinking violet. I was like oh my gosh.

Caitlin It's hard to like compete with that energy. 

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. 

Caitlin Um what were you hoping to get out of this experience? 

Ryan: I was kind of coming into it like super open cup. I was in a long distance relationship from here to Colombia, so I already was like, I've got a leg up on having fun dates, right? 

Caitlin: From like far away?

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Or like not in person. 

Caitlin Yeah, totally. 

Ryan: So, I guess it's like Timo's loss. 

Caitlin Believe me, Timo wants to date all of you. So yeah. We'll see. You know, once it's kind of like maybe the reunion, it's going to be just like, utter, you know, dating chaos afterwards. In a good way. So we'll see. 

Ryan: You might have just formed like Albuquerque's most popular polycule. Who knows? 

Caitlin Oh my God, I would love that.

Caitlin: Honestly, though, Timo really seemed like I just have to hang up on one person and, you know, it was like, not like they had strong feelings and there's so many factors. 

Ryan: Yeah. No hard feelings. Still available. 

Caitlin That's a good, like, tagline. No hard feelings. Still available.

Ryan: You could talk to my ex right now and they'll tell you the same thing. 

Caitlin Okay. So you were dating someone in Colombia, and did you describe this relationship in past tense? 

Ryan: Yeah. We recently had broken up. Just the distance just became too much, so. Yeah. But I heard a joke on Tik Tok that was, like, sapphics will date for six months and then break up for 14 years, so obviously, we're still in each other's lives. 

Caitlin Yes, yes. 

Ryan: But yeah, I've never been friends with an ex before, so it's like it's really difficult to try to figure out, like, how much support do I give you? Like, how many times do I say I love you and I miss you, you know what I mean?

Caitlin Zero. 

Ryan: Oh is that? Ooh. Not three times a day?

Caitlin So was this, did this happen before you started on Hang Up or before you…? 

Ryan: It was after, actually. Yeah. When we first started dating, they told me they wanted to try, like, non-monogamy. And I was like, that's going to take me a little bit of work, but it's something that I've been interested in for a while, you know? 

Caitlin So you weren't sure about it and they were?

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. They were like, this is something that I need to try or whatever. And I, you know, I had like, I don't think that monogamy is, like, natural or like for everyone, you know? So I was like, I was open, I just hadn't done the work, you know? So neither of us ended up dating someone. But, yeah, then, like, this opportunity came around and I was like, okay, this is like, first of all, like pressure free, no one is going to hopefully get mad at me for like not marrying them or something. 

Caitlin So this was your… Obviously it's a phone… It was like a short phone date, but still like it was your first date in a non-monogamous situation. What was that like for you? 

Ryan: It was really interesting because I found myself like, oftentimes when I go on a date, I'll kind of like switch into entertainer mode sometimes, you know, because I'm like, I got to be impressive; I’ve got to make a good impression. So for this, I still felt like let me make a good impression. But also I was like, there was just no pressure, you know, I was like, if they don't like me, they don't like me, it’s whatever. Like I'm not going to be alone. But even if I was going to be alone, like that would be fine. But it's a lot easier to not be alone. 

Caitlin Yeah, yeah, you can date someone, but then there's not like that timeline or that part of, like, if I don't snag them now, like what's going to happen? Or like vice versa. 

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. So actually like I got back on the dating apps just to like swipe and then not talk to anyone again. But, you know, like it was a lot less guilt, you know, after having that phone date about like going and seeing what's out there, you know. 

Caitlin Okay. Tell me about the guilt. 

Ryan: Oh. 

Caitlin Sorry. This is not therapy. I promise. 

Ryan: Yeah. You know, just, the same kind of vein with guilt and jealousy. Like in non-monogamy is like I don't want to hurt this person I love. And also, I don't want to hurt my own, like, feelings about, like what is morally good or right, you know? So that takes like a lot of dismantling. 

Caitlin Yeah. 

Ryan: They call it emotional agility. You know, just. 

Caitlin I don't know about this. 

Ryan: Yeah. Fun, exciting, new word. So it's not about, like, withholding emotions. And it's not about just letting them go. It's about being emotionally agile. Like, I can hold it when I need to, and I can express it healthily when I need to. 

Caitlin If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what dating advice would you give them? 

Ryan: You're gay. They're all right. 

Caitlin When did you realize? 

Ryan: I think I was 32. 

Caitlin OK. 

Ryan: There's a joke that goes what’s the difference between a derby girl and a lesbian? Three drinks. 

Caitlin Is that, like, the story? 

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. I went to roller derby, and I was like, oh okay. And then what the real ringer was that first time I went to roller con, and I was like, there's so many different people here and they're all, like, strong and friendly and oh my God. And then I saw the drag Kings and I was like, ooh, whoa. So yeah. 

Caitlin Okay, so the drag kings were part of your coming out process. I don't know if you identify with the term “coming out.” I know it's like very loaded, but. Yeah. Yeah, but of your like…

Ryan: My hatching period. 

Caitlin Your hatching. 

Ryan: My very long incubation. 

Caitlin: Okay. 

Ryan: Yeah. So then, I had some friends, like, my core group were just, like, all lesbians by this time. And, like, a couple of them were the people who I primarily talk to about, like, “I think I might be gay.” And I came up with this, this phrase, I called it, LLC. My lady loving confidence. 

Caitlin Hahaha. 

Ryan: I'm just working on my LLC. My lady loving confidence. Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, yeah, truly roller derby turned me gay. 

Caitlin I don't know if it turned you gay. Just to be clear, I know we just met, but… So the Lady Loving Confidence. What does that actually mean? Is like you like approaching people, though?

Ryan: It was about like being comfortable in queerness. So when I first came out, I was kind of thinking, like, I, this isn't my space. I'm a newcomer. I'm like, I'm a colonizer, you know what I mean? My parents were very liberal, you know, and I'm biracial. And so, like, being respectful of people's spaces was a big thing. So I feel like LLC is more like to do with me and my confidence and like, taking up this new space. 

Caitlin Yeah. Yeah. Well we're so glad you're in this space. And it is your space. 

Ryan: Yeah. I'm so happy to be here. 

Caitlin And it's also really beautiful when other queer people share that they feel that too. And it's like it just helps us all kind of like to take up this space that we we should be, you know, claiming. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

Caitlin Okay, well, get your LLC ready because I'm going to offer you the opportunity to share your real name and your socials if you would like, the listeners to, you know, maybe slide into your DMs, who knows what could happen. 

Ryan: Everyone should slide into my DMs. Absolutely. So my name is Ty Hardy and my socials are, on Facebook. I'm Ty Ty. On TikTok, I'm at the Ryder Cox r-y-d-e-r-c-o-x and then, on Instagram, I'm flaming dog shit. 

Caitlin And we all know how that's spelled. 

If you want to see photos of Ty aka Ryan, subscribe now to our newsletter at Or you can wait until after the reunion, when we’ll post pics on Instagram at hangupshow.

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

Our sound designer, mix engineer, and story editor is Ben Montoya.

And that’s it— our whole team is just three people. We put so much time and love into Hang Up because we believe in this show— And we get to make it weird and silly and queer and exactly what we want it to be because we are independent.

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Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy - hear more at

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S2 Caller Exit Interview: Speed Dial + Photos!