Annually, we celebrate Pride month in June to remember and honour the 1969 Stonewall riots where the LGBT+ community launched a number of protests in response to the police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York (more on that here). We’ve certainly come a long way since then. Yet, recent Pride London figures show that almost a third of LGBT+ people have faced some sort of discrimination from others in the local community. We all need to do better and there’s still more work to be done to achieve true equality worldwide – #LoveIsLove.
Much of that progress comes down to knowledge. Knowledge around our unconscious bias, knowledge around LGBT+ history and how we can better support the community and be allies in their mission. For the Station Rd team, this has meant time spent on learning and seeking out useful resources. And as part of that, over the last few weeks we’ve been listening to some fantastic LGBT+ podcasts that we think you should check out if you haven’t already.
Hosted by Tobin Low and Kathy Tu, this podcast explores what it means to be a part of the LGBT+ community (with a US focus). It doesn’t shy away from the difficult topics and encourages more open conversations – something that we should all be thinking about. Not one to shy away from ‘direct’ conversations, our account manager Rachel Williams plugged in.
“Would you ever consider sex education to be lifesaving? Before this podcast, I’d have likely said no – let’s be honest, UK Personal and Social Education isn’t really up to the mark for young people (at least that was my experience). But a young trans woman named Elizabeth made waves in the Colorado sex education bill hearing when she made this very declaration in the courtroom, stating that without the sex-ed she received, she’d likely ‘be in a grave with a name on the headstone that she didn’t recognise’. If that isn’t proof of how important inclusivity can be, I don’t know what is.
“But this podcast also delves into how your sexuality can be a barrier to getting the healthcare you need in the US; shaping an inclusive Black Lives Matters movement with ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ which tackles the difficult subject of violence against trans people with reference to Iyanna Dior’s brutal assault in Minnesota; lack of employment protection for LGBT people in the US and so much more.
“This podcast is topical, relevant and completely fearless when it comes to creating open conversations, something that should be applauded and will completely appeal to podcast lovers everywhere. Although the series is coming to an end this June (sad face), there are five series to catch up on which are not to be missed if you want to be challenged and open yourself up to new perspectives.”
If history is more your bag, then this podcast is the one for you. Ran by Morgan M Page, this self-proclaimed ‘one and only trans podcast’ brings all the ‘dirt, gossip and glamour’ from trans history, telling individual stories, giving political and social context. Our designer, Emma Nicholls took on this one.
“My favourite episode, ‘A Sister Act’ looks at the two lives of two trans women as they move through the drag balls of the 1960s, the golden era of porn in the 1970s, and the underground performance art scene of the 1980s. Bringing the ‘dirt, gossip and glamour’ as promised, it tells the story of the two trans women navigating their way through a world which seems pitted against them, yet the determination and battle to live their lives freely always shines through.
“It does have its challenging moments too. During an episode discussing Steve Dain and his fight to keep teaching after a sex change, it shocked me to hear of people purposefully finding ways to get Steve fired from his teaching job, even referring to him as ‘it’ and stating that ‘all the other sexual weirdos will be trying to teach now.’ The thought of other people going out of their way to suppress someone just because you do not conform to their idea of who everyone should be and what is ‘right’ is bewildering to me. It certainly makes you check your privilege.”
Started in 2016 and produced by Advocate magazine, this series tells the stories of some of the most important members of LGBT+ history (many of whom are still alive today). Perhaps our head of operations, Matt Davies was drawn to this one because of his love of storytelling but it offers weekly interviews with some of the most interesting LGBT+ people in the world.
“Is bad representation better than no representation? It’s a question that remains unanswered. Sam Feder’s interview with Alex Schmider focuses on the Trans Community and the Netflix documentary ‘Disclosure’. However, it opens an interesting discourse around authenticate storytelling for the LGBTQ community. ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’. Much of our understanding of the LGBTQ community comes from TV and film – lacking a richness of representation. What I found quite interesting was the idea that visibility isn’t the end-goal but it needs to lead to wider acceptance. And so, the ‘lazy’ narratives and cultural understandings need to change, more than just the ‘extreme’ representations of uber-glamour or victims of violence. This means more LGBTQ writers, directors – seeking out fewer mainstream voices in favour of independents – in our news but also our entertainment.
“In another episode (Pete Buttigieg: The Big Gay Interview), I was not surprised but troubled by the fact you can still be fired in some parts of the US for being part of the LGBTQ community – despite Buttigieg’s suggestion of American’s ‘Moral Authority’. How different the US is to the UK? Would an openly gay President force less tolerant countries into a conversation? Buttigieg raises an interesting point about ‘engaging people as humans’ because it’s much easier to criticise a minority category. The interview took place in April 2019 and fast-forward twelve months, Buttigieg has dropped out of the race and endorses Joe Biden in his election campaign. However, it’s important to note that Buttigieg is the first LGBTQ candidate to win a state presidential primary.”
If we’ve missed any of your current favourites, please tweet us @stationrdmktg. Happy listening!