SNACK’s favourite LGBT+ podcasts
2019 may go down as the year the gays were culturally spoiled rotten: with stellar albums from Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Marina and Robyn, our queens really came through for us. But I get it. There is a limit to the amount of times you can indulge in the plethora of audio gold our favourite divas gifted to us last year. Even I can only listen to Madame X so many times in one week. Perhaps you should shift gears and indulge in some LGBT-friendly podcasts? As luck would have it, we have taken the liberty of compiling some essential podcasts for your perusal, a veritable feast of gems that will appeal to people from all walks of life. LGBT+ or ally, there is something here for you. Whether you are looking to laugh, learn or walk in someone else’s shoes, these podcasts will hopefully point you in the right direction.
Throwing Shade (Earwolf)
I have been obsessed with this comedy duo since 2013, when Funny or Die recommended their videos to me. This podcast is hosted by ‘homosensual’ Bryan Safi and ‘feminasty’ Erin Gibson, two wildly talented comedians who present their own takes on pop culture, women’s issues and LGBT rights ‘with hilarity and vulgarity.’ Bryan and Erin are so witty and charming, and they approach issues that may seem initially complicated or hard to discuss with great insight and humour. Undoubtedly my favourite podcast, Throwing Shade has opened my eyes to major problems facing people in our community across the world and, just as importantly, they are hilarious. A must-listen. I would also recommend Erin’s book Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death, her sublime collection of personal essays and insight on the state of affairs for all women in today’s political landscape.
Race Chaser (Forever Dog)
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, assemble: I’m going to instruct you to stop what you’re doing and invest your time in Race Chaser, a podcast dedicated to recapping and delving deep into each episode from the very beginning. Oh, and it’s hosted by Alaska and Willam, two of the series’ best and brightest contestants ever. The chemistry between the two is wonderful in itself, but each queen brings a unique perspective on the series: Alaska is a winner, a superfan and golden girl of the franchise, whereas Willam is the rule breaker, gleefully rattling cages and airing the grittier side of Drag Race, of which viewers may not be aware. They have so far covered seasons 1 to 3, season 11, All Stars 4 and currently season 4, and the inside jokes that have emerged in the two years it’s been on the air are stupendous. Ironically, I would recommend Race Chaser over RuPaul’s own podcast What’s the Tee?, which is more inconsistent in quality and depends completely on the week’s guests (and has a little too much emphasis on astrology and New Age ideology for my personal taste). Though, the Jenifer Lewis episode is GOLD.
The Margaret Cho (The Earios)
Margaret Cho has done everything. And with her mastery of comedy, fashion, music and activism, she is the prime candidate to host a series of intimate chats with celebrities from all walks of life, covering a full spectrum of topics. I have been a longtime fan of Margaret Cho, so to discover last year that she had created her own podcast was a joy. Granted, not all her episodes are specifically LGBT-themed, but as an Asian-American queer woman, everything she contributes to the discussion at hand offers an important voice. She manages to call on some great guests, from Kathy Griffin and Quentin Tarantino, to Trixie Mattel and Jonathan Van Ness, with whom she engages in an informative chat on gender identity and the joy of figure skating.
Shame on You (Stitcher)
We’ve all done things we regret, and even the most innocent among us look back on things we’ve done with regret or, dare I say, shame. Best friends Jordan and Brad have decided that, as gay people, they’ve had their fill when it comes to shame, and that LGBT+ people are taught to feel shame for being themselves and living their lives. They set themselves a life-changing challenge: becoming invincible to shame and sticking the middle finger up at judgement from others and society. The Toronto-based friends embark on a journey of rejecting cultural norms and airing their dirty laundry; not to perpetuate embarrassment, but more to liberate themselves from judgement and self-inflicted shame. They bring on ex-boyfriends and hook ups as guests, share the things that may initially make them wince, and discuss the things in life – gay, straight or anywhere in between – that make us human. Oh, and it’s really funny. Not for the faint of heart…
When the world feels topsy turvy and uncertain, sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves of how far we have come. Nancy allows you to do just that: hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu explore a whole range of topics and stories exploring what it means to be queer today. One of the most powerful episodes features Matthew Shepard’s mother Judy, who explains the immeasurable changes the last 20 years taught her in the wake of her son’s brutal murder. While she recounts the impact Matthew’s death had, especially in bringing about real policy to protect minorities, she offers her own input into how much further we must go to protect LGBT+ people. A great podcast to keep in touch with the issues affecting us the most.