By Grace M.
I’ve always been a verifiably Bad Podcast Listener.
It’s true. I always loved the idea of podcasts, but could never incorporate them into my day-to-day life enough to keep up with any of the hundreds that people were constantly recommending to me. I’d try to put them on while working, but trying to focus on the words on my screen over the ones in my ears wasn’t great for productivity. Podcasts weren’t motivating enough to listen to when I worked out (but, to be fair, very few things are as motivating as a playlist of P!nk’s greatest hits). Any other activity wasn’t a long enough period of time to allow me to finish a full episode, so I’d end up abandoning it 20 minutes in and never returning.
That all changed when I realized my emotional health as the nanny of a young baby relied on daily walks through the neighborhood. He enjoys watching the cars and dogs we spot, and I enjoy the sound of other adults coming through my earbuds. It’s mindless enough so I don’t lose track of the conversation, but it also feels productive, like I’m dedicating time every day to getting outside, moving my body, and learning something new.
With this newly established routine, I’m making my way through a lot of amazing podcasts these days. Here are some of my favorites that center LGBTQ people and stories, all of which are great educational tools for anyone looking to learn more about the LGBTQ community.
Hosted by Cameron Esposito
Best enjoyed while: Taking a walk alone when you’re in the mood to laugh but also get a little introspective.
Cameron Esposito is a stand up comic who I’ve long admired for her ability to discuss politics and LGBTQ/women’s rights (both through her stand up and her brilliant Twitter account) in an incredibly accessible, poignant, and hilarious way. Her new podcast Queery brings us intimate and insightful conversations with LGBTQ musicians, activists, and writers. This podcast is great if you, like me, enjoy listening to people’s stories about growing up, coming out, and living and working as an LGBTQ person. Plus, I always finish each episode having drawn new connections within my own experiences, and I have cried while listening to no less than two episodes.
2. Never Before
Hosted by Janet Mock
Best enjoyed when: Stuck in traffic
Janet Mock is a writer, activist, and trans icon, and we can now all enjoy her ultra-calming voice (hence the “stuck in traffic” suggestion) as she sits down with actors, activists, and politicians to discuss what has shaped them and what motivates them to continue their work. Janet Mock is an incredibly talented interviewer who is able to cut to the heart of the matter with ease, a skill that was most likely honed to a tee while hosting her own TV show on MSNBC. If you’re new to the concept of intersectionality, this podcast perfectly demonstrates how things like race, gender, and class intersect with each other.
Hosted by Kathy Tu and Tobin Low
Best enjoyed when: Cooking, with or without company (because Kathy and Tobin are everyone’s BFFs).
Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are real-life queer best friends who have teamed up with WNYC to bring you a journalistic listening experience about all the different facets of being LGBTQ today. Every episode has a set theme—some examples include sex ed, coming out to parents, and queer role models—that it then explores through two to three different segments. Fans of This American Life are strongly encouraged to tune in!
Hosted by Molly Woodstock
Best enjoyed when: You’re ready to expand your mind beyond binaries.
This podcast is great because it exemplifies how differently everyone experiences their gender, while putting transgender and non-binary folks’ voices at the forefront. The host, Molly Woodstock, is a non-binary journalist who sits down with a different trans and/or non-binary person each episode to tackle the age-old question: what even is gender?! If you’re struggling to think about gender as anything other than being a boy or girl, this podcast is a fantastic resource to open you up to new possibilities via real life personal experiences.
Hosted by: Emily McGranachan
Best enjoyed while: You’re worrying about your kid’s future
One of the most common worries we hear from parents after their child comes out is, “What will their future be like? Will I ever be a grandparent?” This podcast from Family Equality Council puts all those worries to bed by discussing a range of topics related to LGBTQ families (adoption laws, donor siblings, and inclusive summer camps being a few), as well as sharing first-person stories from LGBTQ parents and children of LGBTQ parents. Season Two launches this May with all-new episodes!
Even if you yourself are a reluctant podcast listener, I hope something in here has piqued your interest enough to download an episode or two. Podcasts can be incredible resources to learn new things and, in the case of these five podcasts, become a better ally to the LGBTQ community. Be sure to leave the name of your favorite LGBTQ podcast in the comments below!
Grace is the Senior Managing Editor here at My Kid Is Gay and is based in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys Vitamin D (in the form of sunshine, please), podcasts, intersectional feminism, and talking to people about their life goals. Follow her on Twitter @gracemanger