By: Gabriela Oré
I am not a podcast connoisseur, but I do have some podcasts that I follow religiously. Usually they have some kind of queer content. Yes, I am a bit monothematic, but you know, it’s fine; I can keep up with politics and the rest of the world somewhere else. Among my favorite podcasts are Queery, with Cameron Esposito; Nancy with Tobin Low and Kathy Thu; and…my guilty pleasure: The Lesbian Romantic by Sigrid Dufraimont.
I can talk about these all day, but today I want to share and discuss Queery. Queery, as described on its webpage, is a one-hour long conversation where famous queer comic Cameron Esposito “explores individual stories of identity, personality and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality and civil rights”. I don’t even remember where I found out about the podcast, but I remember exactly where I was when I listened to the first two episodes.
I was sorting books at the library, a summer part time job before going to the field last year. I remember I was putting away books about German literature and I spaced out for a while as I was listening to the guest talk about not only sexual identity, but also how her gender expression changed along her life. It was mind blowing for her, and, coincidentally, also for me. As I listened to the rest of the episode, I felt that part of my own thoughts were reflected in the various guests that Esposito had in her show.
Starting with her wife also comic Rhea Butcher, Esposito has interviewed more than twenty queer luminaries, often friends or acquaintances in the entertainment industry (although not exclusively). She has had lesbian, transgender, disable, bisexual and gay folks on her show that have poured their hearts over the microphone. Esposito is a warm and thoughtful interviewer. The way she conducts the conversation feels like a casual heart to heart with a close friend while sipping wine. Listening to the conversation, you feel immersed in the narrative of the guests’ life experiences, but you also identify with the stories you are hearing and the thoughts, feelings, and emotions they share. And I personally think that is the key to this podcast’s success. We all have gone through specific situations that are common to queer folks, and that baseline creates an immediate empathy.
As queer folks we are not used to having a platform on which we can see ourselves reflected. Additionally, much of our experiences are so personal, and many times isolating, that hearing that somebody else went through it is comforting, validating and mind blowing. Esposito wants us to bring the conversation with us, and I must agree with her. We need to discuss more queer issues, we need to recognize that our experiences are valid, and we need to feel that we can reach to one another to find that common ground that sometimes escapes us in our day to day queer bubble.
Inclusive conversation, thoughtful comments and funny anecdotes could fill one hour of your week… and several more while you process all of it. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
UPDATE: Esposito has posted a message on the Queery social media about the clossing of Ferral Audio, the podcast network that host her show, but she promise that the show will continue. You can still get the show on the Ferral Audio webpage and on itunes, Google Play or where ever you get your podcast.