7 LGBTQ+ Podcasts That Are British, Badass, & Downright Entertaining
I used to feel that podcasting was dominated by the straight male voice, with everything seeming to come back to three guys in a room, sitting around a microphone and talking over each other. Luckily, that no longer feels the case, with a brilliant crop of British LGBTQ+ podcasts and radio series offering new points of view. From the history of the gay rights movement in the UK to interviews with the most important activists and advocates, there's plenty of material out there to pique your interest.
The great thing about podcasts is that they're here for us in all our moments of need. Maybe you're looking for something interesting to listen to on your morning commute to work. Perhaps you want to take a break from your screen for a few hours, or maybe you need a distraction as you finish the last few kilometres on the treadmill. Interestingly, according to clinical psychologist Dr. Christopher Friesen, the latter is one of the best times to tune in, because increased brain activity when exercising means lots of cognitive space becomes available for absorbing new information.
Whatever your hour of need, this list will provide you with lots of options to keep you occupied. Also, all of these podcasts are recorded in Britain, and platform some of the most interesting LGBTQ+ voices from all over the country, offering a more familiar view point than those offered by the our American counterparts. So, grab your headphones and get ready to dive in, because here is the cream of the crop of British LGBTQ+ podcasts.
1. 'Homo Sapiens'
The institution that is BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour was the inspiration for Will Young and Chris Sweeney to start their own podcast. The pair focuses on the same format and magazine-style approach as Jane Garvey and Jenni Murray, but deal specifically with LGBT+ issues. “We wanted it to be people who had done something progressive or transgressive for the LGBT+ community,” Sweeney said in July 2017 an interview with The Telegraph. Guests so far have included activist Jack Monroe, musician Mykki Blanco, and Guardian columnist Owen Jones.
2. 'Prejudice & Pride'
This six-part series from the National Trust makes for incredible listening and is essential if you are interested in British LGBTQ+ history. Hosted by the legendary Clare Balding, the series explores hidden stories and important figures in UK history, celebrates queer performance, and discusses the "herstory" of lesbian sexuality through the decades.
3. 'The Gay Agenda'
Broadcaster, illustrator, and writer Rylan Cavell takes a fresh look at LGBTQ+ issues in this podcast, which often includes contributions from drag king Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow and comedian Kate McCabe. The Gay Agenda generally covers a really broad variety of topics, and the episodes are also often close to the two-hour mark, so you shouldn't run out too quickly.
4. 'Being Transgender'
Amnesty Factual released the three-part series Being Transgender in early 2018. Each episode deals with trans rights, what it means to be trans and non-binary in the UK today, media representations of homosexuality, and transition. The second episode also mentions the world's largest transgender festival, Sparkle, which takes place in Manchester in July, with this year's festival set to be the biggest and best to date.
5. 'British LGBTQ History'
Developed by the Historical Association, this series provides an insightful and more academic look at the background of LGBTQ life in Britain, from the 1800s through to the Civil Rights Movement, and into the present day. It features lecturers from Birkbeck University, University of Sussex, and Reading University, and offers a comprehensive look at gay history in the UK, with each episode dealing with a specific time frame.
6. 'Word Of Mouth'
This is a one-off podcast which was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 back in February 2018, but is still available to download. It deals with gender-neutral language, gender identity, and features CN Lester, author of Trans Like Me: A Journey For All Of Us. I highly recommend it if you are interested in genderqueer issues.
7. 'Attitude Heroes'
Attitude produced a brilliant series last year to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. The series, which features an incredible line-up of guests, including Tom Daley, Ian McKellen, and Gok Wan, ran for the entirety of 2017, so there are a lot of episodes to get through.
With a diverse range of voices equally covering LGBTQ+ history and current affairs, these podcasts offer a thought-provoking, educational, and often really amusing listen.