8 LGBTQ History Podcasts You’ll Learn A Lot From
Queer people have always shaped world history, even if historians have often been wary of talking about it. From ancient LGBTQ history, when Roman Emperor Hadrian built a city for his partner, Antinous, after the young man drowned in the Nile in AD 130, to more modern times, when Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (seen in the statue above) brought his poetry into a world overrun by fascist ideology, there is a lot that's been left out of the history books. Fortunately, LGBTQ history podcasts are stepping in to fill the gap, and these eight picks can help you broaden your knowledge.
While a lot of queer-related history has been outside the mainstream for a long time, there's an increasing appetite for it. Shows and films like Pride, about how an LGBT society helped striking Welsh miners under Margaret Thatcher's government in the UK, and Ryan Murphy's Pose, about the NYC queer ball scene in the '80s, have been hits — and speak to how much modern queer people want to know where their community came from. That's the only way to see the momentous achievements we've achieved and how far we still have to go. Tune into these podcasts to dive into the rich world of LGBTQ history.
1. Making Gay History
Making Gay History is a popular queer history podcast, with Eric Marcus and Sara Burningham doing detailed, intimate portraits of the important figures in LGBTQ history in the United States. They profile one person or couple per episode, interview them if possible, and the accompanying articles are filled with primary sources and fascinating detail.
2. Always Here
This is "the history they don't teach in school," according to podcast hosts Miri Josephs and Adrian Webster. They focus on queer figures from politics and entertainment, and shed light on now-forgotten, once-influential pioneers.
3. Queer As Fact
Queer As Fact is a truly international historical podcast; its past few episodes have included Oscar Wilde, Chinese poet Wu Zao and erotic pottery from ancient Peru. Prepare for things to go in unexpected directions.
4. Making Queer History
Laura Mills' Making Queer History is an eclectic Australian mix, veering from portraits of queer figures in history to discussions with experts and bigger-picture issues like the media's representations of homosexuality.
Be prepared for things to get raunchy and very, very funny. Yesterqueer often looks at the saucier side of queer history, from fairytales to bygone scandals, and uncovers truly remarkable stories while it's at it.
6. Oxford LGBT History Month Lectures
For LGBT History Month in 2018, the University of Oxford commissioned a series of lectures from prominent queer activists, historians and academics on what LGBTQ history means, the lives of figures like Alan Turing, and why LGBTQ memory is so important.
7. History Is Gay
History is gay? It totally is. This podcast by two self-described "queer nerds" sets out to "examine the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies from the unexplored corners of history." And it succeeds admirably.
Mattachine came from activist Brad Dunshee's frustration at how little he knew about queer history, and now looks at American LGBTQ history, including modern figures like Brandon Teena, Matthew Shephard and Leelah Alcorn, to preserve them for the historians of the future.
These podcasts want to break through ignorance, stigma and historical straight-washing to make it clear: Queers have always been here, and been changing the world for a long time. These podcasts can help you learn about this under-discussed history, and perhaps you can go on and share the knowledge, too.