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Music plays a huge role in queer life. With so many memories, anecdotes and other stories that have songs attached to them, it would be a shame if no one would ever share them.

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Croatian Queer in a Meadow

Lesbian Organisation Rijeka (LORI), is one of the the oldest queer initiatives of Croatia, founded in 2000. Our guest today, Antonija Stojanović Almesberger, founded its sister event: Smoqua, a queer feminist festival. Based by the Croatian coast she fights for the legal rights and living standards of queer people.

Although Rijeka seems to be a nice and tolerant meadow compared to the rest of the country, there’s a lot of room for improvement. For example, Antonija had to work though some loopholes just to get enough funding that would help set up Smoqua. Though a bit generalising, she refers to a research that points out the Croatian public opinion is more conservative than they were sixty years ago. In turn, this only makes her more passionate about fighting for equal rights for people of all genders and sexualities.

Despite her activist fire, her dearest musical memory takes place in a calm grassy field. She fondly remembers that day of live music out in the open. I forgot to ask of there is a link between her organising a festival and having seen bands play en plein air, but sometimes questions like that slip through the cracks. Have you seen any great open air live shows as well? Let us know through the contact form below!

Content warning: War, Homophobia

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Flashback Track: Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World
Queer Artist Spotlight: Queen – I Want to Break Free
Best Live Experience: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
Recent Discovery: Gnucci – Fuck What They Want, We Are What They Need

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Every Genre, Every Gender

Formed in Madison, Wisconsin, Kat and the Hurricane bring you every gender and every genre in their fun and heartfelt pop music. Mostly influenced by 80’s synth wave and midwest emo this trio writes about their own mental health issues, dating, and, of course, their gender identity.

Although their music has clearly defined sound, Alex, Kat and Ben are not quite sure what the most influential decade in music history is. Sure, the eighties with the cure is high up there. Though they also want to highlight the zeroes era of Tegan and Sara. Personally, I’m more a fan of the seventies, but what do you think? Leave your thoughts though the contact form below!

We ran a bit long this episode, but I guess that’s just what happens when you’re vibing. These three kinda threw me off guard several times to bounce questions back to me, which is something I’m not quite used to. Recording with four people was also something I was not quite accustomed to. I’m really enjoying the dynamic back and forth between this larger number of people though. Should I invite more people more often or was this too chaotic? If you want to share your opinions, you know where to find me.

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Flashback Track: Hoobastank – The Reason
Queer Artist Spotlight: PVRIS – Holy
Best Live Experience: Lucy Dacus – In The Air Tonight
Episode Special: Kat & The Hurricane – Out of My Mind

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Listen to Your Inner Self

After Faris left their home country of Ethiopia and settled in Austria there was a clear need for social contact. There’s power in numbers so creating a platform for black people in Austria only made sense. It will come as no surprise that having a social environment, a place to chill and having someone to listen to, proved hugely helpful.

Of course, I always try to make an episode as good as they can be but sometimes I fail to bring my A-game. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just listen and think. This conversation helped me with checking my own ignorance. For example, artists from Africa hardly ever get the credit they deserve. It’s really worth the effort to seek out artists like Fatouma Diawara and the stuff they put out. Especially their own material, not just the collaborations with white artists.

Damn. Talking about throwing myself under the bus. The last part of the episode really doesn’t show me at my best. Luckily Faris was very patient with me. They were willing to take the time and carefully explain their thoughts on sexism and racism. It’s no coincidence that black bodies need to be sexually explicit in order to become a hit. For more on this you can check the link in the shownotes.

CW: Racism, Sexism

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Flashback Track: Prince – Purple Rain
Queer Artist Spotlight: Moses Sumney – Cut Me
Best Live Experience: Liniker – Parasente
Recent Discovery: Dua Saleh – Sugar Mama

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Gay Best Friend Herd Mentality

As a film major Nic really has some interesting stuff to add surrounding the Gay Best Friend trope. Whether it’s about how superficial the representation is, or it’s capitalist implications, there are plenty of things to take issue with. He himself used to be the gay best friend in highschool so with his insights we’re getting ready to deconstruct this!

Enough can be said about stereotypes in cinema or TV, but then to play Lady Gaga’s Born this Way on the show is just as much of a stereotype, right? Its quite interesting how this artist became synonymous with white cis gay culture. So much so that it may or may not have created a herd mentality. You’ll just have to listen to the episode to hear our thoughts on the matter.

Nic is not just an expert on gay representation, he also talks about it in the podcast Queer Queue. Check it out in the link below. With the time off well have approaching the holidays, also don’t hesitate to leave any movie recommendations!

As you might notice the audio quality is not as good as you might be used to. There were some issues with finding a time and place to record. Know I did my very best to make it sound as great as possible.

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Flashback Track: Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Queer Artist Spotlight: Lauv feat. Troye Sivan – I’m so Tired
Best Live Experience: Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Recent Discovery: Sufjan Stevens – Visions of Gideon

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Letting go of certain names

Calling someone by a nickname is incredibly common place in Thailand. Apart from the practical reasons such as reducing the amount of syllables, it most definitely also has some queer advantages. Worapon explains how easy it is to let go of the names your parents gave you.

Then there are names which are a lot harder to get go. In this episode we dive into the feeling of losing your first big love and how that might impact your life. Some might say you can’t get back to dating unless you’ve moved on. Others claim dating is the perfect method to forget about your ex. But is possible to move on, even though you still have feelings for them?

Lastly, there are names we probably should get rid off in a different context. Artists who appropriate cultures trying to appeal to a global audience should see that backfire. I did consider to skip the Hwasa track for this exact reason. The reasons I played it anyway are simple: I’m spineless and didn’t dare to ask Worapon to pick a different track last-minute. Besides, my cultural impact with this podcast is so minimal, it’s not like i’m promoting anyone here. At least I hope that’s true. If not, please drag me through the mud as well.

CW: Human trafficking, Racism, Discrimination, Queerphobia

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Flashback Track: 2002 ราตรี (2002 Ratree) – จีนี่ จ๋า (Genie Ja)
Queer Artist Spotlight: Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover
Best Live Experience: Jeremy Zucker – comethru
Recent Discovery: Hwasa – Maria

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Pan-African Queerness

Pan African Dumi

Botswana decriminalised same-sex relationships in 2019, on June 11th, but that doesn’t mean all is good and well now. Dumi and the African Queer Youth Initiative fight for the Pan-African rights of Queer people. Because even though a lot of progress have been made in the past, there is still a long way to go. To put it in broad terms, there’s more to be achieved through working together than by navel gazing and figuring it all out yourself. Something obvious like an AGM (Annual General Meeting) can already be a huge help to boost morale as well as a fun way to exchange ideas.

Unfortunately, the show did not end the way we’d hoped. It’s been a challenge to get this recording going on, but not everything always goes as planned. In this case, the internet connection on Dumi’s end was not quite ideal. However, we still had quite a long conversation so here’s what we ended up with.

Something we were not able to talk about was why some tracks got picked. For example, Dumi picked a life track instead of a personal concert experience. Simply because they were not able to go to shows, despite being a performer themself. Feel free to share your own favourite concert experiences! Get in touch through the QueerSounds socials or the contact form below.

CW: suicide, violence, genocide, abuse

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Flashback Track: Choir of St. John’s College, Cainbrigde – Silent Night
Queer Artist Spotlight: Brenda Fassie – Nomakanjani
Best Live Experience: Aretha Franklin – Nessun Dorma
Recent Discovery: Letta Mbulu – Not Yet Uhuru

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Asexual and Anxious

Ace and anxious

From October 25th to October 31st it’s Asexual Awareness Week! Because of this, this episode is all about our Ace pals including our latest guest: Pancake, founder of action group Aces NRW. Like your dear podcast host, this non-binary hero is moving through activist spaces. However, Pancake is taking it a step further. Through an organisation x stands up for all ace people throughout the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Pancake describes xself as late to the party, which funnily enough seems to be a recurring issue. Both the realisation of a queer identity and developing x’s own taste in music were things that happened later in life. Unfortunately, this came with the problem of getting into My Chemical Romance after they split up. Frank Iero eventually pulled Pancake over the threshold of social anxiety into a live music environment. Maybe MRC could have managed the same thing if only those paths had crossed sooner.

In a weird way Pancake feels like a German counterpart to me. It’s not quite like looking into a mirror, but the similarities are piling up. We’re both on the Asexual spectrum, both non-binary, we both found a sense of self in emo-culture. You get the point. The list goes on and on. As a result, I tend to share my own stories instead of actually interviewing. Sorry for that. Nevertheless, I sure am glad I’ve made a friend though this podcast I can share these experiences with.

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Flashback Track: My Chemical Romance – I’m not Okay
Queer Artist Spotlight: CSS – Music is My Hot Hot Sex
Best Live Experience: Bury Tomorrow – Black Flame
Recent Discovery: Rina Sawayama – XS

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A Lesbian Sense of Confidence

Vera: a lesbians sense of confidence

Vera Siemons is a DJ at the Dutch radio station 3fm and hosts a women-loving-women media podcast called The Lesbian League, freely translated. However, she hasn’t always been this open about her sexuality. This was in part because of some very persistent toxic thoughts, which are damn hard to unlearn.

In fact, it took a while for Vera to come to terms with being a lesbian but music was there every step of the way. At first there were some hints towards her liking girls. For example something that, with the power of hindsight, could be labeled as a crush on Avril Lavigne. Everyone who went through an alternative fase in the early aughts can relate to that, probably. A few years later there was a fateful night that showed the power living your truth. Finally, in there here and now, she’s using her platform at Dutch public radio to get more queer artists on air.

It’s been some time since I had a Dutch person on, so I figured it might be time to look for a guest closer to home. Thankfully, Vera was kind enough to give her thoughts on meeting new people, insight into her musical development as well as some reactions to her work. In case we’re completely wrong about what the US equivalent to 3fm would be, don’t hesitate to get in touch through the link below. Also, feel free to drop a line with your favourite radio stations, no matter where you’re from.

CW: Misogyny, Internalised homophobia

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Flashback Track: N.E.R.D. – Maybe
Queer Artist Spotlight: Arlo Parks – Eugene
Best Live Experience: King Princess – 1950
Recent Discovery: 070 Shake – Morrow

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The Queer Pop Divas’ Live Show

Live Queer Pop Tunes

Jeesh I was nervous. Can you tell? The idea was to talk about queer pop divas, a history dating back to the 60’s, if not further. If anything, this experience shows that Fabian and I don’t have what it takes to truly shine on stage. But why should it matter, right? Every now and again you should get out of your comfortzone a little bit.

Now, in case you’re thinking, why does the name Fabian sound so familiar? Well, that might just be because you remember him from Episode Five: Vaporwave and the Trans Experience. In this show he’s back for a continuation of our conversation about hyper pop., but also to share some updates on his own series of online queer parties and spill his thoughts on pop divas throughout the ages.

That being said, I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the Dutch Podcast festival, checked the show through the live stream and interacted on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the other shows, panels and workshops they put together through Podcastfestival.nl. Don’t forget to leave some feedback. You can find the link to the contact from below.

Song 1: Diana Ross – No Matter What Sign You Are
Song 2: Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me

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The Gay Singer-Songwriter Trope

Gay singer songwriter Kenyth Mogan

As a gay boy growing up in the countryside, fabulous cartoons and musicals made his childhood. Because he had to deal with homophobia and a severe lack of media representation, it took Kenyth a couple of years longer to realise who he is as a person than would have been the case if he were brought up in a supportive environment. By extension his expectations for the future got very confusing. Luckily, that all changed throughout the years. Partly, because of music!

As trope-y as it may seem, Kenyth Mogan left his home state Montana with a twinkle in his eyes and a song on his lips. In LA he didn’t manage to become the big-shot pop star he set out to be, but he did find a place in which he can unapologetically be himself. Along the way he got the occasional reminder that having fun is the most important part in making music which can eventually lead to praise from your biggest idol and inspiration.

As a kid from the 80’s, his musical choices reflect the time in which he grew up. However, he’ll always pick the side of the underdog. Be prepared for an episode that stands up for underappreciated artists, whether that’s do to public image or just because of how bad, yet fun their music is. Kenyth might be the first white cis gay man on this podcast, but don’t let that be an excuse to accuse him of not having an interesting and fun story.

CW: homophibia, drug use.

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Flashback Track: Jem & The Holograms – Jem Theme Song
Queer Artist Spotlight: Marilyn’s Boys – Hot Stuff
Best Live Experience: Tiffany – Open My Eyes
Recent Discovery: Alexz Johnson – Living Colour

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