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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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A Deep Dive into Queer Indonesian History

It’s so cool to have a big ol’ nerd as a guest. In this case Harits will run you through the past fifty years of Indonesian History from a queer point of view. As the main guy behind the Queer Indonesian Archive we could have gone a lot further, but in the best case it will be a reason to invite him, or one of his colleagues, again some time.

One of the most wicked stories he pointed out is the tale of Waria spies: A group of trans women who tried to fight an oppressive regime. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any more sources on the tales of these bad-ass folks but in case you come across a link or two, dear listener, you know where to find me. Check out the contact info below.

In recent Indonesian History Queer acceptance took a turn for the worse. However, a bunch of young activists are fighting for more rights. This once again proves how tolerance does not equal acceptance. If this seems broad and vague, listen to the episode to find out more. And to be honest, for someone who works with musicians, we didn’t talk a whole lot about music but fret not. There’s plenty of stories to go around.

CW: Homophobia, Transphobia, Systematic Oppression, Violence and a brief mention of HIV-Aids

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Flashback Track: Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood – Storybook Children
Queer Artist Spotlight: Guruh Soekarno Putra – Lagu Putih
Best Live Experience: Franz Ferdinand – Michael
Recent Discovery: Arthur Sharpe – My Only Worry

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Dealing with the Trans discourse

It’s obvious I’ve been out of the running for a bit. I thought I had my research done right, but Neel kept on proving me wrong. Isn’t it wonderful to have so many international connections who teach you something at every turn? In this case, Neel points out the trans discourse when it comes to cultural differences between trans women and Hijra people in India. And that’s just one example.

Unfortunately, this episode suffers from some audio issues. Don’t worry though, after track number two these will largely be resolved.

Speaking of discourse, I know the women with an x conversation has been firing up lately, but I do think Neel has some good reasons for her to use it. What do you think? Let me know through the contact form or the QS-socials.

Anyway, every now and again we’re tired of the trans discourse ™, but we can miss out on it as well. Me as much as everybody else. This isn’t related to the episode perse, but it is something I wanted to share with you. The limited social interactions I’ve had recently have been disappointingly cis. I’m blessed with a lot of friends but I do miss hanging out with other Queer folks. Relatable? Drop me a line through @Queersoundspod on Twitter or Instagram.

CW: Transphobia

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Flashback Track: Imon Chakraborty – Ajo Sakhi
Queer Artist Spotlight: Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel
Best Live Experience: When Chai Met Toast – Believe
Most Recent Discovery: Phoebe Bridgers – Motion Sickness

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Update

Hey y’all. I’m sorry, No full episode today. The first time in a while I’m missing the release schedule since I’ve had one which, on one hand is weird but also puts this complete lack of an issue in perspective. No hard feelings, ok?

Open the Gate!

Maja refuses to deal with any gatekeepers. For too long people around her have been continuously forcing her in uncomfortable positions for a number of reasons. Well, no more. With Queers To The Front she runs a grassroots indie label that prioritises marginalised people and their largely political messages. Gate? What gate?

As someone who operates in a niche within a niche, Maja still needed to cut off some even more obscure personal interests in order to make her business consistent. However, Clever as she is, she managed to create an organisation that hopefully makes the music industry a safer space for trans and otherwise queer people.

The reason this podcast will probably never make it big is, partly, it’s host getting dragged along in big nerdy rabbit holes. In the end I don’t even feel like I made the point I wanted to make. Oh well. Do you have any thoughts about Green Day’s relevance in today’s musical and cultural landscape? Get in touch through the contact link below!

CW: Transphobia

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Flashback Track: Green Day – J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)
Queer Artist Spotlight: Pity Party – Grindmother
Best Live Experience: Kermes – Terms
Most Recent Discovery: Pom Pom Squad – Cut My Hair

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A Strong Nineties Feel

From Reggae music versus colonialist legislation. When you think about the nineties, you’ll probably think of the 1990’s but the 1890’s get a mention as well. I do realise a hundred years is a long time to cover, but under the guise of Black history month it’s seems like the appropriate time to at least mention these decades. Here with me to discuss them is none other than Yvee from Galck.

The most recent nineties are obvious: personal memories as well as the political climate of the time form the backdrop to Yvee’s childhood. Growing up in Kenya, Reggae was unavoidable and that left its mark on them.

The history further back is more of a recent activity. With Repeal 162 GALCK, or the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, and a collection of other organisations are trying to finally get rid of homophobic legislation put in place by British Colonial law. Because of course it is.

So, I’m not entirely sure if Dyke is a word that has been reclaimed and broadly accepted. Yvee definitely uses it in a reclaimed way, even though I’ve always been under the impression it’s a slur. Please share your thoughts trough the contact form.

CW: Racism, Homophobia, Colonialism

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Flashback Track: Bob Marley – Redemption Song
Queer Artist Spotlight: Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
Best Live Experience: Koffee – Burning
Most Recent Discovery: Lizzo – T-Baby

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Maruf and the Crossroads of Identity

As promised a couple of episodes ago, the chairperson of Maruf is my guest in this episode. Dounia Jari has a long and diverse resumé so all the more to talk about. However, her work for this queer Muslim organisation, might just be the most impressive. Rumor has it, that when i reached out to Maruf, Dounia and her colleagues had a little bit of an argument about who would be sent over to represent them.

At this point you should know how uncomfortable I can get when conversations heat up. In this case Dounia and I ended up in a debate about the difference between pan and bi. Obviously everyone identifies themselves in a way they seem fit. However, definitions should not devalidate others. Either way, I think i handles this conversation well. In case you disagree, there’s a contact link below.

I need to be careful with Dutch guests. I don’t want these conversations to get too in-crowd. But then again, i’m not even sure if you’re experiencing them that way. Either way, I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favourite Dutch Classics when Dounia mentioned that type of music as one of her dads favourites. Check it out in the shownotes below.

CW: Racism, Homophobia, Biphobia

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Flashback Track: Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
Queer Artist Spotlight: Azis – Sen Trope
Best Live Experience: Amartey – Money
Recent Discovery: Otile Brown (Feat. Reekado Banks) – Jamila

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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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