There’s a lot to fight for. From climate issues to queer rights, political change can be very mentally draining. Despite that, Kim decided to make it her job. As a member of the European Parliament, or MEP, she tries to keep the system on edge from within. Then, at the long day she calms down with some fun pop music. Thus, through activism and music, she might just embody the spirit of this show.
This episode is the last stop on the European tour we’ve been on for the past few months and what better way to end it with an MEP. The European Parliament is a fun but complex bureaucratic mess. Although it’s great for someone who likes political puzzles, it’s a hard and horrible task to break them away from their capitalist and queerphobic ways.
It’ll be no surprise that this one is a very political episode. We talk about political dog whistles as well as being exposed to politics at a young age, and how sometimes you have to accept that the lesser of two evils sometimes is your best option, instead of always wanting to solve it yourself. But no worries, there is also some lighter banter in there. For example, should we feel guilty for watching shows that didn’t age too well?
Flashback Track: Big Brother & The Holding Company – Piece of My Heart Queer Artist Spotlight: Lady Gaga – Marry The Night Best Live Experience: Janelle Monáe – Screwed Most Recent Discovery: Ashnikko – Slumber Party (feat. Princess Nokia)
The Christmas Times are upon us! Personally I always link the holidays to Germany. Almost every year I would visit those typical markets with hot chocolate, deep fried snacks and fake snow. However, with all the over the top decorations and loud music I can’t begin to fathom what it must be like to not be invited to celebrate along with everyone else. Zuher has been so kind to give a bit more insight into what it’s like to be Muslim this Christmas.
On this stop during our tour through Europe we talk about what you can do to be a bit kinder to your friendly neighbourhood Muslim this Christmas. For example, did you know non-Christians also enjoy getting gifts? Shocking, right? What’s more this episode: German traditionalism, the value of Queer Arab parties, and certain internationally spread morning rituals.
Just as a quick heads up: on this show we talk about Zuher’s podcast called BBQ: Die Black, Brown Queere Podcast and I can highly recommend you listen to it. However, it might be a bit hard to follow for any non-German speakers out there.
CW: Queerphobia, Racism and a brief mention of terrorism by right-wing extremists.
Flashback Track: Warda – Batwanes Beek Queer Artist Spotlight: Lil Nas X – THATS WHAT I WANT Best Live Experience: Kalis, Andre 3000 – Millionaire Recent Discovery: Kali Uchis, Jhay Cortez – la luz(Fín)
This episode could get quite confrontational. We’ve all had some moments where we would doubt our own identity, but a “fear of queer people” is very serious. We’re diving deep into Victoria’s psyche and try to untangle their thoughts. Latvia has a long way to go when it comes to the acceptance of queer people, so to have this as the environment to grow up in, comes with some severe consequences. Don’t worry though. It doesn’t get too graphic or painful.
Remember, back in episode five when Iron Maiden was first talked about on this podcast? Well, their music finally made it on the show. It might come as no surprise that this band has a particular place in my musical history. In fact, I did cut a lot of sections where I was just talking about my own memories of this band. After a string of episodes with quite some mainstream pop musical choices it’s a nice change of pace to get into more alternative stuff.
What’s more in this episode: Leather pants, more Eurovision and two people trying not to be horrible at playing guitar. We don’t actually play guitar on the pod though, so nothing to worry about there either.
When Cathy left Greece to travel Europe it was an opportunity to go on a journey of self-discovery. This wasn’t the intention they set out with though. The reason they left their birthplace wasn’t clear when they left, to be honest. However, the way they put it: as a child they were always destined for something great. They were right: they’re queer. Meeting new people in so many different countries helped Cathy to figure out their gender, their poetry and general love for life.
You don’t always need to travel Europe to find the best version of what you’re looking for though. According to Cathy mainstream acts only play a disappointing hour to ninety minutes. In their home country however, concerts can go on for hours and hours, and that while maintaining an amazing vocal performance. Call me basic, but now I want a Natassa Bofilliou and Andrea Bocelli collab.
What’s more this episode: a shameless discussion on American early aughts alt rock. This nostalgia fuelled subgenre is a surprisingly common spark to light a musical fire. It didn’t always age too well but the first time you hear 3 Doors Down on the radio can be weirdly impactful.
Flashback Track: The Calling – Wherever You May Go Queer Artist Spotlight: LP- Lost on You Best Live Experience: Natassa Bofiliou – En Lefko Most Recent Discovery: Todrick Hall – Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels
Dominique Mras is the first Vienna trans politician in the city council. She’s a rising star in local politics, which makes interviewing her an absolute joy. Just like a well-trained politician, she avoids answering questions directly. Instead, she tends to look at the bigger picture. I did manage to get some great personal stories though. So, she’s just as fun to listen to, as it is to talk to her.
Amongst this bigger picture stuff is leftist infighting. As the occasional self-proclaimed centrist, she thinks providing social housing for people should not be seen as a radical left standpoint. However, both left and right-wing people tend to disagree. Another issue is, of course, Vienna trans healthcare. Transphobia, in *my* Europe? It’s more likely thank you think.
What’s more in this episode: A shameless discussion about dance hits from the 2000’s. This cheeky branch of pop music seems impossible to shake off. Although it’s not really a genre praised for being top tier art, people still seem to flock to it. Especially on a weekend, when we’re getting ready to party.
For episode 50 I decided not to do anything special, but just a regular old conversation with a girl who feared to be too plain for this show. Eva Marta, like other teenage girls, just tried to be normal. This led to her hiding her love for hugely popular boybands. It’s so weird to think that some people dismiss a widely popular act because it’s target audience is highschool kids.
As a teacher Eva Marta now sees the other end of the story. In between her history classes she notices teenage girls being mistreated based on their musical preferences. In the mean time the curriculum still largely ignores queer kids. It’s part of her mission to slowly filter the assholes out of her classroom. Though her approach to this might be subtle, she experiences it to be effective.
Whether it’s music or social issues, teens are a good way to get some insight into what’s current. Personally, I also had some issues with cultural superiority back in the day. Did classmates ever shame you for something you liked? Share your stories though the link below.
Flashback Track: The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night Queer Artist Spotlight: Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) Best Live Experience: One Direction – Best Song Ever Most Recent Discovery: The Boondocks – Whatever You Said Went Over My Head
It’s been a long time since the heights Eurodance Fad. Since then, this specific subcategory of nineties and zeroes pop became surrounded by a stigma of poor taste and a lack of any credibility. Licia is here to throw all those preconceived notions right out the window. The enthusiasm with which Licia talks about subjects others might dismiss as a guilty pleasure is infectious. Nothing needs to make sense as long as you’re having fun.
Eurodance, preferably in languages that aren’t English, became a passion as a result of an internet rabbit hole a long time ago. Since then they created an opportunity to dive into such rabbit holes along with them. Every weekend Licia hosts a radio show in which they play the freshest, grooviest and most fun Estonian pop tunes. For a link to their show, see the shownotes below.
What’s more in this episode: getting into hardcore punk while trying to hide your love for Norwegian pop, dealing people who don’t know how to act around blind people, and our guesses for the 2021 song of the year!
You might think being a trans parent is very different from parenting as a cis person but that’s just a bold assumption. Sure, there might be some issues to get out of the way, but after that small extra step being a trans parent is, to use Aubree Calvin’s words: Uneventful. Trips to the playground, the much needed night off, Bree has been through it all with as much love as any other Maddy would.
After moving around a lot as a child Aubree settled in Texas. Living in the United State’s conservative south may come with some political downsides for trans and otherwise queer folks, it also is part of a large cultural identity. The South is home to a lot of unique perspectives and stories you can’t find in the mayor cities on either U.S. coast so Aubree is eager to share them.
We totally failed to mention this on the pod, but I got in touch with Aubree through our mutual friend Leigh of History is Gay fame. I got the honour of co-hosting an episode of this wonderfully nerdy podcast, like Aubree has done before me. Check the links below to find out all about this and all her other work.
Flashback Track: Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now Queer Artist Spotlight: Chastity Brown – Whisper Best Live Experience: Corinne Bailey Rae – Closer Recent Discovery: Andrea Gibson – I Sing the Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out
If you’re listening to this podcast, changes are that you’re zēga. This word used to be a stealthy way of asking a stranger in Ethiopia if they’re queer. It’s gotten less and less stealthy over the years though. Today’s guest Bahiru explains how there are several languages in Ethiopia, so there’s a lot of work yet to be done when it comes to finding the right vocabulary to describe all different queer identities.
Zēga is not the only way to pick queer people from a crowd. Amharic, one of the Ethiopian languages, has a formal form. The trick is to only use the formal form with queer people. Because us queers deserve to respect, am I right?
Furthermore in this episode: how do you deal with your problematic faves? Plenty of musicians have done shady things in the past. However, these same people help a ton in figuring out someone’s queer identity. Do the pro’s in this case outweigh the con’s? Bahiru would claim so.
High academic expectations among Asian students might sound like a tired trope, but Best experienced it first-hand. As an only child she had to live with the pressure of passing on the family name and provide for that family by getting an appropriate college degree. After she came out it was a challenge to overcome these family focussed expectations. School was not really a problem though. She turned out to be a real Diva in academia.
Thankfully, she had pop music to cope. Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and all the artists played in this episode help her feel empowered. Whether it’s her alarm in the morning or just sitting at home trying to relax, Best has a pop diva for every occasion. Now you may think this is an over the top episode, however, Best shows how versatile the past decades of pop divas have been.
On top of it all, activism also plays a big part in Bests life. Thailand, and Chiang Mai in particular have been facing some political hardships. Climate, political turmoil, queer rights, there’s always something to fight for. How do she copes with all of these issues, check out the episode and find out.
Flashback Track: Whitney Houston – Greatest Love of All Queer Artist Spotlight: Lady Gaga – Hair Best Live Experience: Ariana Grande – Breathin Recent Discovery: ETC – ไม่ต้องรู้ว่าเราคบกันแบบไหน (Mai Tong Ru Wa Rau Kop Gan Bep Nai)