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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.