87 episodes

Your Queer Story is an LGBT podcast. Join us as we laugh, learn, and discover the history of the LGBT community and the people and events that shaped our society. We also cover religion, sexuality, politics, personal stories, civil rights, and much, much more.

Your Queer Story: An LGBT Podcast Evan Jones & Paul Hobbs

    • Comedy

Your Queer Story is an LGBT podcast. Join us as we laugh, learn, and discover the history of the LGBT community and the people and events that shaped our society. We also cover religion, sexuality, politics, personal stories, civil rights, and much, much more.

    Episode 85: Lilly and Felice Part 1, Forbidden Fruit

    Episode 85: Lilly and Felice Part 1, Forbidden Fruit

    In the garden of Eden, Eve gave Adam a piece of forbidden fruit bringing about his downfall. And ever since then, if you believe in Biblical legend, humanity has fallen for one temptation after another. And so it happened again in Berlin in the midst of World War 2.

    Join us as we tell the incredible love story of two women who had every odd stacked against them. In part one we dive into their individual histories and the events that brought them together. This is a tale of the forbidden love of Felice and Lilly.

    Today we tell a love story that rivals the great romances of history. It’s the tale of a Jewish rebel in Nazi Berlin, and the German woman who loved her. As we remember the Holocaust this Monday on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we also remember the countless love stories shattered by hatred, bigorty, and plain cruelty. Before we dive into the story of Lilly and Felice (Felicia), we do want to note that in episode 56 The Pink Triangle we covered the treatment of all LGBTQ Jews put into the concentration camps. We encourage you to go back and listen to that episode as well. But for now, we want to focus on a single and yet extraordinary tale of the most forbidden love.

    In a country deep at war and overrun by S.S. guards and Nazi soldiers, the city of Berlin still seemed to glisten in the dawn of 1943. Germany was winning the war by all accounts, chancellor Adolf Hitler and his henchmen were in high spirits. For most citizens they continued about their daily lives, most who were not Jews that is. The few remaining Jewish citizens now remained as part of the Jewish underground. Those who were known to authorities remained in hiding at the homes of German sympathizers. Others who could pass openly as German worked to get their fellow Jews out of Nazi controlled areas. These brave souls had torn off their yellow stars, acquired fake documents, changed their last names, and bustled around in the open.

    It was a unique prison in which they all lived. Leaving the country was incredibly risky and dangerous and those most at risk of detection always went first. Followed by children, then mothers, finally any men left who could get away. And left behind in the chaos were the courageous people who stayed and ran the underground operations.They lived on the streets and scourged for food, money, documents, information and more. Few of them had legitimate income as most had lost their jobs when laws had forbidden Jews from working. Their lot was a mixture of Jews, German supporters, and many unwitting accomplices. And one such accomplice was a woman named Lilly Wust.

    Born on November 1, 1913 Lilly Wust grew up in a traditional German home. She wasn’t quite 5 years old when Germany and the other Central Powers conceded to Ally victory in World War 1. As Lilly grew up so did her nation; rebuilding and re-seeking the prominence it had lost during the Great War.  When Lilly turned 20, Germany got a new Chancellor. A former soldier and new party leader named Adolf Hitler. It was around this time that Lilly married a banking accountant and settled down to become the mother of four rambunctious boys. Upon the birth of her fourth son she was awarded Germany’s bronze ‘Mother Cross’. It was the highest honor bestowed upon a mother and given to those who bore male children for Hitler and the Aryan race. 

    Just like most of her fellow German citizens at the time, Lilly was an anti-semite and a Hitler supporter. How much she truly dwelt on the suffering of the Jewish people and other ‘deviants’ of the nation we do not know. For most people they simply looked the other way and assumed the government must be just in its persecution of the Jews. She made jokes and hateful remarks and went about her days as if millions of people weren’t ...

    • 41 min
    Episode 84: Get Wet with Evan and Paul - and Joe too!

    Episode 84: Get Wet with Evan and Paul - and Joe too!

    It’s a Wet and slippery journey through this episode. We welcome representative Joe Pascolla from Wet Lubricants to discuss all the amazing benefits of lube. And the benefits are endless!

    From the strong sexual health proponents to the practical household uses there are plenty of reasons to keep a bottle of Wet Lube on hand. So join us on this incredibly fun and informative episode. You won’t regWET it!

    A Brief History of Lube

    People have been lubing up for a loooong time. In fact, the earliest recorded use of olive oil was by the Greeks in 350 B.C. who used it to keep sex Wet. Folks even believed that “smooth sex” could keep them from getting pregnant. And over in East Asia, the sexually adventurous had found that yam soup worked as a lubricant. As well as the water leftover from boiled red seaweed. Throughout the centuries people developed other means to stay lubricated. And as the 1900’s roared into play vaseline and crisco became staples in sexual exploration. Even though public sex education and a plethora of porn videos were not yet available, everyone still knew that sex was better Wet.

    In 1904, the first patented lubrication came onto the scene promoted as a surgical aid. Just over 10 years later in 1917 the product was being sold as a sexual lubricant, but ONLY with a prescription. The stigma around sex and sexual pleasure kept lube as a sought after yet taboo subject for the next 60+ years. It would take a brave and daring group of people to bring the topic into mainstream discussion. And the queers were just the folks with the backbone to do so. Though the conversation wasn’t brought up in regards to sexual pleasure, but rather as a way to stem the wave of the AIDS epidemic.

    The early 1980’s had brought an onslaught of death among LGBTQ communities and especially among gay men. This was due to poor education about sexual health and the inability of queer people to access proper medical care. As gay rights activists fought to be seen and heard by our government, others took it upon themselves to inform their peers about safe sex practices. Condoms and lubricant were a must and began to be passed out in every gay bar and organization across the country. Lube especially was important as it prevents tearing during sexual play which diminishes transferences of fluids. Lubrication also greatly prevents condoms from breaking, which was and is a common issue even today.  

    By the mid-80’s activists were responsible for getting lube from behind the pharmacy to over the counter. Simply the fact that people could buy lube at their local drugstore began to ease the stigma around the product. And it was at the height of the AIDs outbreak in 1989 that Web Lubricants was founded and began to revolutionize the industry. During the 90’s many lubes carried the ingredient nonoxynol-9, a spermicide believed to prevent HIV. However, the chemical was actually toxic for the body and corroded the vaginal and anal walls making the individual more suseptible to STI’s. After scientists reported this finding in 1996, Wet Lubricants became one of the first companies to remove the ingredient. Today the FDA takes a harsh stance against the ingredient and sex shops wont sell lubricants which contain nonoxynol-9.

    As we entered the new millennium the conversation around sex and lube began to change. It was no longer viewed as simply a product that could reduce pain and risk of STIs, it was also seen as something that increased pleasure. Today lube is a multi million dollar industry and one of the companies leading the way is Wet Lubricants. But even with all the advancements our society has made towards sex positivity, there are still a lot of stigmas. So we invited Joe Pascolla from Wet Lubricants to come on the show and talk about why lube is so important. And how we can continue promote sex positivity. 


    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 83: Sexual Assault Awareness

    Episode 83: Sexual Assault Awareness

    It is our commitment to educate on all queer related issues. From past moments and people in history to the current problems plaguing our community today. The matter of sexual assault and intimate partner violence is one of the most pressing issues among the LGBTQ.

    Staggering statistics show how incredibly vulnerable queer people are to this abuse. And also, how unlikely they are able to get help after the violence occurs. We review some of the most well-known studies published in the last decade. And discuss how to address this problem in local communities, not simply among the LGBTQ, but among society at large. Check out the episode to stay informed and aware, and to gain training resources for local businesses and public facilities.

    Today’s topic came as Evan was doing research for a different project. And we felt it was past time we addressed the prevalence of sexual assault and intimate partner violence in the queer community. The most current large scale studies on the issue were released several years ago and created quite a stir in the media.  Yet this was before the Trump administration and the increase in homophobia and transphobia in America. While the studies were alarming when first reported, we can only imagine what would be found today. And so it is ever more important that we continue to shed light on the matter. 

    In this minisode, we are going to discuss some of the statistics concerning the queer community in relation to sexual assault and IPV (Intimate Partner Violence). As well as the dynamics surrounding these issues and how we address them. And we do need to start with a BIG trigger warning. We talk in depth about this issue, so please feel free to check out another one of our episodes. We suggest the most recent Villains of the LGBTQ; Anita Bryant. Or perhaps our sports episode, You Can’t Win a Championship Without Gays. Either way, don’t force yourself to listen to anything you are not in a safe place to hear. 

    We will begin by addressing one of the most well known reports. The 2010 Center for Disease and Control (CDC) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Before we dive in, it is important to understand some of the lingo used in discussing this topic. First, as we have stated, IPV stands for Intimate Partner Violence. And it doesn’t have to be a current partner, this also covers ex partners or spouses. The official definition is:

     “Any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors.”

    This can mean a variety of things. In addition to physical abuse and sexual violence, this also covers stalking, harassment, and financial violence. Financial violence is controlling or withholding a person’s income or preventing their ability to earn an income. 

    It is also important to understand the scope of the words ‘sexual violence’. This covers any type of unwanted sexual conduct, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Within this are several terms that are often interchanged but yet have distinct differences. These are ‘sexual assault’, ‘sexual abuse’, ‘rape’, and ‘sexual harassment’. It is important to understand these differences when advocating for survivors of sexual violence. This way we can aid victims in finding the proper justice for the crime committed against them. It also helps in directing survivors to find the help they need. Furthermore, this allows every victim of sexual violence to feel that they have a voice that speaks their full truth. 

    The online academic journal The Conversation details the differences between the four terms. We took some of their descriptions from an article that breaks down the terminology and linked the page on o

    • 29 min
    Episode 82: The Public Universal Friend (P.U.F)

    Episode 82: The Public Universal Friend (P.U.F)

    Happy 2020 to all our listeners! We’re kicking the new year off with the intriguing story of a non-binary spiritual leader. The Public Universal Friend defied the standards of gender identity centuries before the modern day genderqueer movement began.

    They broke down barriers in a variety of ways, but especially in their role as founder of a new American religion. Join us as we dive into the incredible journey of P.U.F. and the community of Universal Friends.

    Today we tell the story of the first OUT queer person to form a religion in America. And they also happened to be one of the first openly non-binary people in our budding nation. So let’s head back to America in the mid 1700’s. The colonies were quickly heading towards a clash with their rulers. After settlers had wrought a bloody massacre on the east coastal Indigenous people, they suddenly turned on their British masters. Of course we cannot ignore the audacity of white settlers to slaughter and enslave the natives of the land and then cry for freedom from their own chains. But this story isn’t about the abhorrence of colonialism. Instead we chose a lighter subject and decided to go with the completely uncontroversial topic of religion.

    Truly though, the American colonies were bursting at the seams as immigrants poured onto the newly controlled territory. By the 1750’s over 1 million colonizers had settled on U.S. soil, which was 1/6th the size of Britain’s population. An incredible statistic for such a young and newly populated colony. The promise of wealth and adventure was definitely a draw for early white explorers. But soon the focus shifted to a different motivation as immigrants realized the possibility of religious freedom in the colonies. The mid 1700s to late 1800’s was an especially fertile time for new religion in America. Around 1730 the first Great Awakening took place. This was a series of religious revivals that swept the nation for the next 40 years. Changing much of American lifestyle at the time and setting the stage for the Evangelical leanings of today. 

    So it should be no surprise that an individual born into this era would grow up having such strong religious ties. On November 29, 1752 in Cumberland, Rhode Island the Wilkinson family had a baby. The assigned the baby female and gave them the name Jemima. The infant was the eighth child born to the family and would eventually become one of twelve. The large family was part of the Society of Friends; known most commonly today as Quakers. Jemima’s father Jeremiah had long been a member of the Smithfield sect. Traditions and beliefs of the Society have varied and changed throughout the years and from group to group. In the first American settlements, women held high positions in Quaker culture. Which was almost unheard of in any other white towns and settlements The Quaker women preached and held authority on public councils. It wasn’t until the 1670’s when some men became so upset about feminine leadership that the Society suffered a major split. Half of the Quakers followed a strictly male dominated leadership and half continued to value and respect women. 

    But it was through this Quaker influence that Jemima felt emboldened to explore their identity and power. When they were around 13 their mother Amy died after giving birth to the families 12th child. Jemima stepped up and helped with family chores, being especially impartial to animals. Their love for horses would remain throughout their life. Jemima was an exceptional horse rider and enjoyed the challenges of taming and caring for the animals.There are conflicting reports from different biographers of Wilkinson. Concerning their gender expression during Jemima’s younger years. One author claimed that Jemima preferred feminine clothing and finer things.

    • 44 min
    Episode 81: 2020 For YQS

    Episode 81: 2020 For YQS

    Join us as we look back at 2019 and discuss our visions for 2020!

    • 25 min
    Episode 80: Poland's Rainbow Plague

    Episode 80: Poland's Rainbow Plague

    The last few months have shown a spike in our Polish listeners. And it’s no wonder considering the violent anti-queer rhetoric that has filled the country lately. Sadly, the Pis Parties control of the country has put queer Poles in a dangerous predicament. On this episode we cover some of the current events in the Catholic dominated country. As well as the rich queer history of the Polish people. Join us as we delve into the rainbow plague!

    Today we have written a special episode just for our Polish listeners. Our end of the year data showed a spike in downloads for Poland. And this is no doubt due to the aggressive campaign mounted against queer Poles in their homeland’s most recent election. Our hearts go out to you, and we want to make as many people as we can aware of your situation. And also to educate everyone about Poland’s rich queer history. But first let’s give a rundown of what has happened in Poland this past year. Also as a trigger warning; we will be using queer slurs throughout this episode as we quote bigots and homophobes. In cases of violence against the LGBTQ community, we do not believe in sugar coating the events. These slurs are what our Polish friends hear everyday and we want their plight to be made clear. 

    2015 saw the rise of the ultra conservative Law and Justice Party. Which in Poland is interpreted as Prawo (Pravo) i (eh) Sprawiedliwość (Spreva dievosht) and is known as the PIS party. And it is also how we will refer to the intolerant political movement during this episode. The PIS party gained the majority lead by running on an anti-immigrant platform during the middle of the decade. However in the most recent campaign, they found that anti-queer rhetoric spoke more profoundly to bigots. The focus of the PIS party’s 2019 campaign was simply to attack, malign, and demonize LGBTQ Poles; and it worked. In September of this year Polish citizens under 40 were polled to see what they believed was the greatest threat to their country. While women pointed to climate change as the biggest concern, men stated the threat was ‘gender ideology and the LGBT movement.’

    And it is no wonder that male voters have come to so deeply fear and hate their fellow queer citizens. Leaders of the PIS party have worked to spread homophobic panic by pushing cities to declare LGBT Free Zones. While it is not illegal to be gay in Poland, and while these Free Zones have no judicial backing, it does send a clear message to the LGBTQ community. As does the violence and protesting that has so harshly come down on the queer population. In June of this year 1000 brave LGBTQ Poles and their allys hosted the first Pride March. They were met by an overwhelming majority of counter protesters. Who drowned the festivities in boos, hurled bricks, eggs, and fireworks at the marchers. And other protesters who knelt on the sidewalk to openly pray for the souls of their vile LGBTQ fellows. As one activist later wrote; “everywhere there are hands showing the finger, lots and lots of those middle fingers, to say, ‘F**k you, faggots.” Had it not been for Police holding back the crowds the entire band of marchers would no doubt have been engulfed in a bloody riot. 

    And if the pressure from the PIS party wasn’t enough, the Catholic Church is there to make things worse. In August, the church commemorated the Warsaw Uprising. A failed attempt by the Polish Resistance to keep Soviet occupation out as the crumbling German occupation fled the country. The Archbishop paid tribute to the brave resistance who fought the “Red Plague”. And then the church leader went on to warn of a new threat. As he stated; “The Red pestilence no longer marches across our land, but a new, neo-marxist one appears. Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit – Not red, but rainbow,”. One cannot stress the impac

    • 40 min

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