53 episodes

A show about lesbian bars, the humans that run them, and the humans that call them a home. Not sure where to start? You don’t have to listen in order! Pick your favorite city or your favorite bar and dive in.

Season 1 follows creators Sarah Gabrielli, Rachel Karp, and Jen McGinity on their 2021 cross-country road trip to visit and document every lesbian bar in the U.S.  Season 2 chronicles the current lesbian bar resurgence AND takes you back in time to lesbian bars of decades past!

Cruising | A Queer Documentary Podcast Sarah Gabrielli, Rachel Karp, and Jennifer McGinity

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 140 Ratings

A show about lesbian bars, the humans that run them, and the humans that call them a home. Not sure where to start? You don’t have to listen in order! Pick your favorite city or your favorite bar and dive in.

Season 1 follows creators Sarah Gabrielli, Rachel Karp, and Jen McGinity on their 2021 cross-country road trip to visit and document every lesbian bar in the U.S.  Season 2 chronicles the current lesbian bar resurgence AND takes you back in time to lesbian bars of decades past!

    Cruising the Archives: Lillian Faderman

    Cruising the Archives: Lillian Faderman

    Lillian Faderman is a world renowned, award winning LGBTQ+ and lesbian historian, scholar, and author. Her books include Surpassing the Love of Men, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Gay L.A., The Gay Revolution, Woman: The American History of an Idea, and many others. We've interviewed her once before, and we've quoted her in many of our other episodes. This extended interview was recorded in 2023 in Lillian's home, and includes some of Lillian's expertise on lesbian history and culture through...

    • 59 min
    Cruising the Archives: Ms. Mabel Hampton

    Cruising the Archives: Ms. Mabel Hampton

    This week, we're sharing the story of Ms. Mabel Hampton, in partnership with The Lesbian Herstory Archives. Ms. Hampton (1902-1989) was an African-American lesbian, an activist, a dancer, a singer, and a domestic worker. She was also a dear friend and mentor of Joan Nestle, one of The Lesbian Herstory Archives' founders. Between 1976 and 1988, Joan Nestle sat down with Ms. Hampton numerous times to record a series of oral history interviews. We've pulled bits and pieces from these tapes to sh...

    • 54 min
    Cruising the Archives: Pete Smith

    Cruising the Archives: Pete Smith

    In 1963, white supremacist terrorists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young black girls. Despite the FBI and local investigators identifying four key perpetrators, no one was charged. Until 1977, when Pete Smith, a trans man, worked with the FBI to testify against and convict his uncle, Robert Chambliss. In partnership with Invisible Histories, we are releasing this 1988 interview with Pete. This episode is a part of a series we’re c...

    • 39 min
    Cruising the Archives: Patricia McCombs

    Cruising the Archives: Patricia McCombs

    Happy Pride Month!! Starting this month, we will be releasing a series of episodes that we’re calling Cruising the Archives. We’re featuring extended interviews with LGBTQ+ icons from our own archives, as well as from the collections of queer and lesbian archives throughout the country. First up: Patricia McCombs. In December of 1974, Pat noticed that she and her Black and latinx friends were being discriminated against at CK’s, a North Side Chicago lesbian bar. In this interv...

    • 45 min
    Redz / Nancy Valverde | Los Angeles, CA

    Redz / Nancy Valverde | Los Angeles, CA

    Redz is a little known former lesbian bar in East LA, which opened in the 1950s and catered primarily to Chicana lesbians. This is the story of one woman in particular who called this space a home: Nancy Valverde. Nancy is most known for her long fought battle with the LAPD over masquerading laws, spending dozens of nights in jail throughout the 1950s for her refusal to wear typical women’s clothing.Nancy passed away in March of 2024 just six months after our interview with her. This episode ...

    • 52 min
    The Bush | Brooklyn, NY

    The Bush | Brooklyn, NY

    There's a new dyke bar in Bushwick, and it's called The Bush! These are the stories of humans that run it, and the humans that call it a home.Thank you to everyone who shared their stories with us for this episode!This episode features interviews with: Nikke Alleyne, Justine LaViolette, Macon Reed, Loretta Andro Chung, and Sarah Hallonquist. Check out Macon's work here. Order Dyke Beer here.Thank you for listening to Cruising Podcast!-Reviews help other listeners find Cruising! If you like wh...

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
140 Ratings

140 Ratings

noah4243 ,

Teaching the new generation

This podcast, amongst others, has taught me what I would otherwise be completely ignorant of: our community’s history. Each story just solidifies that we’ve always been here, and forewarns and forearms the next generation with lessons from the past. Will definitely keep listening!

Bernie G23 ,

Hershee Bar

This episode was very well done. I was a regular at HBs (what we called the Hershee Bar). HBs was our home. I was there the last night, in fact a photo of Alomari, my girlfriend and I made the front page of the Washington Post from that night.
I live about 45 minutes from there and would make the drive several times a week. I agree with Annette that it is very difficult to be gay in this area to this day.
Because of the way Norfolk treated our community, I try to stay away. I do not want my hard earned money to support Norfolk in any way. I have not attended a Pride festival since 2018 bc of the hypocrisy in a city that says we are inclusive and then demolishes one of, if not the oldest lesbian bars in the country. The city council knew exactly what they were doing! Also, no one bothered to make a statement and say, “sorry, it’s a done deal,” or “no, we are not going to change our mind.” They let us continue to appear week after week. Keeping hope alive that there might be a different outcome. Shame on them. Shame on all of them.

Worde31 ,

Story after story after story fabulous!

I discovered this podcast during my walks during Covid . I’m enthralled with each episode!

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