6 episodes

An LGBT history and storytelling podcast

Queer Ephemera queerephemera

    • History

An LGBT history and storytelling podcast

    Christopher Isherwood's Cosy Corner Bar in Berlin

    Christopher Isherwood's Cosy Corner Bar in Berlin

    We delve into the story of the Cosy Corner, an innocuous gay bar in Weimar era Berlin where a young English writer became captivated by the characters he met and found his first love(s). When Christopher Isherwood first wrote about his experiences in his short stories, collected as his Berlin Diaries in the 1930’s, he put in motion and interpretation of Weimar Berlin that would become iconic when it was adapted into the musical Cabaret.  The Cosy Corner was not the most exciting queer space in Berlin. It was not the most radical, nor the most beautiful, and there would not have been room for Liza Minelli to execute a high-kick (if she had been welcome there at all). But it was the queer space that most entranced Christopher and, by going back to look at this bar, we hope to find out why, and how, this little place leapt into the queer canon and helped define the myth of Berlin. 

    • 28 min
    Joe Carstair's Island in the Bahamas

    Joe Carstair's Island in the Bahamas

    We travel back to the The Bahamas in the 20th century where an English butch lesbian carved out a space for herself and her lovers from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Joe Carstairs was many things in her life: an heiress, a driver, a speedboat racer, an adventurer and a self-appointed ruler of an entire island called Whale Cay. She shared her life with a number of women and a small doll named Tod. We delve into the story of Whale Cay, and of Joe herself, to find out more about this queer haven in the middle of the ocean where Joe hosted guests like Marlene Dietrich. Find out more on the Queer Ephemera website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The show is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or directly on our website. 

    • 32 min
    Alexander Gumby's Book Studio in Harlem

    Alexander Gumby's Book Studio in Harlem

    This week we look at the story of ephemera collector extraordinaire, Alexander Gumby. Open any history of the Harlem Renaissance and you will find his name, but you have to dig deeper to find out more about Gumby’s Book Studio or the man himself. Gumby spent decades collecting and curating scrapbooks on black history and culture. He wrote filthy prose and threw wonderful literary and queer parties at his Book Studio in New York, though he is best remembered as a self-taught historian and archivist.Visit www.queerephemera.com for images, info, credits, and a shownotes.

    • 25 min
    Charlotte von Mahlsdof's Museum in East Berlin

    Charlotte von Mahlsdof's Museum in East Berlin

    The story of the Mulackritze bar, a gay bar in Berlin which survived two world wars before being rescued by the inimitable Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a trans woman and curator who found a safe haven for this piece of queer history in the basement of her museum in East Berlin.Find out more about the project on the Queer Ephemera website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Listen to the show for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or directly on the Queer Ephemera website .

    • 30 min
    Eve's Tearoom Part 2

    Eve's Tearoom Part 2

    This is the second episode about Eve’s Tearoom so listen to episode 1 of this series first. Last episode we visited a Greenwich Village tearoom in the mid-1920’s which hung a small sign on its door reading: “men are admitted but not welcome” and relayed the story of the police raid which closed it down. Tonight we follow the two women, lesbian adventurer Eve Adams and policewoman Margaret Leonard, who clashed in Greenwich Village in 1926 to find out what happened to them afterwards. The raid on the tea room ripped one woman from her family, chosen family, and friends. The event put her in prison, sentenced her to debilitating labour, and deported her across the ocean to a country she was unfamiliar with. The other made her career from her actions at the tearoom, launching into a life of daring undercover work. Visit www.queerephemera.com for images, info, credits, and a shownotes. Queer Ephemera is a storytelling podcast which is based on historical sources but we do not provide a full and accurate account of the subjects we cover. Wherever possible, we will signpost our listeners to the work of historians or original documents.

    • 28 min
    Eve's Tearoom Part 1

    Eve's Tearoom Part 1

    We visit a Greenwich Village tearoom in the mid-1920’s which hung a small sign on its door reading: “men are admitted but not welcome”. This episode, we go back to this unique lesbian space in the summer of 1926 when two women met in the tearoom; the woman who created it and the woman who destroyed it.Visit www.queerephemera.com for images, info, credits, and a shownotes. Queer Ephemera is a storytelling podcast which is based on historical sources but we do not provide a full and accurate account of the subjects we cover. Wherever possible, we will signpost our listeners to the work of historians or original documents.

    • 23 min

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