103 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

    • Sexuality
    • 4.7, 50 Ratings

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.

    101: Being An Effective Ally To The LGBTQ

    101: Being An Effective Ally To The LGBTQ

    Today’s episode drops just 5 days before the launch of Pride Month. That special time of year that rejuvenates us with hope, confidence, and glitter. One of the best parts about Pride today is that so many companies and organizations show their open support online, in their media, and through rainbows plastered on the front of their merchandise. While we certainly enjoy the stand of solidarity, often these gestures come across as hollow. Specifically when one examines the LGBTQ+ diversity, or lack of queer diversity and inclusivity, adopted within these companies. So today we want to discuss how to keep the Pride going long after the last sparkler fades.



    While this episode is meant for businesses during Pride Month, parents, loved ones, teachers, and community workers can learn a lot as well. The most important thing to remember is to LISTEN to your LGBTQ+ loved one. Do your own research, read some memoirs, set aside times to ask questions, and reach out to a support group of others in your shoes. Don’t put the brunt of your education on your queer loved one. They have enough to deal with. Google is a wonderful tool, and while you can’t trust everything on the internet, you can learn a hell of a lot. So utilize it. As for those of you who run a business, a group, or an organization, the following tips are for helping make your workplace a more effective Ally. 

    First – Create LGBTQ+ Specific Policies – As great as it is to see a rainbow outside one’s workplace, it doesn’t mean much if that individual isn’t protected once they’re inside those walls. Most companies have a non-discrimination policy as it is federally required, but that doesn’t allow for public accommodations or many medical needs that are specific to the queer population. More importantly, by not specifically addressing LGBTQ+ employees, companies are not recognizing the fact that queer populations face additional barriers and needs. By instituting policies that specifically address LGBTQ issues, a company shows they are committed to queer employees, customers, and clients, every day and not just during Pride Month. By the way, the overwhelming majority of Fortune 500 companies have policies in place. If you want your business to thrive, queer specific policies are essential.

    Second – Institute Regular Trainings and Make Sure They Are Queer Lead – Like many minority groups, we continue to evolve in our language, our goals, and our understanding of ourselves. So a standard curriculum developed 20 years ago and repeated once a year isn’t going to cut it. In fact, curriculums created 10 or even 5 years ago will definitely need to be updated or thrown out altogether. In order to be an effective Ally it’s important to develop with the times the same way your business or organization continues to evolve if it wishes to grow. So training should regularly be reviewed before it’s presented and training around minority issues should be administered often. Especially if the company is growing or has high turnover.

    Additionally, these training sessions should be led by an LGBTQ+ individual. An Ally with good intentions just isn’t going to cut it. A queer person will have insights and be able to address questions that others cannot. The same way a person of color can speak to the effects of racism far better than a white person ever could. Furthermore, you don’t want the training to become ‘other’ focused, meaning ‘those people’. Rather, by having a peer representative, the subject becomes more personal and tangible. If you don’t have a person within your organization that is qualified to host this training, then you can always outsource and pay a local organization to send a qualified representative. Or maybe ask how you don’t have a single LGBTQ+ employee that could lead a training.

    Third – Small Signs Go A Long Way

    • 38 min
    100: Valerie and Andy; Muderous Rivalry

    100: Valerie and Andy; Muderous Rivalry

    Well, folks, we made it to 100 episodes and we wanted to give you what your love best, queer true crime. Today’s story is the infamous rivalry between lesbian, feminist Valerie Solanas and gay, artist Andy Warhol. Which culminated in the attempted assassination of Warhol by Solanas in 1968. But who was Solanas and what led her to shoot one of the most prominent artists of the time? We’re so glad you asked.



    In some ways, Valerie and Andy had a lot in common yet their journeys were very different. Aside from the fact that they were both the children of immigrants, their childhoods could not have been different. Warhol’s family had arrived from Austria-Hungary during World War I and settled in Pennsylvania. While the Solanas family had immigrated from Spain first to Montreal until eventually settling in New Jersey. For his part, Andy grew up in a stable home though he did lose his father to an accident at age 13. He was also afflicted with a nervous disorder (Sydenham’s Chorea), which caused his limbs to twitch involuntarily. Still, in 1945 he graduated from high school winning a Scholastic Art and Writing award and enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University.

    Valerie’s story was very different. Her father sexually abused her regularly and though her parents eventually split, Valerie didn’t care much for her stepfather either. For a while she was sent to live with her grandparents, but her grandfather was an alcoholic who beat her. By the time she was 15 she was living on the streets, a truant student, and at 17 she became pregnant. The child was immediately taken from her at birth and she would never see him again. But despite the mountain of obstacles in her way, Valerie Solanas was brilliant. She graduated from high school and later graduated with honors from Maryland University and earned a degree in psychology. She toyed around with getting a graduate degree bouncing around from Minnesota to California and even taking a few courses at Berkley.

    The 1960s were the most formative for Warhol and Solanas. It was when they were most alike and when their rivalry began. After graduating from college, Warhol had moved to New York City where he took odd jobs at various magazines and newspapers, developing and refining his art along the way. He began exhibiting his work in the late 1950s and in 1962 his big break came when he debuted his piece, Campbells Soup Cans. Around the same time Warhol was becoming a breakout star, Valerie Solanas was arriving in New York City herself. Though once again their circumstances were very different. Despite her college degree Valerie struggled to find work and ended up using sex work, odd jobs, and begging to pay the bills. In between work and hustling, she wrote an autobiography titled, “A Young Girl’s Primer on How to Attain the Leisure Class” and a play called “Up Your Ass”.

    Both Andy and Valerie were gay and lived openly, something virtually unheard of during this era. And as is suspected, it brought each of them a lot of extra heartaches. Though he was becoming a prominent artist, Warhol was often excluded from his peers because of his open sexuality. Even being shut out by many fellow gay artists who feared they would be outed purely through association. In Koestenbaun’s Andy Warhol: A Biography, he prints this response written by Warhol when a critic said he had too much “swish”:

    There was nothing I could say to that. It was all too true. So I decided I just wasn’t going to care, because those were all the things that I didn’t want to change anyway, that I didn’t think I ‘should’ want to change … Other people could change their attitudes but not me”.[5]

    Valerie struggled as an outsider in her would as well. She was beginning to attract the attention of the New York feminist movement, but she had some strikes against her. For one, she openly hated me

    • 45 min
    99: Agender Visibility

    99: Agender Visibility

    Next week on May 19th, we celebrate Agender Pride Day. So today we want to recognize Agender Visibility and discuss the spectrum that is gender. We’ve had a lot of people reach out and ask us questions about gender and requested an episode on what it’s like if you fall in the middle of the gender spectrum and not on the ends. While we have touched upon this subject numerous times in our episodes – check out Billy Porter, The Public Univeral Friend, Chao Xiaomi, and our many episodes on transgender icons – today we want to delve further.



    Agender is defined as “a person who has an internal sense of being neither male nor female nor some combination of male and female” according to Webster’s Dictionary. In the word’s deconstructed form it means “without gender”. Agender is often used as an umbrella term for those who don’t identify with a gender. And in fact, Agender is often classified under the larger umbrella of non-binary which is a subcategory of transgender. Think of Agender as the town you live in, Non-Binary as the state, Transgender as the country, and your body as the world.

    Often people need to further explain and this is due to perceptions and stereotypes attached to words. For instance, ALL transgender people are not alike and many trans people see their genders as vastly different from one another. Even with a smaller category like Agender, many folks will further identify or prefer another terminology. Some people who identify as agender may also use the terms Neutral gender, gender-neutral, genderless, null gender, lacking gender, and a variety of other terms that they feel best identifies who they are. There’s actually a great, short YouTube video and article on Them.Us media where Shamir explains the word Agender. We’ve linked the video in our script so you can check it out.

    The term itself is relatively new in respect to other terminologies around sex and gender. Agender first appeared in a 2000 UseNet forum when a user wrote the following “God is amorphous, agender, […] so image can’t be a physical or gender or sexual thing.[4]” This may or may not have been a reference to a bible verse, Genesis 1:27 which states, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;” Whatever the background behind the post, people began to discuss the word and many found that it better fit their sense of gender or lack thereof. In 2005 the word was presented as a standard identity when a UseNet writer stated: “cultures can have transgender, agender, and hypergender individuals.” By 2013, the term was being used in the New York Times profile piece “Generation LGBTQIA” [6]. And in 2017 the first individual was granted the right to place Agender on a state I.D.

    In fact, throughout the 2000’s the queer community has morphed and expanded to mean so much more than the LGBT labels of it’s past. And this is due to our understanding of sex, identity, orientation, and expression. These four pieces don’t always align with the standards and boxes of the day. In the past, folks who challenged these social norms were either locked away, banished from society, or forced to comply. It’s not that people haven’t always defied standards, it’s just that many lost their lives or were forcibly silenced. And as we well know, while many places do currently enjoy a freedom that hasn’t been seen in centuries, there is still a lot of danger for queer people.

    This is especially true for those who are still consistently othered by society and even their own communities. The less that people understand about expression, identity, and sex, the more likely those people will create biased and bigoted beliefs against others. In reality, we ALL benefit when we allow ourselves to be more open-minded about our ability to be fluid in these standards. Here’s a way to exp

    • 32 min
    98: Well of Loneliness; Lesbian Visibility

    98: Well of Loneliness; Lesbian Visibility

    Let’s begin with a passage from our topic today:

    She broke off abruptly, and they stared at each other.

    ‘Do you know what you’re saying?’ Angela whispered.

    And Stephen answered: ‘I know that I love you, and that nothing else matters in the world.’

    Then, perhaps because of that glamorous evening, with its spirit of queer, unearthly adventure, with its urge to strange, unendurable sweetness, Angela moved a step nearer to Stephen, then another, until their hands were touching. And all that she was, and all that she had been and would be again, perhaps even tomorrow, was fused at that moment into one mighty impulse, one imperative need, and that need was Stephen. Stephen’s need was now hers, by sheer force of its blind and uncomprehending will to appeasement.

    Then Stephen took Angela into her arms, and she kissed her full on the lips, as a lover. [1]



    A RAG COPY OF THE WELL OF LONELINESS

    Today we are covering possibly the most well known Lesbian novel of all time, The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. This episode was previously scheduled to drop during Lesbian Visibility week which runs the 20th-26th of April. Ending with the original Lesbian Day of Visibility on April 26th. Which, coincidentally is when Evan married his favorite Lesbian, Samantha Taylor. So though we’re a little late, today we are spreading awareness and visibility of lesbians all around the world. And there is no better way to do so than to use the first, modern, instrument used to bring widespread visibility to Lesbians. 

    Radclyffe Hall’s infamous novel has been steeped in controversy and criticism since it’s first publication 92 years ago. The story is based on a masculine or butch lesbian named Stephen. Who is born into immense wealth and privilege, yet feels like a constant outsider to the world around her. Stephen comes of age grappling with the parts of her that are different. But is encouraged by her father to embrace her boyish side. She takes up riding, fencing, and lifting weights; much to the dismay of her mother and her neighbors. In addition, she rejects the feminine attire of the day instead preferring a man’s shirt and tie paired with a short straight skirt. Which was the preferred style of many lesbians during the mid-1900s, and often used as a code to signify their sexual leanings.

    Along the way, Stephen also develops crushes on different women and falls deeply in love with a few. Including an older, married woman who later outs Stephen to save her own self. Later, Stephen moves to Paris where she becomes a celebrated author and settles down with a beautiful young girl named Mary. They are happy for many years and build a family with their little dog, David. Even forming a troop of other queer friends who become their chosen family. But tragedy strikes and leaves poor Stephen alone at the end, begging God for the right to exist. The final lines end as such:

    ‘God,’ she gasped, we believe; we have told You we believe…We have not denied You, then rise up and defend us. Acknowledge us, oh God, before the whole world. Give us also the right to our existence!’ [1]

    The book was a loose metaphor for Hall’s own life. As she too was an open butch lesbian who went by the preferred name of John in private settings. The hope was to bring awareness to the ‘inverts’ of the world. This was an old term that implied that a person attracted to the same sex did so because they were actually the opposite sex. Or perhaps, they embodied both sexes. The theory of sexual inversion was first developed by notorious sexologist Havelock Ellis and further expanded up by Richard von Kraft-Ebbing and Karl Heinrich Ulrich.

    • 1 hr
    97: How to Teach LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Sex Ed

    97: How to Teach LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Sex Ed

    Use gender neutral language when discussing sex



    Some people with vaginas are men

    Some people with penises are women

    Some people have ambiguous g******s (intersex)





    Include “gay sex” when teaching (vaginal, oral, anal)



    Teach douching and hygiene for anal sex

    Talk about the importance of lube

    Stress that not sex is insertion





    Remember to teach queer safe sex



    Clean your toys

    Use Prep

    Get tested regularly for HIV





    Know your orientations



    Asexuality/Aromantic

    Bisexual/pansexual

    Straight

    Gay/lesbian

    Polysexual





    Prepare for queer questions

    • 38 min
    96: Tiger King; Carole ******* Baskin

    96: Tiger King; Carole ******* Baskin

    Carol Baskin was born on an Air Force base in Bexar County, Texas on June 6, 1961. Like Joe, she didn’t have an ideal childhood and ran away from home at age 15, hitchhiking from Florida to Maine. She slept underneath cars until she could afford her own truck and then slept in the back of that with her pet cat. At age 17, Carol got a job at a department store and fell in love with her boss, Michael Murdock, who seems to have been several years older than Carol. The two were married soon after they moved in together because Carol feared the consequences of living in sin. BUt Mike beat her regularly and obsessively tracked her moves, going so far as to track the odometer on her car. The one solace Carol had was her animals, and soon she began to rehabilitate injured bobcats.



    [Image Source]

    One night Carol fled her house in fear of another beating from Mike. As she walked down the street crying, a man in a car pulled up and asked her if she’d like a ride. Eventually Carol got into the vehicle and the two went to a hotel that night, but Carol swears nothing happened. But they decided to meet again. Rob Moor interviewed Carol and wrote this piece in the story Tiger King Joe Exotic: The Modern Barnum and His Equally Extraordinary Nemesis:

    The man told her his name was Bob Martin. Since they were both married, they had to have their clandestine meetings in a trailer at his work site; when Bob pulled into the lot, he would make her lie down on the floor of his truck so no one would see her. She thought they were hiding from his boss, a rich businessman named Don Lewis.

    Whenever she called him at work, she would ask his secretary if she could speak with Bob Martin. One day, a different secretary answered the phone.

    When Carole asked for Bob Martin, the secretary said she’d never heard of him. Carole described him — middle-aged, blond hair, blue eyes — and the secretary laughed. “You’re describing Don Lewis,” the secretary said. Carole realized she was having an affair with a millionaire. [3]

    For the next 5 years Carol continued her affair with Don Lewis before the two finally left their spouses. For a while the couple raised, breeded, and traded exotic animals. Then in 1992 they changed their tactics and opened Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. It was Carol’s dream and yet life was not a dream at all. Don was stingy with his money, he never even bought Carol a real diamond ring. He would go dumpster diving for day old bread and he held his money over Carol’s head. He also cheated on Carol as he had his previous wife and she was expected to accept these terms.

    The two began to disagree on how the animals should be treated as Carol began to realize their tactics were harmful and even cruel. Don saw the animals as a way to make money so the couple fought constantly. Finally, Don began to tell Carol he wanted a divorce. In July of 1997, Don filed a restraining order on Carol claiming she threatened to kill him and a month later he mysteriously disappeared and was never heard from again. When confronted about the restraining order years later, Carol shrugged the incident off and published a statement on the Big Cat Rescue website:

    Don spent one week per month in Costa Rica. Don was a man who wanted to have sex daily. He would go to Costa Rica during the week I was having my menstrual cycle. I accepted this as something I had to live with. During the week he was away, I would haul off the property as much of the junk as I could. Wendell told Don I was doing this. Don tried calling the police to get them to stop me. They told him he would need a restraining order.

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

PlantBasedSquirrel ,

Incredible!!

This podcast is so funny, informative, creative and laid back. Evan and Paul do such in-depth research on a wide range of topics and explain them in a funny, engaging way. I love listening to these episodes whenever I’m in the car!

70million ,

This is my everything

I love these two. I think that taking a comedic, sarcastic route to spread important information about our history is incredibly important. I’ve learned sooooo much from them, and I find so much comfort in being able to dive into queer stories that I’ve never heard before. Thank you so much for dedicating yourselves to such an important and largely ignored part of the world history that every queer person needs to learn. I look forward to every single episode, so keep it up please! :)

SpectralGaia ,

Hilarious and Informative

I just want to start out by saying that I never write reviews but this one deserves the extra mile. This is BY FAR my favorite podcast! I’m just recently catching up, so I’ve gone all the way back to the beginning and begun re-listening to previous episodes. Evan and Paul are funny and engaging, and I find myself laughing out loud to myself at their wittiness, while also touching on really important and in-depth topics. I recommend Your Queer Story to everyone I come in contact with and will be a lifelong subscriber, for sure!

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