Podcasts, as a medium, offer a very intimate and personal way of experiencing a production. This medium is one that you can listen to at any time and often times, you can hear people in their own voice and words. There are podcasts that are bringing back the audio drama genre; there are others that are bringing news and political commentary to people’s commutes. And there are others that are bringing all sorts of LGBTQ/queer experiences to those who wish to listen. One such podcast is Making Gay History.
This podcast is hosted by Eric Marcus, the author of the book with the same name. In the late 1980s, Marcus conducted many interviews with folks like Sylvia Rivera, Ellen DeGeneres, Larry Kramer, and Dr. Evelyn Hooker. In each episode, we get to hear a snippet of Marcus’ one on one conversations with different folks and hear first hand what these folks have to say. In the latest season, Marcus brings us other voices who didn’t make it into his book for various reasons, like Bayard Rustin and Magnus Hirschfeld.
These archived recordings offer a chance to get up close and personal with many important activists in a way that not everyone will have a chance to. Not everyone is able to talk to LGBTQ+ elders about this part of history and sadly, too many of our elders have passed away way before their time over the decades. This show offers an intimate portrayal of LGBTQ+ people and history during a time in which we all need to know and remember where we come from and where we can go.
You can listen to Making Gay History on its website or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you don’t want to listen (or can’t) and/or want to learn more, the show’s site also has notes and a transcript for each episode. Currently, there are four seasons and 51 episodes but I recommend starting at season one, episode one: Sylvia Rivera: