Grad students make queer history accessible through collaborative special podcast series

York University PhD candidates Hannah Maitland, Stephanie Jonsson and Angela Stanley, from the Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies program, are highlighting queer oral history through a new special podcast series.

Poster for Resisting the Script special podcast seriesResisting the Script: 25+ Years of Queer Activism” is a seven-episode series of the Queer Devotions podcast that was created in partnership with the Out of the Closet Lecture Series, New Horizons for 2S-LGBTQ+ Older Adults, and Rainbow Faith and Freedom. The podcast introduces listeners to unwritten histories of queer organizing in Ontario through the people who were central actors and witnesses to these stories.

Hosted by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry, the podcast features the voices of: Nicole Tanguay, poet and community worker; Cheri DiNovo, politician and reverend; Cait Glasson, community organizer and translator; and Anthony Mohamed, policy specialist, among others.

Highlighting these stories has been especially important during the pandemic because many in-person queer spaces have been closed, says Maitland, adding that queer seniors in particular have experienced a great deal of isolation during the pandemic.

This project was funded by the Michael Lynch History Grant through the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity, with additional funds provided by Rainbow Faith and Freedom.

Project partners hope to make queer history accessible through Resisting the Script, and foster intergenerational relationships and knowledge production in the queer community.

“Queer older adults are largely under-represented in discussions on 2S-LGBTQ+ issues and stories on their experiences are routinely excluded from course curriculums,” says Maitland. “Students are well-versed on issues faced by 2SLGBTQ+ youth, but less knowledgeable on the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ older adults. Resisting the Script offers these perspectives and much more, demonstrating the importance of having queer-inclusive intergenerational conversations.”

Episodes will be released every other Tuesday until mid-July. To listen to the trailer, visit this link: open.spotify.com/episode/6HnnK5KVfbtMZFXrYdsMml.

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