Featured image: Black Girl Nerds
Other images: New Yorker Magazine cover, assorted protest images from news sources.
In episode 13 of my Bubble&Squeak show, it gets downright political. This is the kind of show where I put three very different things together in one episode. Somehow a theme emerges. This time the theme is quite strong. My friend, the Irish author, Shirley McMillan, starts us off by sharing what led her to start the very first school Gender and Sexuality Alliance in a Northern Irish school (in fact, pretty much anywhere in the UK.) It is both a shocking and moving story.
From there she tells us about an initiative she facilitated for the John Hewitt Society. She traveled to remote villages to hear older people’s stories and to help them create writing pieces that were ultimately published in an anthology. Shirley discovered parts of the country she never saw before. More importantly, she learned about practices and experiences she assumed happened in the distant past, but in reality happened in much more recent times. She tells the story of a village with a surplus of homes. This is where soldiers were stationed and people were sent during the evacuations at the time of The Troubles, conflicts between Catholics and Protestant paramilitary groups and state forces.
From there the show goes a bit off the rails. The middle section of the show typically has a comic interlude or radio play. This one is comedy but it has an edge. You will just have to hear it. I am sure some people will find it disturbing. I find it disturbing, but I also felt I needed to include it.
Finally, as always I end the show with a Sound Slice. This one my husband Glen Retief encouraged me to record when we exited an airport in Berlin. You hear dozens of roller bags wheeled over cobblestones.
Part One Irish author, Shirley Anne McMillan on LGBTQ students, integrated schools, and the role of storytelling in the peace process.
Part Two Kyle, an earnest praise and worship leader begins hour 23 of a 24 hour marathon to silence the devil and his own fears.
Part Three a sound slice Berlin, Germany.
Each month my friend, Liam Hooper and I host the Bible Bash Podcast. We take turns looking at passages in the Bible, then share our thoughts, analysis, and reflections on these passages. This opens up a discussion between the two of us. While we are both Bible scholars, our approaches are often personal, especially from our perspective as queer men. In the most recent episode, we are honored to have David Chandler, (Emily/David Chandler on Twitter) who agreed to share a reflection on the first chapter in the Book of Ruth.
David has a delicious eclectic background: They are an actor, singer, writer, magician, bibliophile, amateur folklorist and a spoons-player. Last year they completed their Bachelor of Music Theatre at Federation University, Australia. Right now they are in the midst of doing their Honours in Creative Arts. They are focusing on early queer rights activist and theorist, Karl Henrich Ulrichs.
David’s reading of Ruth is personal, and provides insights into the formation of their faith and faith journey. They share the story of a an unexpected encounter with the Bible and a new space to worship.
In prepping for the show, Liam suggested I read an essay by the Black trans leader, Diamond Stylz. In the essay Womanist, which appears in Otherwise Christian 2: Stories of Resistance, Stylz sees the experience of trans woman of color mirrored in the cultural and social constrictions for widows in the Book of Ruth. Sytlz admits that while it may seem ridiculous to apply an ancient text to her own contemporary experiences,
“Yet, I as a Black, transgender woman have much in common with these women. Three-fourths of transgender people have experienced some form of workforce discrimination. One out of four have lost jobs due to bias. These circumstances frequently lead to involvement with underground economies such as sex work or drug work in order to survive.”
You can hear Bible Bash podcast wherever you listen to podcast, at the player below or by following this link: Seeing Ourselves in the Text with David Chandler — Ruth 1
The USA has been slow/reluctant/opposed to address climate change. Climate skepticism has derailed any serious bipartisan discussion about the various ways we can transform our energy economy and how we power our lives and industry. The good news is that young Republicans want their party to act. One can speculate to all the reasons that have led up to it, but Alex Flint, the Executive Director at Alliance for Market Solutions, told a group of Conservatives recently that some time last year there was a big shift.
The latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio features eight Republicans talking about climate change solutions and the ways they are urging their party to become leaders in the climate movement.
Mr. Flint previously served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He was the senior vice president of governmental affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute and was a member of President Trump’s transition team. He outlines for us the dramatic shifts he has witnessed while speaking with lawmakers on climate.
Jim Tolbert, CCL’s Conservative Outreach Director and Jacob Abel, a CCL conservative fellow, provide insider glimpses to the conversations about climate change they have with fellow Conservatives.
In this episode, you will learn what has changed in the Republican party on climate, and the new landscape climate advocates face when lobbying conservative members of Congress. Guests will share what Republicans bring to the climate conversation and the conservative values that compel them to pursue effective ways to transform our energy economy. You will also receive specific advice and learn the ways these conservatives are speaking with their family, friends, and elected leaders about climate change.
You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google Play, PlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.
My personal podcast, Bubble&Squeak, regularly gets weird. Just the titles suggest weirdness: Anal Thermometer, Jerk Demons, and Hairless Gerbils are each two word titles taken from something said in the podcast. My latest show though takes a tender turn, even if the title doesn’t immediately reflect that tenderness.
Part one A story from the Toscano family archive: Grandma Toscano and the veneration of St. Joseph with Bread
Part two Elizabeth Jeremiah is alone during the Coronavirus lock down. Margery Kempe by Robert Glück is a book about a 15th Century holy woman opens Pandora’s box to deeper, passionate, sensual encounter with the divine.
Part three a sound slice from pre-Coronavirus Madrid, Spain.
Liam shares his insights about I Kings 17-7-24. Elijah, a prophet with an unpopular message who finds himself destitute during a famine. A widow prepares a last meal for her son before they both die. They survive though as they shelter in place with the prophet. The similarities to what many are experiencing in this time of Coronavirus are striking.
Then I share “an other text” by Doris Lessing from The Sweetest Dream
Hear wherever you get your podcasts, click on play above, or follow this link.
PLUS both Liam and I reveal the activities they do to keep them sane during a time of isolation. Here is my Corona Containment Dancer playlist. Feel free to add tracks and definitely feel free to dance along.
I had the honor of interviewing eight women who share their wisdom, experience, and insight about both eco-grief and the collective grief we are all experiencing one way or another because of the impacts of Covid-19. In a single podcast episode I was able to weave in these eight voices and provide listeners with an encounter with these thought leaders. The show is getting a lot of downloads, and many who have listened so far, say it provided an opportunity to better understand themselves and the rapidly changing world around them.
Here is a sample of what they had to say
You can hear the entire show through this player or find Citizens Climate Radio wherever you get podcasts
You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google Play, PlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in theCitizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.
Featured photo: Elizabeth Rush
The first podcast I heard must have been around 2004 or 2005. This was during the infancy of the medium when podcasting became an audio version of blogging, which had taken off with platforms like Blogger and Live Journal.
Joe Gee, a gay Quaker with excellent music taste and even better comic timing, caught my ear with his odd-ball take on everyday life and the sarcasm that infused each episode of Beppepocast. Joe introduced me to The Flatus Show by Kentie, which was like an adult audio version of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Through the years I have enjoyed TransPonder Podcast, which was produced by two women who talked about their transition and all of the cool geeky stuff they like.
Of course I hurled myself at all of these podcasters using whichever charming or annoying character they would take. I must have appeared on at least 12 podcast episodes in character before I actually spoke with my own voice.
Zack Ford, now a famous queer and political blogger, was still a relatively little known public atheist blogger, when we decided to produce the Queer & Queerer Podcast. Zack did all the technical aspects of the show, but by 2014 I was ready to get behind the control panel when I launched Climate Stew.
And now?? Now I am a podcasting fool.
If you are looking for current LGBTQ themed podcasts, The Advocate has compiled a list of 12 notable shows.
Also check out this new episode of Transformation Thursday
If you are looking for a podcast to entertain or enlighten you (or both) during the Corona crisis, I have four different podcasts I produce. You can find them wherever you get podcasts. Here are the most recent episodes.
While some are on the front lines of serving the public and tending to the sick, so many more of us must stay at home for the good of everyone. From scrolling through FB and Instagram, I see a whole lot of people are cooking and baking. I shocked my husband with an artisanal looking round loaf I pulled out of the oven. After more than 10 years together he had no idea I could bake bread. I guess I never stayed still long enough to get that domesticated.
But that is what boredom will do. I recently wrote about the Blessing of Boredom; you may feel overly blessed with it at the moment. To help, I am sharing some things for you.
I am pleased to announce I am offering free streaming of my two films.
Doin’ Time in the Homo Halfway House is my one-person, multi-character comedy about the trauma of conversion therapy. I lived for two years in the notorious Love in Action program. This is the same program that inspired the Boy Erased, the excellent memoir by Garrard Conley that was turned into a film.
I do not have the writing chops that Conley possesses or the emotional strength to publish a memoir, but I do have comedy and characters. The film was shot and by Morgan Jon Fox, who produced the award winning documentary, This is What Love in Action Looks Like.
The other film I have released for free screening is Transfigurations–Gender Outlaws in the Bible. Similar to the performance lecture version which looks at gender non-conforming Bible characters, you experience a range of genders revealed in a variety of Bible characters. This rarely seen version though is a play without commentary and with a dramatic ending. Both versions were directed by Samuel Neff.
If you are looking for a podcast to entertain or enlighten you (or both,) I have four different podcasts I produce. You can find them wherever you get podcasts. Here are the most recent episodes.
Producing two different podcast episodes this past week gave me a chance to process the many strong feelings I have around the current Coronavirus outbreak.
Through Citizens Climate Radio, I spoke to three experts who helped me better understand and similarities and differences between the Coronavirus and climate change. How local and national government responds, the need for an engaged and active imagination, and the role of empathy come up in our conversation.
I chat with Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, the interim Associate Director of Program & Partnership Development at the National Environmental Health Association, Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, the director of the Sustainable Finance Center at the World Resources Institute, and Alice. C Hill, a senior fellow for Climate Change Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
It is an incredibly helpful discussion for anyone doing climate work who feels derailed by this immediate existential threat upending all our lives.
The other podcast doesn’t speak directly to the current Covid-19 crisis, but does focus on the vital role of prophets to call out leaders who lead us down a deadly path.
In the current Bible Bash podcastt you will hear Rev. Scott Kershner, chaplain at Susquehanna University, and I talk about John the Baptist from the Matthew 3 narrative. While Scott gives us the historical context of the story and its significance, I connect it to contemporary times and the roles performance artists play to use costume and setting to deepen the message they want to communicate.
This is seen most dramatically and effectively in the work of the young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg.
Like John the Baptist, she made a spectacle of herself, sailing to America, then she stood on the world stage and addressed the rich and powerful. Her directness offended many who deemed her disrespectful and even rude. By dismissing the messenger, they attempted to shift focus away from her message.
Talking about these weighty issues can be helpful right now. That said, sometimes silence is the best response. I appreciate what fellow Quaker, Mark Russ tweeted earlier today:
I need Liberal #Quakers to stop trying to find meaning or silver-linings in the global pandemic. I need a community to cry and rage with, or sit in silent unknowing with the midst of uncertainty.
— Mark Russ (@MarkDRuss) March 30, 2020