by Ken Schneck, Editor
With a sharp increase of time spent at home, minutes spent dog-walking, and hours spent looking for escapism from our current reality, it comes as no surprise that podcasts are experiencing yet another resurgence. Even better: so much of that incredible podcast content is produced right here in the Buckeye State. For your listening pleasure, we present to you 12 LGBTQ+ Ohio-based podcasts covering everything from cinema to drag history to queer ghosts to two aunties that you will WISH you could have at your Thanksgiving table. “Support local” applies to podcasts too, so give these locally-sourced projects a listen. They most definitely deserve your download!
With the first ceremony held way back in 1929, the Academy Awards have given us 90+ years of actors to celebrate, discuss and, yes, shade. Joey Gentile and Brandon Stanwyck pull zero punches as they dissect the acting winners and nominees of yesteryear. Be warned: these gents most definitely know their Eileen Heckart from their Quvenzhane Wallis, so a most informed and lively cinematic dissection is sure to be provided in each and every episode.
The Brave Educator Podcast
Tim’m M. West is here to provide a listening experience with a ton of heart, a healthy dose of integrity, and words that will stay with you long after each episode fades out. The author, poet, Hip Hop artist, and education advocate shares stories, converses with someone he loves and continues to learn from, and then closes with some poetry. This is just the audio refresh you desperately need.
Left of Str8
Less a single podcast and more a pantheon of LGBTQ programming, the flagship show of the Left of Str8 Radio network is the Left of Str8 Show itself, a twice weekly show broadcasting out of Youngstown. Since 2015, host Scott Fullerton has lined up the most ridiculous array of LGBTQ luminaries from singer/songwriters to activists to actors. He meticulously does his research and then lets his guests shine…a skill not ever podcast host is able to put forth to such entertaining results.
The Liberal Black
Quoting host extraordinaire Cleo House, Jr., “Hey cousin! Welcome to The Liberal Black, unapologetically a podcast for black folks of all walks of life, but also a place for allies too. Y’all are invited to the BBQ!” Each episode is a variety show ranging from the serious to the entertaining, but always with a focus on discussing all things from a black perspective ranging from art, race, politics, love and finances. Simply put: Mr. Cleo is good at what he does.
You can’t be The Queen City without being SUPER gay, and this podcast honors the moniker by celebrating all things LGBTQ+ about Cincinnati. Hosted by Chris and Melissa, the program covers the Greater Cincinnati LGBTQ+ community and beyond by featuring politicians, artists, musicians, drag queens, and everyone in between. Covering both the past, present and future, every episode is a beautiful ode to a city teeming with incredible LGBTQ+ stories to tell.
The Q Files
Things are about to get all KINDS of eerily gay in your ears when you tune in to The Q Files. Bonafide queer ghosthunters Shane McClelland and Lori Gum put forth this paranormal podcast about the highly strange and weirdly unknown. Join them on their adventures as they explore the people, places, and phenomena outside popular consciousness with astonishing and OH so gay stories about the paranormal, the supernatural, occulture, forgotten history, and the just plain strange. We recommend a flicking candle to accompany your listening experience.
Ok, but what about our LGBTQ+ youth?! Speaking Queerly centers our younger siblings by examining pop culture, news, politics, and other topics that affect LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. The podcast is produced by Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an incredible nonprofit in Columbus working tirelessly to provide a safer place, programming, and leadership opportunities so that youth can be free to explore who they are and empowered to become their confident, truest self.
The Tit for Tat Show
If you’re worried that the tallest drag queen around doesn’t convey the same height of personality through your earbuds, think again. Tit For Tat Show launched in 2015 and stars Veranda L’Ni–Cleveland’s towering drag queen–gay co-host Thomas, and Straight Producer Chris. You can regularly find them gabbing about life or interviewing notable celebs like recent guest Mindy Cohn (“Facts of Life”), Margaret Cho, or even bringing on their own best buddies to put their friendship to the test. Lively and uplifting chat guaranteed!
This Ends at Prom
What happens when you combine coming-of-age teen girl movies with a queer, feminist cisgender and transgender perspective? This Ends at Prom stars BJ Colangelo and Harmony Colangelo, wives and the reigning monarchs of a mythical land called The Side Quest. Their weekly podcast just launched last week(!) and immediately plunged into the complex waters of the seminal classic and endlessly quotable flick Clueless.
Under the Wig
Trust: us you have never met anyone with the energy of high-kicking, glittery, trans, drag-queen, musical theatre-loving, activist Kimmy Katarja. This podcast has her taking off her wig and spilling EVERYTHING about relationships, the art of drag, sex, and all the other fun stuff that comes from living her truth while the world is on fire! There’s also tips for the every day “Werkin’ Queen” and a song of the day in each episode. This is a listening experience you will neither regret nor forget.
Untucking the Past
The “Dr.” in “Dr. Lady J” isn’t just an affectation: this queen really does have a PhD, with a dissertation on drag history no less! And here she uses the pedigree to brilliant effect as she hosts Untucking the Past, a podcast devoted to the exploration of drag history as she busts old myths and reveals new truths about our shared queer performance past. What is alternative drag? Why do drag queens lip-sync? Listen and LEARN.
Ya Gay Aunties
You are so quickly going to be OBSESSED with Hanifah Walidah and Red Summer, Ya Gay Aunties providing real talk about queer adulting. Each episode finds the hosts and special guests bridging generations with sage words about life, love, politics. If you want advice, just tap them on the shoulder. They lead with love, they won’t hold back, and they’re here for you. Of special note is their “Lights On” series in which they spotlight and amplify the voices of other independent queer podcasters. Aunties, if you’re listening: please adopt us.
Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He is the author of Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew (2017), LGBTQ Cleveland (2018), LGBTQ Columbus (2019), and LGBTQ Cincinnati (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.