The Healing Power of Podcasts
For me, Pride is a celebration, a protest, a moment of reflection and a means of connection.
First and foremost, Pride is rooted in protest, and it always should be. Everyday, LGBTQIA+ people face challenges and obstacles that heterosexual people don’t. Whether that’s being stared at on the tube, feeling the pressure to ‘come out’ due to your sexual preference, being still seen as not the norm in media portrayals of everyday relationships or, in many cases, simply not being able to be who you are for fear of persecution — and, in still far too many countries today, prosecution.
Because of this, being visible, being loud, and marching for your rights is a protest.
Pride also serves as a moment of personal reflection. For me, living in the UK, I will be standing among my peers proudly bringing my whole self, but I also see Pride as an ideal time for reflecting on not only how far we have come as a nation – even in the past 20 years – but also just how far we still have to go.
Pride is a moment of connection. It’s a chance to ally with people from my community — and it’s a celebration, too. There’s nothing like standing on the edge of a pavement, seeing the parade go by with everyone whistling and hooting, dressed in rainbow colours.
The love you feel from everyone around you is unparalleled, and it’s one day – out of a whole year that is centred on heterosexual love – that your love feels celebrated and uplifted.
It’s also one day where you feel safe to be yourself. With hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ people on the rise, we’re always wondering when it’s safe to hold hands. But there’s safety in numbers at Pride, and it’s really freeing.
When it comes to podcasting, Queer voices are so important. When I first started on the journey to figuring out who I was, I turned to podcasts to hear like-minded voices sharing experiences that I was currently going through. I didn’t want to go on YouTube and then be outed to the world by my algorithm, and I didn’t want to read a book because that was too visible and would only provide me with a single opinion at any one time — so I turned to podcasting to explore this world on my own terms, at my own pace.
It was still tough. LGBTQIA+ podcasters weren’t in the charts and weren’t being heavily promoted, so I had to do a lot of digging to find relevant ones. Thankfully, this is changing. There are now whole listicles on websites dedicated to ‘best LGBT podcasts’, and more and more well-known LGBT creators are coming into the sphere – but we still have a long way to go when it comes to changing the charts and bringing in new voices.
This year, Acast is celebrating Pride with some of our key voices from across the LGBTQIA+ community globally. Our Audio Pride Parade will start in Los Angeles, USA, then head out around the world, country by country — and will feature exclusive episodes recorded by some of our biggest LGBTQIA+ podcasters on what Pride means to them.
Here’s the line-up:
We hope our Audio Pride Parade will serve as a comfort and a celebration to those living in the local areas of these creators, and also serve as an education for those from different countries and backgrounds. I, for one, am really interested in learning more about what it was like growing up LGBT in Toronto, so I’ll definitely be tuning into Sidenote on June 29.