Episode 18: Girls Gone Wilde

What would an exploration of the Wilde family be without taking a closer look at Oscar Wilde’s ‘virulently lesbian’ niece Dolly Wilde? Gretchen and Leigh take you on a journey to learn more about this elusive personality. Unlike her uncle, Dolly left little written work behind and is best known from her letters and from what other people have to say about her. Come join the ouroboros of gay that is the Sapphic ‘sewing circle’ of 1920s Hollywood and Paris.

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
5:02 – Main Topic: Dolly Wilde
5:23 – Socio-Historical Context: Paris and London in the 1920s
10:20 – Who were they? Bio Time. 
48:53 – Why do we think they're gay?
58:50 – Fun Segment: Word of the Week
1:26:21 – How Gay were They?
1:28:44 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 17: He's a Real Wilde One


In honor of his 164th birthday, Leigh and Gretchen talk about the life and times of Oscar Wilde with special guest K. W. Moore from the blog “A Scholar of No Importance.” Wilde’s unwillingness to conform to Victorian sensibilities regarding keeping his private life private and the famous trials that resulted from it changed the shape of Western discussions of sexuality thereafter. His writing, too has left its mark both on the world, and on all three of our hosts this episode. So come join us as we pay homage to the Wilde man himself, the man who sought to live up to his blue china and worried he might fall short.

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
5:30 – Socio-Historical Context: 19th Century England, Male-Male Intimacy, and the Criminal Amendment Act of 1885
15:11 – Who were They/Why Do We Think They’re Gay: The Early Life, Loves, and Scandals of Oscar Wilde
20:50 – Fun Segment: Word of the Week
41:03 - 43:17 – Content Warning for mentions of child abuse & suicide
46:45- 51:12– Content Warning: Discussion regarding ephebophilia and pederasty
51:12 – The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Exile, and Death
1:20:19 – Fun Segment: Pop Culture Tie-In
1:25:47 – How Gay were They?
1:28:04– Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 16: Lavender Apparitions

Happy Halloween everybody! As good Halloween gays, Leigh and Gretchen bring you a special, spoopy episode for Halloween. In the first half, they bring tales of gay and lesbian ghosts and lavender apparitions of all kinds, though of the kindly and perhaps a bit cheeky variety rather than bloody or scary. For the second half, they interview Joe Applebaum, one of the producers of Queer Ghost Hunters, a paranormal investigation series on YouTube focused on finding and talking to queer ghosts. So grab your bucket of candy and get ready for some spoopy fun on History is Gay!

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
6:41– Socio-Historic Context: Spiritualism
11:23 – Lavender Apparitions and Queer Ghosts
45:16 – Leigh and Gretchen Plan Their Hauntings
52:23 – Fun Segment: Pop Culture Tie-In
54:47 – How Gay were They?
56:31 – Interview with Joe Applebaum of Queer Ghost Hunters
1:44:47 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 15: Lizzie Borden Took a Labrys

Way back in the first episode, Leigh and Gretchen formed a historical ‘murder wives’ ship starting with Anne Bonny; in this episode, they take a closer look at murder wife #2: Lizzie Borden! That’s right folks, she too may very well have had a thing for the ladies as well as possibly murdering her father and stepmother. Just how queer was she? Did she have an affair with her maid and her stepmother caught them? Why was she acquitted and what was society like for a single, Victorian woman? Find out on this week’s History is Gay! 

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
3:30 – Content Warnings
5:07 – Historical Context: 19th Century Victorian Society
21:57 – Who Were They? Bio Time
30:55-31:56 – Content Warning Break: Mention of Incest
35:34 – Motives, The Murders, and Trial
58:24 – Why Do We Think They’re Gay?
1:07:10 – Fun Segment: Word of the Week: Spinsters
1:13:55 – Fun Segment: Pop Culture Tie-In
1:16:34 – How Gay were They?
1:20:32 – Closing and Where to Find Us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 12: Let's Have a Kiki with Queer as Fact!

Welcome to our very first extra special collaboration! Joining Leigh and Gretchen this episode are our friends over at Queer as Fact, a queer history podcast from Australia. Our topic of choice? Queer slang! Join us as we discuss lavender linguistics, the history of queer slang in Australian penal colonies, and our favorite slang words, both American and Australian! So brush off your oysters, pitch your tents for camp, sharpen up your Gillette blades, and let’s have a kiki with Queer as Fact!

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
09:14 – Historical Background: Lavender Linguistics
28:48 – Historical Background: History of Queer Slang in Australia
52:35 – Our Favorite Slang: America vs Australia
1:36:56 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

Queer as Fact can be found on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and you can listen to them on your podcatcher app of choice!

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 11: Rainbow Rising: The First Pride

Leigh and Gretchen welcome you to their first Pride month special and the first of an ongoing series on Queer civil rights movements in the United States. And what better way to do both than to dive into the lives of Gilbert Baker---the maker of the first rainbow pride flag---and Brenda Howard---one of the primary organizers of the first Pride march commemorating the Stonewall riots and Pride week. Pride is a special month for those of us in the queer community, so we wanted to celebrate our forefathers and foremothers that make this month possible. So, without further ado, let's chat about the Mother of Pride and the Gay Betsy Ross!

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
2:56 – Content Warnings
6:35 – Historical Context: Brief Discussion of the Stonewall Riots and Aftermath
22:10 – Brenda Howard: Mother of Pride
41:25 – Gilbert Baker: Creator of the LGBT+ Rainbow Flag
1:06:01 – Fun Segment: Pop Culture Tie-In
1:09:06 – How Gay were They?
1:11:35– Closing and Where to Find Us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 8: Nazi Punks Fuck Off, Pt 1: Magnus Hirschfeld

We're not a fan of nazis around these parts, and not just for the obvious reasons. Did you know that one of the most iconic images of them burning books is from when they burned the library of a gay, Jewish, communist sexologist well known for his research on sexuality and gender, including trans identity? Until this episode, we didn't either! In this first part of a two part series (so far!), we dive into the fascinating life of Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld, the "Einstein of sex." His approach to sexuality, gender, and race was decades ahead of the likes of Alfred Kinsey and Harry Benjamin, and who knows were society would be had his research not been destroyed. So come join us as we say, "Nazi punks, fuck off!" 

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
3:38 – Content Warnings
5:40 – Social Context: Taboos and Mores
12:50 – Social Context: White Supremacy
17:43 – Social Context: Romanticism and the German Wilhelmite Period
24:50 – Social Context: Volkish Movements and Nazism
26:47 – Who Were They? Bio Time
31:00-31:53 – Content Warning: Discussion of Suicide
55:45-59:00 - (Not So) Fun Segment: Word of the Week
1:06:48 - Why Do We Think They're Gay?
1:11:40 – How Gay Were They?
1:14:30 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 7: F is for Friend Who Did Not Have Gender

R is for Revolutionary War, which is where hosts Leigh & Gretchen are headed in this, the very first episode dedicated to a single person from history: the Publick Universal Friend. The Friend presented as something entirely new: a genderless spirit from God who eschewed gendered pronouns and dressed and spoke in ways that purposefully blurred the lines between male and female in early American society. So come join us as we talk about this most special of Friends; to make things even more interesting, turns out one of our hosts is related to the Friend!

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
2:30 – Corrections Corner: On Egyptian Lettuce
5:22 – Main Topic: Jemima Wilkinson, The Publick Universal Friend
7:54 – Socio-Historical and Religious Context
27:48 – Who were they? Bio Time. 
48:42 – Why do we think they're gay?
1:05:08 – Analysis from Queer Historians
1:17:15 – Fun Fact: One of our Hosts is Related!
1:20:40 – How Gay were They?
1:27:10 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 1: Were Some Pirates Poofters?

In our first episode, your hosts Leigh & Gretchen begin their series examining the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies from the unexplored corners of history with a discussion of the high seas. Meet Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Calico Jack Rackham, and Pierre “the pansy pirate” Bouspet, a quartet of pirates from the golden age of piracy with a flair for the dramatic and some very interesting lifestyle choices.

Get at us on twitter @historyisgaypod, tumblr at historyisgaypodcast, and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts! Up Next: Cloistered Queers. 

Outline

0:00 – Introduction
2:55 – The Golden Age of Piracy
5:33 – Brief Bio: Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham, Pierre Bouspet, and Mary Read
28:09 – What Do You Mean They're Not Straight?
28:52  – Evidence from Historical/Cultural Context: Gender Code Switching, Situational Gayness, and Piracy vs. the British Royal Navy
43:08 – Evidence from Their Personal Lives
53:52 – How Gay Were They?
1:02:34  – Closing and Where to Find Us Online

For a full list sources and bonus content for this episode, visit our Notes page!

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