As part of his SCSC fellowship this summer, Noah Powers chose to produce a podcast titled ‘Queer Here, Queer There’ with the goal of making his research more accessible to the wider community. Noah was inspired by the Huffington Post article by Michael Hobbes titled “The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness” that details the challenges of the queer community to connect with one another and feel a sense of belonging, one of which is the decline of queer spaces.
Queer spaces are venues and areas where queer people feel more a part of a community, accepted, and safer than other areas in the city. Over the past decades, these spaces have drastically changed and some have disappeared altogether. Noah sought to investigate these spaces and changes through this podcast, as well as look into the effects these changes have had on the queer community.
In the first episode, Noah recounts a brief history of queer Montreal, focusing on how queer spaces have long acted as sites of community-building, activism, and visibility of queer people in this city. In the second episode, Noah speaks with Walt Odets, a practicing psychotherapist of 30 years, and Andrew Londyn, author of the book ‘Grindr Survivr’, about the threats to queer spaces as well as their future.
The release of the last two episodes align with Montreal Pride. In the third episode, which just released yesterday, Noah and a close friend Georgia speak about their experiences with mental health and loneliness, especially within the context of the lifelong process of coming out. In the fourth episode, Noah speaks with David Rayside, the former director of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, and Ken Lustbader, the co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, about the importance and challenges associated with recognizing and preserving historic queer spaces in Canada and New York City.
Overall, Noah hopes that this podcast can educate a younger and less connected queer population about their community’s rich past while inspiring change and activism to protect and preserve these spaces for future generations of queer people.