When Apple first added a podcast library to the iTunes catalog in 2005, the impending boom of the format was not yet clear. But Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion were ahead of the curve, and their variety podcast “Feast of Fun” (née “Feast of Fools”) was the first to be hosted by an openly gay couple and landed on the first iTunes Top 50 list in 2006. Since then, audiobooks, film analysis, news programs, talk shows, true crime and history lessons have all found their place in the crowded market, but a queer presence can still be spotted anywhere you look in the world of podcasting.
For Pride Month, Variety is taking a look at some of the best LGBTQ podcasts available today, the topics of which include “Drag Race,” financial literacy, comedy, the news and, of course, pop culture. From soundtracking your morning commute to acting as an aural companion in the kitchen, the robust world of podcasts offers opportunities to learn, laugh, cry, ponder, or anything in between. Some are funny, some are insightful, some are a mix of both, but all of them are unapologetically queer.
In 2016, before Bowen Yang was on SNL, he created a podcast alongside best friend and fellow NYU alumnus Matt Rogers. In the six intervening years — as they’ve ranted about everything from Bennifer to toenails and invited every guest from Padma Lakshmi to Trixie Mattel — their podcast has become less a commentary on pop culture and more a cultural touchstone in and of itself. For the aficionados and oblivious alike, there’s always something to learn from Yang and Rogers, even if you may disagree with their piping hot takes.
Produced by the New York Times and hosted by film critic Wesley Morris (co-host Jenna Wortham is on book leave), this wide-ranging series breaks down trends in popular culture and the internet. With topics ranging from “Sex, Death and Bunnies” — a look back at “Fatal Attraction” — to examining icons like Tina Turner and Ella Fitzgerald and dissecting the fine art of the celebrity apology, from Lil Nax X to Justin Timberlake, “Still Processing” brings a queer sensibility to a wide range of cultural subjects.
This podcast is a deep dive into all the corners of LGBTQ history, with multi-part series on topics like “Coming of Age During the AIDS Crisis” and the Stonewall uprising. From historic interviews with figures like Christopher Isherwood, Larry Kramer, Lorraine Hansberry, Quentin Crisp and Meg Christian to the visionary activists who started the gay rights movement, “Making Gay History” uses the subject’s own voices to illuminate the stops along the road to equality.
Self-described “godless heathens” Rose Dommu and Fran Tirado bring a new perspective to the world of comedic cultural criticism with their strong rapport, knowledge of gay history and a strong affinity for gay icons. Each episode begins with a recap of the week’s gayest moments in pop culture news before diving into a singular topic, which could be anything from Hercules to smizing. Occasional guests keep the vibe fresh, and their irreverent sense of humor is one-of-a-kind.