Strange Fruit: Some Of Her Best Friends Are Straight… Sunday, Sep 22 2019 

Lambda Award-winning writer and activist Michelle Tea has always considered herself “radical queer,” – those outside-of-the-mainstream LGBTQ folks who have nothing left to lose and make their own rules about everything.

As she describes it in an essay for Buzzfeed, for Tea and the queer friends she shared a radical subculture with, “that meant prioritizing freedom, glorifying poverty, experimenting with our bodies in every way possible. The possibility of having children was raised only to highlight how absurd that would be….[we] mostly viewed kids as a potential drag on [our] liberties, or simply an impossibility.”

Which is why almost everyone who knew her was shocked when she suddenly decided to get pregnant and become a parent at 40 years old – while single, uninsured, and living in an expensive city and working a somewhat unstable job.

Spoiler alert: It’s now several years later and parenthood has ultimately worked out well for Tea and she’s learned some important lessons and made some unexpected (straight!) friends along the way. She shares her adventures on this episode.

 Later in the show, Chicago-based rapper and actor Mykele Deville stop by the studio to discuss his role as Verb in the rousing production of Idris Goodwin’s “Hype Man: A Break Beat Play” at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which runs thru October 13.

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Strange Fruit: Forming Intergenerational Friendships In the Queer Community Sunday, Sep 15 2019 

What are some of the barriers that prevent intergenerational bonding and mentorship among LGBTQ people? What are some of the factors that hold us back from sharing knowledge and wisdom between folks of different age groups within the queer community?

This week we explore intergenerational mentorship and queer concepts of chosen family.

Philadelphia Inquirer photo journalist Heather Khalifa introduces us to a black trans woman and her fiancé who act as stand-in parents to LGBTQ youth in their Philadelphia neighborhood.

Andrea Lamour-Harrington has opened her home to struggling LGBTQ young people since the 1980s, and as the “mother” of the House of Lamour she has mentored some eighty-seven “children.”

Later, Writer and former ActUp NY activist James “Jim” Finn notes that there is a popular perception that intergenerational friendships don’t exist among gay men and other queer people.

In his essay “LGBTQ Generations — Mentoring and More,” Finn says that queer folks’ hesitation to mentor youth is rooted in internalized homophobia and deep-seated societal stereotypes that posit older gay men as sexual threats to younger men, and says that his life has been enriched by his friendship with a gay college student more than 30 years his junior.

Strange Fruit: The Intersection Of Race And Family Dynamics Sunday, Sep 8 2019 

Conversations about the intersections of identify can be awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes emotionally exhausting — especially when discussing race and gender. And especially when these conversations have to happen between parents and their children.

To that end, this week we chat with parents who are having very intentional conversations with their respective family members about ways the world assigns value to — or holds stereotypical expectations of — women of color.

We’re joined this week by two thought-provoking writers. Author Kay Bolden explains “Why Women in My Family Don’t Scrub Floors.

And later, Canadian writer Anam Ahmed is the mother of two biracial girls – one who shares her Pakistani brown skin and another whose skin and hair more closely resembles the complexion of her Dutch-English-Canadian husband, which she writes about in “My Biracial Children Are Noticing We’re Not All the Same Color.”

Strange Fruit: Black & Queer Stories In Fashion News Saturday, Aug 31 2019 

From its practical and everyday uses, to Black celebrities and fashion icons donning it on red carpets, the durag is finally getting its just due. Fashion & beauty writer Jamé Jackson of the joins us this week talk to us about her essay, “How the Durag Became a Political Statement.” It illuminates the cultural and political significance of the durag, and how it’s always represented much more than just a hair accessory.

Later in the show we switch gears and turn our attention — and the conversation — to last spring’s Met Gala where fashion theme was “Camp: Note on Fashion.” Jackson explores the queer, black and urban roots of camp, and argues that ideas around and performances of camp belonged to Black and queer communities long before it became popular at the annual ball.

In our Juicy Fruit segment, we’re surprised by just how long many Americans will go without changing their underwear.

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Strange Fruit: The Segregated History Of Our Summertime Spaces Sunday, Aug 25 2019 

The official end of summer and LGBTQ pride season is fast approaching, but there’s still time to have some fun at some events in the region.

Now in its third year, OUTLOUD Musical Festival in Nashville features 14 LGBTQ+ artists across two stages, including headliners Greyson Chance, Kim Petras and Gia Woods.

OUTLOUD creator and producer Jack Davis joins us at the start of this week’s show to tell us what to expect at the festival happening on September 14.

We also speak with friend to the show Mike Slaton, Executive Director of the Louisville Pride Foundation, about the Louisville Pride Festival coming up on September 21. The event is free and this year’s headliner is performer Todrick Hall.

In our feature interview, we explore the notoriously segregated history of swimming pools and other public spaces dedicated to leisure and enjoyment. Dr. Victoria Wolcott joins us to discuss her insightful piece “The Forgotten History Of Segregated Swimming Pools And Amusement Parks” published by The Conversation, and her book “Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America.” 

Strange Fruit: Black Queer Comics Lead the Way At Midwest Queer Comedy Fest Saturday, Aug 17 2019 

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As the host of Strange Fruit we’ve often wondered why pants made for men have plenty of pockets while most pants designed for women are pocketless. This week we discuss about the problematics of the gender binary when it comes to fashion and clothing and speak with Washington Post writer Samantha Schmidt about a Washington, DC area sewing class designed to deconstruct the gender rules in fashion and reconstruct clothing that better meets form and function for the queer and trans participants.

Later this month, Louisville plays host to the second annual Midwest Queer Comedy Festival, a showcase designed to expose audiences to comedic voices from the LGBTQ community. Starting August 21st, the MQCFest will be five nights of shows, showcases, podcasts, and after parties. This year’s line-up is stacked with nearly 75 acts, including headliner Sampson McCormick.

McCormick is an award-winning Black queer comic who first joined us for a conversion about breaking barriers last December. He’s back this week to talk about his upcoming appearance at MQCFest and about his new movie A Different Direction with Darryl Stephens from TV’s “Noah’s Arc.”

Also joining us to discuss all things queer and comedic is comedian Keith McGill, who is an associate producer of the festival, and MQCFest creator and executive producer Dwayne Duke.

Is The South A Safe Place For LGBTQ People? Saturday, Aug 10 2019 

Many Americans have misconceptions of southern states based off stereotypes and media representations of the South as a repressive hotbed of antiquated attitudes and violence against LGBTQ people.

There’s a popular idea that in order to escape discrimination and openly be themselves, LGBTQ folks must leave the South for more liberal Northern or coastal cities like New York or San Francisco.

Writer and reproductive justice activist Quita Tinsley argues that while the potential for violence or discrimination against queer and trans folks in the South can be higher than other regions, the entire nation is unsafe for those same people. And when she visited these northern “Gay Meccas” she felt isolated and experienced overwhelming levels of anti-blackness that exceeded what she felt in the South.

“This experience forced me to be honest with myself about something: as a Black, queer woman, there are far too few cities that are safe for me. I felt no more safe interacting with people in San Francisco than I did in rural Georgia,” Tinsley writes in “Why I Refuse To Leave the South as a Queer Black Person.” Tinsely is our first guest this week and we discuss how she learned to embrace and celebrate her identity as a Southerner.

Later in the show we shift the discussion from regional space to “gayborhoods,” an area of a city or town characterized as being inhabited or frequented by LGBTQ folks. In his feature article “Won’t You Be My Gaybor?” for Richmond, Virginia’s RVA Mag writer Wyatt Gordon discusses the city’s lack of a gayborhood — the absence of gayborhoods in many southern cities — and examines if it is a sign of social repression or in fact a reflection of progress.

In Juicy Fruit, we honor the legacy of literary giant Toni Morrison who died this week.

Strange Fruit: Tarell Alvin McCraney, And Black Art For Black People Sunday, Aug 4 2019 

This week we’re joined by Tarell Alvin McCraney, chair of play writing at the Yale School of Drama, 2013 recipient of a MacArthur Fellows Genius Grant, and the 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight.

McCraney’s newest endeavor is his first television project, an original scripted series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network called David Makes Man. The compelling lyrical drama will premiere on August 14

David Makes Man centers on a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects of South Miami who is haunted by the death of his closest friend, and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. We discuss the show, its phenomenal ensemble cast, his life since Moonlight, and how important it is for him to create Black art for Black people. 

Later in the show we speak to culture writer Beandrea July about the new documentaryToni Morrison: The Pieces I AmWe discuss the themes of the documentary, Morrison’s legacy as a writer, and the resistance and criticism Morrison encountered from many other writers when it came to celebrating and honoring the brilliance of her work.

In our Juicy Fruit segment this week, the model who cried “trans.” And even the bell can’t save “Saved By the Bell” actor and Extra TV host Mario Lopez from the backlash after his recent commentary that supporting trans children is “dangerous.”

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Strange Fruit: The Bar Is A Traditional LGBTQ Safe Space. But What If You Don’t Drink? Sunday, Jul 28 2019 

Sober spaces for LGBTQ folks to socialize are on the rise. With many of them facing social stigma, discrimination, harassment and violence, LGBTQ people are at a greater risk for drug and alcohol addiction than their straight counterparts.

We wondered just how easy or difficult it is for queer folks to commit to sober living when so much of gay social life is tied to parties, nightclubs and bars, and many of our community’s biggest pride festival sponsors are beer and liquor companies.

In this week’s episode, we hear from four friends of the show who called to tell us about their individual struggles with substance abuse and their new lives of sobriety free from drugs and alcohol.

In our Juicy Fruit segment, we discuss why the body-shaming sentiment of “she’s let herself go” is never a good excuse for when a man cheats on his wife.

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Strange Fruit: Mental Health Help For Students and Activists Sunday, Jul 21 2019 

In recognition of Minority Mental Health Month, we continue examining issues affecting African Americans and their mental well-being – or the lack thereof.

In February 2016, 23-year-old Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel took his own life on the step of the Columbus, Ohio courthouse steps. This March, the body of another social activist, 29-year-old Amber Evans, was found in a Columbus river, and her death was also ruled a suicide.

JoAnne Viviano, Health Reporter for The Columbus Dispatch joins us this week to discuss the toll that fighting for social justice can take on the mental health of activists like McCarrel and Evans. The activists she interviewed for her piece in the Dispatch cited long workweeks, encountering widespread racism, vicariously transferring traumas, and unrealistic expectations of fellow activists as some of the factors that adversely affect their mental health – and have necessitated a shift in how their community looks after one another in a commitment to a healing process.

Then, we shine the spotlight on a small Texas college named Paul Quinn College that is so committed to the mental well-being of its students that it offers and encourages every incoming student to meet with a counselor to have their needs assessed, at a free on-site mental health clinic. Eva-Marie Ayala, staff reporter for The Dallas News, tells us how this tiny HBCU, which prides itself on recruiting at-risk students, promotes health and wellness throughout its campus.

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