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Making Gay History | LGBTQ Oral Histories from the Archive

History Podcasts

Intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history brought to you from rare archival interviews.

Intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history brought to you from rare archival interviews.

Location:

United States

Description:

Intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history brought to you from rare archival interviews.

Language:

English

Contact:

(917) 573-0626


Episodes

Season 8: Episode 8: Meg Christian

1/7/2021
Olivia Records cofounder Meg Christian helped ignite the women’s music movement of the 1970s with lesbian classics like “Ode to a Gym Teacher.” Meet Meg, in song and conversation, in our final episode drawn from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:27:31

Season 8: Episode 7: Leonard Matlovich

12/24/2020
When Leonard Matlovich was thrown out of the Air Force for being gay, he sued for reinstatement. It was 1975 and it was the first case of its kind. Hear the LGBTQ rights pioneer—and startlingly frank one-time racist—in conversation with Studs Terkel. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:23:07

Season 8: Episode 6: Jill Johnston

12/10/2020
Sparks flew when radical lesbian feminist Jill Johnston sat down for an interview with Studs Terkel in 1973. Jill had just published a controversial manifesto called “Lesbian Nation,” which advocated that women break with men entirely. It was provocative stuff—even for the usually unflappable Studs. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:23:25

Season 8: Episode 5: Mattachine Midwest

11/26/2020
A half-century ago, Studs Terkel interviewed three members of the homophile group Mattachine Midwest: the organization’s president, a student activist, and lesbian pulp author Valerie Taylor. Join them for a wide-ranging and laugh-filled conversation about gay liberation both personal and political. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:24:32

Season 8: Episode 4: Quentin Crisp

11/12/2020
From a young age, Quentin Crisp was determined to be himself—makeup, painted nails, dramatically dyed hair, and all—even if it consigned him to a life of poverty and isolation. Hear the author, raconteur, and provocateur in a 1970 conversation with Studs Terkel before he found late-in-life fame. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:25:51

Season 8: Episode 3: "Les-Lee"

10/29/2020
Canadian female impersonator John Falk Tomkinson appeared around the globe under the stage name Les-Lee for over three decades. In 1967 Studs Terkel interviewed the performer to talk about his art and upbringing, and his experiences of being “different.” Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:19:58

Season 8: Episode 2: Lorraine Hansberry

10/15/2020
In 1959 Lorraine Hansberry became the first Black woman to have a play produced on Broadway. Soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made history, the 28-year-old writer and activist talked to Studs Terkel about racial and gender inequity and the role of art in confronting difficult truths about our world. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:21:22

Season 8: Episode 1: Christopher Isherwood

10/1/2020
Author Christopher Isherwood left England for Germany in 1929. His stories about his years there inspired the musical “Cabaret,” which shaped the image of decadent interwar Berlin in the popular imagination. But as he told Studs Terkel in this 1977 interview, to him, Berlin meant, above all, boys. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:24:17

Season 8: Preview

10/1/2020
Making Gay History is back! Join us as we mine the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in Chicago for stories from our proud LGBTQ past to bring you eight intimate conversations conducted between 1959 and 1981 by the legendary oral historian. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:07:01

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 13: Larah Helayne & Jean O’Leary

6/18/2020
When high schooler Larah Helayne heard MGH’s episode with Jean O’Leary, it changed the course of her life. Plans to become a nun gave way for a new role as an LGBTQ trailblazer. In this season finale, we celebrate the history-makers who came before and those who follow in their footsteps. Visit the webpages for our Season Two episodes with Jean O'Leary—part 1 and part 2—for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...

Duration:00:23:51

Introducing Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust — Leon Bass

6/14/2020
MGH is Eric Marcus’s first love. But he also co-produces Those Who Were There. Have a listen to this episode featuring Leon Bass. He faced racism growing up in 1930s Philadelphia, in the Army during WWII, and discovered its ultimate endpoint at a German concentration camp. Subscribe to Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust wherever you get your podcasts, or visit thosewhowerethere.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:28:13

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 12: Bayard Rustin

6/7/2020
Making Gay History stands with the countless Americans protesting systemic racism and the deaths of black and brown people at the hands of the police. And we draw inspiration from civil rights heroes like Bayard Rustin, an out and proud black gay man who dedicated his life to fighting injustice. Visit our Season Four episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:26:26

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 11: Larry Kramer

5/29/2020
June 25, 1935 - May 27, 2020. In the early ’80s, author and playwright Larry Kramer was one of the first people to sound the alarm about AIDS. He became one of the loudest voices in the fight against the epidemic, calling an indifferent world to account. Visit our Season Three episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:22:32

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 10: Perry Watkins

5/23/2020
When Perry Watkins was drafted in 1968, he assumed the Army would reject him for being gay. They didn’t. When they got rid of him after 15 years of service, he fought back. As we face the systemic inequalities Covid-19 has once again laid bare, an enraging tale of prejudice, triumph, and tragedy. Visit our Season Three episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:21:13

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 9: Joyce Hunter

5/16/2020
In 1939 Joyce Hunter was born into a world so hostile it’s a wonder she wasn’t crushed. Instead, the challenges and brutality she faced proved to be the launchpad for an expansive life of pioneering activism and accomplishment. A guiding light in tough times. Visit our Season Two episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:22:19

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 8: Morris Foote

5/9/2020
In late 1955, the police of Boise, Idaho, started a sweeping investigation into an alleged “homosexual underground.” Fearing arrest, Morris Foote fled town, not to return till 20 years later. A story of Pride from the U.S. heartland to remind us that what unites us transcends red/blue state divides. Visit our Season Two episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:17:41

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 7: Ellen DeGeneres

5/2/2020
Today, Ellen DeGeneres needs no introduction. But as she explained in a 2001 MGH interview, her very public 1997 coming out took a dramatic professional and personal toll. When life goes off the rails, there’s no knowing what the future holds. We’re challenged to push ahead to fight for better days. Visit our Season Three episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resources. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:28:13

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 6: Kay Lahusen's Gay Table

4/25/2020
When did you make gay history? Join host Eric Marcus, pioneering photojournalist Kay Lahusen, and a group of LGBTQ history-making elders for their monthly retirement community dinner. Happy memories from the recent pre-pandemic past. To see photos from the dinner, visit the webpage of our original Season Three bonus episode. To hear our two episodes featuring Kay Lahusen and her partner, Barbara Gittings, go here and here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:17:01

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 5: Vito Russo

4/18/2020
Vito Russo’s legacy—as a film historian, activist, and co-founder of GLAAD and ACT UP—is hard to overstate. In this 1988 interview, legacy was also very much on Vito’s mind: it was the height of the AIDS epidemic, which had claimed Vito’s boyfriend, and now Vito was sick, too. As we remember the people lost to the current pandemic, listen to Vito reflect on what it means to leave something behind. Visit our Season One episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other...

Duration:00:21:36

Revisiting the Archive: Episode 4: Shirley Willer

4/11/2020
“I’ve spent a large percent of my life being angry.” That was Shirley Willer, reflecting on the death of a close friend and fellow nurse who in 1947 received fatally inadequate hospital care because he was gay. Shirley channeled her anger into activism in the early homophile movement—let’s listen to her story as we face the challenge of what to do with our own anger during this pandemic that has upended our lives. Visit our Season Two episode webpage for background information, archival...

Duration:00:20:49