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Queer as Fact

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Queer history podcast covering a variety of content from around the world and throughout time. Episodes released 1st and 15th of every month.

Queer history podcast covering a variety of content from around the world and throughout time. Episodes released 1st and 15th of every month.
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Queer history podcast covering a variety of content from around the world and throughout time. Episodes released 1st and 15th of every month.






Sylvia Beach

Today’s episode is on the publisher and bookseller Sylvia Beach. Learn about the delightful history of her bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, Sylvia’s instrumental role in publishing James Joyce’s Ulysses, and her fateful meeting with her long term partner Adrienne Monnier.


Male Sexuality in Ancient Rome

Today’s episode is on male sexuality in Ancient Rome! Listen on for ancient same sex marriages, dirty Latin poetry, and the wittiest retort you’ll hear all week. Also: some weird facts about hyenas! (Note: the image above is an 1827 sculpture by French artist Jean-Baptiste Roman on the theme of Ancient Roman sexuality. It’s not a genuine Roman work.)


Bonus Episode with CAMP Magazine

Today’s surprise episode is an ad we produced with CAMP Magazine, the University of Melbourne’s newest autonomous publication for queer people. Listen for some new poetry from the unimelb graduate and bisexual labour activist Lesbia Harford! Listen to our other episodes to learn more about Lesbia Harford, or, as mentioned in this episode, writer Mary Shelley, Moomins-creator Tove Jansson, or queer women in medieval Arab literature.


Did Queen Victoria believe in lesbians?

Unlike sex between men, sex between women was never illegal in Britain. Could it have been because Queen Victoria refused to believe that it could happen? Find out in the second of our mini episodes, exploring myths and shorter stories from queer history.


Pauli Murray: Part 2

Today’s episode is our second and final look at the life of the activist, lawyer, priest and poet, Pauli Murray. Learn about his involvement with the landmark women’s rights case Reed v. Reed, the mischief he got up to as a self-described “pixie priest”, and how his transgender identity has been handled (and mishandled) by scholars. If you haven’t heard Part 1 yet, check it out here!


Carmilla (1872)

Today’s episode is the first of Queer as Fiction, a series in which we talk to you about the intersection of the historical and the queer in the media. We’ll kick things off with J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 lesbian vampire novella Carmilla, and talk about just how gay it actually is, the pop culture it has influenced and, apparently, 300 years of Anglo-Irish conflict.


Pauli Murray: Part 1

Today episode is on Pauli Murray, the activist, lawyer, poet and priest who did so much with his life that it’s going to take us two episodes to fit it all. In this first half we’re covering the period from 1910 to 1965, including Pauli’s time at university, and his work as a lawyer and activist fighting segregation and sexism in the USA. We’ll be talking about everything from his ground-breaking theories on intersectionality to his cross-country adventures dressed as a boy-scout, and...


Did Swedish people call in gay to work?

Today we’re bringing you the first of our mini episodes which will come out on the 8th of every month! In them, we’ll explore shorter stories as well as either confirming or debunking myths from queer history. Today’s episode examines whether Swedish people called in gay to work as protest when homosexuality was classified as an illness in Sweden.


Mary Shelley

In today’s episode we’re talking about Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Tune in for adventures in gothic horror, the truth behind whether Mary really lost her virginity on her mother’s grave, and of course her rarely-discussed relationships with women. Easter is a busy time for Queer As Fact, so the transcript will be a little delayed. We are hoping to have it out on Tuesday.


Friends of Dorothy ft. Special Announcement

We have a special episode today, featuring an exciting announcement about what’s coming up for Queer as Fact in the future! We’re also talking about the phrase “friends of Dorothy”, how it baffled the US navy, and what it really means. Transcript available here.


The Birth of Queer Film in Australia

We have a special guest this episode - Jessie has just completed her thesis on queer film in Australia, and talks with us about its birth, its development, and the role it has played in Australian gay rights movements. Featuring gay film festivals, censors embarrassing themselves, and the first Australian Pride. Transcript available here. Image: Still from the film Adam (1975)


Harvey Milk

In this episode we are talking about Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay politicians elected in the USA. Tune in for incredibly theatrical political campaigns, an even more dramatic love letter, and recordings of speeches from the man himself.


Tove Jansson

Today’s episode is on Tove Jansson, a Finnish author and illustrator, and creator of the world-famous Moomins. Tune in for queer women living on a remote island, adorable chubby anti-fascists, and the best euphemism for same-gender love that we’ve heard in a while.


Baron von Steuben

Today we’re talking about Baron von Steuben, who served in the American army during the Revolutionary War, and over the winter of 1777-1778 turned them from a mismatched bunch of volunteers into a group of professional soldiers. Join us for flaming shots, daring escapes from the British, and an important discussion of Steuben’s role as Alexander Hamilton’s gay dad. Transcript available here.


Edward II

In this episode we’re talking about Edward II, 14th-century king of England, who almost ruined a country by being too gay. Featuring pirates, several nasty executions, and your hosts’ ancestral Scottish rage. Happy New Year! Transcript available here


Christmas Special - Anne Lister Revisted

Happy Christmas! Queer as Fact is celebrating by bringing you this bonus episode, covering the second half of the life of lesbian diarist and land-owner Anne Lister. Improve your Christmas with first-hand accounts of 19th-century lesbian shenanigans, Anne’s struggles to find a suitable wife, and an unfortunate touch of voter fraud that’s not truly in the spirit of the holiday. Transcript available here. We’ll give you a summary, but for the first half of Anne’s story, listen to our...


Lesbia Harford

This episode focuses on Lesbia Harford, an early 20th century Australian woman poet. Lesbia was one of the first female graduates of Melbourne University, a dedicated political activist, and once had someone drink champagne out of her shoe. Transcript available here.


HIV/AIDS in Australia

Today, on World AIDS Day, we discuss the history of HIV and AIDS in Australia, from its first arrival in 1982 until the present day. In this episode you’ll learn about the infamous Grim Reaper ad campaigns, the tireless battle of queer Australians to help each other in this time, and how the country’s positive response to the epidemic saved the lives of many gay and bisexual men.


The Warren Cup

Today’s episode focuses on the Warren Cup, a silver cup from the Roman Empire in the 1st century, which has artistic depictions of male/male sex on it. Expect to learn a lot about ancient Greek and Roman sexuality!


Shelly’s Leg

In today’s episode we’re talking about Shelly’s Leg, Seattle’s first openly gay club, which operated from 1973 until 1978. Get prepared for a two-explosion story, including a confetti canon, eight foot tall nude women, and a possible cameo by David Bowie.


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