Strange Fruit Podcast-logo

Strange Fruit Podcast

44 Favorites

More Information


United States


Join Jai and Doc as they examine black gay life through the voices and stories of those of us who live it....and live it well! A new episode is posted every Saturday.




Strange Fruit #212: Parenting While Black and Queer

Have you ever joked with a little boy about whether he has a girlfriend? Did your birds-and-bees talk include the words, "a mommy and a daddy?" The way we talk to kids can reinforce gender binaries, stereotypes, and heteronormativity. And of course, "having the talk" means something else entirely for black parents. That's why journalist Jenn Jackson calls parenting as a black queer person an inherently political act. She joins us this week to talk about how she teaches her kids to think...

Duration: 00:31:01

Strange Fruit #211: What Does DACA Repeal Mean For Louisville's Young Immigrants?

It's been in the headlines and all over social media. But we wanted to find out how the repeal of DACA would affect our friends and neighbors here in Louisville. Two activists from Mijente Louisville, a grassroots Latinx organization, join us on this week's show. We talk about the sanctuary movement, and what it would look like if Louisville were declared a sanctuary city.

Duration: 00:30:03

Strange Fruit #210: Tea AND Shade To Those Who Co-Opt Black Gay Culture

Yasss, kween! Werq. Slay. What do these phrases have in common? They come from the gay black community — specifically drag and the house ball scene — and have since been co-opted by mainstream culture, with little credit to their originators. Jefferey Spivey writes the blog "Uptown Bourgeois," and recently wrote a piece about this phenomenon for the LGBTQ website SOULE, In it, he calls out Elle magazine for publishing a photo gallery from this year's Latex Ball without including any of the...

Duration: 00:27:40

Strange Fruit #209: How 'Open TV' Is Changing Who Gets To Make Television

If you grew up with network TV like we did (or basic cable, if you were lucky), you might find the current media landscape overwhelming — not just what shows to watch, but what platforms to access. The multiple ways it's now possible to consume and produce entertainment has made the industry more accessible to creators working outside the traditional network system, and a happy byproduct is more people of color, queer people, and trans people telling their own stories. That's what you'll...

Duration: 00:34:35

Strange Fruit #208: Museum Celebrates "The Ordinary Extraordinary Colored Girl"

This week we speak with Vashti DuBois, Executive Director and Founder of The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia. DuBois says she was inspired to create a physical space celebrating "the ordinary extraordinary colored girl" because black girls and women have been contributing to the world in a powerful way but getting no recognition. "I use colored because I really think of how the world takes its Crayola crayon to the black girl and colors her whatever they want her to be," DuBois says....

Duration: 00:26:25

Strange Fruit #207: Some Places Are Not For Straight People

If you're straight, you're probably not used to being denied access to things based solely on your sexual orientation — unlike LGBTQ people, who have been historically excluded from housing, jobs, and clubs because of their identities. But a new opinion piece in The Advocate says there are spaces that straight people just don't belong. Specifically, in the back rooms or "play spaces" of gay bars — which are often places where typical social rules about sex are relaxed, if not absent....

Duration: 00:25:22

Strange Fruit #206: "Queen Sugar" Actor Brian Michael Smith On Being Trans In Show Business

You may have seen Brian Michael Smith on "Girls," "Law and Order," "Blue Bloods," or other television shows and commercials, playing cisgender men. Now he appears on the OWN Network's "Queen Sugar," playing a transgender cop — and earlier this summer, Brian came out as trans himself. He joins us this week to talk about visibility and representation, and his first day on the set. "Honestly, it was like going to black heaven," he says. "It was a dream come true in so many ways." Later in the...

Duration: 00:37:54

Strange Fruit #205: New Leadership At A Legendary Regional Institution

The Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee is a living piece of civil rights history. It functioned as a folk school from the 1930s through '60s, hosting Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and other activists and icons. Now in its 85th year, the Highlander continues to be a space where movement leaders come together to teach and to learn. Executive Directors Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson and Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele join us this week to talk about the...

Duration: 00:36:47

Strange Fruit #204: Documentary Series Lets Trans People Tell Their Own Stories

President Trump's tweets about the armed forces this week brought the stories of transgender service members into the spotlight. This week on Strange Fruit, we learn about documentary film series that tells stories specifically from the lives of trans people of color. André Perez, the filmmaker at the helm of "America in Transition," joins us to tell us more about the project and why it's important to bring these stories into the light. Learn more about the project at

Duration: 00:33:08

Idina Menzel

Tony Award-winning actor, signer, and songwriter Idina Menzel originated the role of Maureen Johnson in the Broadway and film versions of "Rent," kicking off a celebrated career and solidifying her place as an LGBTQ icon. She spoke to Jaison Gardner and Kaila Story, hosts of WFPL's Strange Fruit podcast, in anticipation of her appearance in Louisville next month. Menzel will perform at the Louisville Palace on August 6th. Check out the Strange Fruit Facebook page for a chance to win...

Duration: 00:09:59

Strange Fruit #203: Juicy Fruit News Roundup!

The race for mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida is getting ugly — thanks in part to racist rhetoric like this from a candidate named Paul Congemi: "Your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama. My advice to you, if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa. Go back to Africa. Go back!” That's right. A political candidate at a public appearance in 2017... is telling black people...

Duration: 00:34:50

Strange Fruit #202: Race And Racism In Covering The Drug Crisis

There's no shortage of profiles and think pieces putting a human face on the Opioid crisis. Coverage focuses on addicts' struggling families and childhood traumas, framing addiction as an illness you suffer from — not a crime you perpetrate. Much of this media attention is centered on white drug users and their families. When the drug crisis was largely in black communities, drug use was linked to depravity and a proclivity for crime. The response was a "war" on drugs that focused on...

Duration: 00:33:55

Strange Fruit #201: "No Fats, No Femmes," and the Politics of Desirability

Scroll through any gay dating app and you'll come across the words. "No fats, no femmes." It says a lot about which kinds of bodies are seen as desirable and which are not. Especially in gay black spaces, where a simple "preference" is often anything but simple. Artist Jamal Lewis is making a documentary exploring this phenomenon. We speak to him this week about his own dating experiences, and the politics of desirability.

Duration: 00:26:57

Strange Fruit: Our 200th Episode!

We recorded our 200th episode in front of an audience this week at the Green Building in Nulu! Guests Karter Louis and Leah Halston joined us to dish about everything from problematic superheros to some truly disturbing candy preferences. We took questions from the audience, then danced the night away!

Duration: 01:13:56

Strange Fruit: What Are Your Favorite Pride Moments in LGBT History?

Was it Ellen's Puppy Episode? The formation of the Mattachine Society? The Repeal of DOMA? Or Muriel Hemingway locking lips with Roseanne? The Kentuckiana Pride Festival is this weekend, and to celebrate, we each count down our favorite Pride moments on this week's show — from academics and activism, to politics and pop culture. Let us know what you think of our choices, and tweet us your own!

Duration: 00:35:14

Strange Fruit: Rapper Fly Young Red On The Inspiration Behind "Lorraine"

Last week we talked about a new song and video by New Orleans-based rapper Fly Young Red. "Lorraine" deals with the challenges faced by trans women of color, from violence to poverty. On this week's show, Fly Young Red joins us and reveals the song's very personal, real-life inspiration. Fly's gay sister, a trans woman named Chyna Gibson, was shot and killed in late February, at just 31 years old. "I felt like I had the responsibility to go ahead and do this song, to tell the story of...

Duration: 00:36:09

Strange Fruit #199: Ten Years Of Celebrating LBGT Students At UofL

Ten years ago, Brian Buford was put in charge of the LGBT Center at the University of Louisville. That same year, UofL created its Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Studies — a position held ever since by our own Dr. Story. The campus wasn't openly hostile to gay students, but it wasn't explicitly inclusive, either. And those at the intersections of queer and Black were feeling even more unsure of where to find belonging. Buford says he knew they had their work cut...

Duration: 00:31:29

Strange Fruit #198: Mark Anthony Neal On Black Masculinity & Rompers

He's one of the great Black thought leaders of our time, especially when it comes to black masculinity. So of course, when we had the chance to talk to Dr. Mark Anthony Neal about anything our hearts desired, we brought up rompers.

Duration: 00:31:09

Strange Fruit #197: Yes We DO Look Nice Today!

This week, longtime Louisville activist and artist Tan Hazelwood joins us for an all-Juicy-Fruit episode! We talk about Lavinia Woodward, the Oxford student who stabbed and otherwise assaulted her boyfriend during a drug-induced argument. A judge delayed her sentencing and likely won't give her jail time because she's studying to be a surgeon and her future is so bright. She's young, slim, pretty, and white, in case you hadn't guessed. Sounds like a case of what we on this side of the pond...

Duration: 00:33:08

Strange Fruit #196: A Very Special Mother's Day Show

This is Mother's Day weekend, and we decided to have two very special guests on the show to celebrate: our moms! Jaison interviewed Kaila's mom, Sylvia, and Kaila interviewed Jaison's mom, Jackie. Embarrassing baby stories ensued. We also invited some of our fruitcakes to tell stories about their moms, and what they shared will make you laugh, cry, and want to hug your mom.

Duration: 00:47:03

See More