Podcast Queerstories has launched its third season, with members of the LGBTIQ community sharing their stories that range from heartfelt to hilarious.
Created by artist, writer, and theatremaker Maeve Marsden, Queerstories began life five years ago as a live theatre event, first in Sydney and then around Australia.
The original events were held in King’s Cross, at the site of the first Mardi Gras, featuring storytellers of various ages, genders, and experiences.
“I liked the idea of an evening of oral history and storytelling and entertainment with a queer bent,” said Marsden.
“People really responded to this opportunity to listen to six different people tell a story from their life, so I kept doing it.”
In 2017, the shows expanded into a monthly event at Sydney’s Giant Dwarf comedy theatre, rapidly filling the 300-person venue, then growing in partnership with Acast into a podcast.
“The podcast is now this archive of our histories, as well as being entertaining, funny, and very moving,” said Marsden.
“I can listen to some of them for the fifth time and still cry.”
Other stories are “people’s crazy adventures that could have happened only to them”.
Each podcast episode features a guest from the LGBTIQ community sharing a story of their choice, covering subjects from pride and resilience to resistance.
Listeners have a massive 250 episodes of Queerstories to enjoy, divided into three seasons of pre-COVID, scripted lockdown-period, and live-recorded post-lockdown stories.
“My favourite stories are the ones that manage to be inherently queer without ever lecturing the audience,” said Marsden.
“The queerness is not incidental or hidden, but nor is it the moral of the story – it speaks to a part of our community that we haven’t necessary named.”
Among Marsden’s favourites is a story by activist Nic Holas, which covers HIV, mental health, and daddy culture in an unapologetic way that trusts the queer audience with its deep complexity.
“The story is heartbreaking and moving and a couple of times manages to be funny – it’s a whole film in a ten-minute story; it’s really spectacular writing,” she said.
The latest episode features MasterChef favourite Sarah Tiong discussing the woman who inspired her to appear on the show.
Upcoming episodes will feature writer and artist Samuel Leighton-Dore on retro pop culture, writer Cadence Bell on her rural childhood, artist Pierce Eldridge on learning to douche, and many more.
You can listen to Queerstories on Acast or wherever you get your podcasts.
Live Queerstories events will be held in Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong, and Melbourne in the coming months.