The Bad Queers podcast is so, so good
If you're a queer podcast lover than you'd be hard-pressed not to hear the buzz about the Bad Queers Podcast, which debuted this spring and has taken the community by storm. Created and hosted by Shana Summers and Kris Chesson, the pod tackles topics within the LGBTQ community, everything from Janelle Monet's Instagram videos to JK Rowling and transphobia to the upcoming election. So what makes a bad queer? Shana Summers was kind enough to give us the scoop on the pod, answer that question and more.
Queer Media Matters: How did the idea for Bad Queers come about?
Shana Sumers: I've wanted to launch a podcast for the last year, and it didn't all come together until Kris (co-host) and The L Word: Generation Q. This might seem like an odd pairing, but it was a perfect storm to create Bad Queers. Kris and I always engaged in conversations when we were in the office (what good times, to be in an office) and most of these would end up turning into debates. We took that energy, along with the season finale of The L Word: Generation Q when Alice was interviewing Roxane Gay, who is the author of Bad Feminist, and then asks Roxane if she is a Bad Queer - that is how Bad Queers was born.
QMM: What's the podcast's connection to HER?
Shana: Kris is the Global Events Manager for HER and Shana is the Head of Community for HER. We created the podcast to be a separate arm of the app that focused on LGBTQ+ identities and intersectionality. The Founder/CEO of the app has always been supportive of launching a podcast and was very encouraging with having us create our own brand that fits with HER.
QMM: How do you come up with your topics?
Shana: The podcast is broken up into the following segments.
Queer Urban Dictionary: Where we define slang and LGBTQ+ Alphabet identities on a weekly basis. We established this as our intro because many people feel like Bad Queers that they don't know the whole alphabet, or when their friends come to them as the "token queer" for a word that they heard and expect you to have the definition, we are here to help you out.
News we don't get to hear, queer news!: Here we discuss stories that don't get much media attention because it's an LGBTQ+ story and main news streams don't cover it. We select 4 stories to feature each week for this current events segment.
Am I a Bad Queer? Advice Segment: Our wonderful listeners write in asking for advice about a Bad Queer moment they have experienced, and Kris and I dub them a Bad Queer or not a Bad Queer. Advice is around identities, dating, coming out, and more!
Bad Queer Opinions: These are unpopular queer opinions that we give each week.
Shoutouts to our faves: Give shoutouts to LGBTQ+ businesses, people, influencers, etc. that the LGBTQ+ community needs to hear about.
Now that you've seen each of our segments, we did multiple test runs to see what flowed best and utilized the types of topics that HER users highly engaged with. We knew that advice and current events were important, but how would that highlight the Bad Queer life? We started to ask our office mates, friends and looked at the comments on social media to see here people felt that they lacked confidence and built content around there. As well, we have to have an opportunity to give other people a seat at the table and that is why we have our shoutouts section.
QMM: Do you think there really is a way to be a bad queer?
Shana: Absolutely! We don't expect you to know everything about every part of the LGBTQ+ community - it's just not possible. But if you're going to be a dick about people's identities, taking the time to learn and expanding your understanding, then you are absolutely a Bad Queer.
QMM: With so many physical spaces gone for queer women, do you think virtual spaces are filling the void?
Shana: 16 bars for queer women are left, and we are hopeful that they survive COVID-19. I do think that the LGBTQ+ community has stepped up in terms of virtual spaces. Kris is hosting multiple events on a weekly basis that range from every topic you could ask for. I think they are helping and giving the space that is needed. It also shows that if there are global queer women that can show up, then this is potentially proof to other business owners that queer women are valuable customers and more spaces will appear for them. But I also don't think that virtual spaces are going to disappear, as they are providing space for areas where it is not safe for our LGBTQ+ people to find community.