Here’s part two of my list of some of my favourite fiction podcasts with LGBTQIA+ representation for Pride Month. I posted part one last week here.
The After Disaster Broadcast
Jo Prendergast is a disaster bi in every way. The After Disaster Broadcast is primarily told through Jo’s ham radio broadcasts, as she tries to navigate a post-apocalyptic world after a catastrophic volcanic eruption. The After Disaster Broadcast is very much a story about folks who aren’t typically represented in post-apocalyptic stories, and especially queer folks. Jo is far from the only queer person in the show, as she becomes a part of a group of survivors early on in the story.
The main character in The Beacon, Bee, is asexual. This is confirmed in the first episode of the show’s second season, and she’s not the only LGBTQIA+ character in her little group of college students with unusual powers. Moth is trans; and Capybara (Capy for short), the women’s rugby captain, is a lesbian. Capy is one of my all-time favourite podcast characters, she’s an absolute delight.
The Bright Sessions
When I think of The Bright Sessions I think of Adam and Caleb, and their love in the most unusual of situations. As it’s Caleb who’s Dr Bright’s patient of the two, the focus is initially on him; and we follow him as he tries to figure out his sexuality, and love as a teenager, but also how his supernatural powers affect his new relationship. As this was one of the first fiction podcasts I’d listened to, I was also especially glad of the ace representation – Chloe is panromantic asexual.
The Magnus Archives
As an ace person, the representation in The Magnus Archives is so important to me. While it’s only implied in the show that Jon is asexual, it’s been confirmed by the show’s writer, and there’s also canonical confirmation that Jon is biromantic. I was literally sobbing when Jon and Martin finally got together as, for me, it was giving me the message that someone could love me for who I was. Another aspect of the show I really appreciated was how Jon, the ace character, wasn’t directly associated with The Lonely; going against the stereotype of how asexual people are destined to spend their lives alone.
The Pasithea Powder
I love The Pasithea Powder’s two disaster bisexuals. The Pasithea Powder is mostly told through messages sent to and from Sophie Green and Jane Gonzales, in a galaxy that is dealing with the aftermath of a war. Sophie and Jane are childhood friends, and their respective roles in the war has left them both in very different positions, which leads to them secretly sending messages back to each other. The focus here is on their friendship, how they’re trying to rebuild what they once had and the obstacles they face in doing that; and also, how the friendship could be more than just a friendship.
The Penumbra Podcast
Honestly, it’s more a question of who isn’t queer in The Penumbra Podcast – Mick Mercury is famously the only canonically straight person on Mars. The show bends and breaks traditional concepts of gender identity and gender presentation – especially in the Juno Steel episodes – and features all kinds of queer characters in both its stories. Private Eye Juno Steel is nonbinary and uses he/him pronouns, and also uses gendered terms like ‘lady’ to refer to himself. His boyfriend is master thief Peter Nureyev, and their relationship is a whole emotional rollercoaster in itself.
The Strange Case of Starship Iris
The Strange Case of Starship Iris was one of the first fiction podcasts I listened to, and it was the first one I’d come across where so many of the characters were confirmed to be queer in the show. It’s one of the many brilliant examples of sci-fi being used to create a future for queer folks that they’d like to see, and subverts tropes involving LGBQIA+ folks that are often seen in mainstream sci-fi stories – recently, an episode brought up the often-seen trope in mainstream media of how it’s always the aliens who are nonbinary, never the humans.
This Planet Needs a Name
All of the main characters in This Planet Needs a Name are queer, and also mostly non-cis – out of the crew of nine terraformers, there isn’t a single allocishet character. The show is defiantly hopeful in its vision of the future, as this small group of people begin to terraform a new planet and create a future for the people in stasis; and the fact that this is the story of a group of entirely queer characters definitely fits into that hopeful narrative of a better future.
We Know None
We Know None is a paranormal horror/mystery, and the main characters of the story are two queer young women. The show follows Gwen’s investigation into her girlfriend Frankie’s disappearance, as she listens to recordings Frankie made while exploring paranormal buildings and areas for her job at a local newspaper. Gwen and Frankie have been dating since they were 16, but distance has separated them over the last few years, as they both decided to go to different universities. As the story progresses, Gwen’s love for Frankie takes her down a dangerous path, as her investigation takes an unexpected twist.
Welcome to Night Vale
For many podcast listeners, Welcome to Night Vale was one of the first, if not the first, depiction of positive gay representation that they’d ever encountered in a piece of media. Right away in the first episode Cecil proudly describes Carlos on-air as ‘perfect and beautiful’ – this is a gay love story right from the start of the show. The love story between Cecil and Carlos is so key to Night Vale – naturally, as it’s Cecil’s radio show we’re listening to – and it becomes such an integral part of our understanding of what this strange little desert town is.