“Last year I bought a microphone, called up a few friends and created a new podcast called Diversify“
BY HOLLY, DIVERSIFY PODCAST
It’s no big secret that the thoughts and opinions of certain demographics have long been ignored.
In 2019 we may all have some promise of equality and protection under the law but in practice it rarely works out that way – if it did, women in all of the UK would have full bodily autonomy.
If those in charge of our country governed properly, members of the Windrush generation wouldn’t have been so terribly treated.
If the LGBT+ community was truly a place of liberation, lesbian bars wouldn’t be consigned to basements and we would all start listening to trans people rather than obsessing over what’s between their legs.
No matter how many strides forward we take, it’s impossible to fully shake the consequences of the fact that narratives and discussions on pretty much every topic have historically been tackled by those in charge – and those people were usually men, preferably straight, cis and most definitely white.
When the people leading discussions on marginalised groups are from the groups that oppress them, the damaging narratives that colour every aspect of our lives prevail.
As long as the only people discussing women’s rights are men; as long as the only people examining racism are white; as long as the only people talking about trans issues are cis, we’re not going to get anywhere worth getting.
Unfortunately, from where I’m seated, that seems to be the norm in the media today.
That’s why last year I bought a microphone, called up a few friends and created a new podcast called Diversify – the podcast that celebrates diversity in all its forms and invites you to join the conversation.
I am a proud lesbian living with my girlfriend in the great city of London. My co-host Kate is straight and trying to be the best ally she can be.
I don’t think I’ve seen a line-up quite like that before. I can list on one hand the number of mainstream podcasts that are driven by women – by gay women at that!
Those that are inspire me and I hope that by filling my podcast with diversity, more people will be inspired to not only share their stories and experiences but open up their own mind too.
The thing about narratives is they relate to everything. Even when I’m not discussing my sexuality, the experiences I carry with me affect every part of who I am. From my politics to my daily anecdotes, my story is a gay one!
That’s why I think it’s so important to have more LGBT+ journalists and media hosts whose stories and opinions feed into the public consciousness and can start to change society’s narratives as much as they themselves are products of them.
But what of my own privilege? Kate and I are both cis, feminine presenting and white. I am straight-passing, Kate is straight.
I believe it’s similarly as important that those of us in the lesbian community and beyond who are cis, white and non-disabled use our relative privilege to amplify the stories of those who are not like us.
If we become the ones controlling the narrative, we become the gatekeepers.
Being an intersectional feminist means that I believe our narratives and experiences are informed by more than just one part of us. Every part of our being contributes to our full self and every facet of that full self is worth dissecting.
Yes, digging deep can be awkward. It can force us to come to terms with problematic aspects of our lives we’d rather not face, but in the end it shows us not only the fuller version of ourselves but also a wider version of the world at large.
Once you escape the narrative of straight, white, cisgender, male heteronormativity and look out and see the wonderful, colourful world we live in it’s actually way more beautiful.
We, as lady-loving women know that, so why stop at this one facet of our own marginal existence?
Being a lesbian gives me a perspective on the patriarchy straight women just don’t have. Butch women can teach us about homophobia and gendered expectations. Trans people have an insight into misogyny and gender narratives, disabled people can teach us about ableism, non-white women can teach us about race and yes, very occasionally a straight, white man might be able to give us all an insight into the patriarchy.
So in 2019, the year of the 25th anniversary of this fabulous female-led publication that not only celebrates lady-loving ladies but puts our narratives centre-stage, why not try Diversifying your life?
Your story matters.
Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.