“It’s not just for the queer community, this is for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider”
BY GRACE PRITCHARD
Coronavirus has turned our day-to-day lives upside down and, at a time when many of us are feeling isolated and cut off from the world, it’s more important than ever to feel connected.
Well, it’s good news that self-described “comedian, writer and cat-lady” Suzi Ruffell has come to the rescue with the perfectly-timed release of her new podcast, Out With Suzi Ruffell. The first episode dropped on 6 April 2020, with all other episodes following every Monday. In the series, Suzi interviews a variety of LGBTQI+ and, as she says in the introduction, she “really has outdone herself with the line-up”.
As an avid podcast multitasker myself, I usually like to see how many things I can get done while listening to a podcast but Suzi’s first two episodes have instead had my undivided attention…
While each episode focuses on the life of a successful LGBTQI+ person, Suzi deems her podcast a podcast for all: “It’s not just for the queer community, this is for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. And let’s be honest, that’s pretty much all of us.”
The first episode kicked off with American screenwriter and director Dustin Lance Black. Suzi’s natural warmth radiates throughout – evidenced by the ease with which Dustin opened up in the episode about his experience growing up in the Mormon church, coming out, and his relationship with his mother. (You’ll have to go give it a listen).
On 13 April 2020, the second episode featuring ex Stonewall CEO and now Baroness Ruth Hunt was released and, again, it had me hooked for the full hour. Baroness Hunt speaks candidly about the relationship between her sexuality and her religion offering insight into a topic infrequently discussed within the LGBTQI+ community. The conversation also confronts issues within the community head on such as lez/bi representation and the small number of people who aren’t welcoming our trans friends into the community. Again, a worthy listen.
Unlike other LGBTQI+ podcasts Out With Suzi Ruffell will, I’m sure, fill a void for many. Often “out” celebrities, understandably, do not want to be defined by their sexuality, and therefore avoid discussing their coming out story or perceived otherness in interviews. But there is a great comfort in hearing the coming out stories of successful people and the reassurance that more often than not everything can and will be okay in the end. Out With Suzi Ruffell certainly fits this bill.
Whether you are out and proud, questioning or an ally, each episode is sure to have you enthralled in the stories of these incredibly accomplished people. And, for anyone who’s locked down in a household that may be hostile towards their sexuality, this podcast will provide an hour of relief, community and acceptance.
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