To celebrate Pride Month, I’m playing two of the Allusionist episodes that have stuck with me the most during the show’s existence.
The first is Joins. You listeners talk about your particular experiences in your trans bodies, dealing with the available vocabulary for sex and the associated body parts.
Second is Pride: the story of how that word was chosen in 1970 for LGBTQ Pride events.Read More
When there were no safe spaces to be gay, Polari allowed gay men to identify and communicate with each other, and to keep things secret from outsiders.
Professor Paul Baker, author of the Polari dictionary and the upcoming book Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language, explains how Polari emerged from criminal cant and London’s theatres and docks to be used a code language for gay men in the oppressive 1950s - and then, not long after, it entered the slang lexicons of the general public, via popular sketch comedy and the mouth of an annoyed princess.Read More
Strange or obtuse; a stinging homophobic slur; a radical political rejection of normativity; a broad term encompassing every and any variation on sexual orientation and gender identity: the word 'queer' has a multifarious past and complicated present. This is just a fraction of it.
Tracing the word's movements are Kathy Tu and Tobin Low from Nancy podcast, Eric Marcus from Making Gay History, and historian and author Amy Sueyoshi, with Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye.Read More
CONTENT WARNING: there is swearing in this episode. But the happy news is: swearing is good for you!Read More
As considered in episode 51, Under the Covers part II, the vocabulary for sex and associated body parts is tricky to navigate in many ways - but even more so if you are trans or gender non-binary.
Following that show, I heard from several trans and non-binary listeners, recounting their experiences of that vocabulary; so I decided to make this episode about it.Read More
Does the available vocabulary for sex leave something to be desired? Namely desire? (And also the ability to use it wthout laughing/dying of embarrassment?) Aiding in the search for a better sex lexicon - sexicon - are Kaitlin Prest of fellow Radiotopia podcast The Heart, and romance novelist Mhairi McFarlane.Read More
Escape into the loving embrace of a romance novel - although don't think you'll be able to escape gender politics while you're in there. Bea and Leah Koch, proprietors of the romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, consider the genre; and publisher Lisa Milton scrolls through the 109-year history of the imprint that epitomises romance novels, Mills & Boon.Read More
"How are you?"
"Oh, fine - and you?"
"Yeah, not bad. Nice day today, isn't it?"
"Yes, it was a bit chilly this morning, but now the sun's come out..." [Continue until
Small talk is usually not conveying much vital information, nor is it especially interesting. But beneath that comfort blanket of tedium lies a valuable social function.Read More
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Breaking up is hard to do, and it's hard to put into appropriate words.
Comedian Rosie Wilby seeks a better term for 'ex'; family law barrister Nick Allen runs through the vocabulary of divorce; and listeners share some of their worst break-up lines.
NOTE: this episode is not full of bawdy talk, but there are adult themes and a couple of category B swearwords.
A BIT (OF ADDITIONAL MATERIAL) ON THE SIDE:
- The Museum of Broken Relationships is coming to LA - do you have anything to exhibit?
- Listener Felipe reminded me about French artist Sophie Calle's Take Care Of Yourself, an exhibition about the email in which her boyfriend dumped her.
- Want more tales of break-ups? Get yourself to You Broke Up How?
- Here's Esther Perel on ghosting, AKA the coward's way out.
- Watch Rosie Wilby's TEDx talk 'Is Monogamy Dead?'
- Let the UK government explain the difference between civil partnership and same-sex marriage.
- Conscious uncoupling.
- Here's the transcript of the episode.
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MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Rosie Wilby is a comedian and writer. You can find her live show dates, written work and more at rosiewilby.com and on Twitter @rosiewilby; you can hear her podcast, and her radio show Out in South London is on Resonance FM.
- Nick Allen is a family law barrister. I'm hoping you don't require the services of one of those, but if you do, Nick is the best.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with editorial help from Hrishikesh Hirway from Song Exploder. The music is by Martin Austwick.
- Don't go breaking my heart: let's keep our love alive at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.