Queer We Are Podcast

Jun 17, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Mysteryrat's Maze, Podcasts

by Lorie Lewis Ham

KRL strives throughout the year to support the LGBTQIA community whenever and however we can, but we make an extra effort during Pride month! This month we are reviewing LGBTQIA mysteries, featuring members of local LGBTQIA groups such as The Source, interviewing a local drag queen (in this issue), and more! This week we chatted with mystery author Brad Shreve about his new podcast Queer We Are!

KRL: When and how did you come up with the idea for this podcast?

Brad with his mystery novels

Brad: My previous podcast was Queer Writers of Crime and there are over 150 episodes. Over those three years, I noticed I spent 45 – 60 minutes interviewing each guest and only a small amount of that time was devoted the author’s novels and writing techniques. Because everyone has a story I focused more on storytelling about their background and daily lives. Because of this asked myself, why I am only interviewing authors. Since everyone has something interesting to tell, why don’t I interview people with more diverse backgrounds? My next question was, what about? The answer came to me almost immediately.

KRL: When did the first episode air?

Brad: I launched the first three episodes on November 13, 2022.

KRL: Who do you interview on Queer We Are?

Brad: My guests are diverse. I’ve interviewed drag performers, politicians, sports athletes, religious leaders, activists, news reporters, and more. Sometimes I interview everyday people who share what is keeping them hopeful and optimistic.

KRL: Why did you choose that name?

Brad: With so much negativity going on in the world, I wanted to shout from the rooftops there are plenty of good things happening for and within the LGBTQ community. We need to shout, “Queer We Are!”

KRL: What is your goal with the podcast?

Brad: Once I made the decision to launch a new show, the theme hit me immediately. There is enough bad news reported on the challenges the LGBTQ community is facing, people need to hear some positive stories. I tell my guests we’ll likely touch on some challenges happening, but we do not stay there. My background is not the stuff dreams are made of, but with each knockdown, there were times I had to reinvent myself, which doesn’t mean to change who I am, but perhaps my goals and my actions. Also, with Don’t Say Gay, attacks on trans kids, etc. I believe people need to know there is a whole lot of good stuff going on by LGBTQ people too. More than people realize. They just don’t make the news.

KRL: How often do you post episodes?

Brad: Each episode is available first thing Tuesday mornings, US east coast time. The beauty of podcasting is you don’t have to worry about the day. They are there forever.

KRL: How do you find your guests?

Brad: It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but some of my earlier guests were recommended by connecting with people from national non-profit organizations that know high-profile guests they work with, or not so well-known who are doing good things.

Some were surprisingly easy. I started following them on social media to the point they at least knew my name, and then asked them.

Some guests have either said “I know someone who would be great!” or I’ll ask if they can refer me to someone. Frequently high-profile guests politely tell me no, adding they would like to, but it’s awkward, which I understand entirely. Some do, though. And occasionally I’ll have a listener reach out and say “I know so and so.”

One thing I learned quickly is if you go through an agent or manager, you will almost always get a no. I get a kick out of connecting with a celebrity and they say they’ll do it and schedule a time with their manager. It’s fun to tell the manager the person has already agreed and I’m just using them as a scheduling person. Yes, at times I like to gloat.

KRL: Why do you feel this type of podcast is important?

Brad: I hear from too many people who are disheartened by what they are seeing happening today to the LGBTQ community. I’ve even had a few who have been activists for decades question why they worked so hard for nothing. It’s important to share that despite how it looks we are way ahead of where we used to be. There is not enough good about queer people making the news. They don’t make headlines.

KRL: Do you still interview some queer mystery authors on this new podcast?

Brad: Absolutely! Some were guests on my former podcast that I knew were also involved in activism. Other authors wrote fiction or non-fiction books which I believe will change some people’s hearts and minds, which is not an easy task.

KRL: Where can people listen?

Brad: They can find me on any podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, etc. An easy way is to go to my website, queerweare.com and listen there or there they can click one of the links to many of the major podcast applications, which can be easier than searching for them within the app.

KRL: Any special episodes coming up you would like to share about?

Brad: Of course, it’s hard to single anyone because they are all special to me, but I have an extraordinary guest coming in July who isn’t queer. She is Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard who in 1998 was brutally beaten, tied to a fence, and left on a fence to die in the middle of the night because he was gay. The story sent shockwaves and made major news around the world and led to the expansion of the hate crimes bill. As horrific as it was, it opened many people’s hearts. At the sentencing of one of his killers, Matt’s father, Dennis, made a heartbreaking speech that included the words, “Good is coming out of evil.” And led them to form the Mathew Shepard Foundation. Judy acts as the spokesperson for the foundation and I knew when I heard that quote, I had to have her on.

The important thing to note is we discussed the details of Matthew’s murder only briefly for the few people who may not know of it. She believes there is plenty of information online for those who are interested. She wants to talk about moving forward and is doing a lot of work for the trans community right now. We talked about all the positive changes that have come since his death, and why she still has hope for the future. Matthew was only twenty-one when he was murdered. It hurts to imagine he would have been forty-six today. Despite the grim subject, there is a lot of good in the conversation. Judy Shepard is an amazing woman, and the story must be heard.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Brad: With nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ bills in states throughout the country, things look bleak but keep the faith. The civil rights movement and the freedoms queer people earned in the 1970s has shown whenever a marginalized group gets a few steps forward there are those who will try to push them back and may succeed for a while. But the Anita Bryant’s and Jerry Falwell’s’ of the world resulted in a march on Washington that was 100,000 people strong. It looked great, but one of the many horrors of the AIDS crisis is it set the community back as gay people were feared. But the fight for justice never ends and we can do it again.

Everyone needs to jump in and do something. We can’t all become full-time activists, but they can contact their local LGBTQ center and ask what they can do. National organizations like the outstanding Trevor Project seek volunteers. The Trevor Project asks for only a three-hour commitment every week. It’s a busy world, so if time is an issue, a donation, no matter how small, can work wonders when combined with many other donors. You don’t have to change your life to make a difference, but by working together, each in our own way, we can change our lives for the better for all of us.

Thanks for chatting with us Brad! We at KRL hope that everyone who reads this will get out there and help make a difference! We also hope you will check out all of our LGBTQIA articles and reviews during Pride month and beyond, and check out Queer We Are!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s latest mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!<

1 Comment

  1. Thank you, Lorie. I appreciate the opportunity to share the message there is still reason to have hope. I appreciate all KRL does for the writing community and the LGBTQ community.


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