Queer Out Here Issue 01
From the sea to the mountains, from cities to fields, along footpaths and highways and beaches, let us take your ears adventuring! The fifteen pieces in Queer Out Here Issue 01 include poetry, conversations, sound art, stories, interviews and field recordings from queer/LGBTQIA+ folks around the world. Full transcript and show notes available below.
Information about Issue 01
File size: 137MB (.mp3)
High quality audio version: Google Drive (1GB, .aif)
Show notes: See below
Cover art: Emma Charleston. Emma writes, "I recently moved to the country and have been struggling with living in the countryside a bit - my heart will always lie in the city. One of the only ways in which I've succeeded in positively engaging with being outdoors 2 or 3 hours a day (while walking our dog) has been engaging with biology on a close up level, as the seasons change. So that was my inspiration. This is my first ever drawing using a tablet, too, so it's a bit experimental!"
Content notes: The pieces in Queer Out Here talk about many things related to being queer and the outdoors. This issue contains some swearing, descriptions of kissing/sex, mentions of exercise as a weight loss strategy, internalised homophobia, being in physical danger from cold and wildlife and transition-related concerns. If you have specific anxieties or triggers, you could check the transcript for particular words or ask a trusted friend to listen and give you feedback. If we've missed something obvious, please send us an email so we can add it. Some people might wish to take note of the following:
As I am Walking (I am Becoming) - starts at 0:13:52 - rhythmic, meditative, potentially hypnotic cadence
Story from the Appalachian Trail - starts at 0:17:18 - describes physical danger from cold and wildlife
An Aborted Swim (Ladies’ Pond) - starts at 0:54:25 - mention of mild physical injuries and blood
New Year’s Day Thoughts - starts at 0:59:22 - concerns relating to transition processes, exercise as a weight loss strategy
Highway, Shepparton and Rooms - starts at 1:19:03 - family estrangement
We’ve Won the Winter - starts at 1:14:51 - descriptions of sexual/sensual activities
Beach Meditation at Bexhill - starts at 1:26:41 - significant wind distortion in audio
Wendy at Camber Sands - starts at 1:28:11 - internalised homophobia
Show notes for Issue 01
Introduction - Jonathan and Allysse
Short description: Welcome, thank yous and housekeeping. The audio playing beneath the introduction is from Allysse Riordan's album Passage, available through Humanhood Recordings.
Sweeper - Gary
A Walk Down My Path - Adele
Short description: Field recording/monologue. A walk along a path beside a rec ground in Brighton & Hove, trying to connect to nature in the city.
Creator bio: Adele has lived in Brighton for 9 years. She lives in a one and half bed flat in a block where most of the neighbours don’t know her name. She lives with her Bulgarian partner Elitsa. Now in their late 20s, early 30s they are feeling too old for the city and are working out how they might be able to get out . . . any people with a beautiful house in the country they want to rent out to reliable tenants - please get in touch!
Creator links: Twitter: @AdeleJBates
Creator statement: "A walk down a concrete path. My closest bit of nature."
As I am Walking (I am Becoming) - Jonathan
Short description: Poetry/sound art. A meditation while walking, about how our identity is related to our environment.
Creator bio: Jonathan is a walker and a stickybeak. He is one of the editors of Queer Out Here. Jonathan has a few places he considers home: the bush beside the Snowy River on GunaiKurnai country where he grew up; Melbourne, where he went to uni; and East Sussex in the UK, where he’s lived for the last six years.
Creator statement: "A meditation while walking. I was thinking about how we bring ourselves into being, how bodies carry traces of the environments in which they are articulated, how we understand our embodied identity from deeply within but also in the way the world reflects our selves back to us. Not everyone can “be in nature” easily or in the same way, but I was thinking about why I feel so much more comfortable when I am in my walking clothes and boots, when I have been walking for an hour or two, when it’s just me and whoever I’m walking with, me and my pack and the path, me and my body, my breath, the wind, the trees, the birds, the sheep. Am I a different kind of person then? Does a person’s identity change as the way they are reflected changes? I was also thinking what that might mean for queer people. After all, despite some of our perceived risks from other humans (in the bush, in parks, in the countryside, in the woods, on the trail) the trees don’t care about the shape of our bodies, the path doesn’t care who we love or who we fuck. I composed and recorded the majority of this piece while walking, which I hope brings the form of the thought, the embodiment of it, into the piece. I was interested to find that the pace of my sometimes matched exactly, even across terrains and continents, but then my footsteps and narration diverged again into their own times and places."
Story from the Appalachian Trail - Aubri Drake
Short description: Monologue/story. A dangerously cold, snowy, icy walk in the woods, featuring an encounter with a moose.
Creator bio: Aubri Drake is a white, queer, genderqueer, trans hiker and backpacker. They section hiked the Appalachian Trail between 2013 and 2017, wearing out many shoes, breaking many trekking poles, and adopting a Southern baby queer along the way! When they're not out in the woods, they do medical research, rock climb, read, crochet, and cuddle their ginger tabby cat, Wash (yes, he's named for the pilot in Firefly).
Creator statement: "The Appalachian Trail is a trail that runs from Georgia to Maine, in the United States. It is 2189.5 miles, give or take."
Excerpt from “Finding Home in the In-Between with Travis” - Flex Your Heart Radio
Short description: Interview. Mountains, snow sports and queer adventures with The Venture Out Project. Thank you so much to Travis from The Venture Out Project and Lacy from Flex Your Heart Radio for allowing us to use this excerpt from “Finding Home in the In-Between with Travis”. You rock!
The Venture Out Project: "We at The Venture Out Project believe in bringing the queer community together to experience the beauty and fun of the wilderness. Our trips are run by queer people for queer people and are open to people of all levels of experience."
Flex Your Heart Radio: "A podcast about body positivity, fitness, feminism, recovery, taking risks, and crushing it at life."
Sweeper - Ruth
Excerpt from Floodlight Viscera #12 - Erin Kyan
Short description: Poetry/sound art. Three snippets of life, at a cafe, on the beach in winter, on a road trip.
Creator bio: Erin Kyan is a disabled, queer, trans man whose writing leans in two drastically different directions. In his spoken word and zines, he touches on themes of vulnerability, courage, desire, and pain, often reaching for the warm and wet darkness that lurks within us. In his audio drama podcast Love and Luck, he gently paints a cheerful picture of love and community, presenting joy and hope as a remedy for hard times.
Creator statement: "My poetry is centered in sensory experiences first and foremost. Supporting these stanzas with sound was a natural progression of the piece, another tool to build a stronger connection with the audience and bring them deeper into my experience."
Kenyan Journey - Ania Przygoda
Short description: Field recording/sound art. A blend of sounds, music, voices collected on a trip through Kenya in 2010.
Creator bio: Ania Przygoda is a freelance sound editor. She works on features and shorts, as well as commercials and online videos.
Creator statement: "I love traveling. I like to take my recorder and make binaural recordings of my trips as 'audio postcards'. In this way, I am non intrusive to my environment, and unnoticed as a sound recording. When listening back to them I am literally transported right where I was at that time."
Out with Frankie the Dog - EZ
Short description: Conversation/snippet. A winter walk, differences between English and Bulgarian countryside, dog poo in plastic bags.
Creator bio: EZ is studying Architectural Technology in Brighton University. Originally from Bulgaria but lived in the UK for the last 10 years. Thoroughly into architecture and art, enjoying living by the sea of Brighton and never found better place to live in England. Since 2012 she is blessed to be in a relationship with her love Adele.
Creator statement: "Before Christmas, stayed at Adele's family house in Burton upon Trent. Had a flu for a week and a half and tons of university work to do. This field walk was so relaxing and recharging. Always loved animals and being with them is such a special time, adding to this nature the combination becomes extremely appealing."
An Aborted Swim (Ladies' Pond) - Jo Impey
Short description: Conversation/field recording. An attempt to go swimming on Hampstead Heath is thwarted by ice on the pond.
Creator bio: Jo is one of those radio producer people at the BBC World Service, who works on a weekly show called The Conversation, which brings amazing women together from different parts of the world to talk to each other about their lives and experiences – but she quietly wishes she could make more time to pursue her own creative projects. In the last couple of years, with a nudge from her girlfriend, she’s been discovering the great outdoors, mainly through walking, hiking and outdoor swimming – though she hasn’t yet managed to make it through an entire winter, so probably doesn’t qualify as a proper Wild Swimmer. Aspiring wild swimmer might be more appropriate.
Creator links: Twitter: @JoannaImpey
Creator statement: "It’s a rainy Sunday in December. It’s been bitterly cold for the last 10 days. In London, Jo is wondering whether this will be the winter when she finally manages to keep swimming right through till spring. She last took a dip in the Ladies Pond at the end of November, when the water temperature was seven degrees. Now it’s near freezing – and sadly, as we’re about to hear, that thwarts her plans. She decides inspect the ice instead . . ."
Sweeper - Sam
New Year's Day Thoughts - Jenny List
Short description: Monologue. Thoughts on transition and why trans people might find themselves walking in the great outdoors.
Creator bio: Jenny List is an engineer and journalist whose roots are firmly in the North Oxfordshire countryside.
Creator links: Twitter: @Jenny_Alto
Creator statement: "Thoughts on the whole Queer Out Here thing and why some trans people go walking, during a New Years walk on the Oxon/Bucks border."
Excerpt from “Putting the ‘Out’ in Outdoors With Elyse Rylander” - MtnMeister
Short description: Interview. Queer youth trips with OUT There Adventures, queer people (re)claiming outdoors spaces and activities. Thank you so much to Elyse from OUT There Adventures and Ben from MtnMeister for allowing us to use this excerpt from Episode #172, “Putting the ‘Out’ tn Outdoors With Elyse Rylander”. You're fab!
OUT There Adventures: "We believe every young person deserves the opportunity to explore their identity in a positive and affirming environment. The goal is simple: empower queer young people through their connection with the natural world."
MtnMeister: "The podcast that explores the minds of those who explore."
We've Won the Winter - Liz Tetu
Short description: Poetry/non-fiction. Charts the development of a relationship through make-out sessions in the wood and long term illness.
Creator bio: Liz (sometimes Ulysses) Tetu is a gag comic artist and general writer. He’s written creatively about his own life for the 1888 Center, Impossible Archetype, and anthology My Body My Words. At Metropolitan State University, he puts together papers for his last classes in the Creative Sexual Communication major. When he finds time to put down the pen, he picks up bad habits like drinking straight from the milk carton or cussing at his boyfriend for leaving hickeys on his forehead.
Creator links: Tumblr: liz-isnt-fair
Creator statement: "Two young bi men, their relationship tied to the woods behind a local apartment building where they make out, have to adapt as one develops ulcerative colitis. This piece blends poetic prose with creative nonfiction."
Sweeper - Dan, Jonathan and Peter
Highway, Shepparton and Rooms - Belinda Rule
Short description: Poetry. Memory and place intertwine, so when we lose our families, we can feel exiled from the places we once loved
Creator bio: Belinda Rule is a Melbourne writer of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared extensively in journals and anthologies including Meanjin, Australian Book Review, Westerly, Island, Cordite Poetry Review, The London Magazine and Best Australian Poems.
Creator links: Twitter: @BelindaRule
Creator statement: "Like many queer people, I am estranged from a large part of my family. We were a camping and travelling family, and I have quite a passionate relationship with the places we used to go. But the memory of family is intertwined with the memory of place, so that even when I am literally standing in the beloved place, I still feel that I am in exile. And that’s what these poems are about. These poems have appeared in print previously: ‘Highway, Shepparton’, Eureka Street, 20 June 2016; ‘Rooms’, foam:e 14 (March 2017)."
My Seaside - Allysse Riordan
Short description: Sound art/field recording. Listen closer to the sounds of the seaside, collect them to make memories
Creator bio: Ears open and pen at the ready, Allysse is a wanderer and a creator. When not at work, she explores the outdoors around her and further afield, documenting her journeys with the help of her microphones, pen, and camera.
Creator links: Website: Allysse Riordan
Creator statement: "My Seaside is an exploration of what the seaside sounds like to me. Made up of different beaches, it is an imagined place, a remembered place that I conjure up even when I'm nowhere near the sea."
Beach Meditation at Bexhill - Mags
Short description: Field recording. The waves splash and drag on the shingle, the wind leaps around the groynes.
Creator bio: Mags is a 50 year old woman, originally from the North-East of England, but who defected to the South East 20 years ago. She works for an educational charity and in her free time loves photography, travel, reading, music and to hug the odd tree! Mags has a fascination for wandering around old churches and graveyards too.
Creator statement: "I often find myself drawn to the sea when I need to escape the stresses of work and daily life. On this day, I had received a barrage of calls related to work and felt the need to escape. Bexhill is only a 20 minute drive away and the sun was shining so this was where I ended up. I find that the sound of the sea crashing onto the beach and the ebb and flow of the tide have the innate ability to create a sense of calm within me. At times I closed my eyes and just engaged with the sound of the sea and wind. I left some time later feeling a sense of calm had washed over me."
Wendy at Camber Sands - Wendy and Jonathan
Short description: Interview/field recording. A conversation ranging from LGBT walking groups to Machu Picchu, childhood and wild swimming.
Creator bio: Wendy is a second generation Holocaust survivor who lives by the sea on the south coast. Jonathan is one of the editors of Queer Out Here.
Creator statement: "Wendy was keen to contribute to Queer Out Here, but wasn’t sure about creating a piece herself, so she asked if Jonathan could record a chat while on one of the group walks and if he could edit it down for the zine . . . It’s a cold, clear December morning. There’s ice on the puddles in the Camber Sands car park. The wind is barely stirring, which is unusual for this beach, and the incoming tide laps at the sand with the smallest of saltwater tongues. There are dozens of people out and about - couples arm-in-arm going for a stroll, extended families bundled up in warm clothes, kids tearing in and out of the tall sand dunes, solo joggers, dog walkers and groups of runners in full lycra and neon pink shoes doing laps of the streets and the beach. And then there’s us, a dozen or so members of the Hastings and Rother Rainbow Alliance walking group, our identifying features mostly hidden under scarves, hats and coats. We’re off for our monthly walk - a very short one, this time, just up to the mouth of the River Rother and back along the sand. We pause for a few minutes by the river to chat and take some photos . . ."
Sweeper - Emma