If there’s one thing that’s been abundantly clear these past couple of months, it’s imperative that we amplify both Black voices and queer voices year-round — not just when it’s trendy or relevant to do so. With last month’s Pride Month coinciding with a widespread push to uplift Black voices across all sorts of platforms, it only seems relevant to shift our focus to podcasts that grapple with both Blackness and queerness. From humorous discussions of pop culture topics through this unique and intersectional lens to serious talks about the most prominent issues currently facing the Black LGBTQIA+ community at large, these nine podcasts are informative, entertaining, and essential listening.
Don’t be thrown off by the short lengths of AfroQueer‘s episodes: The podcast and its short-form episodes are incredibly moving and often quite profound. Journalist, historian, and producer Selly Thiam’s podcast tends to keep its episodes closer to the half-hour mark, but there’s more than enough information and insight within those minutes to keep its listeners satiated for a while. A fascinating mix of live interviews, prerecorded commentary, rich storytelling, and thoroughly-researched reporting, AfroQueer exists to explore all aspects of life as a Queer African both on the continent of Africa and in the Diaspora.
Listen to AfroQueer here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Black Radical Queer (Mane Hustle Media)
Jhavia Nicole hosts Black Radical Queer, a podcast that is exactly what it sounds like: a thoughtful and deeply enlightening exploration of Black queer living. Covering topics from anxiety to protests to social media to relationships and all sorts of other important and relevant talking points in between, Black Radical Queer is both a great place to start learning about Black queerness and a jumping-off point for those hoping to dive deeper into the subject. Hop in anywhere as you scroll through the show’s 70+ episodes — you’re sure to broaden your horizons and sharpen your mind, too.
Listen to Black Radical Queer here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Black, Queer, & ….
Unlike Black Radical Queer and its largely political basis, podcast hosts LaRae and Schmian use their show Black, Queer, & ….to focus almost exclusively on human issues through the lens of Black queer relationships. While still a relatively new show, only on the air since fall of 2019, Black, Queer, & …. has still managed to tackle such subjects as religion, parenthood, mental health, childhood, and a whole slew of other important topics along the way. Get in while they’re still on the up-and-up — you certainly won’t regret it. LaRae and Schmian and their podcast are destined for great things as they approach their one-year anniversary.
Listen to Black, Queer, & …. here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Busy Being Black (W!ZARD Studios)
From W!ZARD Studios comes Busy Being Black: a podcast that aims to help Black people in the LGBTQIA+ community live their lives to the absolute fullest. Through the utilization of interviews with countless important theologians, expert thinkers, spiritual leaders, and key figures, host Josh Rivers hopes to educate and inform people living at the intersection of Blackness and queerness. Think of it like a podcast that’s equal parts history lesson and personal testimony. Uploading new episodes every couple of weeks or so, there’s plenty of time to get caught up on every episode of Busy Being Black before the latest installment arrives and plenty of information listeners from all walks of life can learn from.
Listen to Busy Being Black here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Podcast HoodxHolistic is one-of-a-kind for a couple of reasons. For starters, it’s hosted by a married couple named Ash and Cort. Additionally, it’s a podcast that’s not afraid to go long. With episodes frequently clocking in at well over an hour, Ash and Cort clearly have a lot to say and they aren’t scared to say it. As a married couple, Ash and Cort’s HoodxHolistic podcast brings an original perspective to the discussion of Black queerness that other podcasts just can’t provide. Nothing’s off-limits here, which means that just about everything relating to Blackness and queerness has the potential to be covered. Not to mention, the show’s genuinely about as entertaining as can be.
Listen to HoodxHolistic here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Never Before (Pineapple Street Media)
As one of the most prominent trans rights activists in the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s no surprise that Janet Mock’s podcast Never Before would be just as noteworthy. By bringing on some of the biggest names in pop culture to discuss a plethora of the most pressing issues of our time, Mock and her guests like Rowan Blanchard, Gabourey Sidibe, and Maxine Waters hope to educate and entertain in the same breath. Luckily for them and for us listeners, they’re hugely successful at doing exactly what they set out to do. Never Before ranks among one of the best and brightest podcasts to come out in recent years — the only thing that could make it any better would be some more episodes!
Listen to Never Before here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
She Her Dyke
Relatively new podcast She Her Dyke sets itself apart from the competition by broadening its scope and setting its aim on topics both inside and outside the Black LGBTQIA+ community. Just recently celebrating one year on the air, SheHerDyke has proven to be an essential podcast for people of all different kinds to give a listen to by refusing to stay boxed into one particular issue or another. No matter what the subject of the episode may be — from our recent quarantine to the complexities of astrology to the difficulties of dating to something as simple as college life — SheHerDyke promises to cover it in their own special way.
Listen to She Her Dyke here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Strange Fruit (Louisville Public Media)
After close to ten years on the air and over 300 episodes so far, it seems pretty safe to say that Strange Fruit from Louisville Public Media is the preeminent Black queer podcast. Tackling LGBTQIA+ issues and the world at large since the early 2010s, long before the important topics of Blackness or queerness were talked about freely and openly, Strange Fruit essentially set the bar for countless other podcasts that have followed in its footsteps. Hosts Jaison Gardner and Dr. Kaila Story talk about race, politics, gender, and pop culture in a way that is so particularly their own — it’s really no wonder they became trailblazers.
Listen to Strange Fruit here and amplify your favorite parts across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
While You Were Sleeping
Black gay geeks: three words you don’t typically see together, but three words that describe a very significant portion of Black culture, gay culture, and geek culture. That’s why While You Were Sleeping was born back in the spring of 2018: hosts Forest and Shawn saw a glaring omission in the podcast pantheon and decided to amend it. Reviewing all the latest in pop culture and entertainment, While You Were Sleeping is one of the most valuable podcasts about both Black queerness and pop culture. From television to movies to music and whatever else they feel like tackling in between, While You Were Sleeping definitely has it covered.
Whether you’re interested in pursuing more Black-hosted podcasts or queer-hosted podcasts (or a combination of the two), Backtracks has you covered. There’s an endless supply of great podcasts on our site in addition to many great curated collections. For further listening, check out our series on Amplifying Black Voices in Podcasts, which includes Women, Society & Culture, Comedy, Black Perspectives, and Health & Wellness. Plus, be on the lookout for more posts on Amplifying Queer Voices in Podcasts coming soon.