WHETHER you want to laugh, find pockets of calm, geek out on a topic or even drift off to sleep - podcasts provide a whole world of joy to explore.
To mark February’s LGBT+ History Month, here are some of the top UK podcast picks...
After noticing Britain’s black queer history was often hard to find, activist Marc Thompson and writer Jason Okundaye decided to create a digital community and photo archive of black LGBTQ+ people through the decades, so their stories could be shared and honoured.
The Black And Gay, Back In The Day podcast brings these stories to life in audio, with writer/producer Abi McIntosh joining the team, and each episode exploring a photo from the collection - including interviews with their subjects.
Glyn Fussell - founder of the iconic Sink The Pink LGBTQ+ club nights and collective - launched We Can Be Heroes in 2021, with the aim of celebrating the ‘misfits’ who went on to break boundaries and make their mark.
Series one guests included singers Beverley Knight and Skin, drag star Bimini Bon Boulash and Help Refugees charity co-founder Josie Naughton - and each episode sees Fussell and his interviewees take a deep-dive into their journeys, and the hurdles and highs along the way.
The creation of ‘two queer nerds’, history buffs Leigh Pfeffer and Gretchen Jones, this American podcast series delves into historical events and figures and retells their stories - but this time including all the LGBTQ+ details that have so often been missed, ignored or side-lined.
Each monthly episode is a hearty long-listen, because - as the podcast’s tagline says - ‘history has never been as straight as you think’.
Young people’s LGBT+ charity Just Like Us works with schools and young people across the UK to help make growing up LGBT+ safer, easier and happier for all.
More recently, their accompanying podcast sees charity hosts chat with high-profile members of the community about their experiences growing up - reflecting on tougher moments, things that helped and what they’d tell their younger selves now. Guests have included Black Pride co-founder Lady Phyll and TikTok stars Caitlin and Leah.
When Capital Liverpool radio host Graeme Smith launched Outcast UK, it became an instant hit on social media, going on to scoop Best New Podcast at the 2022 British Podcast Awards.
Smith’s aim was to have open and uncensored conversations with ‘parts of the community that don’t always get a voice’, tackling topics mainstream media often skips or skims over, and giving them space to breathe - with humour, honesty and a ton of sensitivity.
Given gained a huge following as an illustrator and artist on Instagram, before becoming a bestselling author with her modern-day feminist manifesto Women Don’t Owe You Pretty and 2022 novel Girlcrush.
Her podcast, Exactly, was created as a space to have “more nuanced” conversations than the ones she was seeing and experiencing on social media - with Given and her guests delving into everything from sexual harassment and body image, to dating and navigating life as a bisexual woman, with listeners submitting questions too.