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History is Gay

61 EpisodesProduced by Leigh PfefferWebsite

History is Gay is a podcast that examines the underappreciated and overlooked queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies that have always been there in the unexplored corners of history. Because history has never been as straight as you think. Follow us on social media! @historyisgaypod on Twitter and I… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

0.15. Malinda Lo and Queer YA Historical Fiction

October 24th, 2022


Another interview episode for you all in the feed today, this time Leigh sat down with author Malinda Lo about her writing, her interest and research into queer history, and the trajectory of queer literature since her …

0.14. A Pod Meets BROS Love Story: Making Queer (Romcom) History!

October 3rd, 2022


While Leigh is working on putting together the next regular History is Gay episode for you, we've got a special treat in the form of a minisode, all …

0.13. Before We Were Trans: A Convo with Kit Heyam

September 13th, 2022


For this bonus episode, Leigh sat down with Dr. Kit Heyam, university lecturer, queer history activist, and trans awareness trainer, about their new book, Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender. We talked about …

43. Rainbow Rising: Homo-Feels About Homophiles, Part 2

August 16th, 2022


For this episode, Leigh is joined again by guest host Tyler Albertario, as we continue diving into the history of the Homophile movement. In this second and final part of this discussion, Leigh and Tyler cover the rise …

0.12. Florine Stettheimer's Gay Salon (An Interview with Barbara Bloemink)

May 16th, 2022


For this bonus episode, we're bringing you an interview with esteemed art historian, art director, and curator Barbara Bloemink about her recently published comprehensive biography of turn-of-the-century Modernist …

41. Send in the Clowns: Anita Bryant, the Briggs Initiative, and the Rise of the Anti-Gay Right

April 15th, 2022


Buckle up, folks – this episode contains your hosts doing a lot of swears and yelling at the general AAAAAAAAAHHHHH of the world right now. For this …

40. Real-Life Xenas: Warrior Women Across the World

February 22nd, 2022


Happy 2022 and welcome to another episode of History is Gay! This time, we’re picking up where we left off with Meghan Rose and S.C. Lucier in our discussion of Amazons and real-life warrior women in history! It’s not …

39. The Amazons: Stoner Horse Girl Warriors of Antiquity

December 31st, 2021


Today’s episode brings you not one, but two, wonderful guest hosts – Meghan Rose and S.C. Lucier, (known collectively as Lucier&Rose), the …

38. Trans-sister Radio: Synth Icon Wendy Carlos

August 28th, 2021


If you’ve ever enjoyed disco, EDM, changed your voice with auto-tune, or danced along to Daft Punk, you’ve got the subject of today’s episode to thank! In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh is joined by guest host …

37. The Life of Pauli Murray: My Gender is Imp, Part 2

July 15th, 2021


In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh and guest host Aubree Calvin return to the story of Pauli Murray, an important African American lawyer, and …

0.11. "I Need You to Lick Bush in '92": Whitney Skauge and The Beauty President

July 2nd, 2021


We're bringing you a bonus episode as a post-Pride gift! Back in April, Leigh sat down with filmmaker Whitney Skauge (they/them) to talk about their new documentary short, The Beauty President. The Beauty President

36. The Life of Pauli Murray: Confrontation by Typewriter, Part 1

June 25th, 2021


In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh and guest host Aubree Calvin discuss Pauli Murray, an important African American lawyer, and activist who is …

35. Claim to Flame: Edmonia "Wildfire" Lewis and her Harem Scarem

March 22nd, 2021


In this episode of History is Gay Leigh and guest host Amanda Helton discuss Mary Edmonia “Wildfire” Lewis, the first internationally recognized African American and indigenous artist in the United States. Join us while …

34. Queers in the Civil Rights Movement

February 28th, 2021


For today’s episode, Leigh is joined by return guest host, Aubree Calvin, to commemorate Black History Month by telling the stories of some folks who …

0.10. More on the OG Lesbian and Exploring Sappho with Sweetbitter Podcast

December 15th, 2020


It's been one heck of a year, huh queerlings? This month, while we're not able to bring you a regular episode of History is Gay, we are treating you …

33. Besotted with Beefcake: A MichelangelHO Story

November 23rd, 2020


In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh and guest host and art museum professional nerd Amanda Helton discuss Michelangelo Buonarroti. THE Michelangelo. And we'll get into all the juicy deets you didn't learn in art …

0.9. Back in the Saddle Again: Trans Edition

September 30th, 2020


Get ready to slap on your spurs once more, because we're back with more trans vagabonds of the wild west! In our last full episode, Leigh and guest …

32. Stealing Horses & Hearts: Trans Vagabonds of the Wild West

September 16th, 2020


In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh and guest host Ashten Hope slap on some cowboy boots and head to the wild west to tip our hats to a slew of badass transgender pioneers. We’ll first meet Harry Allen, a handsome …

31. The Gaymother of Rock n' Roll, O.G. Electric Lady Sister Rosetta Tharpe

August 15th, 2020


Holy crap, y’all! It’s already AUGUST. Somehow this year has simultaneously lasted forever and also gone by way too quickly. We’re back in your …

0.8. Alternate Channels: Talking Queer TV with Steven Capsuto

July 31st, 2020


We’re bringing you a bonus episode here on the History is Gay feed today, so get ready for a ride through the history of queers on TV! Leigh got a chance to sit down and talk with Steven Capsuto, author of Alternate …

30. Alan Turing: Computer Daddy

July 15th, 2020


In this episode of History is Gay, Leigh and guest host Maren (@RygarBorgvoss) tackle the father of modern computing, and gay geek hero, Alan Turing! Whether he be sending love-struck letters about astronomy to his high …


June 22nd, 2020


Instead of a new episode this month, History is Gay is participating in #PodcastBlackout. If you are not Black, we hope you take this opportunity and time to read, educate yourself, and donate to organizations and …

0.7. Rainbow Revolutionaries: An(other) Interview with Sarah Prager

May 16th, 2020


Welcome to History is Gay's latest minisode! This time, we're interviewing author and queer historian Sarah Prager again, in anticipation of her new …

29. Beyond the Rainbow: Building Queer Symbologies Before & After Gilbert Baker

May 2nd, 2020


For this very first solo episode, we’re bringing you a whole bunch of history at once, for everyone’s quarantined entertainment! Presented live on …

28. Anne Lister Goes to TGIFemslash

March 17th, 2020


Welcome to Gretchen and Leigh’s annual episode hosted live at TGIFemslash! This is the con where it all began, and what better way to celebrate our origins than with the ‘first modern lesbian’, Anne Lister! Join us as …

0.6. A Gay Poetry Salon with Alexandra Tydings

February 13th, 2020


Happy Valentines’ Day, loves! We’re here today with a special treat bonus episode for you with a very special guest! You may know her from Xena: The Warrior Princess as the patron god of Sappho, the goddess of love, …

27. Fucking Superb, You Funky Little Lesbian

January 27th, 2020


At long last, hosts Gretchen and Leigh are going back to the beginning, to the OG lesbian: Sappho herself. Despite the dearth of information about her life and history, your hosts still find plenty to say about Sappho, …

26. A Royal Troublemaker in King Kristina of Sweden

December 3rd, 2019


Welcome to winter! Join Leigh and guest host V Silverman as they dive into the fascinating history of King Kristina of Sweden. A probably nonbinary, most likely asexual, definitely biromantic monarch of 17th century …

25. Chrysanthemums and Golden Bums: Male Love in Pre-Modern Japan

October 15th, 2019


That’s right, Leigh and Gretchen are back with another delightful look at the history of homosexuality in East Asian history! Episode 3 explored …

24. Transcestors, A Look at Art Beyond the Binary (Live from the DMA)

July 22nd, 2019


Leigh and Gretchen are back from hiatus with an extra special episode! Recorded live at the Dallas Museum of Art on June 21st as part of the museum’s Pride events, your friendly neighborhood queer history nerds sat down …

Announcements Aplenty!

April 9th, 2019


Leigh & Gretchen have a few announcements about what's going on in History is Gay land - hiatus, transcripts, and a live show! Listen to get all …

23. Bury the Hays Code

March 4th, 2019


It’s that time of year again, time for the second annual live episode of History is Gay, live-recorded at TGIFemslash, the convention that birthed our little podcast! Join Leigh, Gretchen, and special guest host Morgan

22. Bae-yard Rustin: The Man Behind the March

February 11th, 2019


February means love and Black History, so join Gretchen and Leigh as they celebrate both by diving into into the life and work of civil rights …

21. The Real Housewife of Rome

January 23rd, 2019


What better way to celebrate the New Year than with a new episode of History is Gay? This time, Gretchen and Leigh dive into the brief, controversial, and totally extra reign of Emperor Elagabalus of Rome. Or rather, …

20. More Than Meets the Eye(brow): Frida Kahlo

December 24th, 2018


In this episode, Gretchen and Leigh talk about Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist best known for her many self-portraits and for works inspired by nature …

0.5. Letters & Queeries - Gay Ghosts and an Announcement!

December 10th, 2018


Welcome to our first Letters & Queeries minisode, where we hear from our listeners and share stories! In this inaugural bonus, we're sharing with …

19. Queer Poetry in the Not-So-Great War: Siegfried Sassoon

November 26th, 2018


We’ve got a special episode for you this time, gayvenclaws! Gretchen is taking care of a family medical emergency, so join Leigh and special guest …

18. Girls Gone Wilde

November 6th, 2018


What would an exploration of the Wilde family be without taking a closer look at Oscar Wilde’s ‘virulently lesbian’ niece Dolly Wilde? Gretchen and …

0.4. A Queer Ghost Huntin' We Will Go (An Interview with Shane McLelland)

October 29th, 2018


Hello again, guys, gals and ghouls, and welcome to a fun Halloween minisode! This week, Leigh & Gretchen bring you an interview with our second …

17. He's a Real Wilde One

October 15th, 2018


In honor of his 164th birthday, Leigh and Gretchen talk about the life and times of Oscar Wilde with special guest K. W. Moore from the blog “A …

16. Lavender Apparitions

October 1st, 2018



Happy Halloween everybody! As good Halloween gays, Leigh and Gretchen bring you a special, spoopy episode for Halloween. In the first half, they bring tales of gay and lesbian ghosts and lavender apparitions of all …

15. Lizzie Borden Took a Labrys

September 17th, 2018


Way back in the first episode, Leigh and Gretchen formed a historical ‘murder wives’ ship starting with Anne Bonny; in this episode, they take a …

14. The Labor Struggle is Real Queer

September 3rd, 2018


Leigh and Gretchen have a special History is Gay treat for you this Labor Day. Join them as they discuss the history of the labor movement as it relates to the struggle for queer civil rights in America. You may not …

13. Six Degrees of Virginia Woolf Pt. 1: Vita & Virginia

August 20th, 2018


Gretchen and Leigh are pleased to announce their very first special guest to History is Gay, Dan Arndt of Write to Survive Podcast and The …

12. Let's Have a Kiki with Queer as Fact!

August 6th, 2018


Welcome to our very first extra special collaboration! Joining Leigh and Gretchen this episode are our friends over at Queer as Fact, a queer history …

0.3. A Sneak Peek into Sappho's Salon

July 16th, 2018


Instead of a regular episode this week, Leigh & Gretchen treat you to a very special sneak peek into Sappho's Salon, an exclusive place where the …

11. Rainbow Rising: The First Pride

July 2nd, 2018


Leigh and Gretchen welcome you to their first Pride month special and the first of an ongoing series on Queer civil rights movements in the United States. And what better way to do both than to dive into the lives of …

10. Thigh Fencing and the Saffron Massage

June 18th, 2018


In this episode, co-hosts Gretchen and Leigh will take you on a tour of medieval Arabo-Islamic erotic literature and the many delightful descriptions …

0.2. T'Aint Nobody's Bizness: An Interview with Robert Philipson

June 11th, 2018


Leigh & Gretchen are bringing you a special bonus episode this week! Wow, three whole episodes in a month, Happy Pride! In this bonus, Leigh sits …

9. Nazi Punks Fuck Off, Pt 2: Claude Cahun

June 4th, 2018


As you know, we're not a fan of Nazis. In part two of our (what will very likely be ongoing) series on badass Nazi-fighting queer anti-fascists we discuss the genderqueer, surrealist artist and Nazi resistance fighter …

8. Nazi Punks Fuck Off, Pt 1: Magnus Hirschfeld

May 21st, 2018


We're not a fan of nazis around these parts, and not just for the obvious reasons. Did you know that one of the most iconic images of them burning books is from when they burned the library of a gay, Jewish, communist …

0.1. Queer, There, and Everywhere

April 16th, 2018



Welcome to a special first here in History is Gay: our first ever minisode! As Gretchen has been busy traveling this month, she and Leigh are filling in with a special guest interview with Sarah Prager, author of

7. F is For Friend Who Did Not Have Gender

April 2nd, 2018


R is for Revolutionary War, which is where hosts Leigh & Gretchen are headed in this, the very first episode dedicated to a single person from …

6. Three Genders? In Ancient Egypt? It's More Likely Than You Think

March 19th, 2018


In today’s episode, Leigh and Gretchen head way back in time to Ancient Egypt. That’s right, get ready to walk like an Egyptian! Take a tour through …

5. Stars from a Bi-Gone Era

March 5th, 2018


In this very special episode, hosts Leigh & Gretchen travel to the red carpet and the silver screen to hear stories about queer actors from the …

4. Bulldaggers and Lady Lovers

February 20th, 2018


In this episode, your hosts Leigh & Gretchen take a stroll down Jungle Alley and bring you stories of the vibrant black lesbian and gay …

3. Mei Ai Hold Your Hand? Homosexuality in Imperial China

February 5th, 2018


As your hosts return to examine the unexplored corners of history to highlight overlooked queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies, they bring a conversation about homosexuality in Imperial China. They will discuss the …

2. Cloistered Queers

January 15th, 2018


In this episode, your hosts Gretchen and Leigh continue to examine the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies in the unexplored corners of history by traveling to the cloisters of …

1. Were Some Pirates Poofters?

January 1st, 2018


In our first episode, your hosts Gretchen & Leigh begin their series examining the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies from the unexplored corners of history with a discussion of …

Introducing History is Gay!

December 19th, 2017


Introducing History is Gay, a new podcast where your hosts Gretchen & Leigh examine the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies from the unexplored corners of history. Whether shining …

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