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July 24, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts |
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“The most revolutionary act is to be my authentic self,” says Lena Waithe, star of Master of None, and a guest on Nancy, a new show from WNYC Studios that combines storytelling and magazine-style journalism on LGBTQIA+ issues. Hosted by Tobin Low and Kathy Tu, the podcast interviews those from the LGBTQIA+ community on a range of topics including representation, advocacy, and tolerance.

Each half-hour episode usually features two stories, one from each of the hosts. Some stories are inspired by current events, but often they are inspired by Low and Tu’s own experiences. In episode two, Low, an Asian-American gay man, explores the stereotyping of Asian-American men in pornography and the dichotomy of representation. Low speaks candidly about how encouraging it was as a teenager to see men on film that looked like him, and how his attitude has changed over time, as he is now aware of the harms caused when the roles performed rely on negative stereotyping. By choosing issues that are close to the hosts, the podcast feels more personal and accessible.

Another notable story from Nancy that is more journalistic is episode four about the Log Cabin Republicans, a LGBTQIA+ group supporting the Republican Party. The intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community and Republicans seems like an unlikely alliance, so it was very interesting to be exposed to their perspectives. While the Log Cabin Republicans seem to have been staunch advocates for marriage equality, their advocacy for the trans community is non-existent.

A strength of the show is its engagement with listeners. Episode 10 is dedicated to listener feedback, and Low and Tu do not shy away from their critics. They’re happy to admit when they’ve got a story wrong — in the case of the Log Cabin Republican episode, Low and Tu accept that they did not push hard enough on the neglect of transgender activism.

Nancy is an excellent podcast that combines honest and personal stories with interesting investigations of LGBTQIA+ issues. Start with episode two — Sarah Lu’s story about Maura, her only gay role model as a child, and her journey to reconnect with her. It’s a beautiful story, and I cried my eyes out listening to it (maybe not an episode to listen to on the bus!).

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