Leeds Student Radio's LGBT+ show

Joe, the presenter of Leeds Student Radio's LGBT+ programme, talks about his show's ethos and music policy.

Duration 03:16


JOE: There have been moments when I try to make my show an educational space, but I think it’s always been through a sort of lens of trying to be candid.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know what you mean.

JOE: And you know, acknowledging the messy side of life. Like, we all have our moments whether you’re like straight, gay, queer-identifying, whatever. There are moments when we’re all messy. And it’s sometimes like, you can acknowledge that, like, I think one of the hardest things about social liberation movements is this idea that we have to be the perfect forms of ourselves to be accepted. I mean, it’s nice to just sometimes be culturally messy, talk about trash music, talk about sort of content and stuff that isn’t just there to satisfy straight people; but it’s just there because people like it.

Like, pop culture is quite ingrained within queerness. I think it’s important to talk about that. Like my first… It’s actually one of the most important things I always say to people… I’ve had an interesting relationship with my parents about this, because my parents often talk about how they hate the music I listen to. They think it’s this, that, and the other. They think it’s trash, but what they don’t really understand is that, you know, growing up - especially young gay men, I think - they grow up and pop culture is the first time they see themselves as presented as positive. And so I think this weird thing where a lot of straight people are very supportive of LGBT rights, but kind of look down on some aspects of things that people like… It’s like, that’s some people’s first exposure. Like, that, you have to acknowledge the importance of those things. When you’re young you just see yourself and you’re happy that you’re seeing yourself.

You hear something like ‘Born This Way’ on the radio. That is important and, like, I’m sure some deep, underground, Oscar-worthy LGBT movie is really important as well, but you always have to acknowledge that wider discussion, because otherwise we kind of ostracize that younger generation. I think it’s about uniting the conversations. I think that’s why I use music in my show, as a way of saying, it’s a way of being - this sounds like a really bad way of putting it [laughs] - like a gateway drug of like, you know you’re going to listen to those queer artists that are mainstream, and then a way of guiding them into other stuff. Which I think is a good thing. They’re not that different! I think that most people are able to get into new artists, but especially with queer artists, like, we’re not getting the representation. You know, mainstream stuff needs to act as a root to the smaller artists.


JOE: And we are seeing it happen, it’s just about pushing it more and more and I think, not to blow my trumpet, but I feel that my friends have gotten into artists that they wouldn’t [have] because of my show, and that’s nice to see.