It’s the last episode of Queers! At least, for now. Benjamin and Simon reflect on four years of discussion about queer politics and culture, wondering what’s changed, what we’ve learned, and whether all of this was worthwhile. Thanks everyone for listening and for your support—we’re sure we’ll be back at some point and in some form, so stay tuned.
Benjamin took the opportunity of a recent beachside holiday to do some light reading with Sarah Schulman’s book Conflict Is Not Abuse, which Simon read (and loved) a while back. This episode is a discussion of Schulman’s critical, compassionate, and ultimately reparative take on the theme of conflict, the book offering insight into themes that run throughout the discussions of the podcast.
The Israel Folau sacking, campaigns to block far right activists from entering into Australia, the high court decision to uphold the sacking of the public servant Michaela Banerji. Free speech is everywhere in the news at the moment, yet despite it being central to both the politics of Benjamin and Simon we've never done an episode on it. This week we dive in head first. What even is free speech, why do we talk about it so much, and does it matter?
Simon interviews writer, lecturer and consultant Jarryd Bartle across a range of topics relating to sexual and criminal deviancy, queer and otherwise. Jarryd talks about the uses and limits of the criminal justice system, whether the current focus of queer politics is a useful path to social change, and why he no longer considers himself “queer”.
In the second part of our two-part discussion critiquing the role of sex in queer communities and politics, Benjamin and Simon get to the heart of the matter: is sexuality compulsory in queer movements and spaces? And if it isn’t, then what even is queerness?
Benjamin interviews writer and research Jaya Keaney about her work examining concepts of race in the stories of queer families who conceive kids using reproductive technologies, digging into what it means to re-imagine the queer family in the context of race.