June is Pride month, when people from all backgrounds and of all identities embrace LGBT+ culture a little more. A time for celebration, it also offers many an opportunity to brush up on LGBT+ issues, explore their identity or simply better understand the LGBT+ community.
When it comes to getting to grips with LGBT+ history, culture and identity, talking about it when members from that community should be your first port of call. However, if that isn't possible, podcasts step in like a ready-made friend, eager to help you be a better, more informed version of yourself.
Here, we list the 10 best podcasts on LGBT+ matters, produced by LGBT+ people. Some faces may be familiar, such as Queer Eye's bearded Beyoncé Jonathan Van Ness, and some of the perspectives might be less familiar, but each one is entertaining and fascinating.
1. Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
If, like many of us, you only know JVN from his starring role as part of the Fab Five on Netflix's Queer Eye, you'd be forgiven for thinking his talent lies solely in primping hair, strutting in heels and winning hearts instantly.
However, behind the perfectly groomed moustache is a mind and - yes - curiosity as fierce as any blow-out. Whether he's catching up with his QE cast mates, dissecting the nuances of language in politics and communities with a linguist or discussing why immigration is a queer issue, JVN will challenge you to think bigger, better and smarter.
Tackling the broad topic of queer identity and how we define ourselves in a society that is constantly moving the goalposts, the hosts of Nancy - Tobin Low and Kathy Tu - pare it back into insightful, accessible and entertaining conversation.
Championing real stories from real people, alongside soundbites from LGBT+ pop culture icons such as Lena Waithe, the hosts confront many of the perplexing aspects of identifying as LGBT+. The stories are often powerful and charming in equal measures: A brother tries to make up for taking his sister's coming out badly by writing a love song; a nun moves to 1980s New York City to learn to care for HIV/AIDS patients.
From parsing through queer identity and how it relates to money, to breaking down the word "queer", Nancy is a treasure trove of insight into LGBT+ identity.
3. Savage Lovecast
A classic podcast for many communities, this sex and relationship podcast lifts the lid on some of the most complex, bewildering, relatable and uplifting relationships you'll ever encounter. And you thought your dating life was complicated?
Hosted by Dan Savage, an author, a sex-advice columnist, a podcaster and a public speaker, the podcast was spawned from Savage's long-running column, Savage Love, and follows the same winning formula of guiding the lost, angry and leather-wearing through the annals of modern love.
Callers phone in with their issues, seeking Savage's often insightful, often jarring, always entertaining advice. Savage, who is out and married, is particularly well-versed in LGBT+ matters, and is particularly well-versed in navigating the lesser talked about realities of LGBT+ relationships.
4. Busy Being Black
Jason Jones is living proof of how the world can change when we recognise our inherent power and harness that power to create change. It is such an honour to share this conversation with you all.— Busy Being Black (@_busybeingblack) June 8, 2019
"Walking Tall" with @trinijayjay is available now.https://t.co/X7TG9Bbb5L
Being a member of the LGBT+ community brings with it its own collection of highs and lows, as those who are part of that community are statistically more at risk of discrimination. At the same time - and possibly because of that fact - black LGBT+ people are leading the charge in creating diverse and innovative communities for members to thrive.
On this podcast, host Josh Rivers does exactly that, interviewing people who are uplifting other black LGBT+ people, such as Sandy Pianim, the brand director of a platform for men and their fetishes. For astute commentary on what its like to be black and LGBT+ today, look no further than here.
5. The Male Gayz
Hosted by two best friends, Eli Matthewson and Chris Parker, The Male Gayz is like sitting down with your closest buddy for an all-access chat about your LGBT+ lives. Because that's exactly what it is for the hosts.
After eight years of friendship, the pair finally came out to one another. Now, they catch up on everything they missed out on discussing in that time, in the hopes they will become closer. A great touchstone for how to talk to another person - LGBT+ or not - about sexuality.
6. A Gay and a NonGay
Operating on the concept that love is love ("is love is love is love is love is love is love", as Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda said when accepting his Tony after the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando in 2016), hosts James Barr and Dan Hudson sit down for weekly discussions on what it means to identify as LGBT+ in a society seemingly upping the attacks on that community in some ways.
Yoyoing effortlessly between discussions about homophobia, mental health and dating, the pair treat their topics with enough reverence to educate you, as well as enough lightness to make you laugh. Listen to the episode "Timothée Champagne" for the title alone, lads.
Bonus: they're playing The Sugar Club in Dublin on 23rd June!