Out in the Bay proudly features a new queer podcast this week: Stereotypes – Straight talk from Queer voices. On the pilot episode, “Still Coming Out,” producer and host Christopher Beale brings us two beautifully told coming out stories.
One is of Beale himself, shot out of the closet quite suddenly at age 15; the other of Rae, originally from Georgia, who over many years traveled through butch lesbian to trans man to gender non-binary.
“My mom would be super-confused if she knew I wore skirts now,” says Rae, laughing in the podcast episode heard almost in its entirety on this week’s Out in the Bay. “As if I haven’t confused her enough already.”
In mid-1990s Georgia “there was this ilk of dykes,” Rae says, who “wore jeans and work boots, flannel shirts and chain wallets. That was me.” But she didn’t fit in, and after a few years, “I realized that lesbians don’t really want to be guys. That was a big clue!”
Beale’s story? “You might say I had my first boyfriend at age 12. He was my best friend, we were inseparable. We were also lovers, in the most innocent sense of the word.” But they grew apart.
“By 15 years old, I knew who I was, I just hadn’t told my parents yet. One hot afternoon, I would make a series of decisions that would force me out of the closet.” The story he tells on the podcast, with a shirtless older boy playing basketball across the street when young Chris was home alone, may be hotter than that Florida day.
After 20 years in commercial radio, “talking up Journey records,” as Beale puts it, stopped satisfying him. “I wanted to do more for my community and to challenge myself.” So he moved from Sacramento to San Francisco and threw himself into public-radio journalism and audio storytelling.
On Stereotypes, Beale vows, “I’ll point my microphone at you — the vibrant and inspiring queer community that I’m so proud to be a part of.”
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