From the time of the first homo-sapiens until today, the LGBT lifestyle has existed, whether in the underground or in mainstream culture. It makes no difference whether you are from the LGBT community or simply interested in it - this podcast is Straight Friendly. We will talk and learn about the LGBT history, culture and lifestyle; and host the most significant and colorful scholars, key figures and people in the LGBT communities.
Silence Equals Death: AIDS Epidemic through the Eyes of an Activist - Richard Poulin
48:23In this emotionally stirring episode of the 'Straight Friendly' podcast, host Michael Ross engaged in a deeply personal conversation with Rick Poulin, a survivor and activist from the daunting era of HIV and AIDS in the United States. The episode offers listeners an opportunity to delve into an intense recount of Rick's firsthand encounters with the deadly disease, unmasking the initial silence and denial that surrounded it, and the widespread fear amongst the community. Exclusively narrated by Rick, the conversation threads through his early activism in the LGBTQ+ alliance, volunteering on the AIDS hotline, dealing with the excruciating pain of losing friends to the disease, and the ultimate importance of outspoken advocates throughout the struggle. Michael Ross and Rick Poulin underlined the importance of speaking out and acting despite adversity, turning the spotlight on the fight against HIV/AIDS and its persisting impact in today’s society.
A Journey from LA to Portugal: Steve Wiseman's Take on Being Jewish, Gay, and an Immigrant
48:30In this episode of the 'Straight Friendly' podcast, host Michael Ross engaged in a deep and eye-opening conversation with Steve Wiseman, a Jewish gay man about their varying experiences with antisemitism, prejudice, and the LGBTQ+ communities. They also explore the shared experiences of immigration, adapting to new environments, and the power of community. With Steve having experienced a series of antisemitic attacks in the past, both are deeply affected by these experiences and utilize this platform to share their stories. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of kindness and allyship, stressing that allies are found in diverse groups, and not just those with similar views. They underscored their shared belief in the power of community, supporting each other and standing together in the face of discrimination, prejudice, and violence. From their personal struggles to moving global issues, the conversation serves as an important reminder of the shared human experience and the critical need for empathy, compassion, and understanding in our society.
Unity in Diversity: Spotlight on Jewish Queer Activism - Nate & Matthew
54:35Nate Looney is an American Jewish University alum and a social entrepreneur. A US Army veteran and an urban farmer, Nate has a broad range of experience across multiple disciplines. He wears numerous hats such as a diversity strategist and currently serves as the Director of Community Safety and Belonging on the Jewish Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) team at Jewish Federations of North America. Having served in the Task Force Gator after Hurricane Katrina and deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nate brings a wealth of experience in safety, security and critical problem-solving. Presently, he focuses on building community and spearheading change in safety and security, antisemitism, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and racial justice. Matthew Nuriel is a member of JIMENA - Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa and serves as their Community Engagement Director. As an activist with Iranian Jewish heritage based in Los Angeles, California, Matthew works relentlessly for numerous causes close to their heart including LGBTQ+ rights, equality within the Iranian and Jewish communities, the fight against antisemitism, and their active support of the Women Life Freedom movement for a free Iran. Furthermore, Matthew is a passionate advocate and a digital influencer who uses social media to amplify their voice around these issues. Besides, Matthew engages with audiences through panel discussions and speaking engagements across the country and has had their articles featured in various publications.
Seeking Hope and Unity in War Time: Insights from Rabbi Eger
46:27In this insightful episode of the ‘Straight Friendly’ podcast, hosted by Michael Ross, international Jewish leader and renowned social justice activist, Rabbi Denise L. Eger, engages in a thought-provoking dialogue about navigating identity, unity, and hope in troubled times. Rabbi Eger, the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, CA, and a prominent figure within the Jewish community, recollects her journey of being the first openly gay or lesbian person to serve in her position in the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the first woman to be elected as President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis. Throughout the episode, they delved into the challenges faced by the LGTBQ+ communities, both within and outside the Jewish context. Moving on to discuss the concept of 'Chesed', they touch upon the essence of loving kindness, its importance in maintaining humanity even in the time of the war. The conversation further unraveled the increasing consequences of societal divisiveness, highlighting the need for bridging gaps within the global Jewish diaspora as well as the broader LGBTQ+ communities. Enriched by Rabbi Eger’s experiences and wisdom, the podcast emphasizes the critical need for unity, peace and resilience in the face of adversity.
Unveiling the Truth: The Story of Sarit Ahmed's Quest for Freedom
35:25In this episode, we delved into a heartbreaking event that unfolded in June 2023, shedding light on the life of Sarit Ahmed, a young woman whose tragic story touches the depths of the human heart. Through intimate conversations with Sarit's close friends and confidants, we gained in-depth insights into her struggles, hopes, and triumphs. As Sarit's story unfolds, we witness her journey to find acceptance and love in a society that often fails to recognize the beauty of diversity. Sarit's close friend shared their memories of her determination, strength, and unwavering spirit. Together, the guest and host provide a poignant reflection on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in a culture where conformity can often overshadow authenticity. Michael Ross and his guest navigate the complexities of Sarit's life, exploring the depths of familial relationships, societal expectations, and the pursuit of self-acceptance. 'Straight Friendly' aims to create a safe and inclusive space for crucial conversations, fostering understanding and empathy. Through heartfelt anecdotes, thought-provoking discussions, and a commitment to change, this podcast challenges the status quo and raises awareness about the importance of embracing diversity and fostering acceptance, and honoring Sarit's memory toward a more inclusive and compassionate world.
✈️LGBTQ+ Tourism: Empowering Travelers and Overcoming Challenges - Ed Salvato Part B
30:41Part 2 out of 2 wonderful Straight-Friendly episodes about the special field of LGBTQ+ tourism! Last episode was fascinating, and we are eager to share with you the next one!This time we get into the nitty-gritty. After years of gender-normative treatment such as asking the guy for the couple’s order, how should one teach a cruise staff to treat LGBTQ+ customers? Michael and Ed tackle some tough questions about gay travel. Picture this: a legally married gay couple and their two adopted kids jet off to a dream vacation abroad. But uh-oh, the country they visit criminalizes homosexuality. What happens to their legal status? And if one of them ends up in the hospital can his partner visit him? It's a maze of legalities and love, and they're here to navigate it all.So join Straight-Friendly for an enlightening and exciting exploration of LGBTQ+ tourism. From the challenges faced by travelers to the triumphs of personal reinvention, this episode is guaranteed to leave you inspired and ready to embark on your own travel adventures.
✈️LGBTQ+ Tourism: Empowering Travelers and Overcoming Challenges - Ed Salvato Part A
33:02Join us for part 1 out of 2 exciting Straight-Friendly episodes about the fascinating world of LGBTQ+ tourism! Get ready as host Michael Ross sits down with the wonderful Ed Salvato to dive into the details of what makes this tourism so unique and different from regular tourism. Ed is a true travel expert, with a background in applied math, economics, and market research, and he's here to share his insider knowledge and incredible experiences. We get to hear about Ed’s personal journey to tourism after a highly successful career in a totally different field. In this laid-back conversation, Michael and Ed explore the incredible economic impact of LGBTQ+ tourism. Did you know that US consumers spend a whopping 218,000,000,000 DOLLARS A YEAR on LGBTQ+-friendly travel? That's a lot of love and wanderlust! Ed breaks it all down, giving insights into what makes LGBTQ+ tourism different and how destinations and accommodations can create spaces that are welcoming and safe.Intrigued yet? Press the play button and find out the rest with us!
Opening doors with Patrick Driscoll- VCs for the LGBTQ+ community
35:31In this episode, we talk with a famous figure in the ecosystem of LGBTQ+ Tech industry. Patrick Driscoll started his career in international development working with entrepreneurs in Senegal for over 2 years, where homosexuality is illegal. He became there the diversity coordinator and found meaning underrepresented groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. Now he is the General Partner of "Chasing Rainbows" - a VC (Venture Capital) fund that only invests in LGBTQ+ founders. The episode delves into the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, such as discrimination and the need to remain closeted while raising capital. Patrick emphasizes the importance of creating an inclusive environment where individuals can feel safe and supported in expressing their identities. Patrick highlights how apps like Grindr and platforms like NGLCC (National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) play a significant role in connecting LGBTQ+ individuals, fostering support, and facilitating business opportunities.
🌈LGBT+ Life in Africa: Nigeria
41:27Ruti Frensdorff spoke to several experts in an attempt to better understand GLBTQ life in Nigeria.The episode begins with a brief general overview of what makes Africa unique, by Dr. Irit Back, Head of African Studies at Tel Aviv University. We elaborate on the state of LGBTQ life in the continent with Dr. Moshe Morad from the African Centre in Beer Sheba and finally zoom in to the nuts and bolts of daily life for LGBTQ persons in Nigeria with Deyo Adebiyi, Nigerian educator and activist. Main arguments presented briefly in the beginning by one speaker are further developed by others later in the episode to enable our listeners a better understanding of the subject from a variety of perspectives.
🌈LGBT Life In Taiwan
17:25Taiwan is an LGBTQ oasis in the large and vast continent of Asia. It is the first (and currently the only) country in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage, and same sex couples have almost all the rights of heterosexual married couples. In the last 20 years, the gay community has reached great achievements in the field of legislation, ensuring equality in employment and education. Although it seems Taiwan is moving toward full acceptance of the GLBTQ lifestyle, it still has a long way to go. This episode explores LGBTQ life in Taiwan and features an interview with Sean Sih-Cheng Du, the Director of Taiwan's LGBTQ Hotline (Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association), the first formal LGBT organization in the country, and one of the major players in its GLBTQ scene.