Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09



Windy City Queercast marks 600th show
by Gretchen Rachel Blickensderfer

This article shared 3502 times since Wed Nov 26, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

On the evening of April 11, 2006, the very first Windy City Queercast was appropriately heralded with Pearl Jam's 1991 debut single, "Alive." Radio celebrity and Queercast host Amy Matheny and Peter Mavrik ( a DJ and co-host at the time ) began by remarking on the beautiful early spring weather. "What a gorgeous day in the city," Mavrik exclaimed. "It's coming. You can feel it in the air. It's ready to burst forth!"

And burst forth Queercast did, with biweekly and then weekly podcasts that grew out of the Windy City Radio LGBT FM and AM shows, hosted by Matheny and an array of co-hosts including now-Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director Jim Bennett as well as activist and Morten Group President Mary Morten.

Windy City Radio had launched following the 2001 Windy City Times purchase of LesBiGay Radio from its founder, Alan Amberg, in 2001. Matheny was a host on LesBiGay Radio which earned a place in the National Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as the nation's first daily, drive time show for an LGBT audience.

However, even a one-hour Sunday-night show on Windy City Radio's FM station was a costly undertaking. By 2004, podcasting was beginning to take off as a worldwide Internet phenomenon. One year later, Matheny and her colleagues had an idea. "We wondered 'what if we went to online radio because the real estate's free and you can talk all the time'?" Matheny told Windy City Times as she looked back upon over eight years of Queercast. "Things were shifting in 2005 and you just realized that the Internet age was really taking over."

With the support of Windy City Times, Matheny teamed with Mavrik, who took care of the technological end of the podcast while Matheny rigorously tended to the rest of the details of each show. "This never would have happened without Peter," she said.

On Nov. 17, 2014, Matheny—alongside performance artist, actor and longtime Queercast co-host Mitchell Fain—celebrated Queercast's 600th show. "If you'd told me in 2006 that, every week, I would be talking about LGBT issues on a show that anyone can listen to for free unedited, uncensored... I mean pretty much anything and everything has happened; laughing fits, tears, compelling new things, breaking news and, of course, catching up with friends," Matheny said at the open of the broadcast. "I have talked to a lot of interesting people."

Some of those interesting people have included a then-unknown Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Jennifer Hudson, RuPaul, Helen Mirren, Levi Kreis, kd lang, Margaret Cho, Cheyenne Jackson, Del Shores, Sandra Bernhard, Jennifer Beals, Lucy Lawless, Lynda Carter, Carson Kressley, Betty Buckley, Candis Cayne, Sarah Waters, Clay Aiken, Sharon Gless, Judy Shepard, Leslie Jordan,AmyRay and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, Lily Tomlin, Colton Ford, Andy Cohen, Joan Rivers and Idina Menzel.

While some celebrities made Matheny nervous and conversations varied from icy and blunt to the kind of openness shared by a pair of old friends over a glass of wine, she recalled each one as a distinctly memorable moment in Queercast's history—in one case, tragically so. She had interviewed Hudson Oct. 23, 2008, to talk about the Oscar-winning actress and singer's new album release. Fewer than 24 hours later, Hudson's mother and brother were found slain on the South Side. Within days, the body of her young nephew was discovered. "When I talked to her, she was on such a high," Matheny remembered. "And then the next thing you know…."

Throughout its history, Queercast was there while the pendulum swung not only for individuals, but the entire LGBTQ community.

"I've been on the radio almost every week since 1997," Matheny said. "It surprises me just how much has changed and how far we have come as a community. To watch history unfold over a decade and a half is pretty extraordinary. There are just so many people, like all the different guest co-hosts and the hundreds people we've interviewed who have impacted and put their mark on Queercast."

Matheny's slate of rotating co-hosts each brought their own unique brand of acumen born from every facet of the LGBT community. Talents such as Mavrik, Fain, Deb Pearce, Colman Domingo, Alexandra Billings, Kelli Simpkins, Stephen Rader, Ms. Cleo, Scott Duff, news editor Andrew Davis and news anchor Kirk Williamson have brought perspectives on topics ranging from lighthearted reviews of the Oscars or Tonys to impactful discussions about gender identit and sexuality. There have also been national and international news affecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and gender nonconforming people in entertainment and the political arena as well as stories making headlines or those that were intensely personal—shared by foster and PFLAG parents as well as ministers, among others.

Unrestricted by time, the Federal Communications Commission ( FCC ) or the needs of advertisers, Matheny and her team made certain that conversations either between the co-hosts or with their interview subjects were raw and unedited. No matter what they had to say or how they said it, everybody had a voice on Queercast.

Queercasts were helped along by invaluable contributors such as podcast editor Di Bauden, Cynthia Holmes, Windy City Times entertainment writer/Jerry Nunn and film critic Richard J. Knight Jr., as well as individuals nationwide and from countries around the world.

Matheny says she has never missed a show, no matter what her state of mind or physical condition. The result from a once-innovative idea that has formed into a community resource has endowed her with the accomplished pride native to any milestone.

"We're there, every week," Matheny said. "That's what I am proudest of. Being present in the here and now of what is going on in the LGBT community with a forum for people to talk and hear real people's stories. That's basically what we're doing; we're storytelling every week."

This article shared 3502 times since Wed Nov 26, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

GLAAD at Pride: Protect the most vulnerable among us 2021-06-01
--From a press release - New York, NY - Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today released a statement to honor the start of Pride Month, highlighting the ...

Gay News

Remembering Kay "Tobin" Lahusen 2021-05-29
- Much of LGBTQ history, and history in general, has been lost. Even after photography was invented, the lens (and pen) was often directed subjectively, documenting what the mainstream media thought were the significant moments of the ...

Gay News

Doc10 Film Festival returns and includes LGBTQ+ features 2021-05-21
- Chicago Media Project (CMP) announced the full slate of films being showcased at the annual Doc10 Documentary Film Festival, returning June 17-20. The festival will feature socially distanced, COVID-responsible in-person ...

Gay News

Lightfoot only giving one-on-one talks to journalists of color 2021-05-19
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has told the city's media outlets that she would grant one-on-one interviews to mark the halfway point of her term, but with one condition: She will only speak with journalists of color, ...

Gay News

Windy City Times' first cover available as NFT 2021-05-17
- The first cover of the Chicago LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times is being made available as the company's first NFT, or non-fungible token. NFTs have recently been successfully tested by various artists and media companies, including ...

Gay News

Don Lemon announces end of 'CNN Tonight' [UPDATE] 2021-05-15
- CNN host Don Lemon insisted he is not leaving the network after claiming on his show on May 14 that "changes are coming," according to Newsweek. In part, he said, "It's been really, really great. This ...

Gay News

FILM NewFest announces summer film series NewFest Pride 2021-05-13
- NewFest, New York's leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization, announced programming for NewFest Pride, a new summer film series taking place this year from June 4-7. All film screenings and events will be available virtually to ...

Gay News

GLAAD issues inaugural Social Media Safety Index 2021-05-10
--From a press release - New York, NY - May 10, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the findings of its inaugural Social Media Safety Index (SMSI), a 50-page ...

Gay News

Illinois Latino Agenda issues statement on shooting of Adam Toledo 2021-04-15
--From a press release - On March 29, 2021, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. Since the shooting, there have been different narratives formed of who Adam Toledo was. Various media have made allegations saying ...

Gay News

LGBT media to boycott Georgia 2021-04-12
--From a press release - The National LGBT Media Association (NGMA), composed of the 12 largest LGBT publications in the nation, passed a resolution banning meeting in the state of Georgia. The nation's largest LGBT media association today resolved to not ...

Gay News

Windy City Times publishes book of historical newspaper covers 2021-05-18
- Windy City Times newspaper, founded in 1985, is publishing a limited-edition, four-color book featuring hundreds of covers from its own archives, plus covers from other LGBTQ Chicago media, including Outlines, BLACKlines, En La Vida, Identity and more ...

Gay News

Open TV (OTV) to return April 17 with virtual event 2021-04-10
- The intersectional Late Show #OTVTonight is back, with a virtual event on OTV's app and on Facebook Live that will air Saturday, April 17, at 8-9:30 p.m. CT. Hosted by Open TV (OTV) founders Elijah McKinnon ...

Gay News

GLAAD Media Awards honor creative forces of change in media, culture 2021-04-09
--From a press release, video below - Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, April 8, 2021 — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, tonight hosted a virtual ceremony to announce the award recipients of the 32nd Annu ...

Gay News

LGBTQ critics group holding awards event April 18 2021-04-02
- GALECA, The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association, along with Karel Media, will present the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Sunday, April 18, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on digital cable TV network Revry. The ...

Gay News

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards April 8 2021-04-01
--From a press release - New York, NY - Thursday, April 1, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that CHIKA, Rebecca Black, and Niecy Nash's wife Jessica Betts will ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.