Pride Month: The insight gained from podcast production on mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community
I recently had the pleasure of handling the podcast production on Are the Gays OK? – a new series created by Stephen Griffiths and James Wilkinson. Stephen is a therapist and James works in digital marketing but also has experience in presenting, having appeared on Gaydio. The pair share their learned experience of what it is like to be gay and the struggles they have faced with their mental health.
Having spoken to them prior to recording, I was excited to be involved in this podcast production as the pair’s primary objective was to offer support and a relatable voice for people in the LGBTQIA+ community who may be lonely or going through the same struggles that they did.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was just how insightful the experience has been and how much I have learned through producing the podcast. With it being Pride Month, I wanted to share my experience to highlight just how important it is to try and understand people. Whether you share differences – be it sexuality, race, religion or otherwise – trying to understand their perspective can provide a new outlook and help you to be a better ally.
As a straight man, I have gay and lesbian friends who are part of the community but have never personally been party to any of these conversations before and haven’t experienced the stigma around it first-hand. By being present and listening in on the hosts sharing their stories, I now understand far more than I did prior to the start of producing the podcast and appreciate just how difficult the experience of being gay can be.
While the world has moved forward, there are still countless issues gay people face that could change with support from the wider society. From coming out, the culture around drinking and promiscuity, through to the rate of suicide in gay people, all of these problems could be made a little easier if gay people felt freer to be who they are.
It’s easy to listen to people’s stories of being gay or having a gay friend and thinking that is sufficient support just because you don’t disagree with their choice of sexuality. However, it is far more helpful to take an active approach and understand the support gay people need to be themselves and thrive and acting accordingly.
I now feel I can be a better ally to my gay friends and peers and would recommend anyone, whether they can directly relate or not, to give it a listen. I have also shared it with friends and family in the same position as me and have had similar reactions from all of them.
If you would like to share your story, the hosts will be looking for guests for the second series, so get in touch with me at email@example.com. They’re keen to listen to as many people as they can, regardless of background or experiences, in the hope that the series reaches those who may be feeling a little vulnerable and gives them the boost that they might be needing to know that they are not alone.
Series 1 is released bi-weekly, with the next episode coming 26th June.
If you need a hand with your podcast production, get in touch here.
Senior Account Executive Jack wrote a great piece about how you can support your colleagues for Pride Month, which you can read here.