Episode 8: Mary Capps

April 18th, 2019

Heya folks!  Sorry we were off the radar for a while: had to replace the hard drive of our main computer.  But we are back up and running with a brand new episode!

Mary Capps has been an anti-racist, social justice, lesbian, feminist activist for 50 years or so, mostly in New Orleans.  She has worked with several groups for the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  She also took part in the Autonomous Women’s Movement of New Orleans in the 1970s. She and her current partner Alda Talley are the Godmothers of this project.  When we were first getting started in our Dyke Bar research they shared their stories and their vast network so generously. We Love you, Mary and Alda, and thanks for making all this possible.  This story is about how Mary found queer community.

This Episode was produced by Laine Kaplan-Levenson with music by free feral and Peter Bowling.

Episode 7: The Law One

March 28th, 2019

Episode 7 is here! In this episode: two stories of people navigating the world of Law and Law enforcement.

First, Mark Gonzalez shares stories about his early years of organizing in the 80’s and early 90’s.   Mark has lived in the Bywater neighborhood for over 25 years and works as an attorney in private practice. His initial involvement in the gay community was as a founding member/organizer of Gay Fest New Orleans where he was an officer for two years. He was also a very active member and organizer with ACTUP, an AIDS advocacy group in New Orleans for many years. Additionally, Mark is one of the organizing/founding members of AIDSLAW of Louisiana. We borrowed some of Mark’s bio from www.lgbtarchiveslouisiana.org; this organization does probably exactly what you think they do. Mark serves in that organization as a board member.

Mark’s story was produced by Owen Ever, a social historian, performer and theater maker who works at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Visit Vagabondinventions.com and Goatintheroadproductions.org to learn about upcoming projects.   Music for this piece by Ruth Ex, who is part of the band Special Interest.  Ruth’s bandcamp is psychich0tline.bandcamp.com

Mardi Youngblood was one of our earliest contributors to our Dyke Bar oral history project.  She became an ancestor in 2017, at the age of 71.  In this piece, Mardi details some of her run ins with the law in the 70’s. Her special telling of tall tales and her sense of mischief, humor and caring are greatly missed as her chosen family and friends remember the enthusiasm she had for her many favorite activities: fishing and football.  She left a treasure trove of memories for the women who helped to care for her during the many months of her illness and the many friends she gathered during her life. To many, her legacy serves as a reminder to laugh, love and live the gift of life to its fullest each moment of each day.  We adapted Mardi’s Bio from her obituary which was published on TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com.

This loving audio tribute was produced by Erin Roussel, an educator and culture bearer from South Louisiana. Erin has been a member of Last Call since 2015 and is so grateful for the beautiful connections this project has brought into her life.

additional music for this episode by free feral.

Episode 6: Stories from the Boston Dyke Bar Scene

March 20th, 2019

This week we bring you a piece about the Boston Dyke Bar scene in the 60’s through the 90’s.

Last Call’s play based on our New Orleans Dyke Bar research, Alleged Lesbian Activies, is coming to Boston, April 4, 5, 6, and 7.  These performances will be done in partnership with The Theatre Offensive, and will feature new material derived from our Boston interviews.  We thought, these interviews are so juicy - let’s do a podcast piece with them!  We have stories of parties, fights, family, pickup and more.  It’s a long one, so cozy in and enjoy!

Many thanks to our interviewees Danny Harris, Yani Batteau, Shani Dowd, Sharon Pritchard, Marjorie Posner, Rochelle Ruthchild, Vicki Gabriner, Liz James, Lynn Brown, Pam Chamberlin, Helen Cratin, and Sweet Mykki B.  They were so welcoming and so generous with their time, energy, and stories.  We think you’re going to really enjoy listening to them.

For tickets to see Alleged Lesbian Activities at Jacque’s Cabaret in Boston, click here.  It's a great show in a historic queer venue.  Get your tickets soon - they are going fast!

This week’s episode was produced and scored by free feral.

Episode 5: Living out Loud

March 13th, 2019

This week we bring you two stories of people finding their way to living their best life.

First, we hear from Terryl Lynn Foxx.  Born under the astrological sign of Leo the Lion, Ms. Foxx  is a native New Orleanian and an entertainer/model/actress who has perfected the art of illusion through 20 years of experience. She  has appeared all over the gay cabaret circuit throughout the United States, as well as appearing on national television, music videos, newspapers and magazines, and the cinema.  This piece details her rise to stardom.

This piece was produced by Nathalie Nia (Nate) Faulk in our podcast workshop. Nathalie was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and is a self described Ebony Southern Belle.  Her work consists of Leadership Development, Performance, and Healing and Wellness practices.  Nathalie also works with the Southern Organizer Academy, a leadership development and capacity building pipeline.  They are currently accepting applications. For more information you can go to southernorganizers.org or email them at soa@southernorganizingacademy.org

Our second story this week comes from our friends at WWNO’s Bring Your Own from an event they did in 2016 in partnership with the Unprisoned podcast.

Jewel Williams told this story in front of a live audience.  At the time she was a sophomore in high school. Now, at 18, she is studying psychology and English at Loyola University. She is proud of her New Orleans upbringing and super proud to be pursuing her degree here. She hopes one day to impact the community in several ways.  This is the story of how Jewel, a New Orleans teen, came out to her parents with a little help from the Bard of Avon.

Episode 4: Gay Money

March 7th, 2019

This week, we are bringing you a newer take on a classic from season 1.

This story came to us through Ellen Rabin in an interview with Bonnie Gabel and Rachel Lee.  Ellen became an ancestor in September 2018.  She was a entrepreneur and community caregiver for the LGBTQIA+ community of New Orleans all her life.  She owned several businesses throughout her life, including the Apple Barrel in the Marigny Triangle (now Horns -- previously La Peniche).  She shared so much of herself with so many people and kept so many people safe when they had no where else to go.

Her friend, Alda Talley, said this of her:

"She provided the places we could gather, like The Apple Barrel. She dealt with the mob (absolutely required in decades passed) so that others might open their bars, obtain a liquor license, have a jukebox and pinball machines, and be allowed to stay open w/o harassment. Somehow, she did this w/o ever paying them a dime. When they finally demanded money she left town instead, waited for a few years, and then was right back at it. She used her connections inside the NOPD to warn of raids on the bars, to keep people out of jail, and to get them out and cleared when necessary. Ellen housed, fed, and even sent to college many of our most vulnerable trans folks, sufferers from AIDS, victims of Queer on Queer violence, the down, and out. Her home was open to all comers, whatever their need. She helped bury our dead when no one else would claim them. All the while maintaining her raucous laughing ways and surviving multiple cancers and chronic illnesses. We should, any of us, be and do even half of all Ellen did for all of us. Blessed be Ellen Rabin with the Angels and the Saints. Blessed are we all for her having lived among us."

We are SO SO thankful for Ellen and SO thankful she shared so many of her stories and experiences with us.  She is survived by a vibrant community who misses her.

 

this episode was produced and scored by free feral.

Episode 3: The Radical Act of Being Yourself

February 28th, 2019

Episode 3 features two stories about the radical act of figuring out who we are and allowing ourselves to be that. It is the first of our episodes featuring work that came out of Our Queer Histories Queer Futures Podcast Workshop in 2017. Using interviews gathered by participants in Last Call’s oral history workshop, everyone in the workshop focused on one oral history, identified a story in it and built a piece around that.  We spent a weekend eating snacks, going over the basics of podcasting, and starting to craft our pieces. People then went off into the world to finish on their own time. The resulting pieces are so much fun to hear and we are so excited to share some with you!

Our first story this week features Deon Haywood. Deon has worked as a human rights defender for more than 25 years.  She is an advocate for Black women, working class and low-income women, and LGBTQ communities in the Deep South. She’s the Executive Director of Women With A Vision (WWAV) in New Orleans, and since Hurricane Katrina, has worked to abolish the “crime against nature” statute. This helped to remove more than 800 people from the Louisiana sex offender registry. She has been honored with numerous awards by groups across the United States for her advocacy work. In this episode we hear the story of Deon’s Long coming out process. She was interviewed by Indee Mitchell and Natalie Nia Faulk.

Deon’s piece was produced by Tara Thierry. Tara grew up in New Orleans and has returned after living other places. She is grateful wife and new older mother, queer, dyke, poet, musician, composer, digital artist, and programmer.  She marvels how becoming and coming out never quite end. She is profoundly grateful for stories that tell herstory, especially New Orleans herstory. In addition to producing and editing the story, Tara made the music.

Our second story comes from Sue Prevost. Sue grew up in Old Jefferson, graduated from LSU, and subsequently lived many places. During the 90s In Austin she developed programming with the Women's Collective on independent radio. Back home in Louisiana, Sue has found a role in environmental activism fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline and industrial pollution in St James Parish. This vignette from Sue's life takes place in Lafayette, Louisiana where she experienced her first thrilling and terrifying love. She was interviewed by Indee Mitchell and Saiya Miller.

This piece was produced by Maria Delgado. Maria is a musician in New Orleans who plays in the bands Special Interest & Malflora. She is also a Fundraising Coordinator for Girls Rock New Orleans, a collective that provides youth driven music education and the opportunity for girls to form their own bands and create original music. This is Maria's first podcast but she got so into it, she is currently editing a subsequent piece about Sue’s adult life. Music for this piece by The Velveteens

Additional music for this episode by free feral and Peter Bowling.

Episode 2: Mandisa Moore-O’Neal

February 21st, 2019

S. Mandisa Moore-O'Neal is a Black feminist and supporter to grassroots black women/black femme-centered organizing.  These days, Mandisa is a civil rights attorney with a focus on family law, HIV De-Criminalization, criminal defense, employment discrimination and police accountability work. Her primary organizing support work is as a Black Youth Project-New Orleans' chapter member and on the Advisory board of Lift Louisiana.   This story takes us back to 2006 when Mandisa was part of a group that founded the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, an INCITE! affiliate.

this piece was produced by free feral with music by free feral, from an interview by indee mitchell and Nathalie Nia Faulk. Special thanks to Wendi Moore-O’Neal and her brother Webo O’Neal for recording a special version of "Freedom is a Constant Struggle."

Episode 1: Wendi Moore-O’Neal

February 14th, 2019

 

Wendi Moore O'Neal is a community activist from New Orleans who runs Jaliyah Consulting where she uses "freedom singing, story circles and group facilitation to share civil rights history, culture, and traditions".  She tells us about founding [one of] the first LGBT organizations at Spelman College in the 90's.

Recently, Wendi released a documentary "This Little Light" which chronicles her process of seeking justice and making peace when she was unconstitutionally fired for marrying her wife, Mandisa. (who you’ll be hearing from in the next episode) The film was made in collaboration with Ada McMahon and has been featured in festivals all over the country, including the Smithsonian African American Film Festival. Please visit thislittlelightfilm.com to learn more.

This piece was produced by free feral with music by free, from an interview by indee mitchell and Nathalie Nia Faulk.   "I Got a Right" is a piece free created as part of a short film of the same title.  The song includes samples of Wendi leading a community in song.   The film was made from public domain footage of the March on Washington, and features words and voices of Audre Lorde and June Jordan.  The piece was created as part of a performance called Power of the Black Feminine by Junebug Productions.  You can see that film here.

Also, Wendi shouts out SONG, Southerners on New Ground.  They still kickin.

NOTE: Some folks reported experiencing sound issues when we first published this piece.  The file has been updated.

Season Two Trailer

February 11th, 2019

Season two coming at you in just a few days... Here's a little taste.

Special Episode: Alleged Lesbian Activities Artist Talk

September 28th, 2016

This special episode was recorded live from the set of Alleged Lesbian Activities on the afternoon of our last performance of a sold-out run. Rachel Lee discusses the process of creating ALA with writers nelle mills and Bear Hebert, and directors indee mitchell and Bonnie Gabel, with additional commentary from performer Erin Roussel. Special thanks to Mallory Falk and Wendy Gaudin.