Check out these five eerie and very LGBTQ friendly or focused podcasts, that have the goods to get you through Halloween.
Welcome to Nightvale: Welcome to Nightvale is arguably the most popular and well known podcast of the bunch, and has been groundbreaking in its LGBTQ representation. The lead narrator, Cecil (Cecil Baldwin, an out gay voice actor), who leads us through the terrifying and sometimes hilariously bizarre world of the Nightvale, is gay and in a relationship with a scientist named Carlos (out actor Dylan Marron). Out lesbian actress Jasika Nicole plays the reoccurring character of Dana Cardinal, who went from a Nightvale intern to Mayor. Among other LGBTQ characters, there is Basimah Bashara (voiced by Ailee Chan), who is a devout Muslim and lesbian high school student.
Alice Isn’t Dead: Jasika Nicole appears again on our list in the fabulous podcast by the creators of Nightvale, Alice Isn’t Dead. Spooky, scary, and incredibly smart, this podcast follows Alice, a truckdriver who is in search of her missing and presumed wife, Alice. Along the way, she confronts her demons, both literally and metaphorically. I can’t really say much without giving away major plot points, but Nicole does all of the heavy lifting in the show and is incredibly compelling.
No Sleep Podcast: This podcast was inspired by a long-running reddit thread where people shared their fictional scary stories. (Think of it as an internet campfire.) The podcast uses stories from reddit and more, and used professional voice actors to tell the chilling tales. This podcast is not for the faint of heart, but it’s perfect for those who love to get their scare on. What No Sleep does very well is incorporate LGBTQ characters, especially lesbian and bisexual characters, into their stories. They are scattered throughout, but check out “I Still Get Letters from My Dead Best Friend” and “My Best Friend’s Instagram”
ARS Paradoxica: ARS Paradoxica is less scary and more sci-fi based, but it very much works for a Halloween binge. The podcast is the story of Dr. Sally Grissom (Kristen DiMercurio), a scientist who is accidentally send back in time to the middle of WWII. While there, she works with a secret governmental agency to harness the power of bending time, all the while trying to get home herself. One of Sally’s new team members is Esther Roberts (Katie Speed), a brilliant young woman who recruits her ex-girlfriend, Bridget (Preston Max Allen), to join the team.
The Penumbra Podcast: The space age, sci-fi, spooky, funny story series has queer, non-binary, and trans characters a plenty. The show is made up of many different stories, and I love what how the podcast describes why they created the show. “We’ve always loved stories, whether they be science fiction, swashbucklers, high fantasy, horror, or mystery. We grew up passionately reading, watching movies and TV, and playing video games. But eventually we started to notice that a lot of the stories we consumed were the same ones over and over again, and we got tired of it. Why did every boy and girl who adventured together have to end up romantically involved? Why couldn’t a woman be tough and fierce without also being sexy? Why did every gay relationship end in tragedy? And where were all the people who didn’t fit into the gender binary? And one day, we realized that we couldn’t wait any more for the stories we wanted. So we decided to write them ourselves. Maybe you’ve been waiting for them, too. If you have, we hope you’ll join us at The Penumbra to listen.” Well said.