Tag: lgbt/Archives

HV099- Polk Street Stories

Polk Street sign, photo by Thomas HawkHearing Voices from NPR®
099 Polk Street Stories: San Francisco USA
Host: Joey Plaster of Transom
Airs week of: 2012-01-04 (Originally: 2010-09-22)

“Polk Street Stories” (52:00 mp3):

An oral history of San Francisco’s premiere queer neighborhood, told by those who’ve called it home:

“Polk Street Stories” (52:00) Joey Plaster

Public Historian Joey Plaster spent a year gathering 70+ interviews from people experiencing Polk Street’s transition from a working class queer neighborhood to an upscale entertainment district. Polk Street’s scene predates the modern gay rights movement. It was a world unto itself, ten blocks of low rent hotels, bars and liquor stores, all sandwiched in between the gritty Tenderloin, City Hall, and the ritzy Nob Hill: a home invented by people who had no other home.

For decades, the street had been a national destination for queer youth and transgender women, many of them fleeing abusive or unwelcoming homes. But by the mid-1990s, the last of the working class bars that formed the backbone of the Polk community were being replaced by a new bloc of mid-income businesses and residents.

Long-term Polk residents were incredibly emotional about these changes. Many considered the neighborhood to be their first real home. Now they saw their family’s gathering places evaporating. The conflict was sometimes dramatic: owners of one gay bar claimed that the new business association forced them off the street. A gay activist group made national news when they plastered the street with “wanted” posters featuring a photo of the new association’s president.

These intense reactions suggested a rich history, but I found that it had not been recorded. I feared it would be lost with the scene. I had prior experience as an oral historian. This was my first effort to find overlap with radio, which I’ve long felt is the best medium for broadcasting intimate, personal stories from “marginal” populations.
—Joey Plaster

This hour is a Transom radio special (PRX), produced with Jay Allison and Viki Merrick. It’s part of GLBT History Polk Street: Lives in Transition exhibition.

Photo © Thomas Hawk.

HV120- Dear Diary

Hearing Voices from NPR®
120 Dear Diary: Audio Journals
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-08-03

“Dear Diary” (52:00 mp3):

Documenting daily life:

“Cho Oyu 8201m, Tibet” (2006 / 8:00 excerpts)

Geir Jenssen, the musician who records as Biosphere, is also a mountain climber. On his Himalayan ascent of the sixth highest mountain in the world, he kept an audio journal of all the sounds. The result is the CD Cho Oyu 8201m Field Recording from Tibet (Ash International / Touch Records | Climber’s notes | Wikipedia | WFMU Beware of the Blog).

Thruout the hour, we hear excerpts from the tracks “Zhangmu: Crossing A Landslide Area” (2300 meters above sea level), “Palung: A Yak Caravan is Coming (5400m), “Cho Oyo Basecamp: Morning” (5700m), “Jobo Rabzang: A 6666 metre peak in the Cho Oyu Himal”, “Camp 3: Neighbours On Oxygen” (7500m), “Summit: Only slight breeze on the summit at 8201m.” Also this piece “sampled and processed from a cassette of Tibetan music.”

“Carmen’s Diaries” (1980 / 13:37) Art Silverman

Writer Carmen Delzell finds a box of journals she wrote as a girl, and enters an addendum as she reflects on her 1960s self. Produced for NPR All Things Considered.

“World’s Longest Diary” (1994 / 6:15) David Isay

For twenty years, Reverend Robert Shields, of Dayton, Washington, kept a written record of absolutely everything that happened to him, day and night. For four hours each day, Shields holes himself up in the small office in his home, turns on his stereo, and types. His diary, at 35 million words, is believed the world’s longest. A Sound Portraits production, on the CD Holding On: Dreamers, Visionaries, Eccentrics And Other American Heroes (and companion book)

“Nick in SLC: Home School to High School” (1999 / 16:39) Radio Diaries

For RD’s Teenage Diaries project, they gave “tape recorders to young people around the country to report on their own lives. They conduct interviews, keep an audio journal and record the sounds of daily life — usually collecting more than 40 hours of raw tape over the course of a year. Nick Epperson of Salt Lake City began his audio diary when he was 13. The talented singer/cellist music, but has a hard time making friends.

More…

HV100- Stories of Transformation

Miles/Megan as a little girlHearing Voices from NPR®
100 Stories of Transformation: Character and Change
Host: Jay Allison of Transom
Airs week of: 2010-09-29

“Stories of Transformation” (52:00 mp3):

Two audio diaries of people documenting their own personal transformation, a Transom Radio special:

“Finding Miles” (27:11) Sarah Reynolds

Miles has the wrong body. He was born a woman, Megan. After 15 years of serious depression and confusion about his place in the world, at age 28, he decided to make a change. He chose the name Miles and began his slow, difficult transition into manhood. All along the way, he carried an audio recorder with him. This is his story. Produced for Transom (available at PRX); edited by Jay Allison.

“Running From Myself” (17:50) Louis & Anthony Mascorro

For most of his high school career, Louis robbed people: for money, and for thrills. He never got caught. Then, in his senior year, he decided to stop. Louis talks to friends and family, and to himself, about why he was a criminal, and why he needs to change. Produced for Transom (also at PRX) and the 826NYC writing center.

Finding Miles

Megan/Miles as a young girlLast night on NPR ATC, “Becoming Miles: The Journey Of Changing Sexes:”

Megan Taylor grew up feeling she was living in the wrong body. In her 20s, she decided to do something about it. First, she changed her name to Miles. Miles began taking testosterone, scheduled a double mastectomy — part of sex reassignment surgery — and began changing his body into one that felt right. The hardest part was telling his parents. Through it all, he kept an audio diary.

“Becoming Miles” (13:00 mp3):

Produced by Sarah Reynolds, with Jay Allison and Transom.org, which has the full version of this piece (airing this month on an HV episode.)

After The Forgetting

A Vermont family changes as their mother’s dementia progresses. What happens to love when there is no memory? An evolution of relationships reveal themselves in these conversation between Gregory Sharrow, his mother Marjorie, and Greg’s husband Bob Hooker.

Music by Karinne Keithley. Check Transom for more on this story. Aired on NPR Day to Day; by producer Erica Heilman, “After The Forgetting” (8:57 mp3):

Marj Sharrow

Marj Sharrow

Marjorie Sahrrow and Bob Hooker

Marjorie Sahrrow and Bob Hooker

Transom- After The Forgetting

Marjorie SharrowHV and Transom just finished collaborating on getting an edited version of Eric Winick’s “How Are You Who You Are?” on NPR ATC. Our next co-project was just posted: “Transom Show: After The Forgetting” by Erica Heilman (who has a resume item you don’t see often: “an independent radio producer and private investigator”).

Th story documents a Vermont family’s changes as their mother’s dementia progresses. What happens to love when there is no memory? An evolution of relationships reveal themselves in these conversations between Gregory Sharrow, his mother Marjorie, and Greg’s husband Bob Hooker. (Produced for The Vermont Folklife Center with music by Karinne Keithley.)