Nationally and locally, this year’s Pride Month comes amidst political and social upheaval. Nationally, one of our two major political parties appears to be making discrimination against queer people a cornerstone of their appeal to voters. LGBTQ+-themed books have been removed from libraries, cities have been told they are not allowed to have local anti-discrimination policies, and parents and doctors have lost their right to determine what are medical best practices for the children in their care.

Locally, one of our biggest media players, Santa Cruz Good Times, published a hateful, anonymous letter. Santa Cruz County residents were shaken out of any idea that we live in a tolerant, supportive community. Although it is clear that we are light years ahead of other communities in this country, Santa Cruz is still a work in progress when it comes to support of queer people. “The anonymous author attempted to create harm in our community by spreading ill-informed beliefs while using their children as an example of malice,” wrote performers Xinistra (Jorge Guillen) and Rogue Roulette (Zak Keith) in their response to the letter. “On the contrary, it has galvanized our community.”

In the shows that KSQD hosts have done recently, we address concerns about support for LGBTQ+ people head-on as well as exploring the progress we have made locally. These shows feature local people giving us a clear picture of our community’s treatment of the queer people who live here, from the good, to the complacent, to the downright ugly. KSQD is community radio, and queer people are part of our community, as they are part of every community. KSQD hosts and staff are united in their belief that everyone in our community deserves to live a life with dignity and equal opportunity.

Listen in to these wonderful shows!

2023 Pride Month Shows

  • Celebrating Hope: The Queer Youth Leadership Awards – May 4, 2023 – Host Suki Wessling
    In our current cultural climate, it is important to support and celebrate those who are making a positive difference for marginalized people. This interview with QYLA director Stuart Rosenstein and award nominees focuses on how the positive focus of these awards is important now more than ever.
  • Discover the History and Celebration of Santa Cruz Pride – June 1, 2023 – Host Christine Barrington
    The opening weekend Pride 2023 just washed upon our shores. KSQD celebrated with Santa Cruz Pride, walking in its parade and capturing on-the-street commentary with local participants and dignitaries. Christine Barrington, welcomes Rob Darrow, Chairman of Santa Cruz Pride, into the studio to listen to the commentaries, reflect on the weekend, and share the history of Pride’s nearly 50 years in Santa Cruz.
  • KSQD Marched in This Year’s Pride Parade – June 5, 2023 – Host Christine Barrington
    Listen to on-the-ground interviews at the parade.
  • Local organizations show Pride and galvanize community support – June 6, 2023 – Host George Cadman
    On Talk of the Bay, host George Cadman welcomes representatives from local organizations that serve our LGBTQ+ community: RCFam, The Neighbor’s Pub, and Pajaro Valley Pride. The show features the wonderful positive work that is being done in our community in a variety of ways. Later in the show, the guests address the transphobic letter to the editor that appeared in the Good Times and the community’s response to that letter.
  • “A perfectly good body”—a conversation about transmasculine pregnancy – June 12, 2023 – Host Suki Wessling
    Featured on Talk of the Bay, this conversation with researcher and UCSC grad Vann Jones explores his project to document transmasculine pregnancy experiences. Vann and Suki explore what the pregnancy and birth experiences of transgender men tell us about our cultural attitudes and feature the words of three transgender men who became parents.

Local LGBTQ+ Organizations

  • Santa Cruz Pride – Santa Cruz Pride’s mission is to provide a platform for visibility and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County – Each year, The Diversity Center reaches approximately 10,000 individuals through our onsite programs, outreach and education events, our work with school-based Gay/Straight Alliances, and our Triangle Speakers program.
  • Queer Youth Leadership Awards – The mission of the Queer Youth Leadership Awards is to improve the lives of LGBTIQ youth by increasing the positive awareness of queer youth leadership, and increasing safe and welcoming environments in home, school, and community.
  • Queer Youth Task Force – A vibrant community where every youth thrives in their expression of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Safe Schools Project – The Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County (SSP) works in collaboration with local schools and local and state-wide community organizations to provide the best information and practices in regards to creating safe and inclusive schools, avoid duplication in resources and services, and utilize successful models where they may exist to support safer schools for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies.
  • Trans Teen Project – The Trans Teen Project supports transgender youth through personal self-expression, social networking, and community-wide education. It is a program with the Queer Youth Task Force and a fiscal agent of the Diversity Center.

Selected Past LGBTQ+-themed Shows

  • LGBTQ History Month with SirrusXM Host Michelangelo Signorile – October, 2020 – Host Jill Cody
    Michelangelo Signorile is a journalist, author and creator of the “The Signorile Report” and radio host. His radio program, “The Michelangelo Signorile Show” on Sirius XM Radio. Michelangelo is joined by Adam Spickler, Santa Cruz County’s first openly transgender man to hold elected office, at any level, in the State of California. They join together to talk about LGBTQ history and the 2020 election.
  • The LGBTQ Roller Coaster Guide to Becoming a Parent – November, 2020 – Host Christine Barrington
    LGBTQ educator, Randi Reed, shares the convoluted journey to become a parent when one is gay and in need of fertility interventions to make that dream a reality.
    Randi Reed (she/her) calls herself a “Professional Queer.” As a Cis-Female Lesbian she has been working for LGBTQ+ inclusion and rights since her teens, and today works professionally empowering communities across the state in becoming skillful around gender issues.
  • The Real People Affected by Anti-Transgender Care Laws – May, 2021 – Host Suki Wessling
    This episode features a special panel discussion about the lives of transgender children, the difficult decisions that parents must make in order to support these children, and the professionals who care for them. On the panel, listen to the concerns of parent advocate Andrea Damon of the TransFamily Support Group of Santa Cruz County, Dr. Jenny Schrek, a physical who treats transgender patients, and Max, a young adult from Santa Cruz who transitioned as a teen.
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Teens in the Pandemic – June, 2021 – Hosts Debra Sloss and Adam Lanfear
    STATE of MIND looks at the impacts the pandemic is having on LGBTQ+ teens after more than a year since students have regularly attended in-person school, Joining us as guest host for this conversation is queer community member, recent college graduate, and former State of Mind guest Adam Lanfear. Youth leaders share their experiences of coming out and finding their voices as young queer people. They outline the struggles they faced before Covid-19 and after its emergence complicated their lives even more–and they describe how they’ve persevered.In honor of Pride Month, come along with us to learn more about being a supportive ally, creating safe spaces for queer youth, and find out where teens, parents, teachers and others can locate accurate information, support and guidance.