Carol Baskin was born on an Air Force base in Bexar County, Texas on June 6, 1961. Like Joe, she didn’t have an ideal childhood and ran away from home at age 15, hitchhiking from Florida to Maine. She slept underneath cars until she could afford her own truck and then slept in the back of that with her pet cat. At age 17, Carol got a job at a department store and fell in love with her boss, Michael Murdock, who seems to have been several years older than Carol. The two were married soon after they moved in together because Carol feared the consequences of living in sin. BUt Mike beat her regularly and obsessively tracked her moves, going so far as to track the odometer on her car. The one solace Carol had was her animals, and soon she began to rehabilitate injured bobcats.
Today we cover a docuseries that has captivated the nation and the world at large for its sheer audacity and bizarre twists and turns. And while there are so many reasons to love, or love-to-hate, Tiger King, we here love it mostly because it is so damn queer. Along with a gay protagonist, who weds two bisexual lovers – at the same time – and hires several LGBTQ staff members. We also see a series of other queer characters and polysexual people. In fact, it seems one can’t be a ‘big cat owner’ unless they’re willing to be in an open or polyamorous relationship. We want to throw out a spoiler alert, and if you haven’t seen the docuseries then you might be tempted to believe we’re making all of this up. We think you’d probably enjoy our episode better if you have seen the series, but it is doubtful that we could ruin the experience that is Tiger King.
Today we are headed to China to cover one of the most inspiring transgender activists of our time. An individual who is defying gender binaries in a country that has done very little in the way of LGB rights, and even less for trans and gender non-conforming folks. Despite this, activist and business owner Chao (Chow) Xiaomi (Shou-me) is not one to be deterred. Though she identifies as gender fluid, she uses feminine pronouns and has a feminine expression. And though she has lived openly for the last 15 years, it is only recently that her work has drawn any attention. To understand Chao’s (Chow) predicament, we must understand the climate between China and its LBGTQ citizens.
The past 20 years we have seen a large surge in scientific research and understanding around sex and gender. This has been prompted no doubt by the voluntary outing of more and more trans and gender non-conforming folk. And as has been the case every time a minority group finds their voice, bigots and commentators on the “other side” find reason to increase their attacks. The realities and lies around transgender issues grows with time. Because of this, there is quite a lot of conflicting and confusing information out there about what it means to be transgender and what transitioning entails.
It’s Transgender Day of Remembrance and in honor of those who have passed we cover the origins of TDOR, the many trans people lost to anti-trans violence this last year, and 5 of the biggest misconceptions about the transgender and non-binary communities. If you were not able to make it to a vigil this year then perhaps our small reading will help.
Today we cover an amazing individual who’s all but been erased from history, Dr. Alan Hart. While he achieved much academic success starting at a young age, Alan would struggle with his career for decades. This was due to his transition from female to male in the early 1900s.
In our last episode, we had reached the final days before the morning of June 28th. We discussed how our community began to stand up and fight back. In part two we go in detail about the Stonewall riot.