The “Icons” Edition

Debating queer icons and who gets to make that distinction.


Episode Notes

This month, Christina, Bryan, and Brandon immerse themselves in iconography. After a round of Pride and Provocations, we hear from a collection of queer Slate folks about who their icons are. Then the hosts explore major figures in their lives and what exactly makes an icon for different parts of the queer community. That is followed by an interview with D.C.drag king Pretty Rik E about the experience of drag and the influences straight male performers have on drag kings. And, as always, they wrap it up with a quick rundown of the gay agenda.

Items discussed on the show:

The Velvet Rope, by Janet Jackson
• Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell
Mame, starring Lucile Ball
Auntie Mame, by Patrick Dennis
• “The Brilliant Queerness of Carly Rae Jepsen,” by Brandon Tensley in Pacific Standard
Pretty Boi Drag

Gay Agenda

Brandon: The RuPaul’s Drag Race lip sync to Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right, but It’s Okay (Thunderpuss 2000 Remix)”

Christina: The Totino’s pizza rolls sketch from Saturday Night Live starring Kristen Stewart

Bryan: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

This podcast was produced by Daniel Schroeder.

Please send feedback, topic ideas, and advice questions to outwardpodcast@slate.com.


About the Show

Outward, Slate’s queer podcast, is a whip-smart monthly salon in which hosts and guests deepen the audience’s understanding of queer culture and politics, delight them with unexpected perspectives, and invite listeners into a colorful conversation about the issues animating LGBTQ communities.

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  • J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate associate editor and the editor of Outward. He covers life, culture, and LGBTQ issues.

  • Brandon Tensley is a host of the Outward podcast, the associate editor at New America, and a contributing writer at Pacific Standard magazine, where he covers culture.

  • Christina Cauterucci is a Slate senior writer.