The Youth / Elders Podcast
Queer communities sharing stories and sharing space.
After the runaway success of the 2016 production of The Youth / Elders Project, we’ve have been experimenting with new ways to foster intergenerational connection inside our queer communities. And so, we’re bringing Buddies’ queer magic out into the community for the latest installment of this work – The Youth / Elders Podcast. Responding to a need for queer, intergenerational connections and spaces, The Youth/Elders Podcast features personal stories, lived histories, and candid conversations between queer youth, queer elders, and lots of folks in between.
We held a series of drop-in conversations in the Fall of 2018 at the Oakwood Village Library (with some invited special guests) on a range of topics—this material formed the base for a three-episode season released in 2019. Now, in 2021, we’re getting started on a second season, with five co-hosts/curators exploring themes, booking guests, and recording their discussions over the winter. We’re excited to have Naomi Bain, S Bear Bergman, leZlie lee kam, Ty Sloane, and Rhoma Spencer collaborate on this project, with episodes due out in June 2021.
Check out our first season (and stay tuned for our second) by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Music, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRADIO. Show notes and transcripts for each episode can be found in the tabs below.
Want to join the conversation? Check out In Conversation, our ongoing series of in-person, intergenerational community chats hosted here at Buddies by podcast co-facilitators LeZlie Lee Kam and Ty Sloane.
The Youth / Elders Podcast is made possible by support from the Toronto Arts Council’s Artists in Libraries Program and our Education Partner TD Bank.
image by Paul Dotey
Naomi Bain is an activist, writer, performer, community educator, futurist and professional nerd. Naomi is the former Artistic Director of the AMY Project. She is also an alumni of Watah Theater (Black Box Season) where she studied under esteemed actor and creator d’bi young anitafrika. Her passion for community led her to Sherbourne Health Center Supporting Our Youth (SOY) where she joined the Human Equity Access Team, through which, she gained experience working with various communities around LGBTQ+ issues. Naomi went on to create programming for youth during her stint as the Family Program Director at Roseneath Theater where her inner nerd met her artistic side. Naomi’s passion also sees her actively involved in, not only the Artistic and LGBTQ+ communities, but she is also an educator/ facilitator for Freedom School Toronto.
S. Bear Bergman
S. Bear Bergman is a writer, storyteller, educator, activist and the founder and publisher of children’s book publisher Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally-diverse children’s picture books about LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative non-fiction for grown ups, fiction for children, resolutely factual features for various publications, the advice column Asking Bear and was the co-editor along with Kate Bornstein of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. These days he spends most of his time making trans cultural competency interventions any way he can and trying to avoid stepping on Lego.
Photo by Zoe Gemelli
leZlie lee kam
I am a world majority, brown, trini, Carib, indo, chinese, callaloo, queer, DYKE, differently-abled community activist, Elder. I am a 2SLGBTQI+ awareness consultant and workshop facilitator. In my work I focus on the issues affecting 2SLGBTQI+ seniors / older adults and the barriers we are forced to overcome on a daily basis. I live in Toronto, Canada and for fun I am a storyteller, actor and connector. I love dim sum, doubles, dancing, soca and a trini ‘lime’ anytime!
Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds
Tyler J. Sloane is a multidisciplinary performance artist. Their art emphasizes marginalized voices that intersect mixed-race and queer identity. Exploring these themes through various projects: Photography (Self In Response to Influence of Violence & Community, Light Our Bodies, and Fruit Basket ), Visual Art (Self in Response, Breath On One Land, and But When), Community Arts (It’s All Queer Pride (2018-2021)), Burlesque (as Tygr Willy (BoylesqueTO, HausBoat, Passion Fruit)), and Theatre (Hummingbird, Mx.). They are currently the Performance Arts Artist Associate with SKETCH Working Arts.
Photo by Jahmal Nugent
Rhoma Spencer is an Actor, Director, Play Creator, Comedian and Cultural Critic. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, she has been living and working in Toronto since 2001 after completion of an MFA in Directing at York University. Listed as a Who is Who in Black Canada, Rhoma is also a recipient of a US House of Congress and a Borough of Brooklyn, NYC Proclamations for her contribution to Caribbean Theatre with the iconic play, Jean and Dinah. Prior to her migration to Canada Rhoma worked with the Government Broadcasting Unit as a Broadcast Journalist, and this Public Information Specialist past continues to serve her when called upon to MC various events in the Trinbagonian community in Toronto.
host + project facilitator VANESSA DUNN
Responding to a need for queer, intergenerational connections and spaces, The Youth/Elders Podcast features personal stories, lived histories, and candid conversations between queer youth, queer elders, and lots of folks in between. Recorded at Toronto’s Oakwood Village Library in the Fall of 2018, the weekly discussions touch on everything from identity and relationships to activism and community spaces (then and now).
Three episodes crafted from these conversations were released in the Fall of 2019:
November 20, 2019
October 17, 2019
September 12, 2019
June 5, 2019
Alastair Sharp, National Observer, November 13, 2020
Peter Knegt, CBC Arts, September 18, 2019
Erin Pehlivan, Local Love, August 8, 2019
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Communications + Outreach Manager