“If These Ovaries Could Talk”…if that doesn’t grab your attention right away, I don’t know what would. That phrase served as the title for a book and the name of a podcast that started in 2017 and was co-hosted by Jaimie Kelton and lesbian mom and friend Robin Hopkins. Currently, the podcast has been re-named to “The Queer Family Podcast” (TQFP) and features Jaimie at the helm. TQFP was created after a 3-year fertility journey and growing frustration with the fact that Jaimie couldn’t find stories about families like hers anywhere in mainstream media. Jaimie and Robin set out to create a show that highlighted, uplifted, and normalized queer families like their own. With the support of Rosie O’Donnell and other prominent figures, the podcast provides a platform for queer families to tell their stories and to address the challenges that queer families continue to face, even today.
This month, The Queer Family Podcast is going big as it celebrates its 200th episode and also LGBT Pride month, by doubling up on their episodes in June; it will be a Pride Extravaganza! We recently talked to Jaime about the podcast, Florida laws, LGBT families and more.
The original name for the podcast (and title for the book) is just so great, why the name change? Was it the necessary next step?
The Podcast was born out of a personal struggle I had with infertility. I couldn’t find my story mirrored back to me anywhere. I found plenty of infertility stories involving straight women and their husbands, but very rarely did I hear a story like mine; a lesbian going through infertility after her wife had successfully given birth to their first child while they were running out of donor sperm and their funds were dwindling. Robin and I knew that we had enough lesbian mom friends to at least fill up a whole season and so we named the show with that in mind. The title was based on a 90’s lesbian-ish made for tv movie with Cher titled If These Walls Could Talk which was kind of a beacon for lesbians everywhere at the time since there was so little representation of lesbians in mainstream media (shocker). To our surprise, the podcast gained traction quickly. It turns out there were plenty of queer folks who wanted to tell their family-building journeys and who wanted to see their stories mirrored back to them. The show has become a safe and inclusive space for all queer families and allies to come together and share their stories. When Robin left the show last year I saw an opportunity to rebrand. And so, The Queer Family Podcast was born. Representation matters, and this show is determined to push the narrative of intentional and loving queer family building, making it the norm and not the exception, in every form.
Did you find the whole process you went through as easy or as hard as you thought? Is it harder for lesbian couples than what it could be to a straight couple or single parent?
I think that if you’re not considered a member of “mainstream society,” everything is harder. Representation matters on all fronts. If our stories aren’t a part of the overall narrative, then those of us on the outskirts will be the last to get the resources that those who are regularly in the media get.
Nope. A lot of times these resources are primarily set up for folks who fit “the norm.” We have to vet every resource we encounter to, first, make sure they will work with someone in the LGBTQ community, and second, to see if they have actually set their systems up for folks in our community as well. Most of the time, sadly, one of those check marks isn’t met. It’s one thing for a law firm to add a pride flag to its website, it’s an entirely different thing for that same law firm to make sure its forms and staff reflect the community and are prepared to work with the community they are boasting to support. We’ve got a long way to go.
Since you started the podcast in 2017, how much do you think the LGBT community has changed?
I feel like the more visible the LGBTQ community becomes, the more open we become. We’re showing up in all of our truths now. And we’re showing the rest of the world how to truly be accepting of all of the different identities and sexualities that exist.
As we celebrate Pride Month, you are also celebrating your 200 episodes, congratulations. Why are the episodes this month extra special and how did you choose your guests?
Thank you! For Pride Month we wanted to interview folks who seemed to share a similar mission to us; to use a platform to uplift, highlight and normalize queer families. Every guest for the Queer Family Podcast Pride Extravaganza has worked through visibility, education, and advocacy to do just that. The stories they tell help to create positive change for our community.
Would like to ask your thoughts, as a mom, about the situation we are going through now with our “lovely” FL Governor (insert sarcastic tone here) and the “Don’t say Gay” bill, kids and drag queens, banning books, trans kids, etc…
It’s scary, it’s ignorant, it’s despicable. These politicians need to realize that the hate they incite is having real consequences. They have blood on their hands and they will have more as long as they continue spewing this hateful rhetoric about the LGBTQ community. The trans community is being attacked now, trans children’s lives are on the line…. where does the line get drawn? The Proud Boys have vowed to hold protests at Pride celebrations across the country. It makes me second-guess bringing my kids to Pride Celebrations, which is heartbreaking. My kids love Pride. We love celebrating Pride as a family. But you never know what fanatic took Ron DeSantis’ words to heart and decided to do something about it. It’s heartbreaking that we even have to worry about this. It makes me very sad honestly.
Out of all the guests you have had, is there a particular story and left a mark on you.
I just interviewed the Vaughn-Trainors (@mrvaughntrainor) and they told a story that is sitting heavy on my heart. A short while after finally bringing their premature twins home from the hospital, a Texas politician reposted a video they had shared of them holding their babies as they took them home, and called them pedophiles and child sex traffickers for bringing these beautiful babies into the world (babies that took them 6 years, a failed adoption journey and a surrogacy journey marked by hardship to finally be able to call their own.) This politician took their joy and turned it into something evil for over 6 million viewers. That’s infuriating enough, but what’s worse is what their followers wrote in the comments of the tweet. People were threatening to find them and rip these babies from them. They were threatening to come and get them. That’s what really sticks with me. Hate breeds hate in such an exponential way. The LGBTQ community shouldn’t still be enduring this ignorance and hate. It feels a bit like we’ve gone back in time after we made a good amount of progress.
The podcast is also now on video on YouTube. Any other news on the evolution of the podcast or future books?
Right now we’re excited to add the video element! I’m hoping that soon there will be a more upscale studio version of the show and possibly more queer-centric tv in general. but for now, head to our YouTube and watch our beautiful queer family content!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers that I have not asked?
Visibility matters, and Representation matters. show up and be proud. You’re beautiful and you deserve to live as your authentic self. Happy Pride folks!
Jaime (actor, singer, dancer, voiceover artist and podcaster) currently lives in NYC with her partner, Anne, and her kids, Anne Rose, 9 and Orion, 5. You can listen and watch the podcast on youtube, apple, google, spotify or visit thequeerfamilypodcast.com.