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'Brown 'n Out' podcast highlights LGBTQ people of color

(WCAX)
Published: Feb. 22, 2019 at 8:13 AM EST
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There is still another week of Black History Month, and a voice that often gets left out of the discussion is LGBTQ people of color. One man is trying to fill that void by offering a platform for their voices to be heard.

The podcast is called "Brown 'n Out." Each episode highlights a queer person of color here in Vermont. It’s hosted by Reggie Condra.

His guests range from Vermont actors to university employees and everyone in between. Each of them gets their own episode, diving into difficult topics of their childhood, being a queer person of color and their Vermont experience.

Condra says by the end of the conversation he wants listeners to feel connected to his guests, regardless of their own background.

"Hopefully my listeners feel like they know them a little bit by the end of the episode. I think it's great for queer people of color to see themselves represented," Condra said.

A podcast highlighting minorities can be met with some critical words, people calling it divisive and racist.

"That sounds like a white person talking, and it sounds like if you think that highlighting the voices of people of color is divisive, it’s probably because you're used to white people controlling the narrative around a lot of the things that your ingesting," Condra said.

Condra says the whole point of the podcast is to highlight our humanity.

"I understand that it's just a drop in the bucket, but hopefully what it will do is inspire other people who are like minded to share their stories also," he said.

We asked him about his thoughts on the Jussie Smollett investigation. He responded by saying anytime a hate crime is committed, it's time to pay attention. He says that's especially the case now because people don't understand the hatred and violence that LGBTQ people of color are experiencing.

Condra says if Smollett did, in fact, make up his attack, it undermines the real violence, hurt and pain that people he interviews experience.

He has a message to people who call themselves allies, who might think twice about believing the next person who reports a hate crime.

"How committed were you to helping people who don't share your identities in the first place if all it takes is literally one false story for you to discredit all of our very real pain?" Condra asked.

He knows that a podcast won't fill the void for LGBTQ+ people of color completely, but he's hopeful it's a way to start difficult conversations around race and sexuality.