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Listening Studio

Listening Studio

By Ken Young
Listening Studio is a podcast that spotlights people, organizations and topics that impact the LGBTQ+ community.
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James Roy
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, James Roy became well known in the Denver LGBTQ community in the early 2000's. His single Rise Above was released in 2006, speaking to the fight for equality at that time. Episode Tracks The following tracks can be heard as part of the live broadcast of this interview. ​ 1) Abigail - You Set Me Free 2) James Roy - Rise Above 3) Debbie Holiday - Dive 4) Enigma - Gravity Of Love 5) Hillary Duff - Come Clean (Chris Cox Flood Mix)
October 29, 2020
In 2015, the Birth Certificate Modernization Act, was the first transgender-specific legislation to be introduced in Colorado. After a long 5 year fight the bill finally passed and the country’s first openly gay elected governor, Governor Jared Polis, signed the bill into law just before Pride Month on May 31st of last year. The bill was amended with name "Jude's Law" and Colorado is now one of the first states in the country to have nonbinary gender options and self-attestation for gender on documents including birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and state identification cards.  Known as the namesake of Colorado House Bill 19-1039 "Jude’s Law", Jude was honored with the 2020 Spirit of Matthew Award at the Matthew Shepard Foundation gala on October 10, 2020. Special thanks to Jude's mom for coordinating our conversation with Jude!
October 14, 2020
Jake Walker
For those of us who are able to find our passion in life and follow it, it doesn't matter how much money we make. The experience and reward are some of the most fulfilling things in life. Like me, Jake Walker shares a love of broadcasting. He works in radio, owns his own digital marketing company and he's a positive influence in the Colorado Springs community. Listen to Jake on 98.9 Magic FM Follow Jake on Facebook
February 25, 2020
One Year Anniversary of the Listening Studio
Happy new year to you! I wanted to take a couple of minutes to say hello and say thank you for being a part of the Listening Studio podcast. I also wanted to tell you about our nomination for Outstanding Queer Media Space for the 2019 DIVAs Awards, and talk about season 3!
January 20, 2020
Sage Singers
If you happen to be walking past the First Baptist Church on Capitol Hill in Denver, Colorado on any given Sunday, you might just hear the sounds of the Sage Singers warming up for rehearsal. The Sage Singers are providing a safe and loving place for elders to maintain their dignity, health and involvement in the community. I would hope that many of the younger generation would join me in agreeing that we should do all we can to help our queer elders and ensure that their piece of our LGBT history is a story that is told for generations to come. As the heroes of our LGBTQIA+ community age, we have an obligation to preserve their legacy. Groups like The Sage Singers are providing a safe and loving place for elders to maintain their dignity, health and involvement in the community. I would hope that many of the younger generation would join me in agreeing that we should do all we can to help our queer elders and ensure that their piece of our LGBT history is a story that is told for generations to come.   It’s the month of giving and this would perfect opportunity to donate a couple of dollars to support the Sage Singers. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donations are fully tax-deductible. Click here to visit their donation page.   Special Thanks Tom Biddle, Kevin Crowe, Judith Nelson, Holly Hares, Sam Gomez, Donald Johnson, my wonderful husband Eric for his help with this episode, and all of the wonderful members of the Sage Singers for sharing their sacred space with us.
November 18, 2019
Micah Porter
Micah Porter came out later in life. He was married to a wonderful woman, he has two children, and he was a high school coach. It was a long and painful process for Micah to accept who he was and to come out as a gay man. His journey, his experience, his passion for sports are invaluable attributes that he applies to help youth through his work has a school administrator, helping students with everyday teenage problems, as an advocate for acceptance for other LGBTQ educators, and also as role model for LGBTQIA+ youth who also reach out him for advice. I so much appreciate Micah sharing his story with us.
October 26, 2019
Anthony & David
Husbands Anthony Aragon and David Westman have been volunteering and fundraising in the Colorado LGBT community for over 23 years.  They’ve been dubbed the “Gay Mayors” of Denver and one of Denver’s “Power Couples”, both well known in the Denver community by their drag persona’s, Lushus La’Rell and the “triple nippled” Nucula Waste.  Anthony was Empress 40 of the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire. Anthony also bares the title Miss Gay Pride of All Colorado 2019. Both were involved in the Colorado Gay Rodeo. David was named 2002 Mr. Colorado Gay Rodeo and 2003 Mr. International Gay Rodeo. Anthony and David will be honored with the Dennis Dougherty Award at the Matthew Shepard Foundation Bear to Make a Difference fundraising gala, coming up on October 26th.
October 17, 2019
National Coming Out Day
This week, I am in between scheduled interviews and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to just say hello and take a few moments to chat with you. So this time - it's just you and me.  Today is National Coming Out Day... an annual LGBTQ awareness day that started in the United States in 1988, the original idea was grounded on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly LGBT person. The concept is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are LGBTQ+, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. If you are listening to this podcast and you are considering coming out, please know that there are people out there who have been through what you are going through now. There are so many resources out there in the LGBTQ community that can help you. You DO have the support of others in the LGBT community.  If you are an LGBTQ youth and you are also looking for someone to talk to, there are also many resources out there that provide help. The Trevor Project has an LGBTQ Handbook for Young People. I’m going to post a link on our website where you can download this handbook. If you are an LGBTQ youth who is thinking about suicide and you are in need of immediate support, please call the TrevorLifeline at 866-488-7386 or you can use TrevorChat on the Trevor Project website -
October 11, 2019
Dustin Sch Long
About 5 months ago, I actively started learning about Drag Kings in the Colorado LGBTQ community. I’ve always known more Drag Queens than Drag Kings and I wanted to familiarize myself with new entertainers making an impact on the Colorado community. That’s when I started following Dustin Sch Long on social media. Dustin had just started his journey as a trans man and I loved that he was openly sharing his experience on social media.   One night while I was working on podcast production, I saw a live video popup on Facebook of Dustin laying in a hospital bed. I started watching him explain his diagnosis with ovarian cancer. Since that live video, I’ve seen the community come together to support Dustin on his road to recovery. I made it a point to track down Dustin and talk about his journey. We finally caught up recently at Pride and Swagger to talk about his recent experience with ovarian cancer, upcoming events and his mission to bring awareness to others in the transgender community on the importance of health and wellness.  Check out Dustin's upcoming show Just Duet - Dueling Variety Show, every third Sunday, starting September 22.
September 17, 2019
Onyx Steele
As a community, it’s important that raise each other up, but it’s even more important that we recognize those who have actively spent their lives fighting for our community. Onyx Steele is part of LGBTQIA+ history in Colorado as one of the founders of Rainbow Alley, a longtime activist and legendary entertainer, starting drag in 1998 at the age 13. Onyx Steele on Facebook   Special thanks to Mile High Hamburger Mary's family for sharing their space for our interview.
September 12, 2019
Parasol Patrol
Once a month in Denver, Mile High Comics and Miss Jessica, host Drag For All Ages - a family friendly show to raise funds for the community. The entertainers are kids of all ages - celebrating diversity with their own costumes and performing to their favorite music.  Outside of Mile High Comics, it’s a different story. Vile protesters line the street with signs and masks, chanting terrible hate-filled rhetoric as the children and their families arrive. The Parasol Patrol was formed out of a need to protect these children from the onslaught of hateful speech from the protesters. The group provides the children hearing protection to muffle the hateful taunts and use colorful umbrellas to shield them from the signs and angry faces. This human shield of heroes is comprised of all community volunteers, who do what they do out of the spirit of peace and love so children can have a safe place to express themselves and share their talents and creativity. Eli Bazan and Pasha Ripley are co-founders of the Parasol Patrol. Eli is an Honorary Board member of Feeding Denver's Hungry and fundraiser at Majestic Hearts. Pasha is an activist and Whistle Blower who testified against Colorado University during the CU football rape scandal, and Executive Director of Red Light Resources International, an anti-human trafficking & harm-reduction human rights nonprofit organization.
September 07, 2019
CHEER Colorado
CHEER Colorado stunts and performs to raise money for local LGBTQ charities. The group is a diverse and inclusive team that welcomes all genders and sexual orientations, and their volunteers can choose whichever version of our uniform they feel most comfortable in. Each year, CHEER Colorado picks a primary beneficiary. The group's volunteers nominate and select local charities devoted to LGBTQ causes, health and wellness, inclusion and diversity.  ​ This year, they are raising money for Rainbow Alley, a safe and brave space supporting LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 11 to 21. Special thanks to Lindsay Miller and Kyle Johnson for their time, and The Center on Colfax for lending us space for our interview. Find out more about CHEER Colorado and how you can get involved:
August 29, 2019
Urban Peak
20–40% of youth experiencing homelessness also identify as LGBTQ+, which is significantly higher than the estimated number of people who identify as LGBTQ in the overall population of the United States (approximately 3-5%).    Urban Peak Ignites the potential in youth to exit homelessness and create self-determined, fulfilled lives. Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.   Mike Orr and Bryan Fleming's Denver Pride Kick-off Party has raised over 45,000 for Urban Peak over the past 3 years... they hope to raise that number to 75,000 with this week's event. Find out more about about how you can help:
June 12, 2019
Jessica L'Whor
It's the start of Pride season in Denver! Soon the city will be will full of Pride events, fundraisers and drag shows. The Colorado Drag community has a rich history of performers who pour their heart and souls into their craft. Jessica L'Whor is a powerhouse who produces and performs at various drag shows in Colorado and around the country.   On this episode of Listening Studio Colorado, I caught up with Jess at Mile High Hamburger Mary's to chat about her work in the community. We also talked about the most recent We Are Family - Dustin Schlong Community Fundraiser.
May 21, 2019
Jim Scharper | Feeding Denver's Hungry
Jim Scharper is the founder of Feeding Denver's Hungry, a group of individuals that get together in lower downtown Denver and serve over 2,000 marginalized youth, elderly, disabled and families in need. No one is obligated to do anything to receive their services. All items are bought and paid for by their volunteers who help distribute food and supplies on the 4th Thursdays of every month.   Corky's 75th Birthday & Pool Party is coming up on July 13th and all proceeds will go to help Feeding Denver's Hungry.   Find out more about upcoming events for Feeding Denver's Hungry or how to donate:   Click here for the full transcript of this interview.
May 05, 2019
Mark Young
Mark Young is 22 years old and, like most LGBT kids, he had a hard time in high school and coming out to his parents. Not long after he graduated, Mark found his voice and he took his love for theater and hit the road to LA, where he is now a successful model, photographer and social media influencer.   Everyone's story is different and not everyone experiences positive life changes when they are coming out. Some don't have a choice, some are outed by others. Some LGBT youth  are rejected by their family and no place else to go.    If you need help, there are resources available... you can call, chat or text with someone now at    Follow Mark Young's adventure on Instagram:
April 05, 2019
Emma Shinn | Celebrating Trans Voices
Emma Shinn (she/her/hers) is a Marine judge advocate and prior enlisted infantry platoon sergeant. She is a zealous advocate for defending our Constitution and individual liberties. International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31, celebrating transgender people and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while raising awareness around discrimination trans people still face. On March 31, Emma is emceeing Celebrating Trans Voices at the University of Denver.     Special thanks to The Center on Colfax for their generosity and allowing us to use their space for this interview.  Music (Licensed by Firefly - Aaron Sprinkle
March 28, 2019
Justin Lewis | Denver Element
Justin Lewis is a Behavioral Health Specialist with Denver Element, a group that manages and coordinates LGBTQ+ services and programs of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare. They believe in creating a stronger, more empowered community through their programs. Find out more: Special thanks to Justin and all the staff at Denver Element at Mile High Behavioral Healthcare.  Denver Element Denver Element on Facebook​ Denver Element on Twitter ​ Music Licensed by
March 16, 2019
John White | The Center on Colfax
John White, a.k.a. Dixie Krystals, has been volunteering at The Center on Colfax for 5 years and recently joined the staff 7 months ago as Event Manager. On this episode, we talk about what's going on at the The Center, but we also chat with John about his work as an entertainer. Find out more about The Center on Colfax on their website: Special thanks to John and all the staff and volunteers the The Center on Colfax!  Dixie Krystals on Facebook  Music Licensed by ​
March 07, 2019
Morgan Taylor
Morgan Taylor has made a name for himself in the Denver community. On this episode, we'll chat with Morgan about his time as a manager at Tracks Denver and what he's working on now. Music (Licensed by ​​
February 27, 2019
Corky Blankenship
Our first interview comes in a small package, but anyone who knows Corky Blankenship knows he has big heart. His experiences and personality are larger than life. On very windy day in Denver, I had the chance to speak with Corky at his Cheesman Park apartment in Capitol Hill. ​Many thanks to Corky Blankenship for his time, generosity and opening his home to our crew. Also many thanks to Nick Young for his assistance with this episode.  ​Music Licensed by
February 18, 2019