Quirky And Or Queer is an exploration of otherness and queerness. How does being quirky and or queer influence work, creative pursuits, and love lives of those who experience a sense of otherness? I sit down and interview community workers, musicians, drag queens, disability advocates, theatre performers, and all sorts of other wonderful people to talk about what it feels like to be different and how it shapes their experiences of the world. Some are quirky, some are queer, all are fabulous.
“I want more ownership in the way I choose to present my drag and persona.”
In this episode, I sit down with Conor McNeil, also known as Cobra Clawfield. Cobra is the newly crowned winner of the Swine 2019 at Halifax Pride and is fresh on the Atlantic Canada drag scene. Conor and I talk about his experiences of otherness, his inspirations, his hopes for his artistry, and the process of owning your own story. This interview and episode is a reminder to celebrate your otherness.
Check out Conor on Instagram @cobraclawfield and @conmina.
“I tried to fix myself, even though there is nothing to be fixed.”
Trevor Seyforth joins Quirky and Or Queer to talk about disability, being gay, and growing up in rural Nova Scotia. Trevor and I grew up in the same town, just separated by a few years and educational institution dividing lines. Trevor is one of the fittest people in the province and you can check out his discipline and dedication to fitness in a video from 2014, Trevor Seyforth - A Man On a Mission.
Trevor just graduated from Acadia University and moved to the city this summer. He has the whole world ahead of him. Check out his instagram at @TrevorSeyforth.
“Im asking people by my very existence to drill back down into everything they think they know and relearn it. I have had to do that first and foremost myself.”
Laura Shepherd is a deeply involved and dynamic community advocate who grew up in Massachusetts, but has called Nova Scotia home for many years. I have known Laura for some time, always appreciating her presence and energy from a far, but never really getting to know her. Interviewing her for QAOQ was an incredible privilege. Laura writes, performs, and speaks with grace and wit. In this episode she shares her views on otherness, her experiences of transitioning, her time spent in civil service, and her love for her children. You can find Laura’s contributions to the Nova Scotia Advocate at https://nsadvocate.org/2019/04/03/laura-shepherd-trans-people-friends-and-visibility-a-call-to-arms-in-arms/.
This episode is best enjoyed while wearing headphones!
“If you can mix something with humour, the memory will stick around longer.”
Brittany Campbell is a comedian, a writer, a podcaster, and an entertainer. We sat down in Halifax, NS and talked about all things comedy, her work with the Canadian Armed Forces Cadets, and her experiences growing up in PEI. She has an eclectic background and a unique perspective on the world. She performs throughout Atlantic Canada and will soon call Edmonton, AB home.
Take a listen to our interview, with a few clips from her live comedy, and hear for yourself how Brittany Campbell is intelligently inappropriate.
“I literally walked into the navy office and walked out and went to massage school. I feel pulled to help people that aren’t comfortable with their own bodies and the element of touch.”
Mase is a massage therapist, a yoga teacher, and a compassionate superstar of a human. They find space outside the confines of the patriarchal gender binaries enforced by society, while working with others to help them find more compassion and space inside their own bodies.
We spent time together in Three Fathom Harbour and talked about life, gender, Newfoundland, and how to be more comfortable in our bodies. I hope you listen and appreciate Mase as I do, as someone who is making the world a better place through touch, love, and honest expression.
“We are evolving as a society, we are evolving as people, we are evolving in our culture, so let go of that old mind frame.”
What does it mean to be accountable? This week’s episode has me interviewing Teo Ferguson. Teo and I reconnected a couple of months ago after a period of conflict, which resulted in me cutting him out of my life. He reached out to me and the experience has helped me learn a lot about what it means to be accountable to others and to myself.
Besides the topic of accountability, we talk about gender, dating, family dynamics, and Teo’s experience of otherness. Teo is passionate, outgoing, creative, and he is pushing the boundaries of what is expected of young queer men of colour.
“I have to let go of a lot of things I think in order to be genuine, because that’s what being an artist is. Being genuine.” - Mirrors
In this episode I sit down with Halifax based musician Mirrors, also known as Kurt Heinrich Collinet. I have known of Kurt for a little while through the digital landscapes of the Halifax Regional Municipality, but only met him in person late in the fall of 2018. I have memories of seeing him stalking up and down Gottingen Street on his way to performances while wearing these gorgeous white thigh-high boots. When we finally met, it was for a mini-photoshoot in the North End of Halifax. It was a quick shoot, but I loved the images and I enjoyed hanging out with him.
We sat down and for an interview in February 2019 and talked about his musical process, his experiences of otherness, his upbringing, and where he sees himself in the queer spaces of Halifax. This year he will be recording and releasing 12 new songs, one for each month, and in this episode you get to hear two of his songs, Chanel No. 5 & Ran Cold. Take a listen!
“I want love in my life and I want to show love to the people I care about and it doesn’t have to fit a traditional romantic mold.”
In this episode I sit down with April Hubbard on Valentine’s Day. April and I talk about otherness as it relates to disability, sex, community work, and relationships. April has so much wisdom and experience to share and I am very grateful for her candor and her honesty in this recording. Otherness is a complex subject, we experience it a multitude of ways, and April’s perspective on the subject of otherness is incredibly valuable.
I do not have much in the way of romantic love, but I have a lot of love for community, love for the arts, and the love found within meaningful friendships. Spending Valentine’s Day with April was better than chocolate, flowers, and even discount candy.
“Use what we have learned about being ‘other’ to support ourselves and help other people too.”
This episode finds me interviewing Beldam Aiken at the Glitter Bean Cafe in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beldam and I met auditioning for the Neptune Theatre’s Improv Conservatory program. We hit it off pretty much right away. We share some similar views on social justice, queer issues, and comedy. It has been a pleasure getting to know her.
In this episode we talk about Beldam’s childhood, her views on love and partnership, and how her otherness shaped her experiences of the world. Beldam is fierce, thoughtful, and funny. Her worldview and perspective are worth experiencing.
Following the podcast, Beldam reflected on her comments and in the spirit of being accountable for actions which could cause harm or be perceived as causing harm, Beldam would like to include this comment.
"From 18:00 to 18:30, I said something that I now regret. It was an inconsiderate, insensitive thing to say about another person whose experience I didn't and will never fully know. I regret saying this and offer an apology to anyone hurt by my statements." - Beldam Aiken.
Richard Martin has recorded his first EP as For The Tide. The EP is a collection of songs which explore his queer identity and love. This episode finds us talking about how his otherness has shaped his music, his worldview, and helped turn him into a beautiful, radical, and creative human. Also, we preview his song Come On Over from his upcoming EP, Live at the Music Room. Check it out!
I am drawn to the idea and concept of otherness. This podcast and related content on Quirky And Or Queer will hopefully allow me to explore otherness and queerness. I want this to be an opportunity to help people tell their experiences and stories of otherness. How does being quirky and or queer influence their work, their creative pursuits, their love life, and help to shape their world view. Also, does it make their life more enriching? Funnier?
Join me for interviews and chats with local quirky and or queer folks as we talk about social justice, equity, gender issues, comedy, mental health, and more.