The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has launched “QueerSpace,” a limited series of its “AirSpace” podcast focusing on stories at the intersection of aviation, space, and queer identity. The episodes will explore LGBTQ+ history and culture through an aerospace lens, highlighting how queer culture has shaped the past and future of flight and illustrating the scope and diversity of LGBTQ+ experiences across aviation and space science.
“QueerSpace” is hosted by Sofia Soto Sugar of the National Air and Space Museum and Erin Barker of “The Story Collider” podcast, which presents true, personal stories about science. Each episode of “QueerSpace” will feature interviews that spotlight queer voices and introduce listeners to the diversity of people working in and around aerospace. The series launched on Feb. 24 and will consist of four episodes released every other week.
“QueerSpace” Episode Schedule
- Feb. 24: As more men became flight attendants in the 1970s, gay men created a community within the industry that was uniquely supportive and welcoming. The next few decades would test that community.
- March 10: Science fiction writers often create entirely new civilizations where our social constructions can be upended and examined. This can give authors the chance to rewrite a world in terms of gender, sexuality and culture, making something that is more inclusive and often more interesting.
- March 24: Historically, queer-identifying people in the U.S. military have been forced out or forced to hide who they were. And while there is still a ways to go, a new group in the Air Force/Space Force is working to change policy, change minds and create opportunities for these service members.
- April 7: Themes of space, the future and queerness also intersect in art. Queer artists often use their creative works to show futures in space that are more diverse and inclusive than the realities of our present time and place.
“QueerSpace” is available on all major podcast platforms and can be accessed on the museum’s website.
The “QueerSpace” series is part of the museum’s AirSpace brand, which explores aviation and space through arts, entertainment, and culture with content and experiential events that reach beyond the galleries and exhibits. The museum’s flagship podcast “AirSpace” reveals the human achievement, failure, and perseverance found in aviation and space and explores why people are so fascinated with stories of exploration, innovation, and discovery.
“QueerSpace” and other projects by AirSpace are made possible by the support of Olay.
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport.