Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley broke new audio-ground with their first podcast, Some Families. The trailblazing show was the first UK podcast to talk all about the logistics of LGBTQ+ parenting. Now, they are continuing the story with their new show, From Gay to Ze, which celebrates the messy reality of modern families and the intersection of queer culture. We caught up with Lotte and Stu to learn more, and reminisce about the success of their podcasting career…
Tell us about the new the show – what’s the elevator pitch?
From Gay to Ze celebrates LGBTQ+ parenting and the messy reality of modern families. We chat to fabulous guests about their own experiences and projects including the latest film, TV, books and music. We delve into queer pop culture as well as queer parents need a switch off too! Plus both of us work in the entertainment and media industry so we love all that jazz. The show is designed to be inclusive as we want non-queer families to listen who want to be good allies and understand the queer parenting community.
‘Some Families’ was the first UK podcast dedicated to queer families, and so influential. Was it sad to say goodbye to the brand?
Some Families will forever hold a special place in our hearts. It was ground-breaking in the sense that it was the first EVER podcast that focused on LGBTQ+ families in all their different guises. The show is still there and we did 40 episodes (award-winning none the less!) and we are so proud of it, but if Some Families was the “how” you become a family From Gay to Ze is all about navigating around the day to day of parenting with wider and varied topics and with our book coming out we felt it was due a refresh.
We all know I love a pun name – for readers who might not be familiar, can you explain where the podcast’s title ‘From Gay To Ze’ came from?
You can’t beat a good pun!! We came up with the title whilst we were working on the book as the format is an A-Z. When looking and exploring pronouns we discovered the pronoun Ze which can be used by those who identity as non-binary. We immediately loved it as it stood for everything we are about, inclusivity and learning something new about our community. Neither of us had never heard of Ze so we wanted to share something that not only our allies can use in their ongoing queer education, but something for the community as well. It was also about celebrating the range and diversity of the LGBTQ+ umbrella… it’s so empowering to think we have so many ways to identify.
You’ve got a book on the way – tell us how you found adapting podcast skills to book writing?
Oh did we mention we had a book? Ha. Yes, The Queer Parent: Everything You Need to Know From Gay to Ze is out in May and is the first LGBTQ+ parenting book to ever be published by a major author. Isn’t that insane? We took a lot of the essence of a podcast into the book in the sense that whilst we rattle on a little about our own experiences we are a tiny, tiny representation of the full queer parenting spectrum so we speak to loads of different people to try and ensure we reflect our community, in the best way we can.
Munroe Bergdorf, Suzi Ruffle, Ben Aldridge – you are straight out of the gate with some incredible guests! But is there a dream guest you haven’t spoken to yet?
Elton John. Would have to record it in person in his villa in the South of France. Think we would call the episode “Parenting is Fabulous, Darling”
Lastly, anything else you’d like to share.
We have a loyal and fabulous queer audience but if you are reading this as a cishet parent (A term used to describe a person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth and is heterosexual) then do give us a listen. We are hopefully offering something a bit different from a usual parenting podcast and every non-queer person we’ve spoken to whose listens say they learnt so much from our guests and their stories.