June is Pride Month, so what better time to share this article from the magazine archive. Each issue, Jason Reed recommends a podcast from the charity and causes sector in his Good Samaritan column. His choice for Issue #010 was the great LGBQT+ podcast Out with Suzi Ruffell. This article was first written in August 2020.
Comedian Suzi Ruffell is no stranger to the podcast world; her show Like Minded Friends with co-host and friend Tom Allen has proved very popular and funny, often talking about the strangest topics.
Suzi has now released a new podcast called Out with Suzi Ruffell with the intention of speaking to inspirational figures from the LGBTQ+ community. Still in its first season, Suzi has already hosted some emotional conversations with truly fascinating guests, and she had a clear idea from the outset of what she wanted to create.
I really wanted to create a podcast that had a hopeful and positive message about being queer. There is a long tradition in the LGBT+ community of people sharing their coming out story, I thought a podcast would be a great way to share those stories and celebrate the guests journeys from realising they were different to finding their place in the world. I noticed there wasn’t anything quite like what I wanted to do so I just went for it. It was probably only about two months from first speaking to the team at Keep It Light Productions before the first episode came out.
Not only has the LGBTQ+ audience responded well, but Suzi is keen to point out that all ears have turned towards the podcast and its engaging chats.
I’ve loved creating this show and the listener reaction has been brilliant, part of the show is sharing audience correspondence and I have been blown away by how many people have got in touch. It has also reached beyond the queer community and I have received so many emails from straight people who have loved and been inspired by the guests on the show.
Like many podcasters, Suzi has had some personal thrills in producing the series, and she’s been shown wonderful hospitality too…
I have been so lucky with guests, an Oscar winner, a Bafta winner, notable broadcasters, writers, comedians, activists, and a Baroness Pretty impressive for series one. I can’t pick a favourite, they were all brilliant and special. The first episode I recorded was Dustin Lance Black, he won an Oscar for the film Milk, which is one of my favourite films. Dustin is also an activist who has always fought for the rights of the oppressed. Spending an hour listening to him and his story confirmed to me we were making something pretty special. Also the amount of beautiful listener stories we have received and folk telling me what the podcast means to them has been very humbling. I just want to keep creating a show that is thoughtful and funny and that people enjoy. I already have the beginnings of a very exciting line up for series 2.
Suzi would like to raise awareness to akt, a charity that supports young people from the LGBTQ+ community in the UK who experience homelessness or hostile living environments, lending support via safe homes and employment, education or training, not to mention a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.