This week sees the release of the third and final season of the award-winning documentary podcast The Log Books — and this time they’re focusing on The Queer 90s!
Season 3 explores the day-to-day impact on LGBTQI+ people made by shifts in technology and attitudes from 1992 to 2003. As the internet changed how LGBTQI+ people found each other, this series also explores how more people created queer families, how a nail bomb ripped through the community in 1999, and how changing attitudes and a government focus on human rights led to significant improvements in the lives of many queer people.
But before we open the Log Books for the last time, we asked the team to reflect on their top 5 episodes from the past two years. If you haven’t yet listened, these are a great place to start. And if you’re already a fan, these episodes will be sure to get you returning to the back-catalogue…
S2 Ep 1 – Please Be Gentle
All: In our second season we covered the years from 1983 to 1991, which included the memories of the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it has never been told before. Hearing from those who nursed, loved and supported those diagnosed with HIV, as well as the volunteers who spoke to thousands of people who were terrified of this very new virus. We all were incredibly touched and impacted emotionally by what we read and heard, such an important time in our shared LGBTQI+ history that has to be shared.
S1 Ep 3 – Let’s Not Shy Away From Sex
Adam: The pages of the log books at Switchboard are filled with endless questions about what we can do with our bodies as queer people — so this episode was a real pleasure to make! Lots of laughs and plenty of serious business too, thanks to how non-inclusive sex education has been in the past.
S2 Ep 6 – Right On Sister
Shivani: This episode allowed us to look at the nuance of religious and LGBTQI+ life, an area that is too often dismissed and overlooked. This episode has a delicate balance of light and shade in the stories told – with moments that repeatedly made me laugh and break my heart over and over in a trademark The Log Books way.
S2 Ep 11 – Would Like to Stay
Tash: So many people reached out to Switchboard for advice on how to live, love and work in the UK throughout the 80s and 90s but what struck me about this episode is how current these issues are still today decades later. With conversations around borders, cultures and LGBTQI+ identity, this episode hears from a lesbian who helped a gay immigrant to stay in the UK and a gay refugee who recently fled Syria – pushing us to reflect on the LGBTQI+ rights globally that we still have to fight for today.
S3 Ep 1 – Multiple paradox net files
All: The first episode in final season telling untold stories from Britain’s queer history exploring the day-to-day impact on LGBTQI+ people made by shifts in technology and attitudes from 1992 to 2003. This first episode explore the internet, its impact on our communities and how it has evolved throughout the years. With the rest of Season 3 exploring stories from lesbians starting queer families in the 90s with sperm donors, kinky club nights such as Sadie Masie, the groundbreaking legal fight to equalise the age of sexual consent for men having sex with men and stories from transgender teenagers who reached out for help from Switchboard.