Aylmerite launches LGBTQ+ themed podcast
Lifelong Aylmer resident, Stephanie Meunier, recently launched a podcast entitled Gaytineau. The 23-year-old, who works part-time at a local art school, now hosts and produces the podcast which features guests from the Gatineau region who belong to the LGBTQ community.
She is no beginner when it comes to putting together LGBTQ projects. As one of the co-founders of the Aylmer pride event Craie-en-ciel/Rainbow Chalk, she says this year’s event will mark eight years of the Aylmer gay pride celebration. “There was no pride parade or event here, so we started it,” she says.
The Gaytineau podcast is a new endeavour. “I was thinking about writing, or starting a web page, something to reach out,” she said, “and then I saw an opportunity with podcasts to do even more. With a website it would just be me writing about my experience, but here I can interview people; there are more chances to collaborate and connect with others.” The desire to do something for the LGBTQ+ community on this side of the river was borne out of a sense of frustration. “What I find is missing and why I want to do this, is that I feel there’s not a lot that connects me to Gatineau itself,” she says.
“I feel like we’re kind of an afterthought, or kind of implicitly included into other things, but there’s not a lot of programming for LGBT folks or families, there’s not a lot of intentionally getting together.”
The idea came to her a little over a year ago to focus on a Gatineau project. Over the months the idea evolved and, in October 2017, she made a decision: the podcast. In January of this year, she started recording and launched the podcast on the SoundCloud audio service in February. She has done four episodes to date.
“My goal is to reach more people,” Meunier told the Bulletin. “Right now, I’ve got my circle and I’m interviewing friends, but I want to expand and reach outside of that circle to other members of the LGBTQ+ community in Aylmer, Buckingham, Gatineau, Hull.”
When asked who her dream podcast guest would be, she doesn’t miss a beat. “An elder in our community, someone 60-65 years old or older, who is queer and has spent their life here,” she says as she sits up a little straighter, visibly keen to go on. “I don’t have that contact in my life right now, my circle is mostly my generation, but I want to know how it was for them.”
Like Meunier, the podcast is bilingual. “Je suis francophone,” she says. “That’s one thing about this podcast, I feel that because I want to reach more people, I want to do it in English, but I also want to speak to the people who live here so I also want to do it in French.” The result is a unique blend of both in a podcast that starts in one language, moves into another and back again.
And while the podcast is hosted by a queer woman who discusses LGBTQ issues, Meunier wants people to know that this podcast isn’t just for members of the LGBTQ community. “People outside of the community might not feel the podcast is for them but it’s for straight, cisgendered people, too,” she says. “It’s for everyone.”
Until the podcast is launched on iTunes, Gaytineau, the podcast is available on SoundCloud and via Facebook @GaytineauPodcast.