Charlie Collins gives us a rundown of the best Queer romances the world of audio fiction has to offer.
Despite the lack of visual element, fiction podcasts have made many Queer people feel seen in the last decade. Here are five fiction podcasts with swoon-worthy voices and tales from the heart, just in time for Vday.
1. Welcome to Night Vale
“He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.”
Radio host Cecil announces his love for the scientist who has come to investigate his strange town as early as episode one. Welcome to Night Vale has made a lot of necessary and positive improvements since it’s beginning over a decade ago and is worth listening to for an understanding of where the medium has been.
In 2012, Cecil- a main character in a gay relationship whose sexuality is respected by the writers- was ground-breaking. His love for Carlos is a landmark in Queer fiction podcast history. To this day, the couple remain weird enough for each other.
2. Supernatural Sexuality with Dr Seabrooke
“I love him, he loves me. But his family – they don’t believe that. They – they think I LURED him.”
Dr Seabrooke gives guidance on supernatural relationships and sexuality to her callers but there’s wisdom in her words for us human listeners too.
In her advice show, she helps a ghost whose incorporeality is a barrier to physical intimacy, a siren who is seen as predatory by her boyfriend’s family, and a human who doesn’t feel interesting when she compares herself to the sea witches who she’s in a polyamorous triad with.
We may not have the exact same problems, but Supernatural Sexuality with Dr Seabrooke remains funny, thought-provoking, and validating.
3. The Penumbra Podcast
“I’m already in love with someone else, and I don’t love him any less because of this! If anything, I love him more, because I appreciate all the things that make him one-of-a-kind!”
The Penumbra Podcast contains two universes with romance that will have you screaming at your phone screen as you listen. The stories in the Second Citadel universe focus on the tensions between humans and monsters, questioning the corrupt power of the human citadel’s knights.
Sir Damien the Pious is looking forward to marrying his herbalist fiancé Rilla when the fork-tongued Lord Arum bursts into their lives. Damien and Rilla question what they thought they knew about monogamy and monsters and find that pursuing the love all three have for each other means growing away from the ideals they previously thought immutable.
4. The Bright Sessions
“You said that when Adam is in the room you can’t feel anything else. Do you mean his are the only other emotions that you feel?”
A fiction podcast classic, The Bright Sessions follows therapist Dr Bright and her superpowered patients. Caleb is a empath getting help to manage his own emotions while feeling everyone else’s, including a boy in his English class, whose emotions Caleb feels stronger than anyone’s.
Caleb and Adam’s relationship has its highs and lows like any. When it’s revealed that Dr Bright’s work has more to it than it would first appear, things get complicated. But the couple are enduringly sweet and easy to root for.
5. Me & AU
“ACunningPlan, you didn’t technically suggest this earlier, but it’s still your fault. So, I guess this fic is dedicated to you.”
Kate takes refuge from her exhausting barista work through show-in-a-show Selkirk. She meets Ella through Selkirk’s small fandom online, bonding over shared feelings about Queer representation on TV as they write fanfiction which ships two-male characters in the series. Soon, sparks fly off the page too. Me & AU is a great podcast if you’re looking for a short, sweet slice of life.
Whether listening solo or starting a show with loved ones, any of these titles should prove good company this Valentine’s Day.
Transcripts are available for all the podcasts in this article.