Maeve Marsden celebrates power of storytelling with ‘Queerstories’ podcast

There’s more to being queer than coming out and getting married – and artist, writer and theatre-maker Maeve Marsden wants to hear all about it.

Podcast and live storytelling event Queerstories has just entered its third podcast season, and its multi-talented creator is certain Australia’s LGBTQIA+ communities have many, many more stories to tell.

Maeve joined Leigh Andrew Hill for a chat, explaining how she found herself drawn to sharing stories as her life’s work.

“I think for most of us in the business of storytelling, it’s of a love of hearing them ourselves. I’m a really social person, and stories are kind of the way that I connect with the world.”

Marsden explains that growing up with same-gender parents, she didn’t have the same traditions as heteronormative families, and her loved ones were able to forge their own traditions together through storytelling.

“Because of the way I’ve connected with my parents growing up, and just my own fascination with humans and how we operate, means that I was a big consumer of stories… so looking at what I might do for a job, that’s something that I was drawn to, and I’m better at it than other things!”

Part of the mission of Queerstories is to provide a platform for LGBTQIA+ folks to share the stories they want to tell, but are never asked to. Maeve explains these guidelines allow for a freedom often not afforded to queer storytellers.

“It means I can keep doing the event without the stories getting repetitive!” Maeve laughs.

“I think that often events get themed so people get pushed into a narrow framework of what story they should tell, but especially with LGBTQI+ people, often the stories that we’re asked to tell are the ones set by a mainstream agenda.

“We’re asked to talk about coming out, or we’re asked to talk about when we knew what our gender was… everything’s kind of framed as ‘when did you know you were different?’ or ‘when did you tell people you were different?’

Maeve acknowledges that those stories are important for many of us as LGBTQIA+ people, but for the purposes of Queerstories, coming out tales usually won’t be on the agenda… unless it was done while skydiving.

“I think it’s about what else makes up who we are, what else makes up queerness, other than just otherness.

“It means a real diversity of stories, and it means people often quite empowered by the experience having performed at it, and I get really unique and bizarre little narratives.”

“Often people have had something really fascinating happen to them, but there’s not a natural platform to tell that story and so for this platform I’m like: ‘Tell it now!'”

Maeve also touches on the power of storytelling for putting queer stories and queer history on the record in ways our communities weren’t able to in the past.

“These were not the stories in the history books, and even when queer people did appear in history books, you have to go digging because people find ways to erase us as part of the history.”

“These stories are not on the public record in the way that they should be, even today, now there’s way more representation in media and entertainment – way more than we had before – but that’s relatively new, and often still quite a narrow view of what a queer experience is.

Season 3 of Queerstories features MasterChef Australia favourite Sarah Tiong, journalist & artist Samuel Leighton-Dore, Mununjali author Ellen van Neerven, actor & playwright Liv Hewson, poet Omar Sakr and more.

Check out our full conversation with Maeve Marsden below, and catch up on Queerstories on Acast or wherever you get your podcasts.

So Loquacious · On The Line: Maeve Marsden

Leigh Andrew Hill

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