Queer Sphere 91.1 KLSU
Ever since I was blessed enough to stumble upon Just Daniel and the Queer Sphere on KLSU one rainy night drive home, I knew I wanted to give them the spotlight they deserved. A late-night radio show dedicated to playing queer artists and allies + all alike on public radio?! About, damn, time.
Recently I reached out to Daniel and Mordecai to grab some coffee and talk Queer Sphere and it's impact on student radio, local community, as well as how the show has impacted their own lives and self-identity.
D: Queer Sphere started in the summer at KLSU. It is a very young show. I saw the sign up sheet on campus one day, and was just thinking, "why not?" When I was applying, we had to submit a playlist to see where my music liking was. I don't even qualify myself as an expert in music, but I found a community already through KLSU and mainly listen to 90's R&B and Top 40. However, for the show I told myself, look you know what queer music is. I treated it like a class for anyone that doesn't know anything about queer people and queer music in general. One night I did a show based on queer artists from the 1920's and 1930's. I played some of these lesbian jazz artists from New Orleans. They were fantastic and I got some great feedback from listeners on that. Overall, I learned a lot about what it means to be queer and shared many different stories from various queer artists that helped shaped my own queer identity.
D: “Kudos to the show by the way Mordecai, I have been listening to it, and I am really excited. You know, when you leave a show, it’s very bittersweet. I was telling the staff not to worry about forcing somebody into the roll, I told them just to end it if they couldn’t find anyone. I didn’t want anyone that would just play Tegan and Sara on repeat, haha. So when they found you, I was feeling really good about.
M: Thanks! I got really worried about what would happen if the show was put into the wrong hands, so when I was talking to Kurtis about Queer Sphere still being a thing or even doing my own trans show, he was telling me you literally just signed off Queer Sphere and that I could fill it. I just wanted a show that I would relate to.
"My name is Daniel Lanclos and I identify as a cis-gendered gay man.
I became a KLSU DJ for Queer Sphere, because I wanted to share my history of LGBTQ music and artists to the KLSU listeners.
It was so empowering to not only have Queer Sphere to express the importance of being queer, but also having it in such a safe place. The show is so important because of the necessity of sustaining an authentic voice from the LGBTQ spectrum in South Louisiana.
A big thing that members in our Baton Rouge community need to realize is that just because marriage equality happened, doesn't mean we are all equal. We have seen the worst of our city when we are divided and we have given each other hope when we thought all was lost. Queer people are part of that experience as well in the Baton Rouge community.
As long as Queer Sphere keeps being that light for every kid that doesn't feel like they belong in the good or bad times of our city, then I feel that the show is fulfilling it's greatest potential. "
"My name is Mordecai Chapman, also known as Lady Q, and I'm some mix of non-binary and trans girl (not demi-girl before anyone tries to offer that up).
I've always loved being a DJ and some of my best experiences with my mom and dad have been because of music so I inherently attached to it. On top of that, I play guitar and some melodica/piano so I can appreciate music from a different angle as well. Being a radio DJ enabled me to broadcast my ideas and music tastes at the same time while having a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ community and the musicians that I feature.
The show is something that I never dread going to. It's an unpaid job that I actually spend money to operate (gas and buying the music). I have made connections with so many people that listen to me nearly every show, who say that I made their day by playing a certain artist, who call in to have conversations with me about how their experiences match up to what I'm talking about. Essentially I get to speak to a wide audience and make a difference in their lives within a 2 hour slot every week. That's why the show is important to me. The human factor to it. And, of course, giving exposure to LGBTQ+ artists. like Ezra Furman.
I actually did an interview with Ezra Furman, they are a religiously jewish, maybe trans, queer artist, and their music sounds like punk rock yellow submarine stuff, it’s really cool. If you look up anything online, people really try and label him all the time. In Britain they call him a crossdresser, and here they call him genderfluid. I’ve asked him about it in our interview about what I have read, and he said that he thinks he’s too fluid for what they are trying to label. So it rejects the whole attaching gender labels to music, and I love that I have an artist like that on my show."
M: "I don't want to play a show that is just LGBTQ artists. I also want to have the everyday music that not everyone realizes was influenced by LGBTQ artists and icons. You know Rihanna is influenced by Frida Kahlo. The Strokes and Talking Heads are influenced by Andy Warhol. LCD Soundsystem is influenced by David Bowie. So much music that we critically proclaim today is spawned out of LGBT people."
D: "So you are saying that queer people have been a pillar in popular culture for a long time. Specifically trans people of color. "