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Chosen Family

Author: CBC Podcasts

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A podcast hosted by queer, cosmically-destined BFFs Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour. Join the Montreal comedians every other week for deep and spontaneous conversations featuring renowned artists and and up-and-coming creators.
50 Episodes
Tranna and Thomas welcome none other than Saturday Night Live cast member Bowen Yang for a wide-ranging conversation! Now in his third season as a player on the show, Bowen has already made comedy history by being the first Chinese-American and only current gay man in the cast. Bowen is also the co-host (with BFF Matt Rogers) of the wildly popular podcast Las Culturistas, now produced by Will Ferrell. Thomas was delighted to learn about Bowen’s francophone childhood in Canada—yes! Bowen was a resident of Brossard, Québec for seven years! He also shares his views on representation in comedy, his leap of faith from being a pre-med student to the world of alternative sketch comedy, and queering Saturday Night Live! Obsessed as ever, Tranna and Thomas wrap up the episode geeking out over musician-comedienne Eve Parker Finley and the original lifestyle queen, Martha Stewart!
It's another Pride spent apart in the midst of a global pandemic, but maybe this is the chance we need to re-evaluate what Pride means. This week Thomas and Tranna welcome Syrus Marcus Ware and Rodney Diverlus, brilliant artists, activists, and co-editors (alongside Sandy Hudson) of Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada. In a riveting and uplifting conversation, we talk about the intersection between art and activism, the corporatization of Pride, and making revolution irresistible. Plus on Obsessions, Thomas talks the joy of driving to his favourite playlist and Tranna shares her love for Wendy Williams.
Chosen Family goes pop as Tranna and Thomas welcome comedian and judge from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under, Rhys Nicholson. Rhys gives us the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes, the best advice he received from Ru, and how he uses comedy to make important statements on queer rights. Plus a very special edition of Obsessions with guest Tom Capelonga, curator of @TheChristoperStreetReader on Instagram, who walks us through some of the most iconic moments in queer pop culture history. It might just be our gayest episode yet!
Thomas and Tranna discuss the idea of being unremarkable and what it would be like to move through the world if there wasn’t so much pressure on trans and gender non-conforming folks to disclose and explain their identity. Who better to join the exchange than Sam Feder, the brilliant director of the groundbreaking Netflix documentary, Disclosure. Celebrating the film’s first year anniversary, the conversation with Sam takes a look at how Hollywood is changing and how decades of negative, dehumanizing representation in film and television has affected the trans community. Thomas connects with artist, author, director and overall superstar Chella Man, to talk about representation in social media. Plus, Tranna shares a totally off-brand obsession that may leave you questioning her taste level.
Mother’s day has Thomas a little triggered as he talks to Tranna about the complex relationship he shares with his mom. It’s the perfect opportunity for these two to talk to award-winning writer, andrea bennett, whose brilliant collection of essays, Like a Boy but Not a Boy, examines and redefines parenthood from a non-binary perspective. Also on the show is the delightfully fabulous Richie Shazam, co-host of the new OutTV series, Shine True, a makeover that centres trans and non-binary folks—who doesn’t love a good a glow up?
It’s a dream-come-true moment for Thomas and Tranna as they welcome rockstar, writer, producer, and queer icon Linda Perry! From mega success in the 90s, fronting the band 4 Non Blondes, to writing and producing some of the biggest hits of the early 00s for Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Pink, Perry is back behind the mic for the first time in 15 years with her new song, “The Letter.” For Thomas and Tranna, talking to Perry is an opportunity to learn the stories behind the music that shaped them as teens and what it was like to be a queer artist in the 90s, a time when being gay could end your career. Plus it’s a very special “Obsessions,” as T and T are joined by Sean Ross and Derek Aubichon from the brilliant podcast, Miss Thing!
Tranna shares the discovery of an old VHS tape of her 6th grade ski trip, which allows her to reconnect with her 12 year old self. The theme of reconnecting with our inner child continues in conversation with photographer and writer, Samra Habib, winner of Canada Reads 2020 for the brilliant We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir. Thomas has a lovely fanboy moment when he gets the chance to speak with Omari Douglas, one of the dazzling stars of the smash hit show It’s A Sin. Plus: Thomas and Tranna are obsessed with Jessie Ware and Clubhouse, the new social media app. This one is a bit of a tear jerker, so make sure to have those tissues handy!
It’s an extra special episode of Chosen Family, as Thomas and Tranna welcome dance music legend Róisín Murphy, who’s celebrating 25 years in music! This episode is a love letter to nightlife and the dream of being reunited on the dance floor once again. Plus: surprise guest Crystal from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK S1, and T&T share their obsession with Gay Bar by Jeremy Atherton Lin and Madonna’s MDNA Tour.
Thomas and Tranna share and examine the reasons why they feel so creatively blocked as they address “the pandemic wall” everyone seems to be hitting. Polaris prize-winning rapper and producer, Backxwash, joins the two to talk about growing up queer in Zambia, being a DIY artist, vulnerability, and tokenization in the entertainment industry. Plus: Thomas and Tranna find inspiration and solace in two nostalgic TV shows: “PEN15” and “It’s A Sin.”
Thomas and Tranna kick off an all-new season in a world that feels turned upside down. Who better to turn to for advice on navigating these difficult days than superstar astrologer, Jessica Lanyadoo, who takes Chosen Family into the stratosphere with a deep dive on all things astrology. Plus T and T share their current obsessions: Kama La Mackerel’s debut poetry collection, Zom-Fam, and Backxwash’s breakthrough album, God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It.
Season three of Chosen Family kicks off on February 11th with superstar astrologer, Jessica Lanyadoo! Make sure to follow Chosen Family on Instagram @chosenfamilyshow!
In the final episode of Season 2, Tranna and Thomas share an update on where they’re at in the middle of the pandemic. Thomas calls up writer-activist Sarah Schulman to talk about the parallels between COVID-19 and the AIDS crisis. Then, the hosts talk to Rufus Wainwright about bathrobes, his new album Unfollow The Rules, and his trajectory from wild child to dedicated father and husband. Plus, Thomas yearns for the day he can sing along to “Dancing On My Own” in public again while Tranna goes back to her ultimate obsession: Alanis Morrisette.
Thomas and Tranna share what life has been like for them during the coronavirus pandemic... with Thomas making a surprising confession. Then gay porn actor and writer Ty Mitchell joins the two to talk about sex work in the gig economy and the nuances of male sexuality on screen. Plus: Thomas and Tranna manage to find an obsession during the time of covid 19: the Netflix series “Feel Good” + author Jenny Odell’s “How To Do Nothing.”
Thomas and Tranna wonder if being raised by single parents has influenced their relationship choices and also ask whether “monogamous privilege” is a thing. Then, Bob the Drag Queen joins the two for a chat about all things Drag Race, their new comedy special and… purses. Plus, obsessions: Jessica Simpson’s memoir and David Byrne’s American Utopia.
In this special episode, Tranna and Thomas welcome progressive rabbi Lisa Grushcow for a candid conversation about faith and its surprising connections to her personal story (lesbian, divorced, mother of three). They also talk about Judaism’s takes on sex and gender (polyamory and being trans), pop culture morality in a time of great chaos (Harry Potter + jedis!) and how spirituality and technology can co-exist harmoniously. Tranna also engages Rabbi Grushcow on her side-hustle: romantic matchmaking. Plus, Thomas and Tranna’s latest Obsessions: Madame X and Love Is Blind.
Thomas and Tranna share their biggest fears, among them: driving, posting a shirtless photo on instagram, and discovering that they are normal. Then, Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott talks about her book A Mind Spread Out on the Ground — a collection of essays that looks at depression, intergenerational trauma, and the lingering effects of colonialism in Canada. Plus, Thomas & Tranna’s latest Obsessions: J-Lo’s second album and the 7-hour Broadway play The Inheritance.
Tranna tells Thomas about breaking her year of celibacy, after a foray into dating apps (for trans people—it's complicated). Then, singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate, aka Béatrice Martin, join the two to chat about revenge songs, being a judge on a singing show Quebec's The Voice (La Voix), and coming out publicly as pansexual after the Orlando nightclub shooting. Plus, T&T’s latest Obsessions: Euphoria and a special episode of 90 Day Fiancé.
As a new year’s resolution, Thomas & Tranna want to talk to people who might not share their exact world view. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis, no stranger to controversy, joins the two for a feature chat about his provocative work, Millennials, and gay political correctness. Then, T&T share their first Obsessions of 2020: Bombshell and… Cats. You could now find an expanded version of T&T's Obsessions for every episode on Xtra! Read this week's here:
Recorded live at the RIDM documentary film festival in Montreal, Tranna & Thomas talk to Italian ex-supermodel Benedetta Barzini and her son, director Beniamino Barrese. Their film "The Disappearance of My Mother" looks at Benedetta’s revolt against the culture of image-making and her strong desire to fade away from view.
Tranna and Thomas recap the Celine Dion concert they attended together and look at the singer’s renaissance, the generational divide among her fans, and... her hair. Then the two are joined by multi-instrumentalist and composer Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy) to talk about utopian futures, the problems with fandom, and mental health struggles during the creative process. Plus: T&T's new Obsessions take us to 80s decadence and some horny places.
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