Sweetbitter is an investigative history podcast with a focus on queer & women’s history. Each season, we explore a different corner of history, using literary works or historical figures as a starting point to discuss a broader story of erasure of people with marginalized identities.
In our first season, we delved into the truth and controversy of Sappho — her life on the Isle of Lesbos, homosexuality in ancient Greece, and her legacy today.
In our second season, we bring you a high-seas adventure full of surprises as we uncover the history of women and queer pirates. Gay love and even marriage were more common in the 17th-century world of pirates than we might expect, and history is full of cross-dressing, swashbuckling pirates who broke gender norms and created their own queer culture. Even Johnny Depp, in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, intentionally played Captain Jack Sparrow as a gay man. We explore the stories behind these radical rebels and discuss why these stories have been erased for hundreds of years.
Our third season will cover the Bible, and Christianity more broadly, through the lenses of feminism and queer liberation theory. Christian religious institutions have victimized and traumatized queer people and women for thousands of years, but these crimes have been justified not from the text of the Bible itself, but rather from a misogynistic, patriarchal interpretation and translation of the text. We’ll unsettle assumptions about this ancient and highly controversial text by interviewing LGBTQIA clergy, theological experts, and practicing Christians. We’ll get their take on the so-called “clobber” passages outlawing homosexuality as well as on queer Biblical love stories like David and Jonathan, Naomi and Ruth, and the Roman centurion and his partner. We’ll hear from queer Christians about what their faith means to them, and how Christianity is inherently linked to social justice. In the second half of the season, we’ll discuss the women Biblical heroes you’ve never heard of: the matriarchs, prophets, warriors, saints, and queens whose stories will change the way you see Christianity forever.
We collaborate with experts to bring these stories to a modern audience. Along with the listener, we try to untangle stories tainted by years of homophobia, colonization, and patriarchy erasing and rewriting history.
We’ve been featured on Apple Podcast’s banner and New & Noteworthy homepage, Stitcher’s Women in Pop Culture and PocketCast’s Remarkable Women and have had the opportunity to guest on some of our favorite podcasts.