In our second season, we bring you a high-seas adventure full of surprises as we uncover the queer & women’s history of 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.
Collaborating with experts in the field, we take a deep dive into the stories you don’t hear in the mainstream, exploring why they have been erased for hundreds of years.
We could not have told this story alone!
Pirate Shanty Writer
A special thank you to our season 2 Shanty writer!
Joshua Nelson (he|she|they) is an artist, musician, performer, producer and maker based in Cleveland. For years, he has played music in numerous bands, including currently playing bass in a heavy melodic rock band, The Firmary. She has a deep connection to pirate music, as for nearly a decade while living in Los Angeles, they sang lead and played mandolin & harmonica in L.A.’s premiere pirate band, Rillian and the Doxie Chicks, who notably played the red carpet premieres for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movies at Disneyland. Also while living in L.A., for over 4 years they performed in the title role of Rainbow Carnage‘s shadowcast production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as well as performing in numerous drag shows as Janus Beast in the greater L.A. area.
In addition, Joshua is an LGBTQIA+ advocate and activist, and serves on the board of Geauga SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) Support Group, the first in rural Geauga County.
Aside from the information provided to us by our guests, we used the following resources.