Sometimes you’re in your own country, your own home, and you know in your bones you don’t belong. That feeling pushes you to change something. This week we bring you four stories of people who don’t quite belong in the world where they live, and who take matters in their own hands to construct their own belonging. A very young girl finds a sense of belonging while running away from an angry mob. A student creates a bridge between the Jewish and Irish sides of her family. Seven gender-defying divas share what it means to belong to yourself. And a young man discovers how to prove you belong, when the numbers are against you.


Host: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Producers: Will Rogers and Natacha Ruck

Featuring: Justine Beed, Carla Lewis, Eileen Williams, Josh Hoyt, Winona Azure, Raya Light, Macy Rodman, Peaches Christ, Alexis Blair Penney, Heklina, Sissy Spastik, Mathu Andersen, and Cher Noble.

Release Date: 3 June 2014

Music used during transitions: Welcome Wizard, Monk Turner, Johnny Ripper, Zachary Cale, Mighty Moon, & Ethan Schmid, Blue Ducks

image via flickr



Story 1: Owning It

Carla Lewis grew up in the baptist south, feeling very much like an outsider. As a child, Carla knew she didn’t believe in God, but she still believed in something bigger than herself and the world she grew up in. This is the story of the day she shared her beliefs with her classmates, and how violently they reacted. Carla reflects on this event in her life with wisdom and grace and she shows how to achieve a sense of belonging from within.


Producer: Justine Beed

Featuring: Carla Lewis

Music and sounds: Kids Laughing, Books Hitting Floor, Pages Flipping, Church Bells, Transition Piano, Backflip Woosh, Synth Music, Retimbrage, Noah’s Stark  by krackatoa (build-up Soundtrack), Water Splash 1, Water Splash 2, Organ, Kids YellingAmbient drone, Chimes, Breeze, Sounds of Me by Malt. Tabulated Sounds, (Rough) sketch for Autumn by Freiband (running soundtrack), Bought an old twelve string anno 2009 by BeatMeister (main soundtrack), Fire burning, Wild horses running, Kids yelling, Mob yelling, Throwing books

Image courtesy of Carla Lewis


Story 2: In on the Joke

In this story, we’ll travel from broom closets to carousels and witness a public arrest and the destruction of an expensive Lexus. Associate Producer Eileen Williams explores how these shenanigans come to pass–and how they helped her to belong.


Producer/Featuring: Eileen Williams

Links: Ligandal

Music: Podington Bear, Jaze Baqti, Sláinte, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Kevin MacLeod, Zoe Leela, Markus Strübbe

Image via flickr



Story 3: Beyond the Rainbow

What is the trajectory from misfit to show-stopper, fringe to the spotlight, boy to beautiful woman or creature? Is drag the sparkling manifestation of an less-pretty past, the alchemy of the alienated? Brittany Newell has sought to record the oral history of 7 dazzling American queens and gender-artists working today. This is a tale of the other, the queer, the blunt, and the brave. Their stories investigate how to belong against the grain and beyond the rainbow.


Narrator: Raya Light

Producer: Brittany Newell

Featuring: Macy Rodman, Peaches Christ, Alexis Blair Penney, Heklina, Sissy Spastik, Mathu Andersen, & Cher Noble.

Special thanks: to all the beautiful people and amazing artists who made this possible! The Braden Grant for the Study of Oral Narrative, the Stanford Storytelling Project, Ziva Schatz, and Eric Eich

Image via Ziva Schatz (of drag queen Alaska Thunderf*ck)



Story 4: Blood Quantum

How do you prove you belong when the numbers are against you? Producer for State of the Human Joshua Hoyt Investigates what makes him a true Native American, beyond blood culture, family and language. He discovers that belonging sometimes means to long, and to be.

Producer: Joshua Hoyt

Featuring: Winona Azure

Music: Bensound (Better Days, Funky Suspense), Podington Bear,Vavrek, The Architect, and Jahzza