Here and Queer with the 2021 Pride Panel | #104

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, photos of Shohreh, Melody, Ilya, and James arranged in a circle frame, and the words, "Here and Queer with the 2021 Pride Panel Episode #104"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

For the final episode of Pridepalooza, say hello to the long-awaited second annual Pride Panel episode! I both moderate and participate in this magical panel discussion alongside past guests Ilya Parker (the founder of Decolonizing Fitness), Melody Li (the founder of the Inclusive Therapists directory), and James Rose (actor and agent of chaos). After a rousing lightning round of questions just for fun, the four of us spill the tea on queer signaling, the role of labels, mental health in the queer community, and much more.

We discussed:

  • Who we would choose if we got to form a queer music group and the role we would play in our groups.
  • Things that aren’t actually gay but feel like they are.
  • What classic romcoms or movies should be redone as queer love stories.
  • Our go-to ways to queer signal in public and what affects how and where a person might queer signal.
  • The over-sexualization of queer folks.
  • The labels we use and the role of labels in the queer community at large.
  • What queer folks need in order for their mental health to thrive.
  • The possibility of living in a society where queerness is no longer a marginalized identity.
  • What queerness is to Ilya, Melody, and James.

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

 Your 2021 Pride Panel consists of returning guests Ilya Parker, Melody Li, and James Rose, as well as the host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast, Shohreh Davoodi.

Side-by-side headshots of Ilya, Melody, James, and Shohreh in colorful circular. frames

Ilya Parker (he/they) is a Physical Therapist Assistant and ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist. He is also a grassroots organizer and educator whose work centers gender, racial, and healing justice. Ilya decided to merge their love for restorative-based movement practices and community advocacy to create Decolonizing Fitness, LLC, which is a social justice platform that provides affirming fitness services, community education, and apparel in support of body diversity. You can find Ilya on their Instagram and website.

Tip IlyaPaypal | Venmo – @decolonizing_fitness

Melody Li (佢/ any) is a colony-born migrant and settler on Turtle Island embodying a number of structural privileges. They are a queer therapist of Color, mental health liberation activist, speaker, and a troublemaker for good. They founded Inclusive Therapists: a social justice-oriented mental health directory and community that celebrates and centers marginalized communities (especially the BIPOC X LGBTQIA2S+ intersection). Melody offers collective care and education focusing on decolonizing mental health and healing racialized trauma. Their passions include cooking, powerlifting, and cuddling pugs. You can find Melody on her website and Instagram and keep up with Inclusive Therapists on the organization’s website and Instagram.

Tip Melody: Melody has asked that all tips for them be distributed to Ilya instead

James Rose (they/them) never actually came out. Sure, they spent plenty of nights coming out of men’s New York apartments at all hours of the night, but that’s another story. They didn’t come out as genderfluid either, rather they came into themselves in a gold ballgown in the back fitting room of the Herald Square Macy’s and decided to share their gender with anyone willing to listen. James writes about identity, sex, liberation, their feelings, & their exes on Instagram to the point where you’d think they have queerness figured out by now, but really all they’ve figured out is how to love themselves a little deeper every day. Perhaps that’s actually the same thing. You can find James on their Instagram and TikTok.

Tip James: Venmo – @jamesissmiling | Paypal – @jamesismiling (all tips will be redistributed to mutual aid)

Shohreh Davoodi (she/her) was the host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast during the show’s three-year run. Currently, Shohreh is focusing her attention on being a writer and creator. You can keep up with Shohreh by subscribing to her newsletter, The Queer Agenda, and following her on Instagram and TikTok.

Tip Shohreh: Venmo – @shohrehdavoodi | Paypal –

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The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.