“Hi, and welcome to Coastie Stories!” – The Amplification of Queer Experiences on the Central Coast

At long last, my project with Naughty Noodle Fun Haus has finally come to fruition in the form of a podcast. The recording of queer oral histories in the Central Coast fills an obvious gap in queer history outside of Sydney in regional and remote areas.

The podcast, aptly titled Coastie Stories follows the journey of five members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and how they have lived and loved on the Central Coast. And that’s just the beginning! Naughty Noodle and I discussed many different ideas for the project, from YouTube video interviews to a written, essay-style record of queer history on the Central Coast. The personality and subjectivity of an oral interview appealed to us because of the emotive and accessible elements. Growing up queer on the Coast is not always a happy experience, and so we wanted our guests to have the opportunity to tell it from their perspective; hardships and all.

The project was born from the desire for promotion for the upcoming Coastal Twist festival of January 2022, and will be available soon on all streaming platforms. A bitesize version will also be aired on ABC radio – how exciting! The five stories I’ve had the pleasure of documenting speak glowingly about Naughty Noodle, and will hopefully encourage listeners, whether queer or ally, to come and participate in the magic. The podcast will continue beyond the festival, featuring more guests and of continued use for the organisation in promotion, exposure and historical documentation.

Myself, Min and Glitta on the Coastal Twist instagram page promoting the event.

The questions asked of my guests are loosely based on a set list, created by myself and Glitta Supernova:

  1. Where did you grow up?  If not on the coast, how long have you been here?
  2. Why are you here?
  3. What is it like being LGBTQIA+ on the Coast? Are you out? If so, what was it like coming out? If not, why haven’t you come out?
  4. What changes or progress have you seen in the community?
  5. Have you got a bad experience story?
  6. Have you got a positive experience story?
  7. What needs to change for LGBTIQ youth so they feel they can create, love, and celebrate at home?
  8. Is there a standout iconic story from the LGBTIQA history on the Coast?
  9. What has been your journey to self-acceptance? 

We wanted the questions to be broadly applicable and still allow for self expression, customisation, and more often than not, a charming anecdote or two. We have found that these questions, whilst broad by nature, allow the guests to open up and often divulge incredibly personal and moving stories about their journey as a queer person. The conversation often turns to the youth of today, and connects well with the Naughty Noodle purpose of education, celebration and representation.

I hope that, if anything, the podcast reaches someone who feels they have been represented in mainstream media, and encourages them to be brave enough to accept, and love, who they are. Creating the podcast has been very challenging, mostly due to my lack of editing expertise, but also a rewarding and enjoyable experience. From my study, I had the privilege to help create something that will hopefully have a lasting impact on the Central Coast community.

My podcast recording set-up.

Coastie Stories presents a message of hope to local listeners and beyond; being a queer person is a tumultuous journey, but you will find your way. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can listen here.

Project Links:

Bitesize Podcast Episodes

Full Length Podcast Episodes

Change is coming, and they’re dressed in glitter: The transformation of queer and marginalised spaces in the Central Coast

The Central Coast: a safe haven with beautiful beaches and a tight-knit community. But what happens when that tight-knit community is faced with change as spaces are made for queer and marginalised communities? Who will guide them through the difficult dialogue and education?

Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast

Historically, the Central Coast hasn’t been the most welcoming of hosts to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups, as it seems that the progressive streak NSW has been on begins and ends with Sydney. Like a party everyone is invited to, but only a select few know the location… and the rest are left with a party-less night, drinking wine on the couch, and wondering what they should have said or done to get an actual invite.

This is where Naughty Noodle Fun Haus comes in; a progressive charitable organisation that strives for equality, inclusivity, and the free expression of personhood. Their party has invitations extended to absolutely everyone, with the address printed in large, glittery letters and the doors thrown open to passers-by who might be interested in a fun night. Naughty Noodle entered the stage in 2018 and has been trailblazing ever since up and down the Central Coast hosting a range of events including drag, performance art, cabaret, burlesque and comedy.

Naughty Noodle HQ in Ettalong Beach

This is how they called to me; beckoning me in and inviting me to their party to celebrate differences and diversify the representation of life on the Central Coast. To come in and soak in the multi arts representation and engage in meaningful discourse with community members. Of course, this is only the sense I got from their website and social media due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to work with this organisation.

Naughty Noodle really do host parties, festivals, and shows, showcasing local and national talent. They bring in tourism through their famously lively and colourful events whilst also engaging with the needs of the community and encouraging growth, transformation, and conversation.

So, the party continues, with rooms upon rooms of events and showcases. The Coastal Twist Festival, Clambake, Words on the Waves, and plenty more to come. Glitta Supernova, performer, co-founder of Coastal Twist and creative director of Naughty Noodle spoke to the Newcastle Herald and describes the organisation as “a registered charity, an arts and culture organisation meeting the need for visible world-class fringe and counterculture activations.” I couldn’t have phrased it better; this organisation appeals so much to me because it fills a gap in Central Coast culture, a gap that is missing the colour and power of queer and marginalised communities. Naughty Noodle also works with schools, creating educational workshops and clubs for curious, questioning, or artistic youth. As a preservice teacher this is exactly the kind of involvement I’d like to see in my community; adequate care and attention given to the education of young people.

Glitta Supernova before one of her world famous burlesque performances

Since I am new to the area, it’s reassuring to see a mostly positive reception for this organisation, and I’m delighted to have received an invitation to the party, and of course, you’ve got one too. My work with them will hopefully create an even bigger party and amplify the voices of those that have been, until now, drowned out by the sounds of others. The shape this project will take is the recording of oral histories.

Naughty Noodle has continued to open its doors to a nationwide party, and you’re invited. Let the party begin!