Now for the news. We won! We won the Ambie. I have so many things I want to say and share about the experience. This is a totally unscripted episode. Now, I do have points of course because I’m a Virgo and there really isn’t any other way but I’m talking from my heart to yours. Let’s go.

00:00 – Welcome & Intro

2:03 – Black HIV in the South: How Did We Get Here? Trailer

2:33 – Lost & Found for Podcasters Trailer

3:13 – Intro Music by Aina Bre’Yon

3:54 – Anna shares her experience at The Ambies

25:35 – Listen to Anna’s acceptance speech

26:54 – Outro

Things for you to check out

Watch Anna’s Acceptance Speech

Watch the 2023 Ambies – Awards for Excellence in Audio

Exclusive Pics from The Ambies

From left to right: Ambies winning envelope. Anna in post win media interviews. Anna pictured with Jay Ray & Sir Daniel of the Ambie nominated Queue Points podcast & Producer Krystal of the Black Love Podcast Network. Anna in the middle of Karega and Felicia of the Ambie nominated Sol Affirmations podcast on the Black Love Podcast Network. Anna on the red carpet of the Ambies ceremony.

Picture credits to Anna DeShawn and The Podcast Academy

Listen to Dates  and Mates

Listen to Queue Points

Listen to SOL Affirmations with Karega & Felicia

Listen to Allyship is a Verb

Our First Qube Original – Black HIV in the South: How Did We Get Here?

Join the QCrew

Listen to More Queer News

The Blog Post

Anna DeShawn is an award-winning podcast producer, host and activist who is making waves in the podcasting world with her hit podcast, Queer News. On Tuesday, March 7th, 2023, her hard work and dedication were recognized when she was awarded an Ambie award for her show in the new DIY category.

The Ambies are the most prestigious awards in the podcasting industry, and winning one is a major accomplishment for any podcaster. But for Anna, it was especially meaningful. The DIY category celebrates creators who take matters into their own hands and create content that reflects their unique perspectives and voices. And that’s exactly what Anna has been doing with Queer News.

Queer News is a podcast that provides a platform for LGBTQ+ voices and stories to be heard. Anna tackles topics ranging from politics to pop culture with a unique and refreshing perspective. She brings a level of insight and understanding to these issues that is often missing in mainstream media. And that’s what makes her podcast so special.

In winning the Ambie award for Queer News in the DIY category, Anna has shown that there is a hunger for content that represents the diverse voices and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. She has demonstrated that podcasting is a medium that can be used to give those voices a platform.

Anna’s win at the Ambies is about more than just her podcast. It’s about the Indie podcast movement as a whole. The movement is all about encouraging individuals to take matters into their own hands and create content that reflects their unique perspectives. That’s exactly what Anna has done with Queer News.

In many ways, Anna is the perfect embodiment of the Indie movement. She is a self-starter who has taken her passion for podcasting and turned it into a successful show that is making a real impact in the world. She is inspiring others to do the same.

Anna’s win at the Ambies is also a reminder that there is a hunger for content that represents diverse voices and perspectives. The podcasting industry has been dominated by white, male voices for too long but that is starting to change. More and more people are turning to podcasts to hear stories and perspectives that they can’t find in mainstream media.

The success of Queer News and Anna’s win at the Ambies is a testament to the power of podcasting to give a voice to the underrepresented and to spark important conversations about issues that matter. It’s a reminder that the Indie movement is not just about creating content, it’s about creating change.

Anna DeShawn’s win at the Ambies for her podcast Queer News in the DIY category is a significant achievement that highlights the power of podcasting and the importance of diverse voices in media. Anna’s podcast is making a real impact in the world, and her win is a testament to her dedication, hard work, and passion for creating content that represents the LGBTQ+ community. Congratulations to Anna on her well-deserved win, and here’s to the continued success of Queer News and the Indie movement as a whole.


Family, it’s your favorite queer radio personality Anna DeShawn with our queer news for today. Now, I want to make you a promise. We will continue to bring you the latest in queer news, culture, and politics every Monday by 7am CT. So, if you are digging our intersectional take on the weekly, consider joining the QCrew.

The QCrew is our monthly membership program we started to help us grow the podcast. You get weekly emails from me, exclusive interviews with LGBTQ influencers from across the country and beginning this year special behind the scenes footage too. With your support, we can bring you more stories celebrating our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & comrade communities. Click the link in the show notes to join the QCrew today. 

Family, we really won. We really won an [00:04:00] Ambie. Now for y’all that don’t, The Amies are put on by the Podcast Academy. Okay. And the Podcast Academy is the preeminent professional podcast organization. So similar to how the Oscars work, right? There’s the academy. Yeah. So the podcast Academy is the Academy for Podcasting and the Ambies coined themselves as the awards for excellence in audio. All right. The goal is to elevate awareness and status of podcasts as a unique and personal medium for entertainment, information, storytelling, and expression. All right. They are coining also themselves to be the Oscars of podcasting. This is basically, as it stands today, the highest honor you could receive in podcasting is to win an Ambie, quote unquote.

Okay, and we got it, what [00:05:00] won an, Ambie, I still can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I lived it, y’all. I lived it. I was there. Okay, . And in this episode, I really wanna talk from my heart. I have so many emotions just about everything, and I wanna take y’all on the journey with me a bit. I don’t want to hold you long at all, but I definitely wanna share this moment in this episode and dedicate this time to saying thank you and acknowledging my gratitude to all of you for listening and telling friends to listen.

And being such a loyal audience, your listenership proves that queer news does matter. And I spoke in my speech, which we’re gonna play at the end of the podcast because I really want y’all to hear it. So many people came up to me after I won and told me how much that speech meant to them. I mean so many people, [00:06:00] and I wanna share it with y’all.

I shared it on social, but it’s so important for me to share it on this feed too, because it really did speak to why I do this every single week, right? And why it’s important to me. So basically I landed in Vegas on Tuesday. Okay. I will sleep on a flight , and I love a good red eye. They’re always on time.

It’s the cheapest price, and they are always on time. I do not mind getting up early. So I have my red eye flew to Vegas. Lost two hours, which is always really nice when you’re going, sucks when you come back home. But landed in Vegas. Took time to myself just to sort of center, you know, be in a place of gratitude cuz y’all here’s the thing.

I didn’t have winning Ambie on my list of goals. This is just part of the journey, you know what I mean? So to be present in that moment, I knew I just had to [00:07:00] ground myself. So I did. I stayed in my room, I grabbed some food. I stayed in my room and waited for the moment and they had a red carpet, y’all

There was a red carpet and that was like this whole area, this whole press room for nominees. And when I walked down to the red carpet rocking my green jacket and The Qube logo had to represent, the first person I saw was Damona Hoffman and her producer Lindsay Damona is one of the very best, do you understand, period.

Uh, she’s the host of the Dates & Mates podcast, and I’m almost certain she won Podcast of the Year last from the Black Podcasting Awards, she’s also a contributor on the Drew Barrymore show. Yeah, she’s got her own segment called Ask Damona. Okay. She is the business, and so for her to be the first person I saw was just so warm, and for her to tell me [00:08:00] that she’s proud of me really does mean a whole hell of a lot to me.

And so we walk into the room together and there is a red carpet. There are steps and repeats. There are people with cameras, and it’s a moment. It’s a moment, right? It’s my first red carpet and then I see my family. I see Jay Ray and Sir Daniel of the Queue Points podcast, who were also Ambie nominated, okay.

In the entertainment category. So they dropped the needle on black music history. And if y’all not tuned in to the Queue points podcast, just fix it. Okay? Don’t worry. I got links in the show notes. You can fix it. It’s so good. It’s such a wonderful podcast. And I see them and we just give each other the biggest hugs because we are in this moment.

Not backed by any major media outlet or distributor, we are in this moment because we made this moment happen for us. [00:09:00] Do you feel me? We made this moment happen for us and we are in this space and enjoying this red carpet experience. Okay.

Then more family walks in from the Black Love Podcast network producer, Krystal Felicia, Karega, and Codie. They too were nominated for their podcast, Sol Affirmations. Now, SolAffirmations is just a special, special podcast. Um, Karega and Felicia became angel parents to their daughter in 2019. And so the podcast actually serves as a healing space through various forms of grief, with a reminder that grief is love.

It is just love after a loss. Yeah. So if you ain’t tapped into Sol Affirmations just tap into that. Okay? And if you’re not tapped into the Black Love Podcast Network, just go ahead and tap yourself. Okay. I’m [00:10:00] just saying, and I owe also much to Krystal. I can’t let this moment pass by without giving so much gratitude to Krystal.

Yeah. I’m, I’m a tears falling. I feel like more tears are gonna fall as I record this episode because when you’re on this journey? There’s just so much you have to figure out as you go. You know, sometimes we stop ourselves from getting started and you can’t. You just literally just have to start. You can do all the research in the world, but when it gets down to it, the brass tax is that there is so much you will figure out along the way.

Things are gonna come up and you’re just gonna have to figure it out. And what makes me incredibly blessed is that I’ve been able to tap into community. That is said, you don’t have to do it. You don’t have to figure it out on your own and Krystal. Krystal is the resource. Do you understand? So when I was [00:11:00] applying for the Ambies, I said, okay, I’m gonna apply.

And it was really beautiful. So the Ambies actually had sponsored nominations. They were sponsored through Spotify, the one that I received. And so you could apply. And then you received a credit for one free nomination. And so when I went to go fill out the information, after I received this scholarship for the nomination, I was like, which category should I apply for?

Right? Because queer news, it could fit into the indie category. It could also fit into the news category. Where we have the best opportunity to be seen to make it, to be a nominee and potentially win, like what category is best. And so I reached out to Krystal and was like, yo homie, which category should I do?

I just said, oh no, and let me tell y’all something . She is always so real funny. She was like, nah, don’t do that. Indy category G . [00:12:00] You’re still competing against people like her in the Black Love Network and other networks that are much larger than what I’m doing today. And she was like, you know, they got this new category called DIY.

She was like, you should probably do the D I Y category. And I was like, okay. Done. Done. And this DIY category is new. And let me just say the name is not the name. Okay. The name is not hitting at all. We do not just do it ourselves. , it’s like a DIY project. It was like arts and crafts, you know what I’m saying?

But I do think the podcast Academy had their heart in the right place because the criteria was that it had to be a podcast that spends less than $3,000 in episode, less than $3,000 in episode, and we had to submit a budget to accompany our nomination that outlined how much we spent per episode. Okay. To just prove there was nothing [00:13:00] else that we needed to show.

We just had to do a budget. Let us be clear, I, I think we produced probably 150 episodes last year. If we did spend $3,000 in episode, Uhhuh, , keep adding up the numbers with me. Right. It’s at least $150,000. You know what I’m saying? On just the episodes. That’s not paying me, paying our editor sound designer.

It’s not paying for the marketing associated with the podcast. It’s not paying for website. Do you hear what I’m saying here? So the threshold in my mind is pretty high. $3,000 an episode was the threshold. But I think that also provides a lot of context for how much folks in the. Industry are spending to produce a podcast, and I’m just going let that sit right there.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but there is a huge gap in between what an iHeart, a Wondery an Audible can spend and what [00:14:00] an indie or someone like me who applied for the D I Y category can spend it’s two different worlds, and so I owe so much of this win to Krystal and I wanted to make sure I gave her her flowers on this episode.

Because it is this type of community that is so necessary, these types of relationships that are so necessary for our success and however you define success. But what I know for sure is community and relationships are very necessary, and I’ve been able to build some of the most authentic and life-giving relationships in just my short time here in the podcasting land professionally.

And I am so grateful. So Krystal, I thank you. I thank you my friend. And then I got to meet other amazing folks like Chris Angel of the [00:15:00] Allyship is a Verb podcast, right? We met virtually, but never in person. This pod welcomes LGBTQ plus community folks to talk about their lived experiences and drop an allyship tip.

Most folks wanna be better, but don’t know where to start. And so Chris’s podcast helps with. And we got to spend time and talk and be all awkward together, you know, these moments can be very awkward. You’re in a room full of folks who are absolutely brilliant at what they’re doing. They are here because they’re brilliant at what they’re creating.

And we’re supposed to say, hi . You know, it can just be a little awkward. And so we got to spend time together and then also got to meet Mo. Didn’t know Mo before I got to meet Mo and her partner who produces for Pushkin Industries. Mo does. And they actually won for Best Wellness or Relationships podcast for Come As You Are.

So it was dope to meet Mo and then to see Mo win. It was just a really [00:16:00] beautiful experience. And then, It was time for the ceremony to actually start, and so we leave the red carpet experience. All this is happening at the Westgate Hotel, and so we’re walking through the casino into the ceremony and y’all, this theater.

Okay. I’m walking in and I’m just like, oh, we serious, we serious up in here about podcasting. Okay, we got three big screens, the production, the cameras, the everything, y’all. I was like, oh, this serious. And it was, I found me a spot sort of near the front. Ended up talking with fellow nominees and meeting them and chatting it up, cuz I guess that’s what you do when you ain’t got nothing else to do while you’re sitting and waiting. And you’re excited and you’re thrilled to be surrounded by other people who are passionate about audio right and passionate about podcasting. The vibes were [00:17:00] so good. Everything was in order, things were timely and this was a live broadcast. It was streamed. On Amazon’s Twitch channel, which I should just check out at some point and just probably watch it again myself, as a viewer, and also just see how many views it’s got I’m interested. And so when you’re doing live television, it has to be on point, so I want to give mad kudos to the entire Ambie production team because it was on point. So many things can go wrong in a live production, and this right here was flawless. Now, I’m sure some things didn’t go well. Somewhere else, and I’m sure they will work all that out, but from where I was sitting, it was a flawless production.

And then the DIY podcast category came up on the screen and it is the moment, and I am sitting there just completely really calm and balanced. Because honestly, at this point, and even before this, I’m very clear that the nomination was enough. [00:18:00] I was updating my profiles and we’re updating everything to say Ambie nominated no matter what.

Like the honor had already happened, do you understand? The honor had already been cemented. I had no expectations. I’m in a category with people I really admire Stitch, please. Yo Lisa Podcast. If you are into stitching and that world, you need to be tapped into Stitch, please. Okay. Proud Stutter. You know what I’m saying?

Like I know these cats and I am honored to be in a category with them and all the others. You know, family, when they said the winner is queer news, I sat there for a minute. I did. I sat there and I took a deep breath because it was an unexpected moment. It is not something I planned it. This is an unexpected moment.[00:19:00] 

I get up my boys from Queue points are at the front. Get him a big high five. Like, yes, I can hear Krystal and the black love crew. You know what I’m. And then Maribel from BIPOC podcast creators. She actually videoed the video and to put it up on Twitter and she’s screaming, and I heard from others who said that they were screaming and excited for me, and I’m so grateful and I go up there.

I didn’t have a speech written , no, I didn’t have a speech written. I really truly spoke from my heart and they were very clear. This is what I mean about the production being. You had 30 seconds to make it from your seat to the stage, then you had 30 seconds to give a speech. Okay. And the timer for how much time you had?

It was the biggest timer I’ve ever seen in my life. It had to have been a 60 foot screen, and I totally went over time just by little bit, but they didn’t play the walk off music, so I think I was all [00:20:00] right. And then when I walked off, my wife calls me and I just, I lose it. The tears just fall. Overwhelmed with Joy, and I’m whispering because it’s a live show.

The show continues, and we’re waiting on the sidelines because they were gonna take us downstairs for the media portion of things. And I’m whispering like, Hey. Boo boo, ww won. And she’s whispering too. And I’m like, why you whispering? She said, cuz you’re whispering.

Oh. It was just pure joy. It was pure joy. And so then we. Through the Westgate Hotel, which by the way is the Barry Manilow Hotel. Okay. This is where he does all his performances. And so we are going downstairs and we’re basically in like Barry Manilow land down there and we walk through, there’s another fake trophy for us to hold and take pictures with and do interviews with.

And then I see my homie [00:21:00] Imran from great pods cuz he’s doing media and he gives me this like family. Yes. Um, oh, it’s a moment that I will not forget. It is a feeling. It’s a feeling I will not forget and lemme tell you why. Because if y’all have been on this journey with me for a minute, then you know, like I don’t win all the time.

There have been moments where I have lost and lost. And publicly lost big, you know? And you reflect back and you can say like, it wasn’t a loss. A lot of good things come out of it. Yes. But when you go into something like this, you do want to win. There’s a part of you that wants to win. You do. Anyone who tells you any different is lying.

Okay? , in this case, I was okay with just being nominated, but of course I would love to win, you know? And so to [00:22:00] actually win after knowing what real loss feels like. Whew. To God be the glory. That’s a feeling. I won’t forget.

Then my phone is blowing up text messages from my pod fam, from my friends feeling me with so much joy, like the excitement of it all, cuz they were. So finish these interviews. I go back up to the ceremony and then it’s the post ceremony, right? And so many people came up to me and showed me so much love.

So many people I’ve met virtually never met in person. So many hugs. Oh, y’all, mm mm There was so much. And then it was like, where we partying at? Where to party at . So then ended up going to karaoke and singing and shutting that down. Then came back to the hotel. And celebrated with Sierra from [00:23:00] the Urban One Podcast Network and Devonte from Disctopia and Santi with his podcast, all Gas, no Breaks.

We had a ball. Do you understand? We get. Pizza and we celebrated y’all. I had so much tequila, , and then I knew with the Chicon app who was absolutely brilliant. She was walking by and then she joined us family. Mm. What a time, what an amazing time. And now we keep doing the work. You know, we update the profiles to say, and b award-winning podcast.

You know, we do that. We share the news on social media. We do that. We’ll share it in the newsletter. We’ll do that. And we keep the work going and we go harder. You know, this is the time. We don’t let up. [00:24:00] We don’t upper limit ourselves. We don’t stop. We figure out how we can keep improving, how we can continue to serve the people we’re serving.

How do we get better? This is what I’m thinking about right now. How do we make this podcast even better? How do we be of service to the LGBTQ community and especially my fam of color, my black and brown queer folks? How can this podcast be of service? I love us. I love us a lot. We are not perfect. We all make a lot of mistakes.

We all don’t get it right. I don’t get it right all the time, but I am absolutely committed to reporting the stories. That deserve and need to be heard so desperately. So I hope that you’ll keep on joining me for the journey. I hope that you’ll tell a friend. I [00:25:00] hope that you will write a review inside your favorite podcasting app about how much you love a podcast.

I hope that you’ll follow us. I hope that you’ll continue to believe in what we’re creating here. Because this is truly just the beginning. Now here’s my acceptance speech from the Ambies. I hope you enjoy it, and we’ll be back next week with more Queer News Podcast Peace.

This is a brand new category this year. Here are the nominees for Best, D I Y.

Good. Why are these so hard to get out? And the winner is Queer News,

Y’all. This is [00:26:00] incredible. I’m, I definitely make a podcast for less than $3,000 in episode . Um, and the fact that that’s the threshold, uh, God bless the academy for making a DIY episode a category for us. There’s a lot of indie us out here making amazing content that people cannot find. I’m really grateful to tell the stories of queer folks and black and brown queer folks.

Because as our representation continues to increase, so does the anti LGBTQ Trans legislation and hate, and I’m here to tell our stories because they deserve to be heard and amplified. And this says yes to that. So thank you so much.

Congratulations. If you enjoyed what you hear, rate and review us inside your favorite podcasting app. This [00:27:00] podcast is a production of E3 Radio, your number one queer radio station, playing queer music and reporting on queer news in high rotation.

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