Panel discussion with Dr. Kaila Story and Jaison Gardner.

This event took place on August 17, 2018 and was part of the “Dialogues on Gender” series at the Speed Art Museum in conjunction with Strange Fruit podcast and the exhibition Breaking the Mold: Investigating Gender at the Speed Art Museum.



WFPL’s Strange Fruit podcast co-host, Dr. Kaila Story and Jaison Gardner lead a multimedia presentation on the history of “drag” as a socio-political tool of resistance throughout modern history, from Kentucky’s own James “Sweet Evening Breeze” Herndon to New York City’s House Ball culture to RuPaul Charles. The discussion was followed by a Drag Show presented in partnership with Play Louisville.


About Jaison A. Gardner

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Jaison A. Gardner has been a social justice activist, health educator, and community organizer for more than 20 years. He is the co-creator and co-host, with Dr. Kaila Story, of WFPL’s Strange Fruit: Musings on Politics, Pop Culture & Black Gay Life, a popular award-winning weekly podcast focusing on social justice and pop culture. Jaison is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Louisville and is a current board member of the Louisville Pride Festival and a steering committee member of Louisville’s forthcoming LGBTQ youth homeless shelter, The Sweet Evening Breeze. He is a frequent presenter, moderator, and event emcee whose work focuses on a variety of issues, especially the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQ liberation. Jaison firmly believes that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

About Dr. Kaila Adia Story

Dr. Kaila Adia Story is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Women’s & Gender Studies and Pan-African Studies and the Audre  Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Louisville. She is also a co-creator and co-host of WFPL’s Strange Fruit: Musings on Politics, Pop Culture & Black Gay Life, a popular award-winning weekly podcast focusing on social justice and pop culture. Her research examines the intersections of race and sexuality, with special attention to Black feminism, Black lesbians, and Black queer identity. Dr. Story has appeared on Huffington Post Live a number of times discussing issues that relate to race, sexuality, popular music, and gender.  She has also been featured in the Feminist Wire’s series “Feminists We Love,” as well as been featured in Elixher’s Magazine’s “InspiHERed” series.  Most recently, Dr. Story was featured in Go Magazine’s “100 Women We Love” Series.

About Strange Fruit 

Dr. Kaila Story and Jaison Gardner host a five year running weekly podcast of musings on politics, pop culture and black gay life. With over 200+ episodes, “Strange Fruit,” represents what is known as the best thing about public radio. Contact #TeamStrangeFruit at lellis@wfpl.org.