Fink, Joseph, and Jeffrey Cranor (writers). 2012-present. Welcome to Night Vale (podcast). Commonplace Books. welcometonightvale.com
In this community radio show, Cecil Gershwin Palmer (narrated by Cecil Baldwin) keeps his listeners informed about cultural events, news, and weather in the tiny desert town of Night Vale. Expect folksy updates about PTA bake sales and gossip about neighbors and strangers in town. News also includes references to a terrifying and forbidden dog park, mysterious hooded figures, intense government surveillance, evil librarians, a peculiar desert otherworld, and other strange Lovecraftian horrors—all described in a hilariously matter-of-fact tone.
In the very first episode, a visitor comes to Night Vale: Carlos the scientist. Immediately, Cecil develops a crush on him, gushing about his perfect hair and speculating about what he’s doing in Night Vale. Cecil’s sexuality is just as ordinary as anything else he discusses on his radio show; his crush (and later relationship) is shared with listeners because Night Vale is a close-knit community and everybody knows everything about everybody else. Sexuality and gender are so casually discussed it’s as if there’s no such thing as bigotry in this town. Several times throughout the show, offhand mentions of multiple genders and queer sexualities are made.
Welcome to Night Vale episodes are posted twice a month; the show is free to listen to via Libsyn, Soundcloud, or any other podcast app. There is also a traveling live show, a YouTube channel with bonus content, a soon-to-be-released novel, and merchandise. You can find all of that on the website: welcometonightvale.com