The first episode of the second series of Young and Chris Sweeney's 'Homo Sapiens' podcast is out now
The pop star and the film director received critical acclaim for the first series of the audio programme, and have marked the start of its second run with a conversation with the Labour leader.
In the episode, the politician discusses with the pair a range of topics, from LGBTQ+ heroes, the need for inclusivity in schools, mental health, his appearance at Glastonbury 2017, his recipe for jam, and more.
Speaking about how to defeat homophobia, Corbyn said the key was education and making people aware of the struggle gay people have gone through. “Oscar Wilde suffered in prison and effectively put himself in exile,” he said. “Then take it a few decades on and you get Alan Turing, the most brilliant mind this country probably ever produced. Imagine he hadn’t died in the ’50s, what he would’ve achieved. He was chemically castrated and then committed suicide.”
Asked why he had chosen to reference those two figures specifically, he said: “They stand out as people who didn’t set out to promote gay rights. They were just themselves and were what they ‘were’ and wanted to be that, and couldn’t understand why everyone else couldn’t cope with it.”
Corbyn added that after the EU referendum there was a “spike in total horrible violence” including racism and homophobia. “I think, in schools, we need to teach as far as we can the history, and understanding, and respect that goes with it,” he said. “But also [in] the later years of secondary [school], young people need to understand what their rights are – what they can go to the police about, what you can make complaints about.
“We need to teach our children to be inclusive, to be respectful,” he said. “But it’s also the models you give them in society.”
Discussing his history-making Glastonbury speech at last year’s festival, Corbyn said he wasn’t concerned that his message would get blurred by the nature of the event. “If we want to create a society which has collective values and we genuinely value everybody, then you’ve got to reach out beyond a straight, narrow political message, because people’s lives are very different,” he said.
“I enjoyed it all enormously,” he added. “Everyone around me was deeply stressed by it, I was the man who wasn’t.”
He also shared the key to making raspberry jam, revealing “you need to either mix it with apple or a lot of lemon juice.” You can listen to the podcast in full here.