Chosen Family

By CBC Podcasts

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A podcast hosted by queer, cosmically-destined BFFs Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour. Join the Montreal comedians every other week for deep and spontaneous conversations featuring renowned artists and and up-and-coming creators.

Episode Date
S3 E9: All Roads Lead to RuPaul with Rhys Nicholson
Chosen Family goes pop as Tranna and Thomas welcome comedian and judge from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under, Rhys Nicholson. Rhys gives us the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes, the best advice he received from Ru, and how he uses comedy to make important statements on queer rights. Plus a very special edition of Obsessions with guest Tom Capelonga, curator of @TheChristoperStreetReader on Instagram, who walks us through some of the most iconic moments in queer pop culture history. It might just be our gayest episode yet!
Jun 10, 2021
S3 E8: How ‘Disclosure’ is changing Hollywood with Sam Feder
Thomas and Tranna discuss the idea of being unremarkable and what it would be like to move through the world if there wasn’t so much pressure on trans and gender non-conforming folks to disclose and explain their identity. Who better to join the exchange than Sam Feder, the brilliant director of the groundbreaking Netflix documentary, Disclosure. Celebrating the film’s first year anniversary, the conversation with Sam takes a look at how Hollywood is changing and how decades of negative, dehumanizing representation in film and television has affected the trans community. Thomas connects with artist, author, director and overall superstar Chella Man, to talk about representation in social media. Plus, Tranna shares a totally off-brand obsession that may leave you questioning her taste level.
May 27, 2021
S3 E7: Not your typical parent with andrea bennett
Mother’s day has Thomas a little triggered as he talks to Tranna about the complex relationship he shares with his mom. It’s the perfect opportunity for these two to talk to award-winning writer, andrea bennett, whose brilliant collection of essays, Like a Boy but Not a Boy, examines and redefines parenthood from a non-binary perspective. Also on the show is the delightfully fabulous Richie Shazam, co-host of the new OutTV series, Shine True, a makeover that centres trans and non-binary folks—who doesn’t love a good a glow up?
May 13, 2021
S3 E6: Praying for Revolution with Linda Perry
It’s a dream-come-true moment for Thomas and Tranna as they welcome rockstar, writer, producer, and queer icon Linda Perry! From mega success in the 90s, fronting the band 4 Non Blondes, to writing and producing some of the biggest hits of the early 00s for Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Pink, Perry is back behind the mic for the first time in 15 years with her new song, “The Letter.” For Thomas and Tranna, talking to Perry is an opportunity to learn the stories behind the music that shaped them as teens and what it was like to be a queer artist in the 90s, a time when being gay could end your career. Plus it’s a very special “Obsessions,” as T and T are joined by Sean Ross and Derek Aubichon from the brilliant podcast, Miss Thing!
Apr 29, 2021
S3 E5: Live from New York… It’s Bowen Yang!
Tranna and Thomas welcome none other than Saturday Night Live cast member Bowen Yang for a wide-ranging conversation! Now in his third season as a player on the show, Bowen has already made comedy history by being the first Chinese-American and only current gay man in the cast. Bowen is also the co-host (with BFF Matt Rogers) of the wildly popular podcast Las Culturistas, now produced by Will Ferrell. Thomas was delighted to learn about Bowen’s francophone childhood in Canada—yes! Bowen was a resident of Brossard, Québec for seven years! He also shares his views on representation in comedy, his leap of faith from being a pre-med student to the world of alternative sketch comedy, and queering Saturday Night Live! Obsessed as ever, Tranna and Thomas wrap up the episode geeking out over musician-comedienne Eve Parker Finley and the original lifestyle queen, Martha Stewart!
Apr 08, 2021
S3 E4: Hello, Inner Child with Samra Habib
Tranna shares the discovery of an old VHS tape of her 6th grade ski trip, which allows her to reconnect with her 12 year old self. The theme of reconnecting with our inner child continues in conversation with photographer and writer, Samra Habib, winner of Canada Reads 2020 for the brilliant We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir. Thomas has a lovely fanboy moment when he gets the chance to speak with Omari Douglas, one of the dazzling stars of the smash hit show It’s A Sin. Plus: Thomas and Tranna are obsessed with Jessie Ware and Clubhouse, the new social media app. This one is a bit of a tear jerker, so make sure to have those tissues handy!
Mar 25, 2021
S3 E3: We Love the Nightlife with Róisín Murphy
It’s an extra special episode of Chosen Family, as Thomas and Tranna welcome dance music legend Róisín Murphy, who’s celebrating 25 years in music! This episode is a love letter to nightlife and the dream of being reunited on the dance floor once again. Plus: surprise guest Crystal from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK S1, and T&T share their obsession with Gay Bar by Jeremy Atherton Lin and Madonna’s MDNA Tour.
Mar 11, 2021
S3 E2: DIY is Not a Sin with Backxwash
Thomas and Tranna share and examine the reasons why they feel so creatively blocked as they address “the pandemic wall” everyone seems to be hitting. Polaris prize-winning rapper and producer, Backxwash, joins the two to talk about growing up queer in Zambia, being a DIY artist, vulnerability, and tokenization in the entertainment industry. Plus: Thomas and Tranna find inspiration and solace in two nostalgic TV shows: “PEN15” and “It’s A Sin.”
Feb 25, 2021
S3 E1: Star Power with Jessica Lanyadoo
Thomas and Tranna kick off an all-new season in a world that feels turned upside down. Who better to turn to for advice on navigating these difficult days than superstar astrologer, Jessica Lanyadoo, who takes Chosen Family into the stratosphere with a deep dive on all things astrology. Plus T and T share their current obsessions: Kama La Mackerel’s debut poetry collection, Zom-Fam, and Backxwash’s breakthrough album, God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It.
Feb 11, 2021
Can you handle this? Thomas and Tranna are back
Season three of Chosen Family kicks off on February 11th with superstar astrologer, Jessica Lanyadoo! Make sure to follow Chosen Family on Instagram @chosenfamilyshow!
Feb 04, 2021
Special Episode: The Pride We Need with Brandon Ash-Mohammed
In this special bonus episode of Chosen Family, Thomas and Tranna are reminded of Pride’s activist roots while the BLM movement is out in full force (following the murder of George Floyd). Then, the hosts are joined by standup comic Brandon Ash-Mohammed, the first gay Black man in Canada to release a comedy album and founder of The Ethnic Rainbow. Together they talk about the overwhelmingly white comedy industry, what it means to be a trailblazer Capricorn and how the queer community might not be as unified as it would like to think. Plus, Brandon shares his obsession with Tina Turner and listeners call in with their Pride memories.
Jun 22, 2020
S2 E20: Vision of Love with Rufus Wainwright and Sarah Schulman
In the final episode of Season 2, Tranna and Thomas share an update on where they’re at in the middle of the pandemic. Thomas calls up writer-activist Sarah Schulman to talk about the parallels between COVID-19 and the AIDS crisis. Then, the hosts talk to Rufus Wainwright about bathrobes, his new album Unfollow The Rules, and his trajectory from wild child to dedicated father and husband. Plus, Thomas yearns for the day he can sing along to “Dancing On My Own” in public again while Tranna goes back to her ultimate obsession: Alanis Morrisette.
Apr 08, 2020
S2 E19: Rock Bottom with Ty Mitchell
Thomas and Tranna share what life has been like for them during the coronavirus pandemic... with Thomas making a surprising confession. Then gay porn actor and writer Ty Mitchell joins the two to talk about sex work in the gig economy and the nuances of male sexuality on screen. Plus: Thomas and Tranna manage to find an obsession during the time of covid 19: the Netflix series “Feel Good” + author Jenny Odell’s “How To Do Nothing.”
Mar 25, 2020
S2 E18: Purse First with Bob the Drag Queen
Thomas and Tranna wonder if being raised by single parents has influenced their relationship choices and also ask whether “monogamous privilege” is a thing. Then, Bob the Drag Queen joins the two for a chat about all things Drag Race, their new comedy special and… purses. Plus, obsessions: Jessica Simpson’s memoir and David Byrne’s American Utopia.
Mar 11, 2020
S2 E17: Super Soul Sexuality with Rabbi Lisa Grushcow
In this special episode, Tranna and Thomas welcome progressive rabbi Lisa Grushcow for a candid conversation about faith and its surprising connections to her personal story (lesbian, divorced, mother of three). They also talk about Judaism’s takes on sex and gender (polyamory and being trans), pop culture morality in a time of great chaos (Harry Potter + jedis!) and how spirituality and technology can co-exist harmoniously. Tranna also engages Rabbi Grushcow on her side-hustle: romantic matchmaking. Plus, Thomas and Tranna’s latest Obsessions: Madame X and Love Is Blind.
Feb 26, 2020
S2 E16: Boundaries and Bruises with Alicia Elliott
Thomas and Tranna share their biggest fears, among them: driving, posting a shirtless photo on instagram, and discovering that they are normal. Then, Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott talks about her book A Mind Spread Out on the Ground — a collection of essays that looks at depression, intergenerational trauma, and the lingering effects of colonialism in Canada. Plus, Thomas & Tranna’s latest Obsessions: J-Lo’s second album and the 7-hour Broadway play The Inheritance.
Feb 12, 2020
S2 E15: It’s Complicated with Coeur de Pirate
Tranna tells Thomas about breaking her year of celibacy, after a foray into dating apps (for trans people—it's complicated). Then, singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate, aka Béatrice Martin, join the two to chat about revenge songs, being a judge on a singing show Quebec's The Voice (La Voix), and coming out publicly as pansexual after the Orlando nightclub shooting. Plus, T&T’s latest Obsessions: Euphoria and a special episode of 90 Day Fiancé.
Jan 29, 2020
S2 E14: Trigger Warning with Bret Easton Ellis
As a new year’s resolution, Thomas & Tranna want to talk to people who might not share their exact world view. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis, no stranger to controversy, joins the two for a feature chat about his provocative work, Millennials, and gay political correctness. Then, T&T share their first Obsessions of 2020: Bombshell and… Cats. You could now find an expanded version of T&T's Obsessions for every episode on Xtra! Read this week's here:
Jan 15, 2020
Live from RIDM with Benedetta Barzini & Beniamino Barrese
Recorded live at the RIDM documentary film festival in Montreal, Tranna & Thomas talk to Italian ex-supermodel Benedetta Barzini and her son, director Beniamino Barrese. Their film "The Disappearance of My Mother" looks at Benedetta’s revolt against the culture of image-making and her strong desire to fade away from view.
Dec 30, 2019
S2 E13: Sweet Fantasy with Owen Pallett
Tranna and Thomas recap the Celine Dion concert they attended together and look at the singer’s renaissance, the generational divide among her fans, and... her hair. Then the two are joined by multi-instrumentalist and composer Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy) to talk about utopian futures, the problems with fandom, and mental health struggles during the creative process. Plus: T&T's new Obsessions take us to 80s decadence and some horny places.
Dec 11, 2019
S2 E12: The Power of Goodbye with Ira Sachs
Thomas confesses to Tranna that he can’t be monogamous and contemplates different configurations like polyamory and open relationships. Then, filmmaker Ira Sachs joins the two to talk about his new film Frankie, unconventional families, and why he no longer feels like an outsider. Plus, in the latest Obsessions, Thomas and Tranna explore why they’re drawn to two dynastic shows about the ultra rich: Succession and The Crown.
Nov 27, 2019
S2 E11: Love At The End Of The World with Kai Cheng Thom
Moving into a new apartment brings up intense feelings around identity and safety for Tranna. Then, writer-performer and former social worker Kai Cheng Thom talks about cancel culture and chosen families in the wake of her new book “I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World”. Plus, Thomas shares his latest Obsession: the pilates reformer.
Nov 13, 2019
S2 E10: Funny Girls with Matteo Lane
Thomas opens up about his grandmother’s passing and how comedy helps him in dark times. Then, standup comic and former opera singer Matteo Lane talks divas, chosen families and... his racy Instagram. Plus, a chat with comedian Robbie Hoffman on Judaism’s acceptance of queerness. This is our 25th episode, aka the Silver episode!
Oct 30, 2019
S2 E9: Hanging By A Moment with Xavier Dolan
In a special episode of Chosen Family — part retrospective, part love letter — Thomas shares personal stories about award-winning Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan from throughout the years. Then, the Cannes darling himself opens up in a rare feature interview about love, family and friendship.
Oct 16, 2019
S2 E8: Morphing Time with Amy Jo Johnson
Tranna and Thomas reminisce about celebrity sightings at TIFF. Then the two are joined by filmmaker Amy Jo Johnson, of pink power ranger and Felicity fame. Plus, Thomas shares his obsession with MTV dating show “Are You the One?”
Oct 02, 2019
S2 E7: Teenage Dreams with Tegan and Sara
Thomas opens up to Tranna about the sister he never had. Then they go back to High School with Canadian rock royalty Tegan and Sara who talk about their new memoir on their teenage years, and what it was like to navigate their sexual identities separately, as twins. Plus, Tranna discovers a new queer icon in Netflix show Blown Away.
Sep 18, 2019
S2 E6: Hot Goddess Summer with Guy Branum
Thomas and Tranna debate the nuances of American vs. Canadian fame. Then, a conversation at Just for Laughs with comic and writer Guy Branum — ”the gay uncle of standup.” Plus, T&T say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
Aug 28, 2019
S2 E5: Disrupting the Senses with Rodney Evans
Thomas and Tranna talk about not feeling queer enough. Then, a chat with filmmaker Rodney Evans on Vision Portraits – his moving documentary about the challenges and strengths of being a visually-impaired artist. Plus, in a very special Obsessions, Tranna gets answers to a certain Sex and The City episode that has plagued her, from the writer herself, Cindy Chupack.
Aug 14, 2019
S2 E4: Red Carpet Jungle with Karla Welch
Tranna opens up to Thomas about the unrealistic beauty expectations she feels as a trans woman. Then the two get pointers from celebrity stylist Karla Welch who sees fashion as a form of activism. Plus, Basic City Gay Thomas talks wilderness with Quince Mountain — the first openly trans person to appear on the survival reality show Naked and Afraid.
Jul 31, 2019
S2E3: The Notorious Life with Margaret Cho
In a very special episode, Thomas and Tranna welcome legendary stand-up comic and LGBTQ champion Margaret Cho for a feature chat on the radical nature of her comedy, educating millenials on queer sex… and John Travolta.
Jul 17, 2019
S2 E2: Queer Is the New Straight with Lauren Morelli
Thomas and Tranna share their ideals of home and then talk about queer utopia with Lauren Morelli, writer-producer on Netflix’s Tales of the City and Orange Is the New Black. Plus, this week’s obsession: 50 percent off tags. 
Jul 03, 2019
S2 E1: Tell Me Lies with Ryan O’Connell
Thomas and Tranna reveal their personal delusions to each other and then talk lies with Ryan O'Connell, creator and star of the Netflix series Special — a comedy that draws on Ryan’s real-life experience hiding his cerebral palsy. Plus, T&T’s latest obsession: the rebranding of Ginger Spice.
Jun 18, 2019
Chosen Family is back!
Tranna Wintour and Thomas Leblanc return with season two on June 19. Get ready for more conversations about sexuality, culture, community and of course, Céline Dion. Plus, exciting news! Chosen Family has joined the CBC Podcasts team.
May 23, 2019
S1 E15: Together - A Season Finale
It's the season finale - talk about an ocean of emotions! Tranna and Thomas try to tie it all together as they assess where they find themselves in their lives right now.
Apr 19, 2018
S1 E14: Patsy Gallant and New Beginnings
Canadian icon and disco queen Patsy Gallant bursts into the studio like an unstoppable force of energy, as she prepares to record the album of a lifetime. Having Patsy in the studio was a dream come true for Tranna, who's been a die-hard fan for years.
Apr 04, 2018
S1 E13: Brendan Kelly and Céline Dion Gold
Journalist Brendan Kelly, who's been covering and interviewing Céline for the last 25+ years, joins Chosen Family in its extreme and hilarious Céline obsession. Prepare to dive deep into the universe of the Queen of Québec.
Mar 21, 2018
S1 E12: Random Recipe and Creative Partnership
When a musical duo (Frannie Holder and Fab from Random Recipe) meets a comedy duo (Thomas and Tranna), the results are explosive fun!
Mar 08, 2018
S1 E11: In Real Life with Féminin/Féminin
Chosen Family goes live in front of an audience for the first time! With guests Chloé Robichaud and Alexa-Jeanne Dubé from the hit show Féminin/Féminin, Thomas and Tranna dive into queer media and the industry changes that are slowly taking shape (en français).
Feb 21, 2018
S1 E10: A Chosen Family Christmas
It's simultaneously the most wonderful and awful time of the year, but you better not pout because Thomas and Tranna are here to help you navigate the ups and downs of the holiday season in their first Christmas special!
Dec 21, 2017
S1 E9: Judith Lussier and Joyful Justice
Thomas and Tranna wonder if they should take an extended break from the toxicity of social media, as they are joined (en français) by Judith Lussier, a writer, producer and host, who's had her own share of difficult experiences on social media.
Dec 07, 2017
S1 E8: Arshad Khan and Finding Acceptance
A discussion about religion and spirituality goes so far beyond when filmmaker Arshad Khan, who's been touring the international film festival circuit with his acclaimed documentary, Abu, joins the table.
Nov 24, 2017
S1 E7: Dana Michel and A Place of Love
Tranna and Thomas reveal themselves in a way they haven't before - diving deep into the subject of love in the age of the dating app. Plus great conversation, comedy and music from guests Dana Michel, Ashley Moffatt, Ryan G. Hinds and Antony Carle.
Nov 09, 2017
S1 E6: Eileen Myles and Radical Transparency
Tranna and Thomas are weary and worn as the world feels like an increasingly dark place. But inspiring guests Eileen Myles, Jonathan Van Meter and Chanty Marostica are here to save the day with their wit and wisdom.
Oct 26, 2017
S1 E5: Dayna McLeod and (Im)perfect Femininity
Dayna McLeod, Jena Friedman and Natalie Norman are the brilliant, shiny stars of this episode. Chosen Family goes full-on girl power!
Oct 12, 2017
S1 E4: Nantali Indongo and the Art of Being Real
Tranna calls up her hero and friend, Sandra Bernhard; Thomas obsesses over fashion satire queen, Mademoiselle Agnès; and Nantali Indongo joins the family live in studio for a deep conversation on race and art.
Sep 28, 2017
S1 E3: Christiane Charette and Camera Culture
Television and radio host Christiane Charette is Québec culture royalty. She joins T and T to discuss her impressive career (en français).
Sep 14, 2017
S1 E2: John Cameron Mitchell and Queer Identity
Thomas and Tranna discuss queer identity, the role of labels and the punk way of life with legendary writer, actor and director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Short Bus, Rabbit Hole). Plus, the hilarious Nadya Ginsburg dials in!
Aug 31, 2017
S1 E1: Jen Kirkman and the Madonna Connection
Meet Chosen Family hosts, Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour, who share a unique friendship. Joining the family for the first episode are comedy superstar Jen Kirkman and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez.
Aug 17, 2017