What Happens in a Gay Bar (Ep. 202 - Lady Gaga)

This Week’s Guest: Bryan Lowder

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This week's episode is going to be a bit of a song and dance. My guest is Bryan Lowder, associate editor at Slate and co-host of the Outward podcast. Known now for his cerebral essays and thoughtful analysis of queer culture, as a college student Bryan was drawn to New York's underground dance clubs, where years ago he found inner peace, and also encountered up-and-coming artists like Lady Gaga.

And the next Sewers of Paris live chat is this weekend -- Saturday November 17th at 2pm pacific. I hope you'll join us for a fun friendly chat about whatever entertainment has been changing YOUR life lately. And then mark your calendars for the next livestream, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 24th. There's a link at the top of the Sewers of Paris twitter feed.

Huge thanks to everyone who makes The Sewers of Paris possible with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. There's rewards for folks who back the show -- just click "Support the Show on Patreon." Or you can support The Sewers of Paris for free by leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice -- that really helps people find the show. 

Head over to SewersOfParis.com to see clips of the stuff we talk about on each episode of the show. And for more queer podcasting, check out Queens Of Adventure to hear drag queens on an epic Dungeons & Dragons quest. That’s at QueensOfAdventure.com.

This Week’s Recommendation: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Thanks again to Bryan for joining me. Check out his Outward podcast wherever podcasts are casted. And for my recommendations this week, take a look at the recent season finale of the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Normally a cynical sitcom where everything goes wrong and everyone's the butt of a joke, the last episode of season 13 takes a surprisingly heartfelt and sincere turn.

For most of the episode, the character of Mac, who's been out for about of year, laments that he doesn't know what his place is in the gay community. And what's worse, his adoptive father Frank tells him that he just doesn't get the whole gay thing. That leaves Mac with nowhere to turn, and no words to express himself.

So he stops trying to use words. The episode culminates in, of all things, an interpretive dance that should be funny and stupid and a fiasco but instead it's a powerful expression of turmoil and confusion and abandoning language to simply express oneself through their body.

Watching it in isolation, it might come off as cheap sentimentality -- but because of a context, a sitcom sacrificing its trademark cynicism for real heart, I think it comes off as brave. And that's why it feel so lovely when Frank, the adoptive father, finally whispers at the end, "Oh my God, I get it."

Stuff We Talked About