The Kentucky Derby for People (Ep. 151 - Drag Race)

This Week's Guest: Alberto Davalos

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What would you do if your life's work turned out to be killing you? My guest this week is Alberto Davalos, a horse boy. His whole life he expected to work with horses. And fresh out of college, he was on a farm in Kentucky, wearing gloves up to his shoulders and helping multi-million-dollar animals give birth. But working his dream job came with a price he wasn't ready to pay.

We'll have that conversation in a minute -- but first, a reminder that as of this month February, I'm making monthly bonus episodes of Sewers of Paris, with livestreams and new YouTube videos about LGBT entertainment. Our first livestream is on Saturday, February 10th at 2pm Pacific. And I want to invite you, Sewers of Paris listeners to join me and share stories about entertainment that changed your life. Head over to @sewersofparis on Twitter -- the link to the livestream is pinned to the top of the feed. Hope to see you there.

A huge thanks to everyone supporting The Sewers of Paris on Patreon. Your pledges, starting at a dollar a month, make this show possible, as well as the livestreams, videos, and bonus episodes. As of February first, Patreon pledges are per-month, rather than per-episode. That means you'll always be charged the same amount, no matter how much stuff I put out each month. If you haven't pledged yet, now is a great time to start. Just click "support the show on Patreon." 

If you're not able to support the show financially, there‚Äôs other ways you can help -- just by listening, tweeting about the show, following The Sewers of Paris on Twitter and Facebook, and by writing reviews. All of that is a huge help and I'm very very grateful. And you can also write in to sewerspodcast@gmail.com. 

We're going to be talking about Drag Race this episode -- if you're looking for more conversations about the show, don't miss last week's conversation with Chi Chi DeVayne, and also Robbie Turner on episode 58 and Ben DeLaCreme on episode 63.

This Week's Recommendation: The Last Unicorn

Big thanks to Alberto for joining me. You can find a link to the essay he wrote about his mother and Drag Race on the @sewersofparis twitter, and on his, @albertodavalo.

My recommendation this week is the enchanting equine adventure The Last Unicorn, an animated feature made in the 70s by Rankin Bass -- that's the team behind Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and various other classics. The cast is amazing: Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee, Rene Auberjonois (that's Odo from Deep Space 9), Jeff Bridges, and many more. It is visually gorgeous, showcasing the work of artists who would go on to found Studio Ghibli. And the story is beautiful and melancholy and very very queer.

The film follows a unicorn who fears that she is the last of her kind. Alone in the world, she wanders disguised as a horse, searching for others like her. As usually happens in fantasy adventures, she encounters a gang of misfits and they eventually find their way to a palace where terrible danger seeks to enslave and corrupt her pure beauty.

As the unicorn hunts for her kind, she discovers the pleasure of giving herself over to love in the mundane world of humans. But that's not where she belongs, and so accepting her true nature means leaving the work of ordinary, non-magical men.

That's a tough choice for anyone -- to maintain something comforting and familiar, or to give it up so you can be true to yourself. The Last Unicorn hinges on a tension between love and regret -- and ultimately finds that both can exist together, and may in fact require each other to exist. 

Stuff We Talked About