No More I Love Yous (Ep. 170 - Drag Families)

Special Guest: Alexis Nicole Whitney

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No matter how thoroughly you've planned, life has a way of taking you by surprise -- and when it does, it's often family that gets you through the tough times. Alexis was born to a woman unprepared for motherhood, and so grandparents stepped in to raise her. As she grew older, Houston's drag scene provided a second family where she was free to express herself more freely. But it was an unexpected health crisis that brought both families together when their daughter needed them most.

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This Episode's Recommendation: Adults Only

Thanks again to Alexis for joining me. For this week's recommendation, seek out the short film "Adults Only," which (full disclosure) was directed by a friend of mine, Heath Daniels, a couple of years ago. It's the wordless story of a deaf man mourning the end of a relationship, and struggling to figure out what's next. He's still mired in past memories, disconnected and longing for connection.

That connection comes in an unpredictable place and an even more unpredictable form: the neon-lit labyrinth of a bathhouse, where he's surrounded by peep shows and public sex. The short forgoes dialogue, instead using evocative imagery and sexually charged daydreams to illuminate the main character's pain -- and also his drive to move on despite not quite knowing the way.

It's hard enough to put yourself in another person's place, particularly someone who doesn't experience the world with the same senses that you do. But the deaf protagonist of Adults Only finds a common ground that's hard not to relate to -- heartbreak, loss, and mourning, followed by the thrill of unexpected pleasure.

Stuff We Talked About