The Only Boy on Paradise Island (Ep. 167 - Wonder Woman)

This Week's Guest: Richard Andreoli

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This week's guest grew up idolizing comic book heroes, which presented a problem as he entered adulthood: how could he possibly measure up to the flying, crime-fighting, invisible-jet-flying role models of his youth? Richard Andreoli's mission in life became seeking out the opportunities for heroics in everyday life. In other words -- not expecting to become a superhero, but finding pride in being a normalhero.

By the way, if you're heading to DragCon in LA next month, I hope you'll join me for two panels! On Saturday, I'll be hosting a breakneck game of Dungeons and Dragons played by BenDeLaCreme, Erika Klash, Kitty Powers, and Fraya Love. And on Sunday, I'll be hosting a fun friendly chat about tabletop gaming, featuring a panel of queer and ally gamers sharing recommendations for finding games and people to play with. It's going to be a blast -- hope to see you there.

And no matter where you are in the world, I hope you'll join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat -- it's on Saturday, May 5, at 2pm Pacific. We want to hear about the book and movies and songs and shows you're obsessed with right now. There's a link at the top of the SewersOfParis twitter feed -- see you Saturday!

Huge thanks to everyone who makes The Sewers of Paris possible with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. If you're enjoying the show, 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.

This Week's Recommendation: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Thanks again to Richard for joining me. Head over to BattleAtTheComicExpo.com to check out his book, coming out later this month. 

For this week's recommendation, take a look at a documentary about another gay author: it's called The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, and it is an utter delight. You probably recognize Armistead's name as the author of the Tales of the City novels, but the documentary pulls back the curtain on the life of the man whose writing turned him into an icon.

It's a perfect primer not just on what his books are, but on why they matter and to whom they mattered most. Starting in the 1970s, his stories of singles mingling in San Francisco were only supposed to be a fun weekly newspaper column. But as time went on and his subject matter got queerer, his columns became a lifeline for a community that still faced daily struggles to survive.

Looking back, nearly a half century later, it's hard to image what that world could have been like, when queer culture was taboo even in San Francisco. So much of that history was lost to the epidemic, to bigotry, and to the fear -- completely reasonable -- that documenting LGBTQ lives would expose them to even greater harm. 

If you're of a certain age, you can rely on your memory to keep those distant voices alive. But for the rest of us, those records of the time -- whether written down or shared face to face -- are a vital link to those who built the world we enjoy today.

Stuff We Talked About