Transcript: All Aboard! (QR004)

February 2, 2021

Listen to this episode!

Tara 0:20
Hey, everyone, I’m Tara Scott. And with me is Kris Bryant, welcome to Queerly Recommended.

Kris 0:26
This is episode four and we are so glad to be back here with you all.

Tara 0:30
So we just wanted to pause again, just thank everyone who’s subscribed. You know, we’ve been really thrilled with all of the responses we’ve been getting. And a special shout out to Fiona Riley and Cathy Pegau, I’m so sorry if I pronounce your last name wrong. You know, they’ve both just been such stars, sharing the episodes on Twitter on Facebook, letting everybody know about it. And we’re so appreciative. They’re also both fabulous authors. So please go check out their books. And if you want to reach out directly to us, if you have any questions that you’d be interested in Kris, or I answered in a future episode, just email them to So Kris,

Kris 1:08
Guess what? Guess what?

Tara 1:11

Kris 1:08
We survived the inauguration. We survived it. Yeah, I I started watching from 6am in the morning, and till I think it was 11 at night. I watched the concert and then a couple of other things that happened afterwards, like recaps of the day. But the whole time I was on edge, especially when they’re outside walking, you know-

Tara 1:13
Oh yeah.

Kris 1:31
Just so concerned and worried. And I woke up the next morning and I had the worst headache, I had a horrible headache for six hours. And I’m like, this is COVID, what’s going on, what is wrong with me? And it’s strictly because it was such an emotional day. And I cried so hard. It was quite dehydrated and then I went to bed all stuffy. And so took a while but it was a great day.

Tara 1:54
Congratulations. I’m so happy for you. I am so happy for everyone who has spent the last four years constant like…just walking stress and anxiety and panic and…

Kris 2:08
Right. Yeah, so at least we now have hope. Hope.

Tara 2:12
Yes. Yeah.

Kris 2:14
take it.

Tara 2:14
Somebody thought was interesting. I saw a tip on Twitter, Courtney Milan, she’s a pretty popular romance author who writes all kinds of couples. And she was talking about how for a lot of people, they’ve been carrying stress in their bodies, basically for four years straight, based on what’s going on. And if people haven’t already, if they find they’re still carrying that stress, that it’s a really good time to do the work to try to get it out of your body to complete that stress cycle. And she cited a book that I read around this time last year, and it like changed my life and saved my sanity during the Quarantimes. And it’s called Burnout by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski. And they talk about kind of the causes of burnout, but also what you can do to kind of get that stress out of your body. So it’s things like, you know, exercise and kissing, and laughing and crying and all those kinds of things. So I think if people are still feeling that, at this point, I would highly encourage if you can just try to get it out so that you can move forward.

Kris 3:17
Yeah, it’s I was surprised by just how spent I felt the very next day after the inauguration.

Tara 3:24
Mm hmm. That’s…yeah, I can’t blame you. Hopefully, hopefully better times ahead.

Kris 3:30

Tara 3:31
And in other completely different news, but queer news. Recent queer news is kind of exciting. So JoJo Siwa came out as gay. And I didn’t know who- I had never heard of Jojo Siwa until last year when my five year old couldn’t stop talking about her. And I finally said, “Who are you talking about?” And she said, “It’s my favorite YouTuber, Mom!”.

Kris 3:57
Yeah, I have a co-worker who, whose daughter wanted to dress like JoJo. Not last year, but the year before. So I’ve known about Jojo for about a year and a half. So I like your shirt. Oh, and so then Tiffany had to show me all the videos and stuff. And yeah, so she’s pretty popular with young uns.

Tara 4:16
Right? I just thought like, how, how cool is that? And it gave me kind of another. I mean, I’m pretty open with my kids. I’m out. I’m obviously married to their dad, but they know that I’m also attracted to girls and that that and they also know that I’m like gender non conforming, but it’s kind of nice to have another example of a queer person that I could point to, that they already know about

Kris 4:36
That they know, right?

Tara 4:37
Mm hmm.

Kris 4:38
That’s nice. Yeah, it was good. And I think it’ll introduce children to things earlier in life as far as the whole queerness lifestyle and just that it’s okay to be different. And hopefully parents everywhere are also encouraging that. That it’s okay if if you don’t feel a certain way, a certain gender or you don’t feel that you’re attracted to anybody, first of all, but boys or girls.

Tara 5:05
Yes. I agree. And especially seeing I mean, I’ve seen a lot of kids TV and movies, obviously, with having a couple of kids. And so much of it is almost like violently heteronormative. Like, there really aren’t many other options. And it was interesting to see how quickly our kids, especially my youngest, going from seeing, like, Oh, yeah, anybody can be with whoever they want, and then starting to watch more Netflix or watch more things on YouTube. And then she was talking about how only boys and girls can be together. And I was like, how… Wait, where did you get that message because you didn’t get it in the home. So it was definitely coming across the media. So I’m also hopeful that the more we see this show up through people being more authentic, like Jojo Siwa and then also hopefully coming up in more movies and TV shows that it’s not going to feel like the only option.

Kris 5:59
Yes, I sent Tiffany a message. I said Jojo is gay. Prepare yourself if you didn’t already know that, because she’s in her 30s and you know, she’s ‘love everybody’ but I don’t think she knows how to handle that with her child. Her girl’s only seven. Her daughter’s only seven years old. So it’s funny. I sent her that text just to show you know, this is what’s happening. Be ready, be prepared to answer questions. She sends me a message back and she goes this is the first time I’m hearing it but thanks for the heads up hilarious that Aayla actually had my phone the exact moment you sent that. So I basically told her daughter myself.

Tara 6:35
Hurrah, you did.

Kris 6:38
Me ruining parenting again. So let’s see. Um, let’s let’s rehash what we talked about last week. A little bit, just a little bit because I know you had a big breakthrough this week.

Tara 6:50
Mm hmm.

Kris 6:51
So tell us about Hades and how that run is going.

Tara 6:54
Well. You see it’s like this. I kicked Hades’s ass is what I did. So I actually, since we last spoke, I actually started the whole game over from the beginning because I might have bought myself a Nintendo Switch light because I didn’t want to share the family one because I was I don’t want to say I was like fighting with my kids over it because I’m not going to do that if they want to play Nintendo games I’m 100% okay with that I’d much rather they played that than Roblox because I can’t stand Roblox

Kris 7:26
Blank face. Blank face.

Tara 7:28
Yeah, it’s this like it’s for kids and they can go in there’s all these games for them, but they want me to play too and I was like, oh, but what if I get a Switch and I play Animal Crossing with you instead of going on Roblox. Cause Animal Crossing is fun and Roblox is not fun. And I’m not going to get into the depths of Roblox because I just don’t want to be there.

Kris 7:49
Don’t be that person.

Tara 7:51
So I’ve been encouraging them to play more like I love that they both really liked the idea of being gamer girls, and it’s like, hey, if that’s what you want to do, like let’s lean in like let’s do it. We can we can get you more games like that. We can get them more kid appropriate games on the PS4, the Xbox, like no big deal. But then I realized that they were playing the Switch, and I couldn’t play the Switch. And I wanted to be in Hades that I couldn’t do. So I got myself a new one. It is the coral color. I love it very much. Nobody else can see this, but I’m going to hold it up for Kris. Look how cute that is?

Kris 8:23
That is that is cute.

Tara 8:24
It’s super cute. And so yeah, I just-

Kris 9:07
It’s small.

Tara 8:28
Oh, I’ve been playing Hades again. And it was funny the first so I beat Hades once on the family Switch as well. And I reached out to Meghan O’Brien, because I was like, hey, did I see recently that you played this game too? And she’s like, Yeah, I did. It might be my I think she said something like, it might be my game of the year. And she said it was like one of her top games of all time, and I totally see it now. But when I beat Hades the first time I messaged her again, and she was like, oh, congratulations. Now the real game begins. And I was like, What do you mean? And so it’s very interesting because like you think, well, you beat the end boss. But in this game, you don’t beat the end boss just once you need to do it something like 10 times to get the to the epilogue. And once you beat him the first time, it opens up all of these other game options.

Kris 9:15
Like we won’t see you for two years.

Tara 9:17
You might not.

Kris 9:20
Wow, yeah, I was surprised that how many people reached out on the tweets when you said that you had finished the game like “Haha, yeah, no, you haven’t.” So yeah, we lost you.

Tara 9:31
And the other thing that’s interesting that I didn’t know going into it is that there is some queerness in the game as well because there are some love options for- So you play a Zagreus, son of Hades and there are a few love options and a couple of them are women but one of them is a man and you can actually romance all three of them if you want. And so that’s what I’m going to do.

Kris 9:49

Tara 9:50
I’m going to have a joyfully slutty Zagreus cause why not?

Kris 9:56
I’m all for it.

Tara 9:57
Mm hmm. Yeah, it was pretty good. So Kris, what have you been watching?

Kris 10:04
So I finished the show Salvation. It was a series that was just on regular TV. I don’t know if it was CBS a couple years ago, first season was 2017 in the summer. And then second season came out in the summer of 2018. And then they stopped, it canceled, done, boom. But even though I knew it was going to end, I still had to watch it. Because I was committed. It was the one that started off. It was like the big asteroid coming to earth. We all have to like – “we all” like I had anything to do with it – Humanity had to figure out a way to figure out how to get this asteroid not to hit Earth because it was like crash course. And so I’m like I’m in because it’s like, this is great. I love everything about this. And all of a sudden it turned political. And it turned into a coup in the White House. It was like so weird. It was so…

Tara 10:57
Too real?

Kris 10:58
Yeah, it was mind blowing. Because what was happening, what I was watching was happening in real life. You know, and they mentioned fake news a lot. So it’s just weird. So I did that whole thing just threw me off. But I still had to watch it because I had finished it. It’s like, I’m that person that if I start something, and I’m like, halfway in or something, I have to finish it, you know, within 10 minutes I can I can walk away from something. But if I’m this far invested, I have to figure out you know what happens? And so I finished it. And I love the last episode, even though there’s no continuation, there is some sort of resolve, there’s some sort of resolution about the asteroid. So I was excited about that. So I guess. So it’s fine. I mean, to kill time, it was good to kill time. But let me tell you, something that I recommend that really isn’t queer, but I’m recommending it anyway.

I watched- So last night. So here’s just like, we can do nothing, there’s nothing for us to do. It is freezing outside. I’m not one to be outside when it’s cold, I take Molly outside, she does her business, and that’s it. That’s the only time I go outside. I have a remote start for my truck. So it’s nice and warm when I race out there to get into it. So I don’t have to worry that I suddenly being cold. So there’s really nothing to do but read or write or watch TV. So last night, I was going, I was on Netflix. And you know how it just kind of starts. I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t I don’t remember what it was. It might not have even Netflix it might have been Amazon Prime. But whatever I was doing, I was like, Oh, this looks good. I’ll just go ahead and watch this. And it’s it’s a movie called Spontaneous and it was actually hilarious.

Tara 12:33
Really. What was it about?

Kris 12:35
So here’s the deal. So I’m gonna I’m gonna read this the synopsis, but it doesn’t really it it sounds more serious than the movie actually was. When students in their high school inexplicably start to explode, like literally explode.

Tara 12:51
Oh my God,

Kris 12:51
Seniors Merrit and Dylan struggled to survive in a world where each moment may be their last as an unexpected romance blossoms between them, they seem to discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today. So it’s kind of interesting, because it starts off and there’s the main character she, she’s in class, they’re all in class. And she just leans over to remember, like, if she’s leaning over to pick up something off the floor or tie her shoe, but the student in front of her explodes just because, like what everywhere?

Like what the hell, and so they don’t know what to do. So they leave the classroom. And so then, like, every so often another student explodes, just and it’s the weirdest movie, but oh my god, the dialogue was hilarious. The dialogue is spot on. I love things. I love a good movie that has a lot of good dialogue, humorous dialogue with teenagers. Teenagers are like they can either be like, extremely, we talked about this, like the Teenage Bounty Hunters, just the dynamic that the teenagers had. And it’s true. I mean, I think that there’s a lot of humor people. Adults and kids both use humor a lot. And so this, this movie has a lot of humor in it. And just circumstances I mean, had it well. There’s nothing else to do but kind of make jokes about it. And teenagers make jokes about some of the most inappropriate things and said this, this movie was it it made me laugh. I mean, the ending the last like 15 minutes was kind of hard. But the first oh my gosh, it’s so funny. So I watched that. And then I watched the new Tom Hanks movies, the movie The News of the World. So that was my evening and both were really really good. And Tom Hanks, I mean God he doesn’t do a bad anything doesn’t go bad movie. Bad show nothing.

Tara 14:39
No I don’t think he can.

Kris 14:41

Tara 14:42
No. Huh?

Kris 14:44
So what about you what what are you doing reading watching?

Tara 14:48
I’m still watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s very weird to go from how I was watching it before which was just it was all on Netflix or Amazon Prime and I was just powering through each season to now I have to wait week to week. I don’t care for that aspect-

Kris 15:06
-of life before you know, coronavirus. Everybody had to wait every week to see an episode and all of a sudden, now we have to binge watch all the shows. It’s gonna get, it’s gonna be hard to go back to the week to week series.

Tara 15:20
It’s very strange. Yeah, it’s super, super strange. But so I’ve seen four episodes of the US and three episodes of the UK. And I have to admit I actually like the UK season better right now. And I think it’s because I kind of I’m trying to pinpoint it. There’s a couple of things I mean, first of all, I think the the, the queens that they have in the UK are more interesting right now. They have a Glaswegian queen Lawrence Chaney who I love, she is hilarious. But her makeup is gorgeous. Some of her outfits are gorgeous. She did- for the premiere episode they had them all do runway looks, which was there. I think it was the premiere, it doesn’t really matter is the first or second episode. But they had to do a look that embodied their hometown. And so she had a dress that was inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who is a really famous artist from Glasgow, which like if you go to Glasgow, you will see his staff kind of all over the place. And so it was the stained glass rose on this dress that was gorgeous. And so that’s been kind of a nice way to end my week, as much as I complained about I don’t want to wait – and I don’t because I’m impatient – but it is also nice, at the end of the week to reward myself for making it through, get another five days of working by catching up on what’s going on with all of these drag queens.

Kris 16:51
it’s a treat.

Tara 16:52
It’s a treat, it’s true. And then in terms of reading, I’m still bouncing between four or five books. But the one that I’m really digging right now that I’m really really getting into is called Outlawed by Anna North. It came out I believe, at the very beginning of January. And I saw it described as queer Western girl gang, and I was like, hang on a minute,

Kris 17:17
Tell me more.

Tara 17:20

Kris 17:21

Tara 17:22
That’s like, it’s almost all anybody needs to know. It might come back as a full recommendation when I’ve read more. But the premise is that it’s told from the perspective of a young woman, she gets married. She, when she’s I think she’s about 16 when she gets married, cannot get pregnant. And there’s just something about like this part of the Old West. And I don’t know anything about the Old West. I’m also reading it going, were there people like this? I have no idea. I have no

Kris 17:49
Yes, probably.

Tara 17:51
But they have this superstition about like, if women don’t get pregnant, then they often get accused of being witches. And then if there’s like measles or whatever it goes through if anybody has a miscarriage, then it gets blamed on this woman because she’s barren, even though who knowsif it’s her or her husband. And so they tend to either get executed or run out of town. In her case, she goes to a convent, doesn’t really take to convent life and finds out that basically her options are: she can either be in a convent, or she can go join the Hole in the Wall Gang, which is all made up of women in similar circumstances. So same for the convent, like it’s all filled with these women who are thought to be barren. And so where I’m at right now she’s with a gang. She’s learning how to shoot a gun, she’s learned how to ride a horse. And she’s just about to go do her first crime with a few of the other women. So

I don’t know, I just find the voice really engaging. And it’s there were a couple times where I was like, oh, something real bad’s about to happen, and it hasn’t yet so that’s been kind of nice. Which is kind of like watching the Queen’s Gambit. Right? Like, did you have that watching the Queen’s Gambit, but I know I did. Where I was like, “Oh, Jesus Christ she’s gonna get get raped now.” And it’s like, she never gets raped. They just put a rapey vibe through most of the episodes.

Kris 19:05
I know I always fear that whenever I’m watching something, agreed, yes.

Tara 19:09
Hmm. So no, like, so far, it’s been pretty good. Like, I’m not saying her, you know, she’s had some bad shit happen to her. But that, thankfully, wasn’t one of them. So far. I’m really I’m into it.

Kris 19:24
So it might be a future recommendation. But as far as this episode goes, What is your big recommendation for us this week?

Tara 19:33
Okay. So in the last episode, I was kind of sassy and I teased that I was going to talk about the best book that I read last year. And so that’s what I am going to talk about. And actually, I would go so far as to say that I’m pretty sure it’s the best book that I’ve read in the last decade, or at least the best fiction book and that book is The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya. The first thing I want to do is just say, we’re going to try to avoid spoilers, but there’s a chance that there will be spoilers. So, if you are a highly spoiler phobic person, maybe pause this, go read the book. You should read the book. Anyway, I wasn’t kidding. It’s that good.

Kris 20:10
And it’s really good.

Tara 20:11
So please do that that. Right? I told Kris about it. She said all right. I’ll read it before the episode. So we are both ready to talk about this one. And I’m going to start with a blurb because this is one of the rare books where I actually take the blurb. I often disagree with blurbs, or will fight with them because I think they are a lie but this one did not feel like it lied to me. And the blurb says everyone talks about falling in love but falling in friendship can be just as captivating when Neela Devaki song is covered by internet famous artist meaning the two musicians meet in a transformative friendship begins. But as RUK-MINI’s star rises and Neela stagnates jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed and two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.

This is one of those books where like, I almost don’t even know where to start, I want to say 10 things all at the same time, because I’m equally excited about all these different things. So I think where I might actually start is the author. Part of why was excited about this book is that it’s by an Indian Canadian trans woman. And she’s just phenomenal. I also read – she had a nonfiction book that came out I believe, last year, or the year before – called I’m Afraid of Men that was excellent and talks a lot about like growing up as a boy in Canada and the transitioning experience and what what that’s been like, and it’s tiny, but super powerful, so that I had to keep putting it down all the time. But I loved it.

And so when I saw this was coming out, I thought well, I definitely want to check it out. I know she’s an incredible writer. And some people might also recognize her because she was part of a massive MAC campaign, which I think was a couple of years ago. So Maxie cosmetics company and she just was gorgeous, just this like iconic photo of her. That was incredible. It was a part of a campaign that was celebrating MAC’s roots in Canada. So I don’t know. It’s just like all had me super interested. And I love the idea. I think for me if I had to boil it down to like, what’s my favorite thing about this book? Oh, shit, I just pinned myself into a corner because as soon as I was about to say something I was like, but what about- I love the way it interrogates the way, friendship can be as powerful as any romantic relationship, that there can be a similar depths of feeling that there can be and when it doesn’t go, right there can be similar, like, grief, or toxicity or any of these kinds of things. And that while it’s doing all of this, the writing itself is so sharp, like nothing-

Kris 23:03
You can’t skip a word.

Tara 23:04
No, nothing felt spare.

Kris 23:06
Right? Exactly. Everyword was there for a reason. I thought I thought the writing was gorgeous and very real. You know, I write books that are kind of fluffy. And it’s hard to write a romance, you know, with such rawness and this book, I went in, not knowing anything. I didn’t read the blurb or anything it was you said, Hey, this is great book. And I said, Okay, I’ll give it right. I’ll give it a try. And I literally just started reading it. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know where the queerness was in this. I didn’t know anything. So what it boiled down for me, well, lots of things. See, I can’t, it’s hard because for me it was about communication, communication on any level is very important. And one miss any sort of communication, especially like the lack thereof, you know, miscommunication happens so much, especially with social media now, how you can tweet and post and use your Instagram stories and just Instagram itself and Facebook. I mean, there’s so many ways that communicate now.

And, you know, if you think about texting, think about how there’s no emotion in texting, you know, you have to read each word and you don’t know when you when you get a message you like, sometimes you don’t know what it what it means. And you’re just like, “What the fuck does this mean?” Is this, like you take it the wrong way. There’s so many ways to take things and it’s really like the vibe, it brings about a different vibe sometimes and you can take a tweet wrong and then call your friend or whoever. And it turns out that Oh, they didn’t mean that they mean something else.

So for me this book was was certainly about communication and how words like the subtweet can be like a little dig, jab, and that happens all the time. Whether you want it to be a jab or not. If you’re unaware of your words and the power of words and they’re truly powerful. Whether it’s written or, you know, like this book was a very powerful book for me, because I appreciated the way not only the story itself, because it deals with art, you know, artists, whether musicians, you know, I that is that is my level of understanding, like, I can never write a book about, you know, doctor or lawyer because somebody would point it out and say, “Oh, that’s that part of it’s not right.” You know, whereas art, you can’t argue with me it’s subjective. You know, it’s, and so that’s why I love this book for that reason. So it was about everything I love in life. And then the words were so beautifully said. And it was just it was I did the thing where I write down quotes. And so I just, I guess I had to limit myself because this whole book, I just have to, like, read it out loud to people, because it was so good.

Tara 25:52
I know, when I read it the first time, I highlighted so much that it started to become meaningless.

Kris 25:59
Right, exactly. When you’re highlighting everything. You’re like, “Oh, well, Hell no, I can’t do this.” So but there were some you know, um, that I thought were very powerful. But I totally hijacked this conversation. And so I had to get it out.

Tara 26:13
That’s okay. Yeah. So I think also, to your point, like I, I’ve really liked how social media in the way we interact with it, and how it can fuck with relationships?

Kris 26:24

Tara 26:25
I think that was done so beautifully because just the way, because RU K-MINI really starts as a fan. And like Neela is the one who is an established artist. I mean, she’s definitely, she’s like an indie artist. She’s not mainstream yet. But she has her following. And then her RUK-MINI covers one of her songs and just fucking blows up. And they somehow out of this, like artists fan thing they build, what I would actually call is almost like a quite a strange relationship. Because RUK-MINI has Neela on this pedestal? And how-

Kris 27:07
But Neela doesn’t really know that.

Tara 27:09
No, she doesn’t know that. And then how it flips, when RUK-MINI becomes famous. And Neela is not the famous one anymore, and how it goes from like RUK-MINI, watching Neela social media and wondering like, why don’t you like any of my posts, to when RUK-MINI’s the famous one, and she’s not as quick to respond to texts. And she’s not necessarily engaging in the way on social media that Neela would have hoped she would. Like that shift in power dynamic, I found it incredibly interesting. And the other thing that I thought was interesting, too, was, you know, there’s a real interrogation in the book of brown women, creating art that is largely being consumed by white people.

Kris 28:01

Tara 28:02
And what does that mean? At what point are you selling out, versus just doing your art? And I mean, I would say that I am by far the last person who is qualified to have any kind of a judgement on that sort of thing like as a white woman, but I really appreciated seeing it in there and seeing that conversation happen. And it definitely was something that left me thinking for quite a while.

Kris 28:28
Yeah, it’s, it’s a very powerful book. And it was reasonably, I mean, it was a good length. It wasn’t too short, and it wasn’t too long. And, and it, like I said, for sure, you have to read every word. It’s so powerful, very powerful book. And it brought a lot of attention to things that I didn’t think about ever. Really.

Tara 28:52
So yeah, for me

Kris 28:53
Like I didn’t, and there’s only like, go ahead.

Tara 28:56
No, no, you do it. You go.

Kris 28:59
Virus virus.

Tara 29:01
For me, for me, this was a perfect book, like there was nothing that I would change about it. And the ending doesn’t necessarily give closure. I recommended this book to people and had them come back and say I don’t know how I feel about this. And I actually think that’s how I think that’s how you’re supposed to feel, like I liked that it didn’t wrap everything up with a neat little bow because I think a central like one of the central themes is just how messy this can be. And I just, I got to the end, and I was just breathless.

Kris 29:39
But you know, it’s all about communication.

Tara 29:42
Mm hmm.

Kris 29:43
It really I mean, really, I everything about it. And it’s funny because I get this a lot with books, you know, I’ll read reviews, not not on my books. I mean, I do but other books that I’m interested in, people will say, Well, if they only communicated if they you know, and it’s not that easy life isn’t that easy. You just can’t like Oh hey, well You know, I feel left out because

Tara 30:01

Kris 30:02
people aren’t like that, you know, they don’t want to seem selfish with time with your time. Like, I’m sad that you didn’t call me like you said you were going to because then I look like an asshole by being upset by this. You know, are my feelings valid? And so this whole thing just snowballed. And you could just see it happening on the page. And I was like, NOOOOO, like the whole thing. And that and I, I struggle still with the ending still with the ending.

Tara 30:28
That’s a great point, because I am exactly one of those reviewers who has called out books before like, specifically romances I’ve called out before saying that I am frustrated, because this all could have been solved with a simple conversation. And I do get that there are times when, well but people don’t have those conversations. And it’s like, okay, but sometimes narratively speaking, like, it just doesn’t work as well, when it when it’s truly like a really simple conversation that could have been had. But in this case, I feel like we got to see the true full ramifications of not having the conversations that you’re supposed to have.

Kris 31:03
Right. Agreed, like for sure. From every point, you know, and it was and and I almost missed the line. I almost missed it. The whole RUK-MINI trans line. Missed it.

Tara 31:16
Oh, yeah, yeah. So that’s the other thing is that RUK-MINI is a trans woman, like-

Kris 31:21
Blew my mind. I did not know that.

Tara 31:24
Yeah. Yeah.

Kris 31:26
And I always missed it, because I was reading it. And I was like, Oh, wait, what? And that happens towards you know, almost, well, I guess. Well, probably in the last three quarters of the book, I think is when you when it comes out like it never once did I pick up on that at all.

Tara 31:40
I didn’t either. The thing that I ended up quite liking about that is just getting to see the representation of like getting to see a book that has a trans woman, but it’s not necessarily about her trans experience. It’s not- It has nothing to do with her transition. And I’m quite happy to read those books as well. But for me, it’s so rare to come across a book where it’s like, Okay, well, this character just happens to be trans and we’re not making a big deal about it. We’re just going to make sure that you know about it. And so I liked that quite a lot.

Kris 32:13
Yeah, like I said, I almost missed it. Almost.

Tara 32:17
Did you want to share any of your quotes?

Kris 32:18
Yes, I can I have I have like seven or eight. And some of them were really long. But I’ll go ahead. And like I said, the first half of the book, I started highlighting, I was like, What am I doing this, I’m gonna be highlighting the whole book. So I stopped. But, but then I picked it back up again, because I can’t just leave this here, I have to share this. So. So I picked up a couple. So I’ll probably share three of them.

So the first one says the story was that Neela’s interest in her lovers inevitably declined into boredom. After the initial curiosity and desire to ravage one another physically wore down coupledom was mostly an exercise in compromise. The beauty of singledom was never having to do the tedious and predictable dance of, What are you doing this weekend? Depends on what you’re doing this weekend. What do you feel like eating tonight? I don’t know. What do you feel like eating? And I feel like so many relationships are like that. And so and I and I feel like this, this story talks about, you know, the whole idea of singledom. And it’s okay to be single. And it’s okay to be happy being single.

Tara 33:22

Kris 33:23
So I really like that that’s stood out a lot to me, because I feel like a lot of couples fall into that, that, like she said, coupledom. You know, you fall into that. Hey, what do you feel like getting tonight? Oh, I don’t know. What are you thinking? It’s like, you know, guess what? I and this is the one thing that always gets me. Like, just tell me, what are you hungry for? I’m hungry for tacos. I you know, what are you hungry for? Does that sound good? I mean, and it’s kind of like, you know, I just I like to, I like somebody to actually tell me. Whatever you want is fine with me. I don’t like that at all. So that’s stuck out for that reason, because I feel that that’s important to say.

Tara 33:56

Kris 33:57
And here’s one that affects every single person in this world. 100%. It said, there was nothing more satisfying in a disagreement than proof. Like that we all like to be right.

Tara 34:11

Kris 34:12
Sad. So I thought that was kind of interesting. And there’s so many, but I think the last one I’m going to end with is what an entitled and even offensive question to ask, Why? Why suggests that, that there had to be a reason beyond the reason provided in the article an ulterior motive, a more logical explanation, but there really was no logic beyond truth.

Tara 34:33
Mm hmm.

Kris 34:34
You know, and so that’s kind of like the, I mean, there’s so many good lines and and sometimes

Tara 34:38
Oh yeah.

Kris 34:39
The question is just why and that’s, that’s all it is. It’s just why and so that’s towards the end of the book.

Tara 34:46
I think for me, there’s this one of the spots that really I was like, Oh, yeah, good, was when RUK-MINI goes on tour. She takes one of Neela’s friends with her, as, as a musician.

Kris 34:59

Tara 35:00
And so we see a conversation later on between. So Casey is the musician between Neela and Casey. And they’re hanging out. And Neela says, it looks like you were both having the time of your lives. And Casey says, that’s the point of social media, isn’t it?

Kris 35:17

Tara 35:18
And I was like, Ah, yes.

Kris 35:21
It’s like the life you want to have a lot of times, you know, the life that you want people to think that you’re having.

Tara 35:27
Yeah, like, you get to curate other people’s perceptions of what your life is like. And I love that. In this book, we get to see like, just how fucked that is.

Kris 35:40

Tara 35:41
And how much it hurts it. And so the other thing for me that I’m I mean, I could also again, just like, I’ll just read you the whole book, no big deal.

Kris 35:49

Tara 35:50
I’m not going to do that. But for me, it was the first page. So I’m going to read it a little bit longer, but I hope that’s-

Kris 35:59
No, it’s great. Yeah, I agree. Yeah, I started on the first page too.

Tara 36:02
Oh, man. And so for me, so typically, because I’m a reviewer, I do get advanced reader copies of books. Usually, I get files that go straight to my Kindle. In this case, they didn’t have one like that. So they sent me a PDF, so I got to see it in the actual layout. So I know that this is the first full page and also, by the way, I hate reading shit on my computer, and I read this in a weekend just like laying there on my laptop. I didn’t lay on my laptop laying there with my laptop. I broke my laptop! No.

Okay. So here it is. Neela Devaki wasn’t original. She was reminded of this fact, shortly after she stepped out of her cab and into the Fairmont Hotel, the main site for the North by Northeast Festival, zipping through the masses of musicians, fans and industry reps. She felt sorry for the chandeliers which loomed above like golden flying saucers forced to light up the dull networking that buzzed beneath them. But a conversation between two art students draped and curated thriftware featured, featuring strategically placed rips and holes brought Neela to a reluctant halt. I was totally working on something like this for my final project, I guess originality is dead. One of the women’s side taking photos of herself deck faced with a pop up art installation Neela skimed to the artist statement, the frosted toothpick. The frosted toothpick statues of penises were, quote, a comment on the current global epidemic of white emmasculinization end quote, why not just hang a red and white flag that said make art great again. Brevity was the true endangered species. And just like,

Kris 37:34
and it is that heavy and that real and raw throughout the whole book.

Tara 37:40
And it’s just like, I just keep going back to how, like, for me, it’s just so sharp, and it’s so clever, but not in that. Like, I’ve read books, where the author clearly thinks they’re clever, and it’s just like, yeah, okay, this person is so far up their own ass. It’s not like that. It just feels so like, real. Like, she’s just exposing the world for what it is.

Kris 38:05

Tara 38:06
I’m so glad you loved it, too.

Kris 38:08
I did. I really did. And I think a lot of our readers will like it as well.

Tara 38:12
Hurrah. Pllease, please, please read it. And if you love it, please, you know, drop us a message. If you want, like, send us a tweet. Again, you can email us at We would love to hear what you think. And we hope you love it as much as we did. So Kris, what is your big queer recommendation for the week?

Kris 38:33
Well, this is gonna be a controversial one. Because I have, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to recommend this week. And I was like, Well, I can go back and look at some of the the series that I’ve seen or some of the older movies that are that have queer rep in them. And I thought, you know what, I’m gonna rent Ammonite.

Tara 38:52
Mm hmm.

Kris 38:53
Directed by Francis Lee. And first of all the reason why I mean, first of all, is Kate Winslet. I think we all love Kate Winslet for ever, for a lot of reasons. She’s a great actress, but I think she does- She slips into character very well. And in all of the movies that she has. So let me go ahead and read a blurb of this movie for those who haven’t seen it or haven’t been interested in this. So here we go. In 1800s England – and I think the actual date is 1840 – acclaimed but unrecognized fossil hunter Mary Anning, plaued by Kate Winslet, works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife, Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan, she cannot afford to turn down his offer. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, Mary initially clashes with her unwelcomed guest, but despite the distance between their social class and personalities, an intense bond begins to develop compelling the two women to determine the true nature of the relationship.

If you go into it knowing that there’s an affair, usually affairs don’t end up positively, usually an affair’s what it is. So, we start off and we meet Mary Anning, and she’s a paleo- paleontologist, but she’s not formally educated. And she just spends her time alone digging in southern England looking for fossils. So you immediately feel when you when you start watching this, you immediately feel the dampness, the darkness and the gloominess of her life. Her environment is just wet and just the word everybody hates moist, but it’s so dark, you know, and it’s just been that starts off for the cinematography. She’s She’s rough. She’s always she’s kind of dirty, like, pick this she’s always digging in. And like, the whole time I’m watching her going, how is she going to get that, you know, mud off her dress and the mud and the nicotine stains off of her fingers, you know, the whole time I’m thinking of hygeine, but which is we’ll get into that here in a little bit.

But you know, the movie, it’s, it’s forever forecast, like overcast in this movie. And there’s so much symbolism, it just drips of symbolism. And it reminded me like best pictures from the 1990s. I don’t know if I went on a run of watching all the Best Picture nominees in the 1990s. And they all had like, they were just like, full of symbolism. And so this movie is kind of like that. And it kind of reminded me a lot of the piano by Jane Champion. Did you ever see that movie? No?

Tara 41:30

Kris 41:31
You need to see it. It’s a phenomenal movie. And it has Holly Hunter, Sam Neill and Anna Paquin. And Anna actually got the best Act- the academy for supporting actor 11 Oh, my goodness. Yeah. And she deserved it. 100% but it’s not it’s not gay, it’s not a gay movie. Maybe it’s not I really recommended it to me as Kris Bryant recommended movie if you haven’t seen it. And the music is phenomenal. I love the music. I love listening to the music. And it’s funny because I was listening to the music in this movie. And I thought maybe the same people made this music.

So like so here’s so the story is you know, she- Mary has her first find archeological find, she finds this dinosaur. And she’s 11. She’s 11 years old. And she finds this dinosaur. She takes the time and she had to sell it you know, for money and help her parents and her whole family- just that’s what she does. And but she never actually gets a claim for any of her work. I mean, even you see her her work, you finally go because it’s that’s the British Royal something or another at first the British Academy. And it’s not under her name, Mary Anning. It’s M. Anning so you don’t even know that a woman did this. And so there’s a lot of you feel the heaviness of her life and just the oppression of her life, being a woman. And it’s just, it’s, it’s just anyway, so you’ll see like the first half hour, you’re just like, Oh my gosh, this is horrible. For her and not the movie itself, but just her life. You’re just like, I feel so bad for her, you know, and she doesn’t she doesn’t make any apologies or anything. This is what she wants to do.

So.So then you cue the love interest. The there’s a gentleman gentleman, quote, quote, his name is Roderick Murchison and he is so excited to meet here. He’s like all I’ve known about your your work forever. And he goes can I go out with you one day and look over fossils and see what you do. And she’s like, Yeah, whatever. And he’s like, No, you should be you should feel good that I want to do this because you know, I’ll pay you. And so she’s like, Okay, well meet me, whatever. Meet me here. So he, of course, is a gentleman, but he has things to do in the morning. So we find her on the beach. And she’s like, yeah, this started a long time ago. And long story short, he’s like, I have to go on this theological something journey. And he’s like it, I want you to my wife isn’t well, I want you – I’m going to pay you to kind of be her companion for the next five, four or five, or at the most six weeks. That’s how he says it. Like, is he really gonna like, Is he gonna leave her here? He’s never coming back.

So she kind of does not already like her. She doesn’t like her, like people. And she doesn’t like her. So she’s really Charlotte, I guess is the character name. She’s very quiet, very frail. She doesn’t have good health. And so her husband says, Look, I need her to be here because she needs the sea air and she needs to bathe in the ocean. And just to get her well. And so finally she says, Okay, I’ll do it. And here’s a side note to this. Like, I could have been a successful doctor in the 1840s. I could say that to anybody, but I would at least also say Hey, how about to get some hot tea? And how about fires? How about, let’s help Lots of heat in houses. Like the whole time I watch this movie, I was cold. And I was thinking about how fortunate I am to have eat running water, electricity.

You know, it’s one of those where you’re just like, you so thankful that you’re in this time as opposed to back in 1840s.

Tara 45:16

Kris 45:16
So. So I want to say like, as far as the queerness, I’m trying to think how, like the character Charlotte, she’s very, you know, she doesn’t feel well. And then when she starts feeling well, you can see that she has affection and attraction towards Mary. And so the first time they kiss, you’re just like, wait, because it’s, you know, and I always talk about chemistry, chemistry is very, very big for me, like, I need to feel it, I need to see that kiss, I need to feel it. And it was kind of awkward, but I think a lot of first kisses are awkward. People don’t want to admit that, but kind of are. And so, so it’s kind of a frenzy, you know, they kiss and so something happens. And it’s real quick. And it’s like what just happened. But then like, everything changes, like all of a sudden the sun comes out, and they’re lighter dress their clothing, you know, it’s lighter colored, and you just feel like this oppression just kind of lift from the whole movie itself. The chemistry in the first sex scene is amazing, like, but not the first, like, when they finally like, come together really come together. And I believe the kissing. And the kissing is oolala and the chemistry is there. And I’ll sum it up by saying all aboard the Chew-U Express. Oh, it’s amazing. Like, the scene is so quick. It’s so quick. But-

Tara 46:42
Didn’t they film that on Saoirse Ronan’s birthday, like, I thought I read that Kate Winslet arranged that to happen so that she could like, give her a thrill on her birthday.

Kris 46:52
Hilarious. I don’t know. But that scene was so good. And it just, you know, it was so real and raw. And I loved it for that. I mean, it’s it’s like when you finally like, break apart, there’s no walls between them. And it was just it was a very good scene. And the ending, you know, I need people to watch this movie because we need to discuss the ending, like the last 20 minutes, and I don’t want to ruin it. You know, the director says that the love affair is fictitious, you know, these are real people. But he just kind of the writer just kind of made this all up this whole scene, or this whole movie. I’m sorry.

Tara 47:28
Well, is it? Is it based on a book though? Like, is it based on Nicola Griffiths book Ammonite?

Kris 47:35
I’m sure. I don’t know. Because I literally just watched the movie just to watch the movie.

Tara 47:38

Kris 47:39
I want to see it. So I’m not quite sure. Like the history. I just know that there was like a big to do about, Hey, this is fictitious. We don’t know that this really happened in their friendship. Because Charlotte ends up being you know, she’s a geologist too, she’s a lot younger. So he was he just wanted to make sure that, you know, people knew that this was just not true. Or based on a real life story, real life, romance

Tara 48:04
Is the ending happy?

Kris 48:07
So here’s the deal. It depends on how you view it. It’s kind of like, I think, like I laughed at the ending. I saw it and it was, I don’t want to ruin it for anybody. But I watched it and I looked at it like, it just ended and I’m like, okay, you can take it one of two ways. It was either you could take it as a positive, because like, the character is like, really, they’re both very strong women, even though there’s an age gap. They’re both very strong women. And so it kind of ends in kind of like a stalemate type situation. So I need people to watch this because I want to get their take on the ending.

Tara 48:46
Oh, that’s interesting, because so there’s a trailer that came out recently for another period movie called The World to Come. And it was funny, Neil sent me the link for it. He was like, What do you think? I look- I mean, it looks like lesbians. I was like, Okay, here’s the deal, dude. I didn’t see it come up on because it was like all over Twitter with all these people doing old timey lesbians. And I didn’t even watch it with a sound on I just watched what was happening. I was like, wow, fuck, okay, so they both have husbands. And they’re falling in love. And it looks like kind of a Western context, which I think means one of them is going to die. I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen. Like we don’t get to see old timey lesbians with a happy ending except for maybe Gentlemen Jack which I still need to see. But

Kris 49:31
No I agree,

Tara 49:32
That’s also why I haven’t watched this because a party was like well, there’s no way they can have a happy ending.

Kris 49:38
Right. And and it’s kind of like you see the for sure at the very end, you see the differences in their classes, for sure you see it and Is it happy? You can make it happy. You can not make it happy. There’s really no set way. You know, because there was like a an offer and I don’t want to give it away. I just don’t want to give it away. I don’t want to say it was an unhappy sad ending, but I don’t want to say was a happy ending. I feel like you walk away with it believing and thinking what you do. It’s one of those where it leaves you know like okay, so I can come up with my own ending so I mean you don’t see like a you know the the car with a Just Married and – I say car – the horses ready with the Just Married sign and stuff like that it’s not like that. It’s not like that at all because that just wasn’t the way life was so

Tara 50:29
But it’s also not like the husband comes back and kills them both or anything.

Kris 50:32
Right. Right. It’s not like that. There’s no like you don’t see the husband again in the whole play. You see him at the beginning. And that’s it. And so

Tara 50:39
Oh, that’s already more promising than I thought.

Kris 50:42
Exactly. So that’s my recommendation for this week.

Tara 50:46
Go watch it now because you’ve got enough information.

Kris 50:49

Tara 50:52
All right. Well, that is all for this episode. Thank you so much everyone for joining us. If you enjoy the show, please subscribe. You know anywhere you listen to podcast and you know if if you really really enjoyed it, if you consider leaving a review, we would appreciate it so very much. You want to connect with us on all your favorite social media sites. You can find us just by searching for @queerlyrecommended on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We have accounts on all of them. We will respond to you and we are happy to hear from you. So that’s all for thisweek. Goodbye, everyone.

Kris 51:22
Thank you. Bye.

Tara 52:05
Okay, now tell me that ending.

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