Hey everyone, Tara here. Before we get going with the episode, I just wanted to give you all a quick heads up. We had a little bit of technical difficulties in this episode, which is why it sounds like Kris is calling from a payphone in the 1980s. We’re working on it to make sure that doesn’t happen again. But hopefully you love the show just as much as we did anyway.
Hey, everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended. I am Tara Scott and with me as always is Kris Bryant.
Hello, this is episode six and we are so glad to be back here with you all.
All right, Kris. How are you enjoying our polar vortex? Are you still freezing your ass off?
So we had record lows, as did most of the country down here, especially Texas. But oh my gosh, we have like minus 17 degrees. It’s like the temperature not even the windchill, the windchill was like off the charts. But I don’t like it. And I have been- thankfully, I did not have to go into work those days. And I was able to work at home. But oh my goodness, I was afraid my car wasn’t going to start. And we have so many issues with like ice and snow and wrecks and it was horrible. So I don’t really want your polar vortexes anymore. I want you to keep them up north.
I don’t want them either, though. Nobody wants them here. And then we have a problem here in Calgary where, well, I mean, it’s some people love them, and some people hate them. So it’s called a chinook and it’s like a big warm wind that will come in. And so you can have like a 20 degree temperature swing in less than a day. Or even in some cases, you can have it in less than an hour. And so it’s kind of like one of the migraine capitals of Canada and so I have not been enjoying my migraine. I’ve been pulling out the real big drugs. By which I mean like a triptan drug, not like a cocaine. I don’t think cocaine would help my migraine.
No heroin, it always gets you in a good mood?
Right, just like a literal shot in the arm. No, no, no, no, no, no, I grabbed the rise of triptan that my doctor prescribed for me, not anything that is going to land me in jail or in trouble with child services.
Well, so I’m glad you’re feeling better. Because I understand migraine suck.
They’re not my favorite. I cannot recommend and I’ve been getting them kind of more this winter as our temperatures have been swinging and I had to take some training for work. So in my day job, I’m actually in marketing and specifically in product marketing. So I’ve been taking a couple more courses related to that. And at the end of one of them, the poor instructor was like, because you know, you do your exam, and I went back in just to say, hey, like, pop back in the Zoom Room and just say, Hey, thank you, you know, that was so great and she was like, “Like, what? What was your what was the most useful thing?” and I was like, “I’m so sorry, I have been like medicated to the gills.So I’m gonna be going back through my notes. And I’m sure it’s all gonna be useful and amazing.” So yes, fantastic times.
But hopefully by the time this episode goes up, because we do record about a week before we post, hopefully, nobody’s freezing their ass off anymore. And everybody’s lives a little bit back to- I was about to say back to normal, but like, what does that even mean? As we’re entering the twelth month of the quarantimes?
Well, so you know, I think for example, yesterday, I was outside because I was putting- one of my friends, Kayla Draper came by and she helped me. She did it all really. I got a bike rack for my electric bike. So I’m very excited that I’ll get to ride that around in a couple weeks, hopefully, if the snow and ice melts, but it was 37 degrees outside. And I was out there in just a hoodie and a pair of sweats because 37 was amazing. But normally 37 I don’t even leave the house. So it’s all relative.
Yes, I have colleagues from work that live in the San Francisco Bay area because we have like a little satellite office there. And some of them were joining zoom calls in like, super bundled. It was like what’s the temperature? Like they’re they’re like 54. I was like, Are you kidding me? I’m gonna go sunbathing. No, that’s insane.
But yeah, so I suppose rapid topic shift. I’m sure you remember. Last episode, I asked our listeners if they had any queer gaming recommendations for me and specifically for gaming on the Switch because although you know, we have the Xbox, we have a PlayStation, we have a gaming computer in this house. Apparently what I need is a handheld device to actually game and then I will just play forever. And I got a few responses and I want to share it back just in case anyone else is looking for queer Switch games.
So my friend Ed, who is lovely, and has been enjoying the podcast said, “Hey, what about Stardew Valley?” And I was like, “Yes, of course Stardew Valley”, which is a game that I’ve played before, but it recently put out an expansion. And so I am excited to download it on the Switch and play it again. It is a like farming slash dungeon crawling simulator. And you can also romance the locals. And there are straight options. And there are queer options. And it’s the most chill sweet game ever in the world. And I highly, highly recommend it. It got me through a rough patch a few years ago, when I just you know, I was burned out at work and kind of burned out on life. And because it’s just the sweetest chilis game ever, it’s the perfect game to play when you don’t have a lot of capacity for much. So highly, highly recommend.
And then one of my co workers who is also a really good friend Skye, she reached out and said, “Hey, what about the Last of Us?” And I was like, “Oh, yeah.” I probably won’t play The Last of Us. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure if it’s even on the Switch, but it is a- you’re going to go and you’re going to shoot a shit ton of zombies in it. But the writing is very good. And it’s one that Neil loved. And one of the things that I love about him is that if he knows there’s queer content in something that he’s watching, or gaming or whatever, but he knows that I’m not gonna like it, he’ll make sure that I get just the nice queer content parts. So I got to see the scenes in The Last of Us where there is this teenage girl and her relationship with another girl. And so yes, definitely, if that’s the thing you’re looking for, go check it out there.
And then Wendy sent a YouTube video through from an account called Nintendo Eedit. It’s called Top 10 Queer Friendly Switch Games and I will drop it in the show notes so that everybody can check that out if they want. But games that are in there that I have played and that I totally recommend are Dream Daddy, which is a dating sim that is-
Super cute. Where you’re playing a dad who’s going to like date other dads basically, it’s like which of the other dads are you going to end up with? Are you going to be with like the hunky gym rat Dad? Are you going to be with the like soulful coffeeshop Dad?Are you going to be with the sweetheart fat dad?
There’s one that’s like, still married and it’s like that whole one is kind of strange. So I I think he might be a cult leader too I don’t know, like, I don’t recommend that Dad. Other games. And they’re included Stardew Valley, like I just mentioned Skyrim, which is, I guess it’s like you can kind of marry anyone. So I sort of see why they put it in there. But I wouldn’t call it especially queer and Gone Home, which is it’s such a beautiful game. It’s kind of like us- I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m gonna say this wrong. And some gamers gonna correct me later. And that’s totally fine if you want to do that. Possibly even Neil, as he’s editing this episode. But it’s the idea is that like, you’re this person who is going home, I think you’re kind of like looking for your family or your sister or whatever, like nobody is at home and you’re going through and it’s super creepy as you’re going through the house with all these artifacts. And then it pieces together into- like it’s a, it’s a playable story is the best way I can think of to put it. And it’s definitely queer. And I didn’t expect where it was going to go. And it made me cry.
It’s so, it’s so beautiful. So definitely if you haven’t played gone home, I don’t care what platform you you have look for it and just pick it up it is so lovely. And a couple that I saw in the video that I haven’t played yet that I either bought or put on my wish list where there was one called A Normal Lost Phone, which looks like it’s a story game where you find a phone and by going through it… something happens, I don’t know. And then another one called Night in the Woods, which I don’t actually understand what it’s like, or what it’s supposed to be about at all, but the art style really got me interested. So that’s a buttload of games.
if anybody has played any of the ones that I just talked about or if you have any other recommendations again, please feel free to send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a DM on one of our social channels because we’d love to hear from you. And now-
This actually makes me want to play games. I mean listening to your recommendations. I used to play a long time ago back in the day. We’re talking like a really long time ago. You know I had the original Nintendo and still do I have the Sega Genesis and still do And Pong and all the Ataris and things like that. So I mean, I used to play and then I got into writing. And so I had to give something up. I mean, I can’t stay up 24 hours a day, I would love to but I think 18 is enough so…
There’s a part of me that wants to just start chanting to you “Buy a Switch, buy a Switch”, but I also don’t want your fans to come stab me because they are waiting for more books.
So yeah, I went from three to two to one because I’m a gamer now. So that’s what’s gonna happen.
Cuz I do I love to, like, I used to love it. I have a, like one gaming system that has like all the old games, you know, like 300 of the old games, Donkey Kong, Pac Man. All those?
And Galaga and Congo, and I love those or Contra I’m sorry, Contra. Those are the games that I love to play. And I would play them for like, truly weekend, Friday night, all the way to like, really, really late Sunday night. Because I didn’t have anything else going on. So now I am a responsible writer, and I have deadlines. And I have to hit this deadline. So but this makes me listening to all these games gets that little, that rush of adrenaline rush you have you know, when you when you want to play games, and you want to do things like that. It’s coming back. And so I’m like, I must not get a Switch.
That makes you feel any better. I will play extra long on my Switch today in your honor.
Thank you. Thank you, give me an hour.
Right, I would do that for you.
So speaking of listeners, we actually had a couple of other questions come in and Cat Daniels had one specifically for you.
Ah, yes, she did
Peanut butter or peeps, you can only choose one and I have questions because I thought peeps were just for decorating.
Pieces of heaven. That’s what peeps are peeps are and they regulate them out. So you have to wait for certain holidays to get them. And so therefore you want them even more. It’s like what you can’t have you want more. So I thought about this question. I went back and forth and back and forth. And I’m gonna have to stick with peanut butter. I’ve been eating it forever and I just love it. I love it so much. And you can do so much with peanut butter. But with peeps. You can only eat him. You know, maybe I should put peanut butter on peeps. I know so many- So like last year because of COVID they didn’t even make peeps.
I have- They stopped production on peeps. And I was so sad but my friends Tiffany and Amy sent me like three boxes of peeps for my birthday. It was insane. Like, I don’t know how you got them or who you killed to get them but thank you so much.
Well, I think you made the right choice because you chose the one that is definitely food.
Is it? Is it? I don’t know.
When I eat? Yeah, but it has a lot of sugar and and almost as probably as much sugar as a peep does.
Is that an American thing? Because the peanut butter here doesn’t have very much sugar in it in Canada.
What do you eat? What brand?
There’s only one brand but go ahead.
Well,it depends. It depends. I’m not the one that does the grocery shopping in the house. So sometimes Jif sometimes, sometimes Kraft it just depends.
What’s Kraft? I mean, I know Kraft, but I mean, what’s the peanut butter? They have peanut butter?
Yeah. It has the bears on it.
What? No, we don’t have that here. I eat Jif, like that is my peanut butter. I guess should every time and it has to be creamy. It can’t be a chunky stuff.
Creamy, yes. We are no longer friends.
You’re gonna have no friends left at this rate.
Yeah, I’m so picky. No creamy. We were good on the Jif and then it went downhill.
I- so if it’s on toast, I can go either way. It just kind of depends on the day. But if I am making a stir fry with like a peanut sauce, then it has to be chunky. Because then it’s better because then you get the peanut sauce and you get the peanuts in the sauce.
See if I accidentally picked up crunchy or extra crunchy. I’m very sad and I won’t eat it. I’ll go back and get creamy. I just you know, peanut butter is just supposed to be creamy. Fight me!
That’s okay. All right, fair enough. Well, we also got another question and our friend Kathy wants to know what is our favorite trope? Also what is the trope or sub genre we want more of?
So I’m gonna say this is specific to romance, even though I haven’t been reading as much romance lately. So I’m gonna answer the two questions separately. So what is my favorite trope? So in romance, absolutely hands down celebrities, I love celebrity romances, especially if it kind of gets into the reality of what is it like to live as a celebrity? What are the risks? What are the risks of having a romance? And are they going to be out? Are they not out? What does that like? I love the potential kind of around that.
And then the other one that I absolutely adore is age gap romances, and I’m not totally sure why because I’m not in one. We are 14 months apart. But I just I love I love reading them, especially when it gets addressed directly. Because there are age gap romances where it’s like, there’s 15 years between them, and it’s no big deal. And it’s like, Okay, well, that’s cool. Like, I’m sure that’s the experience for some people. But I love the ones where it’s like, no, let’s talk about it. Like what are the realities of if we’re going to get into this long term? What does that mean? Or even the ones where, you know, maybe the the person who’s older actually stops to assess what has my body been through that your body hasn’t been through? What does that do to my confidence? And is that it like it just feels very real. And the best of all, I don’t know why I love these – but I fucking do – are the ones- Harper Bliss has written a couple of them, where it’s an age gap between a woman and her mother’s friend, and I don’tknow why.
I think to me, just because I’m like, it’s just like, it’s candy. It’s like, give me this book. Can the friendship survive this moment?
And then in terms of like, what do I want to see more of? So it’s, I’m gonna actually answer not in romance because I’m still I’m still reading romance just not nearly as much, I want to see more queer women in speculative fiction, like sci fi and fantasy. I, that’s what I’m really diggin. I want to see more of it. Because I think what I’ve been seeing in the last year that’s been coming out, including from some, like, large mainstream, traditional publishers has been just fabulous.
And I think, you know, the more we can get good fiction about queer people out in the mainstream is the better for everybody.
So what about you? What’s, what’s your favorite trope?
Um, I love I love rich poor, love rich. I like that whole dynamic, because you have somebody who wants to take care of this person who doesn’t have as much as they have. But yet this person who doesn’t have as much as they have has too much pride and they don’t want to take advantage or see that or seem like they’re taking advantage of the other person. So I like that whole pushback, I guess, in that that whole thing. No, I’m too proud. But I need help. But I don’t want your help. But I need your help type thing. And I don’t want to date you because you have money and you can help me, things like that. So I kind of like that, I like to rich poor and cause I like the whole taking care of things. Like I- it’s a control thing.
I have a follow up question.
Okay, right now?
Yes, yes. Specifically, this one cuz I know you have another-
-have another trope you’re going to talk about? What about billionaire romances?
Um, billionaire romances? Ah-
Do you like them?
Have I ever read them, I don’t know that I’ve read a billionaire.
There are a lot more of them in romances with hetero pairings, but I’ve started to see a few pop up in lesfic and I’m just kind of wondering, like, is there- I have a hard time picking them up because I feel like there is almost like a moral squicky- it like, there’s just something kind of morally gross about billionaires. Right? It’s like,
So I guess I was wondering, have you read any? And do you have any kind of feelings about that? Or is it like, it’s just a fantasy, so who cares?
I think it’s probably a fantasy so who cares? I think we all kind of want I mean, I, for example, like I wrote a book about winning the lottery because we all kind of fantasize about that, you know, and, and so it’s kind of like, you know, we all have fantasies, like I would love to date this person, this celebrity type, powerful celebrity person. You’re like, I have a crush on them, whatever. But I think it’s more like a fantasy. You know, like, Wellington I wrote in Temptation. She’s a millionaire, you know, but she was never I mean, she had a lot of money. She’d never flash it around. She had a nanny. That was the love interest in the book, a nanny who was taking care of her son. She had a lot of money. She didn’t really rub anybody’s noses in it or anything like that. It was just like, this is the situation. I need you, I need to help. I need help. I need you to help me. I’m going to pay you to help me. Oh yeah, by the way, we’re gonna have sex. But it wasn’t like we’re going to have sex. There’s just happened. When am I paying for anything, it was just, it just happened. That was a love story. So that hits on my other one so rich poor and then employee employer, I like the whole boss dynamic thing. And I’ve written a few of those just because it’s so taboo. And it’s, it’s just so interesting to read. And I think a lot of people write about it.
Do you feel like they hold up? Or do you find a difference in reading them since the #MeToo movement exploded.
There is a difference, I can go back and read ones from you know, prior to the #MeToo movement. And for sure, you can tell the difference like I for sure have to be aware of it and I have to offer consent and be in situations where the character- both characters are at a good place where they can have this consensual relationship. So I do I know that there there are issues and people I think a lot of writers are being sensitive to that and they are taking care of of it on the page.
Yeah, something that I thought was really interesting was, I mean you you probably know cuz I think everybody knows that a lot of the books that Ylva publishes originally started as fanfiction, and then they get, you know, rewritten or massaged at the very least, and one of the authors that they have Roslyn Sinclair comes from the fanfic world where she’s written some of kind of the most insofar as you can have a fanfic canon. She’s written some of the most like canonical Devil Wears Prada stories.
People really know her for Truth and Measure, which is just fucking phenomenal. It’s probably my favorite fanfic. But again, it’s kind of one of those. It starts off, like it was written before #MeToo. And so it’s very much, you know, they get to they start to get together while Andy and Miranda are together. But I mean, are working together. And I can still like I can get past it for that particular one. But she had an erotic story called The X Ingredient, which was turned into a novel that Ylva put out and I was like, “How the hell are they going to do that?” Because the fanfic was written before #MeToo, the original the the novel was published afterwards. But in the fanfic version, Andy starts to work for Miranda and it kind of when she first starts the job, Emily tells her that one of the roles of the assistants is that they have to get Miranda off. And right, which is one of those I mean, like it’s fanfic, in fanfic you can kind of do whatever you want. And that’s fine.
And the thing that I sort of loved about that fanfic is Andy is like, “Well, if that’s part of the job, I am going to bring this woman to her fucking knees like she is going, I am going to rock her world. She is never going to be the same again afterwards.” And that’s basically what happens. Which again, like I say, it’s kind of like, it’s, it’s fine in fanfic, because so much about fanfic is about like going into the taboo or breaking boundaries, but it’s like, okay, okay- how so for me, it was like, how can this possibly be turned into a novel? And it was completely different. Like she fully rewrote it into something that I was able to get behind. Like, oh, okay, I can sort of I can see how this works. And yes, even though I can’t remember what she renamed the characters as, but even though the one is working for the other, the employee is the one who really ends up holding all the power in their sexual relationship when it goes sexual. And I thought that was a really interesting and clever way to go about it.
So yeah, employee employer books, I guess.
I’m done with that. Oh, and what I would like to see more of, I want to see some queer superheroes. Like more books about that. I haven’t really seen any there. I know.
There are a couple.
Yeah, I know that there are and I have a friend who at one time was considering writing it. And I know that KB Draper has a series where it’s kind of not necessarily a superhero, but one of the characters kind of has- uh and this is also kind of a fanfic thing to almost, it’s kind of an homage to Xena, which we’ll talk about in a future episode. But but the character kind of has a little bit of a kind of a super ish power. And I want to see more of that. I think I think it’s great because you know, Marvel and DC Comics, they have all these movies out and you know how much I love movies. So I just I feel like I want to see more superhero queerness I want to see more of it. I want to read more of it. I want to see more of it.
So there actually are a handful of superhero books that I’ve read and can recommend if you’re into it. So the first one is almost 10 years old, but it’s called The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz. Kareena Press actually put this out. They are an imprint of Harlequin, I think. So I’m kind of surprised that they put it out like that long ago that they put out an F/F story. But it’s a pretty fun novella with somebody who used to be a superhero, actually, actually and her nanny.
Oh, holy cow that strikes everything. That’s all the boxes.
Right. It’s perfect for you. It’s sure it’s cute. It’s not gonna change your life, but I had a lot of fun reading it.
Oh good. Okay.
And then a few years ago, Ylva did this thing called the superhero- no, the super heroine collection. But they were doing a thing for a while, where they were releasing, they were having a bunch of authors write around a similar theme, and then they would put them out together. And so in this particular case, it’s all around superheroes. So Lee Winter wrote one called Shattered. That’s- I really enjoyed it. But it’s, it seems to have been kind of a polarizing book because it is not a romance. There is a real good sex in it, but like not a romance. Fiona’s Zed has two that are part of the same series. So the first one is called The Power of Mercy. And the second one is called A Lover’s Mercy. And there’s- trying to think of how to even describe it. Because it is a superhero book. But it’s also kind of a mystery. It’s kind of dark, but it’s very, very good. And then Chasing Stars is the other one by Alex K. Thorne, which I’ve read. There’s one more in the series I haven’t read. But Chasing Stars is also great and actually is going to hit on another one for you because it’s about a superhero, kind of like by night, but her day job is that she is an assistant to a Hollywood actress.
Yeah, yes. Nice.
I thought you’d be pretty good with that.
Yeah. Good. Good. Good. Okay, that was nice. If anybody else has any questions you’d be interested in Tara and I answering in a future episode, please send it to email@example.com or tweet it. Or put it anywhere on social media. We’ll find it, tag us in it, and we’ll be sure to answer it on our next podcast.
Yeah. So Kris, what have you been watching and reading lately?
Okay, so since we’ve had this polar vortex and I have been confined to the house, aside from the whole pandemic thing, it’s just not safe to be outside in this type of weather. I have been watching television and movies non stop. So just this weekend alone, I watched for maybe like it is Sunday morning and I’ve already watched four movies in a weekend.
Thank you. And they were all really, really good. And I really enjoyed all of them. I watched, there’s a new movie out on Disney Plus, it’s called Flora and Ulysses. And it’s about a superhero squirrel. I’m getting bits and pieces of what I want to watch and read. Super cute. I really liked it. It talks a lot about family dynamics and how ,you know, when it seems like it’s forced, it’s actually a good example of how things can come around and make everybody happy. And so I really enjoyed that. I thought that was a really cute movie, and it’s appropriate for all ages. And the little girl in there is adorable. She looks like to me. I don’t know her name. But she looks like if you were to take the character from the Queen’s Gambit, and put her as an eight year old or a 10 year old child. That’s what she looks like me.
Yeah, that’s great little actress. So that was a good movie. And then I finally watched the live action versions of Mulan and Aladdin both. And you know, I loved all the movies that came out the cartoons the Disney cartoons back- I say cartoons they’re not really cartoons back in the day, you know when there’s like boom boom boom, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and I just I learned all the songs I love all the songs I sing all the songs so it’s so much fun to watch the live action Aladdin with Will Smith as the as Aladdin so I can see I get to this enjoy it and cute romance. I love it. That was really fun. And then I was looking for something else. I’m like, Okay, I gotta find something else because I have nothing else to do. So I stumbled on this movie and I just thought it was so adorable. It’s Always Be My Maybe.
That movie is the cutest.
I, you know, I laughed so hard, like, it takes a lot. I love to laugh and I laugh a lot. But it takes a lot to get me to the level where I can’t make noise. I’m laughing so hard. And this movie did it for me. There’s this one scene and I laughed so hard. I thought for sure. When people say that they’re going to pee their pants. This is this is what’s happening to me right now. I feel like I could do this. So I thought that was a great movie. And it does have some queer rep because the main character who’s- her best friend, her slash assistant is a pregnant gay woman, a lesbian, who you get to see her partner and the baby, you know, at the end of the film, but so there’s queer rep as a super cute movie. I just in general, I love it.
It’s so good. It’s so funny. And it’s so sweet. And I felt like Ali Wong is just fantastic.
I mean, everybody’s fantastic in it.
Yeah. Yeah, great chemistry, like everybody had chemistry, everybody, like, slipped into the characters, like, boom, boom, boom. And I wouldn’t say because I just watched four back to back. So I want to say no, no, to Janeane Garofalo plays a part in Flora and Ulysses, by the way, by the way, threw me off because like-
Yes. I was like, What happened to her? And then all of a sudden, she’s there and I go, “Oh, my gosh, I think that I think that’s the Janeane Garofalo but I’m not 100% sure. Because she looked totally different. You’re so great. Absolutely. Great. And so I went on to the cast, and I saw that she was on it as well. Wow. And so that goes back to that one. But anyway, back to Always Be My Baby -My Maybe makes me sing, you know, the Mariah Carey song, Always Be My Baby. That’s where it comes from. So and you watch this, too, so that makes me happy. So we both can recommend it. Not what we recommend recommend. But this is a good movie to watch.
Yeah, it’s super good.
Yes. And so what then have you been reading or watching or… Talk to me.
Okay. So still watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Of course, of course. And I gotta say, I’m not mad about the fact that they had Anne Hathaway on to talk with all the girls and give them advice. I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait. So now my like my biggest celebrity crush is on my favorite TV show. This is perfect. This is all I need from life.
I feel like I have been rewarded for going through this bullshit pandemic and being so good. And it was just, it was lovely. It was so good. I have been playing a shit ton of Animal Crossing New Horizons, which is not queer but I would say it’s not necessarily straight either. There’s nothing to do with sexuality. And it is just, you’re populating your little island. You’re taking it from a deserted island to, you know, a town with infrastructure and stuff. And I wonder- The one thing I think is strange about this game. Is that so this guy, Tom Nook brings you to this island. He’s a little raccoon, I think. But he’s like, Okay, so now you got to pay me and I’m like, but you brought me here. And then he keeps locking you into mortgages. Like you want to upgrade your home. And I’m like, “What are you the fucking mob?” Like, why are we teaching kids about mortgages right now with this.
We’re just preparing them for life.
Right, apparently, I don’t know. I think it’s a little demented that. So I like I- And I’ve had to make decisions. Am I going to continue expanding my house? Or am I going to like buy other things? And so I’ve been buying other things, but like, I think I have a 550,000 currency mortgage going at the moment which is a lot to put on kids.
It teaches you the value of money,
I suppose. I suppose they call them bells instead of dollars. It’s all about them. And they also have this mechanic where you can buy turnips on Sundays. And then throughout the week, you get to sell them back to merchants. And they call it the Stalk Market and I’m like,
That is hilarious.
Why are we putting this on kids? I say as a woman in my 40s who’s playing.
Because hey know, they’re just prepping our kids.
It’s demented. In terms of what I’ve been reading, so do you remember how in the last episode we had a two part question from Melissa and the second part was about whether we had read Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. So that is what I have been reading and it’s really, really good. It takes place in 1950s in San Francisco, and it follows these two girls in high school. One of them is Chinese American, and the other one is Caucasian American. And it mostly, I haven’t gotten so far that I’ve seen very much of, so Lily is the Chinese American girl. I think the other girl’s name is Kathleen. And I’ve mostly been seeing Lily’s perspective so far. And it shows as she, like in the newspaper sees an advertisement for a Drag King, who’s described as a male impersonator and just like her super complicated feelings as she sees that, what does she do with it, and then later on, she’s in a drug store and she sees all the pulp novels that they have on sale. And there’s one with two women on the cover and she opens it up and she starts reading and she’s like, “Oh, my God”, and like, is totally sucked in. And it’s like, what do I do with these feelings I have, especially when it gets to like, there’s a scene where they’re making out and again, she’s just this like, mind blown 16 or 17 year old girl, and I’m very curious to see where it goes.
So it is it is YA. I am not sure if it’s a romance. It might be but I don’t know for sure yet. I’ve tried not to look too far into I mean, I think there will be like a romance and a relationship between them. But I don’t know what a happily ever looks like, happily ever after looks like for teenagers in the 1950s when it’s illegal to be gay. And so- I also love that it does have like the Chinese American rep in it. I love that we’re getting to see kind of what are the implications of that at that time. And you know, while there’s the the Red Scare and trying to dig up communists, and they the- trying to think how to put this like, Lily at some points kind of talks about or reflects on her family trying to to assimilate as much as possible, that they’re being good Americans, because they don’t want to deal with like that the racism or the scrutiny or that kind of stuff. So yeah, so far, I think it is fabulous. And I hope I’m hopeful that it will be done within the next day or two, because it’s a pretty, it’s pretty hard book to put down. When I have time by myself. It’s very easy to put any book down if I’m trying to read around my kids. Which I think may be part of why like the gaming has been so compelling lately, because that’s easier I find to just like pause and put away versus like, “Don’t take me away from these characters who I’ve investing in and want to know one knows what’s happening with them.”
Yeah. Okay. Well, then. So then what’s your big recommendation for us for this week?
Okay. I’m gonna deviate from my norm because usually my recommendations are books, but this time, it is in fact, a game that I got on my Switch and it is called Later Daters. And this game is so freakin cute. It’s a dating sim. And it takes place in a retirement home. And so the first thing that happens is you have to set up your character and their backstory. And so you get to choose: is your character presenting as a man, woman, or non binary? Were they previously in- married to people who would like were they married to a man or a woman or a non binary person? Or were they actually never in a long term relationship? And then you get to decide what companion you bring with you into the retirement home? Will it be a cat, a dog or a robot?
Yeah, which I think is kind of hilarious. And then you just sort of go and there are all kinds of romance options. Everybody appears to be bisexual. I play- I think I played five times, because I wanted to see all the story potential because as you as you sort of date, or maybe just date in the pants, some of the other- Pants Dating! As you do some pants dating with the other residents, you also kind of learn some of what their backstories are. And so, you know, there’s Mariana who is a black woman, I think she might actually be Afro Latina, and she had been married to a man and she had been married to a woman kind of at different parts of her life. And so she is an option. There’s Blair, who is kind of a scoundrel. He’s a, he’s a white dude that’s Very Interested in sex. Not- he seems like he has no substance at first and then every so often you see him say something like really lovely and supportive to one of the other side characters and you’re like, “Okay, he’s just horny no big deal”. Like, he’s shallow and horny, but has a bit of a heart. That’s nice. There’s Crystal, who is a trans woman. And depending on how you play, you might actually never learn that or if you get to know her at all, because she’s the person in the room next to you, then you get to hear more of her story about how like, how she came to – although she’s known she was a trans woman for decades, and her wife knew as well -it’s only recently that she’s been able to really live authentically. And there’s something kind of just beautiful in that story.
There’s another guy, Jax, he’s an aging rockstar, and he has HIV, he’s very open about his HIV status. And so I just love how inclusive it is, like there’s really and it’s really is like anything can go like you can, you can go for like a monogamous romance option where you only pursue one person and hopefully maybe end up with them at the end of the game, you can choose to be single. You can pursue multiple partners and that’s no big deal. And there’s actually even an option where you can end up in a polycule, which is like you can be in a relationship with, like a committed relationship to multiple people, which I thought was surprising and pretty cool. I got that option last night and I was like, “Holy shit, I didn’t even know you could do that”. And I’ve been playing this so much
Is this just you are you playing life with other people in different, you know,
Or is it just strictly this game, just the game.
Just you strictly in this game, it’s kind of like a choose your own adventure.
it’s kind of the best way that I can think of to put it. So for anybody that read Choose Your Own Adventure books, instead of flipping back and forth, you choose your dialogue option, and it will instead push you on to the next like what happens as a result of that rather than having to flip somewhere.
I think what I love is that, while it’s it’s quirky, and it’s sweet, and it’s very funny in spots, it is also very real, like it doesn’t shy away from the fact that everyone who’s there has experienced some kind of loss, like they’ve either had a partner die, or there’s someone who she and her, her husband split up after 47 years of marriage, or, you know, one of the residents passes away during like, like death is very much a thing because everybody in this game is in their 70s and 80s. And even like when they’re talking about Jax and his HIV, you know, it comes up his grief is around the fact that so many people in his community had died from the same thing. And so I love that it just does this perfect balance of joy and humor with the realities of life. And because it balances it, it never gets too heavy. So yeah, yeah, it’s so fun. I might play it one last time. There’s a one other character I did not pursue. And I just want to learn a little bit more about his backstory.
But yeah, I played it as all three, I played it as a man, a woman, a non binary character who had been married to, again, all the options. I just like, I love how I love how flexible it is. And I love how it’s just like, no big deal. Anything goes, super inclusive. And if you don’t know about, like, if you don’t know about polyamory, the game will teach you about it or about why it’s totally okay to be bisexual, there will be a thing about it. Because somebody you there is the option to ask Mariana, when she talks about having had a husband and a wife like, so were you just not able to choose. And then she talks about how like, it’s a valid choice to be attracted to people and not necessarily their genders. And like, it’s just, it’s so good. It’s so good. So anyway, if you have a Switch, if you haven’t played it, get this game. It’s not very expensive. It’s a delight. And if you love it, let me know. You can find me through any of our social channels, because I want to hear more people who have played and enjoyed this game too. So Kris, what is your big recommendation for the week?
Well, I think that before we get to my recommendation of the week, we need to talk a little bit about my story.
Okay, what’s your story?
Well, this week I want to talk kind of about music. And you know, music was instrumental in me discovering my queerness. And so I decided to kind of backtrack on my life and find not just the music, but the musicians as well. Like when did I first discover queerness and fully understand it. So I am a child of the 80s which is hands down the best decade for music. I will fight you on this. I will win, you will lose. Everyone who disagrees with me is wrong.
Why are we fighting? I love 80s music. I also was a child of the 80s. Let’s stop fighting.
So okay no fighting, so that kind of goes for the listeners too like, I’ll fight you on this. So I know that the 70s had, they had some really breakthrough bands that put queer on the map too, but I just wasn’t old enough to appreciate the 70s music. You know, you had Queen, you had Ziggy Stardust, even a little. Well, Janis Joplin, I think she passed in 70. So that doesn’t really count. But it was kind of sort of in the 70s. And she had a queer relationship. But of course, I didn’t know that because I was a baby. And so like, I didn’t really start listening to music until I was it would have been the 80s. And then we had, we had bands that gender lines were crossed. Like there were a lot of bands, where the men quote unquote men had they wore makeup they wore flashy, bright clothes. And so they kind of looked however they want it to look, you know, we had The Cure, we had Depeche Mode, we had Duran Duran, oh my gosh, I was in love with Duran Duran. I had posters of Duran Duran everywhere in my, my room, and then women were a lot of the women at Pat Benatar and Chrissy Hein. And, you know, they scared me.
Like, they they’ve just looked really tough. And I was like, if I ran into them in a dark alley, I would be scared. You know, this was of course, also, I was younger, and I didn’t know any better. And music really was the place where I found queerness. You know, we had MTV, we didn’t have the internet or anything. We had MTV, we had music videos, so you got to see that, you know, all these really famous people it was okay to be different. It was okay to wear makeup if you were a boy, or, you know, wear leather pants and just be hard ass, you know, if you were a woman, so there was a lot of a lot of my education came from music videos. And so I kind of got on to that. And when I finally realized that I am in fact a lesbian, I went back to my roots. And so music it was safe. It allowed me to be loud to you know, scream out lyrics and and be okay with who I am. You know, they had Lilith Fairs. I don’t know, if you remember all the Lilith Fairs, you know, half the acts were gay. And I want and I went to like every single one I could go to just to kind of meet people like me, because you know, I’m in the Midwest, and it’s not a popular place to be gay.
And, you know, and I followed a lot of different singers, especially folk for some reason I really got into folk music. And even if they weren’t gay, I definitely wanted them to be gay. Like Dar Williams. She had a very, very strong, gay following. And it was funny because one of her shows she’s like, cats out of the bag. She was pregnant. She goes cats out of the bag, I’m straight. So everybody is heartbroken. Oh, my chances are shot, you know, and forever my true love is Natalie Merchant hands down. Like, I just Natalie Merchant, she was like one of my favorites. And, and she has always been really nice. Not she is not gay. But she’s an ally. And she has just always been super cool about LGBTQ. And I really appreciate that. And of course, you know, we have like the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge. And here locally in Kansas City, I was going to all the local bands, and there’s just one band here in Kansas City called Frog Pond. And I just love them because representation, you know, I had these four women, I think it was four in the group they have since split up, but for women in this group, and they were just great, I loved it, you know, and, and I would go to their concerts, I don’t care where they were, if they were playing in Kansas City, if the, you know, down at the Midland, or if they were over in Lawrence, I would go to Lawrence, which is about an hour drive away, I would just always want to see them because they were my people and the following. You know, of course, I got to scope out the audience because they were all lesbians and you know, and I was so quiet and I didn’t really want to, like introduce myself or anything because I’m shy and that’s not who I am.
So, anyway, so what I what I did for my recommendation this week is I combined all of that. I wanted to find something that was kind of about my coming out and queerness and also music and how that’s so inspirational and so very important to a lot of people. And so I watched the movie Runaways.
Tell me more.
Okay, so it’s a it’s kind of like they, like I said before, we have a lot of women in rock but this is the first rock and roll band, all women band. I say women, but this is with Joan Jett and Cherie Curie. And it’s just the start of Joan Jett’s career, you know, she was very very young. I think 15 when when they got into the band and first of all Kristen Stewart plays Joan Jett. I’m not saying Christmas. We all know this. This is not it. This is nothing new. But you know, she doesn’t. She’s not as hardass as I thought she should be for Joan Jett. But you know, okay, you know, it’s just an okay job. But I was more interested in the storyline, like, like, how did we break? We being women? How did that ceiling get broken? Like how what? What was the path that these women had to take in order to be recognized as a rock and roll band, just as good as men if not better, as far as the rock and roll world is concerned. And so I just I wanted to watch this, this movie, and it shows the hardships of it. Rock and roll in general, we all think it’s like this great thing. And it never fails. Every documentary that comes out about a band or person, you know, it always falls back on drugs. You know, everybody’s drunk, drugs. You know, it’s just it’s kind of like that atmosphere. And so I wanted to find out if this was how it was for them. And sure shit, it was, you know, it- I’m sure it was way worse for women than how the movie portrayed them. Women were still treated like trash in the 70s. And I can’t even imagine what they went through. But, you know, kudos to the rockers who stayed with it. And so that’s why I chose The Runways.
So was there anything about it that that worked really well for you?
I think, you know, because I didn’t really know, I don’t know a lot of the history behind Joan Jett, you know, and I knew that there were some she’s been sort of in the queer circles for a long time. But I think there was a time when she wasn’t coming out as gay, she wasn’t identifying either way, she didn’t want to put a label on it. And so this was interesting, because there was a there’s a part of the movie where it’s a sweet teenage romance. Where, you know, baby queers are starting to have feelings and those feelings, you know, that whole feeling. But it’s a brutal truth of really of how sometimes dreams get in the way of having it all. So it was kind of sad, but it was also kind of empowering too to see the struggles and how that even with the awfulness of the music industry back in the 70s, and probably even to this day, how it is really hard for women to to break through and make a name. But you know what, this, this group really paved the way for a lot of rockers, women in rock.
So is there anyone specifically you’d recommend it to?
I think if you are, if you love music as much as I do, and you don’t really know the history behind it, like how all of a sudden, just women just show up and you’re like, oh, cool, they’re finally getting breaks. You know, how- Why did they? Why do they have breaks? You know, there’s always pioneers of everything, every industry, even writing books, we have our pioneers in, you know, the authors who have who’ve made it a lot easier for us to get our words out there for people. And I feel like if people want to know just how women were able to get their start, you know, this is kind of an interesting, a documentary, not documentary, but it’s a it’s an interesting movie to watch if you’re into seeing how that has progressed, how women have have jumped up and have got grown by leaps and bounds. And I think a lot of it starts with The Runaways.
So it’s kind of heavy, but
But worth it?
I think I think it was worth it. I really do. You know, it’s like I said, there’s a lot we all know about the drugs and rock and roll. We know about just all the evilness behind it. But then there’s also you know, a way to get dreams too. And sometimes, like I said, you know, sometimes dreams get in the way of having it all, but at the same time, you could have it all and maybe get your dreams as well.
Mm hmm. I think that’s all for this episode.
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