Listen to this week’s episode!
Hey, everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended. I’m Kris Bryant and with me, as always, is Tara Scott.
Hey, everybody. It is episode nine, are you all ready? I hope so.
I think so.
So before anything else, Kris, I just want to congratulate you on getting fully fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
I’m so happy. I got my second shot last week, and I will be free to move about the country in about another week and a half.
So is that when you’re coming to Canada? Oh, wait, you’re not allowed because we’re still not letting anyone in.
I’ll stand by the border and wave. So I fully recommend getting it as soon as you can. I know that there’s a struggle to get people vaccinated and I know that at least the United States is really pushing it. And a lot of people are getting vaccinated. And I also know that it’s starting to seep into Canada, because one of our listeners actually just got signed up for it.
So I’m starting to know some people, not a lot, we’re- Yeah, we’re definitely behind you in the US. Unfortunately, Canada has no vaccine production for anything. So we’re really dependent on negotiating with countries that do the production. And so I still think, you know, just to recognize that we’re still luckier than a lot of other countries that don’t necessarily have the literal buying power, like they just aren’t, economically set up to be able to purchase that volume of vaccines. But my mom got her first shot, so that makes me really, really happy. And my dad got his appointment to get his first shot, too.
So it’s happening. It’s happening.
It’s happening. Absolutely, it makes me feel a little better. I’m definitely jealous as I hear other people getting it. But I mean, the more everybody gets it, the better it is. I will eventually get it as soon as I am possibly allowed. And in the meantime, we will just continue to stay inside.
Well, you can go outside you just need to avoid people.
Oh my god. Well, the variant stuff I have to admit is kind of scaring the shit out me and it makes me, especially seeing that it’s transmitting really quickly across kids, because they thought- I think they thought like the original one didn’t, like kids didn’t actually transmit it that much and that is not the case with the variants, and we’re definitely having outbreaks here in Alberta. So I’m feeling extra good about having chosen the online hub option. It’s been tough in a lot of ways, but my anxiety would be like through the roof right now otherwise.
I know. It’s a it’s- I feel for you. I really do. I know it’s happening. It’s coming. And you know, I hope that everybody takes it when they can, gets is when they can.
And was the second shot as bad as people have been saying. `
Yes. So I actually got mine at like noon on Thursday. And on Good Friday, I woke up with a really bad headache. And I had the headache all day, could not shake it. And I had a fever for half the day. And I haven’t had a fever. I haven’t been sick. And you know for sure in the last 18 months.
So I haven’t Yeah, I haven’t had anything. And so it was really weird to have a fever, to like feel myself with a fever. But that’s it really. I didn’t really get really exhausted or tired. It was just strictly “Oh my gosh, I have a fever and this headache sucks”. So but then Saturday I woke up and I was fine. Ish. Yeah.
I guess it’s time for listener questions, and we have a couple. So someone who goes by queer weirdo human being on Twitter, asked “Any lesser known author recommendations?” And I asked, you know, is there any sort of genre that you’re interested in? And they said, “Fantasy”.
So I have three that- I have three recommendations or three authors that I think would work in the situation. So I mentioned online Barbara Ann Wright. She has a bunch of- she creates worlds, like different worlds, which is amazing to me that anybody can do that, can create a whole world, different names, different languages. So she has space. She always jokes about like, everything that she has, but she has everything in her books if you’re looking for space serpents, unicycle riding unicorn, she’s like, “Oh, yeah, go to this book”. And so she has it.
Or she’ll write it.
So Barbara Ann Wright. Yes, or she’ll write it.
“Oh, I haven’t done that yet. All right, I’m gonna write the fish people with the panda companion.”
But very gay.
Very queer. And then D. Jackson Leigh, she did the horse, the dragon horse, I think was a trilogy set.
Yes, it was
So, and most people when they when they think of D. Jackson, they think that she is romance and stuff. But that was a really successful series for her. And it’s been a while. I mean, I want to say I don’t know, when the first book came out…
More than five years.
Yeah, more than five years for sure. But that was very very good.
It was probably more like, six or seven years. I haven’t read it. And I remember it coming up and going, huh?
Do you remember if there’s romance in it? Like, is there any kind of a romantic element?
Gosh, I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know the answer to it.
Well, that’s okay.
I’ll say No. Go ahead. I’m sorry.
No, no, no, that’s okay. I was gonna ask you what your next, if you had another author.
Okay, so and KB Draper she has a lot of- like the one that she just finished up, it was the Demon Series. And it kind of takes place in hell, sort of does back on Earth, hell, Earth and Demon Shemons, Spirits Smirits, and Hells Bells. Hells Bells just came out. So it’s great. I mean, if- that’s fantasy, it has love. There’s a little bit of love interest there. And we have queer rep, we have just a lot of stuff going on like humor, sarcasm, everything. So those are the three I recommend. What about you?
So I also have three, and the first is Merry Shannon. She is one of your fellow Bold Strokes Books authors. And wrote- she did actually did a pirate book called Branded Ann. I said that so slowly cause I was like, “What is the name of this book that has the lesbian pirates that are pirating and lesbianing on the sea? There’s an island…Branded Ann!” So yeah, that wasn’t what was happening there. But she also wrote two books in a series called The Legends of Ithyria. I think that’s what it’s called. It’s a made up word. We’re gonna say that’s how it’s called,
I think yeah, Ithyria.
Right. So there’s Sword of the Guardian. And I think the other one’s called Shield of The Handmaiden. And they’re so good. The covers are not good. And so you’re going to go to Amazon or wherever you go to buy books, and you’re going to say, “All right, let me find these Merry Shannon books. These Legends of Ithyria books and you’d be like, ‘Tara, what the fuck is this? Why are you asked me to do this?’ ” And I promise you like, just look past that because they are so good. The writing is top notch, like fantastic fantasy worlds. really satisfying romances. Characters are really interesting. So yes, definitely. Absolutely. Go get those ones.
And don’t judge a book by its cover. By the way. I need to jump back. I need to, I just found- I’m going back to D Jackson.
And the genre- Okay, so I went to Bold Strokes Books, and they have like tags and genre and they tell you everything. So under this, you know, reading it again, like “Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about this. That’s right”. So yeah, cuz it was 2015, was the first one, the Dragon Horse War, Book One. But it says genres Action, Adventure, Fantasy Romance, Speculative Fiction. And the tags are Multicultural, Animals, Magic and Shifters. I mean, that’s everything you want. Right?
Well but now I’m thinking what if there was a Does The Dog Die for books?
Yeah, so but again, I’m reading the blurb and yeah, I totally forgot about the characters and their lovey dovey. I forgot about that. How could I forget? Because it’s a dragon horse. That’s the coolest thing.
What could be more than a dragon horse?
Nothing, right? Unless it’s a unicorn, but with that I think maybe a dragon horse is better.
Oh, okay, if you could have a dragon horse or a unicorn, which one would you choose?
Okay, here’s the deal. So most people would think that I would choose a unicorn but I’m gonna choose the dragon horse.
Okay, now tell us why
I need fierce.
Cuz it’s a fucking dragon horse?
It’s a fucking dragon horse. I need fierce. Like in the real world, I want fierce. I love you know, unicorns and all that good stuff and the happy rainbows and cookies and cupcakes and candy.
I love all that. But you know when it comes down to it? I mean, we’re talking apocalypse, really. And for sure. I would want a dragon horse.
Yes. That’s a fair call.
Okay, so I totally interrupted you. Back to your recommendations for the question.
That’s okay. You did it at the perfect time because it was right in between recommendations. The next one is this series from Bella Books and it is the Alpennia Series by Heather Rose Jones. I don’t know if Heather counts as lesser known, I don’t care, I’m taking an opportunity to pimp Heather’s books because it’s our podcast and we can do what we want. So with her Alpennia series, it starts with the book Daughter of Mystery and there are four books now. And one of the things that I really like about it is that you can actually pick up each book on their own if you want. And it doesn’t matter because I read the first book, and then I read the last book, Flood Tide, and even though I hadn’t read the middle two, it didn’t really matter. But the world building is so consistent, that it still felt very much like I was in Alpennia, which was fantastic.
And Alpennia is this fake country that Heather’s created somewhere in Europe, but you kind of can see, it’s like, oh, there’s some influences of like, maybe France or Belgium or Germany, like kind of all of that in there. And there are different types of magic. And there’s- fuck, it’s just so good. Like, I’m at the point where I’m trying to articulate what I love about it and it’s really hard because I love everything. I just love everything, just read them and you’ll be happy you do.
One thing to note is that none of them are romances. Some of them have romantic elements. And I actually found that in the first one Daughter of Mystery that the romantic element was so gorgeous, and perfectly done. And that not only are they fantasy, but they’re very specifically historical fantasy that kind of aligns with like the Regency time in England. And so it captures that feel that you often have in Regency romances, because you know how like in mainstream, like, hetero romances, there’s a shit ton of Regency romances, so it kind of captures that feel, makes it queer, and does it as historical fantasy instead.
That’s a lot.
Right? Yeah. And then the last one, which is the one that I remember the least. But I’m gonna plug it anyway because I remember loving it very, very, very much. Also, from Bella Books is called Fruit of the Golden Vine by Sofia French. And so again, it’s like a fake historical fantasy. The world building was beautiful. The character work was beautiful, and definitely go get that. So hopefully, queer weirdo human being that gives you a real good start.
Six solid recommendations. Six!
Right? What more could you ask for? Maybe seven, but we don’t have it.
We’re going to stop at six. We could be here all night. Seriously.
Oh, that’s actually true though
For sure. Yeah, so we had to cut it.
And so if anybody else is wondering about recommendations for other types of books or whatever, you can definitely email us at email@example.com or you can tweet at us, send us a Twitter dm, Insta dm, Facebook, you can leave it whatever, we’re everywhere, you can send your requests, and we’re happy to answer them for you.
We had one other question that I’m pretty sure just started out as somebody being a smartass. And we were like, “Oh, yeah?” Our friend Cathy, we’ve talked about Cathy Pegau a few times on here before, we love her. When I put the call out on Twitter, just saying “Hey, Kris and I are recording in a couple of hours. What do you want us to answer?” She wrote back “Who killed this guy in my work in progress?” with four question marks. And I was like, “Okay, but we’ll actually answer it”.
So I went back and said, “Do you want to give us any other background information for us to take into account?” And so she shared “It’s going to be a historical cozyish murder book. There’s a lady company president and the lady investigator, not a romance, otherwise go wild. Oh, the lady investigater is queer, by the way”. Yeah, so our first question is “Okay, but are they actually ladies?”
Are they ladies? Or are they not ladies? They ladies? And who’s the guy like what? Let’s talk about the guy. Who is this guy? What did he do? Did he deserve to die?
Um, he probably had a gambling habit.
Okay, and of course, it’s gonna have drug habits.
Definitely. And it’s historical. So it’s going to be a laudanum habit.
Okay, yes. Or opium? I mean, yeah.
Opium, isn’t laudanum opium and alcohol together?
It’s like the perfect cocktail to knock you right now.
That’s true. So, okay, but then who killed him? Did somebody slip? First of all, we have to determine who this guy is.
Who is this guy? So we have a lady company president. So what is this company? What do they sell? What services do they provide?
Especially if it’s a historical.
Oh, historical, so we’ll have to go back to what was made. Like what makes it historical. Like are we talking 1900s. Was the rubber band invented by then.
Right, and so I don’t think it’s gonna be like a soap company, because that would still be more of like an artisanal thing than a big ass mass market thing.
Right. So we need to come up well, unless it’s a small company,
Could it be like a real big company, like a railway company?
Ooh, railroad. Railroad ties! How about steel? It’s a frickin steel industries.
Industry? Yes, it’s a company.
Is it the husband?
Lover! Okay, cuz we’re assuming that the lady company president is straight, because it just says lady investigator is queer.
So maybe, maybe the guy is her lover and her husband finds out and killed him.
Ah! Right. Cuz if it’s only- okay. They’re okay. But who has been killed? Okay. Well, I was hoping to go in a direction where he would get killed by an animal. And maybe that’s not fair. But I have a reason for this. And I’m not saying it’s a good reason.
But can animals murder you?
Dragon horses can!
Dragon horses can KILL YOU.
They can totally kill you.
So there is a Jerry Hill book with a serial killer in it. And there’s a bird on the cover. And I made a joke once, to a friend, about how the bird was the serial killer. And she said “Actually, you’re not far off because the bird with the spiritual manifestation of the serial killer”. So now I’m like, “Okay, okay. What if this guy was killed by a horse who was the spiritual manifestation… or something?”
Or, I mean, a crow. A murder of crows? Maybe it’s just crows, right. Right?
Murdered by a murder of crows.
Yes. All right, there you go Cathy. The crows killed him.
Yes. Awesome. I love it. Perfect.
All right. So Kris, what have you been reading or watching in the last couple of weeks? I love that we’re leaving it with crows.
It’s a murder of crows literally and figuratively.
Cathy, we hope you love it and if not, I mean, this was always gonna be possible.
Okay, so I finished up The One. Remember, I talked about it last episode, I was halfway through and I was like, “Oh, this is so much potential”. I still loved it. I still recommend it. I finished it.
So for the people who are joining us for the first time now and they haven’t listened to the last episode, what’s it about?
So it is about an online dating service, that’s DNA match making, and it will find you based on your DNA, the perfect match. Like, at the very beginning of all this, I mean, well these scientists figure out like people can be matched together based on their DNA, if their DNA is very similar, they are matched. And it’s kind of interesting to see, like, this could maybe happen in the future, but the way it is, they send in DNA to this company called The One and then the company sends you your match, your perfect match. And either you act on it, or you don’t. And of course, I mean, like 99% of the people aren’t gonna do it. Like curiosity is just part of who we are as humans. And I mentioned before, there’s a, there’s a couple that they’re totally happy, the husband’s like, “I love you, I don’t care about that”. She’s like, “I love you. I don’t care about that”. But she secretly takes his DNA and sends it in, because she wants to know, she’s so like, insecure, she wants to know, like, it like eats her up inside. Like, there’s advertisements everywhere about this company. And of course, it’s gonna be it’s gonna sink into your brain and you’re just gonna be like, “Am I with the right person? Is he with the right person?” And so that’s what happens to her. So she sends it in and she finds the match who happens to live in London, where they live≥ And so she goes and becomes her friend. I know. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying anymore. Because it’s mind blowing.
Yeah. So I’m done with the first season and I hope that they continue on.
Okay, that sounds pretty good.
So I finished that. And then I finished The Walking Dead. The finale was the other night and then I just started Ted Lasso. None of these are queer, but…Ted Lasso.
Isn’t it the best?
I literally just started it today at lunch.
The thing that I love, because we are four or five episodes into it now. So we’re about halfway through, is that every time I think something terrible is about to happen and I don’t know if you have this, but I definitely have a thing where it’s like, “Oh, no, I don’t want to watch that”. And then you just like start cringing and like that full body kind of way. It’s like, “What if I just leave?” Like, every time I think something like that is about to happen. something different happens instead. And it’s something lovely. And it’s just like, it’s just the loveliest, sweetest, most heartwarming, like, it just has so much heart and for people who don’t know what it is. The idea is that Ted Lasso is- he coached, what was it a college football team?
Yeah. Wichita Shockers.
Yeah. Like American football.
Like Division Two or something like low end college. Notlow end, but just not a high division. Because Wichita isn’t known for football.
So he coached them to victory. And he went viral because of like team celebration video or something like that. And the idea is that he gets hired by the owner of a Premier League, British football, which is soccer for everybody in North America. And like, there is no better than the Premier League. Because the owner is the wife of the guy who previously owned it. She won the team in the divorce. And she wants to fuck the team over to hurt her ex husband who hurt her very badly by cheating on her many, many times. And so she’s hired this guy, expecting he’s going to fail. So she can get her dream of giving the middle finger to her ex. And he comes in and he’s so positive. And he’s so sweet. And you can just kind of tell that it’s like, “Oh, shit, he’s gonna win everybody over. And he’s gonna leave everything better than it was found”. And there was this one line in the premiere that I wish I could totally remember how it goes. You’ll probably remember better than me if you watched it today, but it’s when he meets his new boss, when he meets this woman. And she says something to do with her father. Do you know what I’m talking about? But he’s like, I know you’re probably making a joke. And if you are, that’s hilarious. And if you’re not, I’d love to unpack that with you later.
That’s a great line.
It’s just a perfect show of how open minded he is.
Also, there’s a lot of great lines.
And here’s the funny thing, like, Wichita State is not far from me. I mean I’m like, I mean, it’s so like, it’s watching like my dad going to London.
So how’s his accent?
I think it’s okay. I mean, I didn’t notice that it was off or anything. And I think I want to say that he’s actually, Jason is from Kansas City.
Oh is he?
I could be completely lying to you.
But I want to say there’s something in my head that, like, we have a couple of really cool people from Missouri actors. And I think he’s one of them.
He’s so good and he’s so good. Yeah, people like, everything sucks right now. I think we’re all feeling pandemic exhausted. And if you are, and you want something that’s like low stress, and gonna make you feel good and you’ve already watched all of Schitt’s Creek. This is your one that you gotta watch.
The lines are so great. Like he talks about drinking tea. And he’s like, he wants coffee. And she’s like, “Here’s tea”. And he’s like, I” always thought tea was you know, dirty water. And I was right.” He says it in such a charming way.
“This is disgusting.”
Yeah, he’s really charming in this and I can’t say that, like everybody in Kansas is charming like that. But
Let’s pretend They are, they really are.
I’m gonna go with it because I live so close. So yes. Okay, so that is what I’m watching. I literally just started, one of my friends watches it. And every time I’m gonna tell the story. So my friend Paula and I, we watch every Friday night we either watch 2020 or Dateline, because we like to try to solve the crime. And we just like text each other. Like, this is bullshit. This is the worst thing ever. The husband did it and then later realized the boyfriend did it. And so we’re always trying to guess. So like every Friday we do this.
And so like last two Fridays. I’m like, Hey, what are we watching? 2020 or dateline? She’s like, “I’m watching Ted Lasso”. So I’m like, “Come on”. So finally I had to jump on the TEd Lasso bandwagon And so that’s what I’m doing. That’s why I started it. So yay, Paula. Okay, so what have you been reading or watching? What have you been doing?
So I feel like I should mention Animal Crossing New Horizons which I have been playing the shit out of on my Nintendo Switch. And I know, what people don’t know is that we build an outline for these things. Kris and I are prepared, like actual prepared grownups and I didn’t mention this in the outline but I just thought of it.
I know. I’m like, “Where is this?”
I know, you’re giving me a look like, “What are you doing?”
I don’t know, we did talk about Animal Crossing.
So this was a game that saved a lot of people at the beginning of the pandemic, because I think it just gave something to focus on. And the idea if you have never heard of it, although you must have at least heard of it as it’s like exactly a friggin thing. It was a phenomenon. But it’s basically, you are dropped off on an island. And this guy named Tom Nook meets you there. And he’s like, “Hey, guess what? You live on this island now. You’re gonna pay me a shit ton of money to upgrade your house. And I’m like, “What do you mean, I’m gonna pay you a lot of money. What is this? I didn’t ask to be…. okay”. It’s very strange. But anyway, you go from this, like, messed up island to you clean it up. And you can have other people come and live on your island and build houses there. And then you get to, you just have to keep on paying more money to Tom Nook to build up the rest of the island, which is why I actually think that he’s like a mafia boss.
Yeah, it teaches kids about mortgages. I don’t know.
But yeah, and we had talked about that. Like, we’re preparing our children for real life through this. Yeah, mortgages. This shits real. so stupid.
It’s so stupid, but the thing that I realized that I really- one of the things that I really appreciated, which is maybe kind of a minor thing, but I spent so much time playing it last week, because I took the last week off as spring break with my kids. And both of my kids like to play with me because I have my Switch, we have a family Switch. And I’ll go on with one of the kids at the same time. And we’ll visit each other’s islands or whatever. But the thing that I love is that you can really make your character look any way that you want. And so I was able to create a character that is female, but has like a super masculine kind of a presentation. And so it gave that for me as a gamer. I really liked that because I felt like it reflects my own experience where like I still use she/her pronouns, I still identify as a woman, but you know, I like having a more masculine and or I guess androgynous is probably better presentation. And so I love that that’s an option now, for our kids that, if they’re queer, they can make their characters as queer as they want. They’re not locked into these super heteronormative things where the only way to get around it is to create a character of the of your opposite gender and then just pretend. So it’s a small thing. But-
No it’s a big thing. It really is. Because, like when I was gaming back in the day, you know, we had Pong. We had just you know, the games. You were a male. You were a man, you had muscles. You know that was it. That was your character. Or if you got lucky, and you were on a game that actually let you pick the sex of the character then you were like some sexy hot, scantily clad, warrior type woman.
Big titted, no armour.
Like, why is she wearing a bikini but she’s going into battle with a sword?
Exactly. And those are your two options. And I’m like, “Well, shit. Who do I want to play?” So yeah. So I’m glad that that that is an option in games today. That’s great. So big step. I love it. Good for the kids, good for the parents, good for education.
And it’s also still just like the chillest game ever. I know. Like for people that did get it last year, they’re probably like, I don’t really feel like going back and it’s like I get it. I’ve already thrown more than 100 hours into this game. Now I’m working on crossbreeding flowers because if you put the flowers you can set them up with certain colors and then it makes other hybrid color. Yeah, exactly. This is my quarantimes hobby at the moment is crossbreeding digital flower.
My favorite is facetiming my friend whose wife plays it and she watches while her wife is playing it. So I’m watching her watch it and I’m just like, “What is happening?” She’s like, “Oh, we’re like building-” and something about flowers. Theree was something about flowers. And then there was something about going into some farmers market and taking something and he had to chase the goose out or something the duck was, I’m like “What?” And like they’re like into it. I could not keep their attention. I was like, “I lost to Animal Crossing.”
Oh my god. That’s amazing. So yeah, that’s what I’ve been playing. I’m playing a lot of that. I’ll probably take a break at some point soon. But in terms of what I am reading, I started listening to All I Ever Wanted: A Rock’n’Roll Memoir by Kathy Valentine, which I have no idea if it’s queer yet or not, because Kathy Valentine was the bassist for the Go-Go’s and so the blurb on this book is: At 21 Kathy Valentine was at The Whisky in Los Angeles when she met a guitarist from a fledgling band called The Go-Go’s and the band needed a bassist. The Go-Go’s became the first multi-platinum selling all female band to play instruments themselves, write their own songs and have a number one album. Their debut Beauty and the B1eat spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 and featured the songs We Got The Beat and Our Lips are Sealed. The record success brought the pressures of a relentless workload and schedule culminating in a wild hazy substance fueled tour that took the band from the club circuit to arenas where fans, promoters and crew were more than ready to keep the party going. For Valentine the band success was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, but it’s only part of her story. All I Ever Want traces the path that took her from childhood in Texas where she all but raised herself, to the height of rock and roll stardom, devastation after the collapse of the band that had come to define her and the quest to regain her sense of self at its end. Valentine also speaks candidly about the lasting effects of parental betrayal, abortion, rape, and her struggles with drugs and alcohol and the music that saved her every step of the way. It’s…
It’s super fucking heavy. I am about an hour, hour and a half into it. And the spot where I just paused is when she talks about how her mom took her from Texas to California when she was 12 to get an abortion.
Oh my god
Right? And like the whole circumstances around it are so desperately sad. But at the same time, it’s really, really good. And I think you know, if you’re a Go-Go’s fan, or if you’re just a fan of-
Yeah, fan of music in general or music in the early 80s, specifically. I definitely recommend this one and I specifically recommended it in audio because Kathy Valentine reads it herself. And she’s quite- like she’s a good, she’s a really good solid narrator. I’m having to turn the speed up a little bit because I am impatient a1nd I do that with every audio book I listen to.
I do the same. Yes.
But I feel like with her, I only turn it up to 1.3 times speed. And there are other books I’m turning up to like 1.75 times speed. So I feel like that speaks really well to how she’s doing with it. It’s just, it’s fabulous. I love it so much. So, Kris Bryant?
It’s that time. What is your official recommendation this week?
Yes. My official recommendation this week is a movie called Boy Meets Girl. And there are a ton of movies out there called Boy Meets Girl, but this one was made in 2014. And I’m gonna read you the synopsis. So 21 year old Ricky is a transgender woman living in a small town in Kentucky, with big dreams to move to New York and attend a school of fashion design. Ricky is working as a barista and spends most of her time hanging out with her only friend Robbie, who has been by her side for the past 15 years. One day while Ricky is at work, Francesca, a woman from town, walks in and a friendship unexpectedly blossoms and then a bunch of stuff happens.
Who gives a shit?
So that was the story. Right? And so first of all, you’re like Kentucky, like the worst place to be queer, I think and like- I live in Missouri, and I’m kind of in the Midwest. I am in the Midwest. I mean, it’s bad here. So I can’t imagine what Kentucky is like. People like- you can hide bodies at Kentucky, like Mississippi and Kentucky. good places to hide bodies. Just saying.
So I picked this book, or this book. I’m sorry, I picked this movie because, well, I’ll just tell you why. Like, here’s this whole synopsis thing. You know, at first, it kind of seemed like a fluffy Hallmark type lovestory with a little bit of angst. And you kind of have you have the small town setup with the charming coffee shop and the small car repair shop and you have a boy and a girl and then another girl and another boy.
So it’s basically Ricky is trying to get into fashion school and she has a YouTube channel where she gives all these fashion tips. And her little brother is adorable. He runs her YouTube channel, like he’ll set it up, he’ll put the camera up.
He’s like “Go” and so she does all these really cool like outfits. Like if you don’t have money, you can wear this and so it’s kind of a cool channel. So this adorable kid brother, I think his name is Sam. And she also has a really supporting father. You’re told early on that her mother died of cancer. So her best friend is Robbie. And he’s one of the guys from Twilight. He’s the kid Mike, I think who asked Bella to the prom or is getting ready to she shuts him down and says “Hey, go ask Jessica. She wants to go to prom with you”. And he’s like, “Oh okay”. So he’s Robbie in this movie. So I was like, “Oh!” You know, that kind of even made it more exciting, because I recognize the actors.
When they’re 16, Robbie’s friends tease him about being friends with Ricky. But then they see Ricky as a woman instead of- like, I I guess they tease him. They tease Robbie. They go, “Oh, you’re gay. You’re gay.” And he’s like “No Ricky, or I’m sorry, Ricky is super cool fun to hang out with”. And so these guys except her with no, like, “Oh, she’s cool. She’s pretty. Let’s hang out with her”.
So it’s a little, it’s very Hallmarking in that way. Like, there’s very little controversy at first. You think, “Okay, this is like too easy, too smooth”. And then you have like Francesca, who is the- her father is the politician of the town. So she comes from wealth, and she’s been at boarding school forever. Like, nobody knows who she is. But she’s from the town.
And she’s really cute. And she’s completely oblivious to everything. She’s very naive. And so Ricky tries to tell her that “I’m a sorry, trans- I can’t even talk, transgender woman” and like, Francesca doesn’t get it. So then she’s right next to her and she texts her. Like, “This is this is who I am”. And so she’s like, “Oh, really?” Well, you know, and then she has all these questions. And so Ricky wants to be very open about it. Like, “I never want to hide this from people. I want everybody to know who I am”. And so, um, so they kind of like they have this friendship and there’s like, there’s sexual tension. And Francesca is engaged to a soldier who’s off in Afghanistan. And so, so this whole flirting thing, Ricky’s friend, Robbie, best friend, Robbie says, “Like, you know, this isn’t a good idea. I don’t think you should do this”. And she’s like, “I really need your help. I’ve never had sex with a woman. I want to know what it’s like”. And he’s like, “Oh, God, okay”.
So, you know, he’s really embarrassed to talk about it. And so, he’s very open, though. And he, you know, explains what sex is like and what it’s like for him and Ricky’s only ever had sex with a man before. So like, this whole thing, it’s just, it’s really, you know, you don’t know who to root for. It’s like, “Do I want Ricky to be with Francesca or do I want her fiance comes back?” And so he like, yeah, so he makes us I think his name is David. So you don’t know if you want Francesca to be with David or you want her to be with Francesca. It’s just crazy. So it doesn’t actually go like you think it’s gonna go. I know, right? I get like- so it’s real fluffy at the beginning. And that starts getting a little deeper. And you know, that Ricky’s been through a lot. She’s very guarded. And she uses humor as her defense mechanism. And she brushes off negativity and she twists it, she just makes it, you know, just kind of like it’s no big deal. But you know, deep down inside, she’s hurting. Like she she really hurts. You know, she has a lot of positives though. She has her family, her supportive family, the, like I said, she has this kind of sort of budding YouTube channel. I don’t remember how many subscribers she has, but it makes her feel good because she’s trying really hard to get into school. And so every day, she had her brother go out to the mailbox, to get to check the mail to see if she gets the acceptance letter to this New York school a fashion, but I will say that the ending had me sobbing, like, snot tears sobbing. But in a good way.
Yes. In a good way, you know, sort of. You kind of you understand her pain when she shares her happiness. And that will make more sense after you see this movie. Like it hit me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. And the acting was good, the symbolism was there, but the pain that’s bottled up for years comes out in a way that I wasn’t expecting and I just- how she turned all this negative energy into something positive. had me just sobbing seriously, I cried so hard in this movie. Yeah, so I, I loved it. I thought it was great. Like I said, it’s like, acting was okay and everything, but just I think the whole storyline was, you know, how to accept yourself who you are, how to accept others, you know, the whole thing with David, Francesca’s boyfriend, and Ricky and Robbie and Robbie and Francesca and like this whole huge boy, girl, girl, girl, boy, boy, boy girl thing going on. It was like the relationships there were. They were entertaining if you know and kind of sad, but kind of good. And it’s almost real. Like, yeah, you date people. You dumped them. You know, you hook up with people. You break up with people. You end up with people. So yeah.
That’s sounds pretty good. What was the reception to it? Because especially with it being in 2014 I feel like you kind of never know when it comes to trans representation.
Right. Right. So like rotten tomatoes had it at 88%
That’s pretty good.
I know. It won some awards. Yeah, that’s pretty good. And there was one you know, I wanted to make sure that the rep was solid, you know that there weren’t a lot of – that it was portrayed – and the only thing that I found, not the only thing but you know, you go through a couple pages and you find something, but there is a writer Samantha Riedel who wrote a review of this. And the title is This Film Proves That Casting Transactors Isn’t Enough, We Need Fully Fleshed Out Characters. And in this, Samantha says, trying to find the spot. Here it is. “Therein lies the real truth of our cultural relationship to cisgender people, to many of those embedded in the dominant culture transgender stories do not on a fundamental level belong to trans people. Instead, trans stories are for cis folks consumption, evoking within them feelings of empathy and inspiration as they witness our struggles”.
So is Ricky played by a trans woman?
Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, it’s Michelle Henley. I think it’s her name. Michelle Henley. Yes. Ricky. Yes. So, yeah. So I, I really enjoyed the last. I mean, I liked it. But I really enjoyed the last probably 15 minutes of it, it wrapped it up well.
All right, I might have to look it up and see if we can get it in Canada, which is always a question.
This- Yeah, you know, and I did the- I don’t know if it was on, you know, I just speak into the magic remote.
So I don’t know like, if it’s on Netflix, I think it may be on Tubi I always say Tubi I don’t know if-
I’ve literally never heard of it, so it’s not in Canada.
So it’s T-U-B-I.
No, we don’t have that. We have Netflix, Disney Plus Amazon Prime. And then the like homebrew one is called Crave.
Oh, well it might be on those too.
I just spoke into the remote and said, LGBTQ. And it gave me a bunch of options. And I was like, “Yeah, let’s check out some of these”. Yeah, so enough about that. What is your big recommendation for this week?
Alright, so speaking of things that I watched on Crave TV, in Canada, they should be paying me for plugging this. Okay, so remember how I was just talking about that Kathy Valentine autobiography?
So my recommendation today is directly responsible for why I picked up that autobiography and it is a documentary that is called The Go-Go’s, and oh my god, I loved it so much. And I watched it while I was on vacation. And that was really perfect, because it gave me the time to really soak it in. And then I because for me, I always thought of The Go-Go’s. No, wait, pause. This is really terrible storytelling. This is how excited I am. I’m so excited about this
You’re jumping ahead..
that I’m just blabbering as though there aren’t people listening this who have no idea what I’m talking about. So The Go-Go’s is a documentary about the wildly popular band from the very early 1980s. And in this particular case, this documentary focuses on their rise and their fall, so that most of it takes place, kind of up to and around the point at which they break up for the first time. And then it touches on the fact that they reunite later and kind of what they’re doing right now is they’re pursuing-
Finally, if you can believe that they are finally for the first time ever, despite being eligible for 15 years, are finally up for nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..
As well they should be in for sure. Everybody knows The Go-Go’s, like we all know The Go-Go’s. Like Joan Jett, the other podcast where I talk about that, like who doesn’t know Joan Jett? Who doesn’t know the Go-Go’s? We all know the Go-Go’s.
And if you don’t, please watch this movie, because I promise you are going to want to know it. And so there were some things that were really really cool about this for me. I love that because it really goes from the very beginning and it dives into kind of like the childhoods of the five mains. So there’s like the five main ones that everybody kind of knows because they’re, they’re the ones that were together when they recorded the album Beauty and the Beat, which if you have not listened to that album, oh my god, I’ve had it on almost on repeat for the last week since I watched it. And it’s so good. Every song is good. It is a perfect album. There are no bad songs on this album.
You know, at least three of the songs. Like even if you don’t know anything about The Go-Go’s, you know, at least three of their songs.
Yeah, because they will definitely know We Got The Beat.
Yeah. Our Lips Are Sealed. Vacation is from another album but you’ll at least know those two for sure. And then, I hadn’t heard, I don’t think I had heard the other ones and I just I love it. It’s just so good. But although those are kind of the ones that everybody knows, so it’s like Belinda Carlisle obviously as the singer, Gina Schock, right. Gina Schock as the drummer. And Jane Wiedlin, guitarist Jamie Lynn is adorable. Oh my god, the crush I developed watching that was not fair and I’m talking about her now like fuck that I don’t care if she’s in her 60s. She’s adorable.
Kathy Valentine, of course. And then Charlotte Caffey, who it sounds like she did like some guitar, some keyboard, some kind of- wrote, We Got The Beat. So they’re the ones that everybody knows. But actually, there were a couple of other founding members before that.
And if you look at old kind of promo photos, and actually, when We Got The Beat was recorded as a single, Kathy Valentine wasn’t with them. It was Margo, somebody whose last name I can’t remember. And then there was like previously, a drummer before Gina Schock. And like, they got both of them in for this documentary.
And we heard what it was like, and like when they were kind of let go from the band. And like we heard from their original manager.
Who was also a woman, which was very cool. And then we saw the person who came in to replace like, when Jane Wiedlin left, there was another bassest like Kathy Valentine sort of slid over to her role. And there’s another bassist there. But it’s just like, I was watching it in my mind just feeling like it was exploding. I loved that I was on vacation. Because I think if I would have been working when I watched it, I would have been like, well, that’s really good. And then kind of moved on with my life.
But I was on vacation. So I had the time to start listening to Beauty and the Beat on repeat, you want to bet Yes, I was attending my fucking flowers in Animal Crossing while listening to that album.
And I also reached out to a friend, one of my best friends at work used to be the front man for like, kind of popular rock and punk band and in Canada in the early like, kind of run 2009, 2010 and I know he loves music. Like he loves music the same way that I love literature. And that like at the risk of being that asshole like that the way Roger Ebert would write reviews of movies that he loved, and you could just feel his like- he’s writing. He’s just writing love letters to cinema. That’s the way that’s the way my friend Andrew talks about music. Like when you talk to him, you just feel the passion kind of pour out. And I’m like, “Andrew, I watched the Go-Go’s documentary. Have you seen it?” He’s like, “No, but I want to”.
And so we’re talking about that a bit. And I went back to him a couple days later, I was like, “Andrew, I’ve been listening to Beauty and the Beat over and over. And now I want to listen to Blondie. It’s making me want to listen to that. What else should I be listening to?” And he’s like, “Oh, yeah, no, that makes sense because they were kind of around the same time. And that was, you know, new wave before it split, you know, into punk. And then the synthesizer, a new wave”. And I was like, “That was a thing?” Like it was just the best. And he made me this playlist, and Ireally dug into all that.
Oh, I want to see the playlist. I want you to share th isplaylist, because that is, that’s my music. You know, that’s when I started listening.
Yeah, I can definitely do that. Because that when I listened to that, I know we’re going wildly off topic at this point and I’m just hoping people are enjoying it. But that was like, I had never heard of The Dlits before and he had a couple of their songs on there. And they are also incredible to me. Yeah. And again, it’s like all women that are singing and playing and I think they wrote their own songs. They’re out of like the London music scene at pretty much the exact same time that the Go-Go’s were coming up. But you can hear like reggae influences in their music, but the music’s not reggae at all like it’s super interesting. He added some of Patti Smith. I don’t know my brain is not working. We’re doing this at the end of a work day.
Like you tell me, “Tell me who’s the famous Patty?”
Yeah, so there’s Patti Smith. There’s some like very early B52s, Joy Division, like, a lot of like,
God, these are all good.
Right? It’s so good. And now, for people who have made it this far. There’s some of you that are probably wondering, “Why the fuck are you recommending a documentary about a girl’s rock band for queerly recommended?” Because…
Because in the documentary, Gina Schock mentioned that she and Jane Wiedlin were girlfriends for a little while very early in the band. You’re welcome.
Super queer. And also I mean, Jane Wiedlin has been very open about her bisexuality for years and years. So it doesn’t figure a lot in this thing. That’s really kind of the only moment but I thought that was really cool that even like, yeah, it’s like 40 years later, but I think it’s really sweet to kind of like reflect back on that she had a little laugh about it and it was great. So.
Teah, that reminds me of you know, cuz not everybody even then like even though they were all women, like they were still not like, open to bisexuality or lesbian relationships, because that’s what I found out watching The Runaways, that movie.
Mmmhmm. So this is why I was also saying earlier with Kathy Valentine’s book, I don’t know if there’s any queerness in it. Like, maybe? I don’t know. I don’t know, if there is I’ll report back. I have no idea. But yes, if you are interested in music, especially if you’re interested in 80s music. If you are like me, and you were born around that time, I’m doing that thing now. I’m in my early 40s. I’m feeling very nostalgic about the time when I was born and being raised, I think that’s just kind of a natural, navel gazing time of your life.
Plus 80s. Like 80s had the best music. Fight Me? Remember? We talked about this 80s music is the shit. It’s awesome.
It was so good. Well, last point I want to make about this documentary. The other thing that I really, really really loved was how much it really showed that they grew out of the punk scene.
They were not starting out as a pop band, they were very much starting out as a punk band in LA. And you can hear some of that in Beauty and the Beat. It’s still there. But you can tell there is a progression to kind of more of a pop. And it’s beautiful. But I just love that kind of complexity that, especially for me, because of when I was born, Belinda Carlisle was a bigger deal to me. Like Heaven is a Place on Earth is a song that I heard on the radio when it came out. I may have heard We Got The Beat on the radio, but I wasn’t making memories.
I was making memories during this time. So..
How is that possible? You’re in your 30s.
I know, I’m like 34 and yet I was there.
It’s amazing. I still love- so I’m gonna share this with listeners because you’re all friends. And I think it’s hilarious. And you thought it was hilarious. I texted Kris, was it yesterday? Neil was shocked to learn that Kris is older than me. He said that I sound like the grown up on the podcast.
That’s true. I’m like the teenager with ADD.
Right. He’s like “So is she just a goofball, then.” I was like, “Yeah, dude.”
Yes completely. Yeah, that was sweet. Yeah. You said shocked in the capital letters. I’m like, “I love him. Thanks, Neil.”
Yes. All right. That’s great. Great. All right. I think that’s all for this episode. I don’t think we’ve managed to stay on topic once and I don’t mind.
This is what happens when we do a podcast on a Monday night after we’ve worked hellish days instead of like on a Sunday morning? Or when we’re totally chill so you definitely tell the difference.
But you know what, hopefully, you had a good time anyway. If you did, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you feel like giving us feedback anywhere please do we so love hearing from listeners and thank you.
Yes and if you want to connect with us on favorite social media sites, just search for queerlyrecommended on Instagram Twitter and Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on like Twitter. I think we do a lot of interaction on Twitter. That’s that’s pretty popular.
Yeah, we do. Yeah. Yeah.
Have a good Good night. Good day. Goodbye.
Bye everybody. Go listen to Beauty and the Beat.
I had to do one more plug. They should give me a nickle. And go vote for them to get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They’ll make it for sure. For sure.
God, they better.