It’s Pride month everybody!
Wave your rainbow flags high and let’s commemorate both the 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising and half a decade of the LGBTQIA+ community’s fight for liberation.
The Stonewall Uprising was a series of fierce demonstrations by the LGBTQIA+ community against police raids at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. On June 28th, 1969 a major confrontation took place.
Before and after this landmark in LGBTQIA+ history this community of brave and vibrant people has fought for the visibility, tolerance and equal rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex and Asexual identifying people. It’s been a long and arduous fight and there’s a long way to go, but it’s June and in this month the LGBTQIA+ community takes Pride in their journey for acceptance in being who they are.
Of course, since it’s Pride month there are tons of rainbows out there, and I’m here to share my take on a little rainbow treat I found on Netflix this week. Moving on from one vibrant community in the East Coast to an equally historic LGBTQIA+ community in the West Coast.
“Tales of The City” is a Netflix original series set in San Francisco about a complex and eccentric group of friends living at Barbary Lane, a boardinghouse turned apartment complex owned by Anna Madrigal, a beloved icon of the San Francisco LGBTQIA+ community. It’s only one season and 10 episodes in, but “Tales of The City” is an absolute treat on this holiest Pride month. It’s an all inclusive, comedic drama with a suspenseful mystery and an absolutely adorable cast of characters.
This is an excellent show to watch this summer, not only because of its sensible, realistic, honest portrayal of the lives of LGBTQIA+ people, but also because of how beautifully it is made. Cinematically speaking, it is enthralling. It stars the iconic Ellen Page as Shawna and Laura Linney as Mary Anne, her estranged mother. Mary Anne returns to Barbary Lane to reunite with her “Logical Family”, a term coined by Armistead Maupin in his memoir about growing up in a conservative family in the South and living as a gay writer in San Francisco. A “logical family” is one chosen for you rather than the one that you are assigned at birth.
Let me tell you, this show truly has it all.
I particularly like the complex relationships between the members of the Barbary Lane community interlaced with the new age sensibilities of the LGBTQIA+ community and an insightful look at the history behind their struggle for equal rights and liberation.
There are also a whole lot of spicy subplots to lead you through it and a juicy mystery about Barbary Lane’s own Anna Madrigal, whose story as a transgender woman in the 70’s highlights the truth and hardship about coming out in those difficult days. I found a touching moment in Anna’s story when she arrives in San Francisco and is approached by a younger transexual woman with the question, How did you survive? This is telling of the turmoil that this community had to endure.
I recommend spending some time with this show, which is also a very sexy show. You’ll be delighted to find this nuanced take on family. It really is every bit as loving and caring as your standard family, and perhaps more so because there’s a kind of complex and unconditional love portrayed in this series that one rarely sees in the conventional sitcom
I also want to add a bit about a mystery Pride project that our dearest teleprompter operator, Zack Breheney, has been working on. He says it’s an interesting documentary about Pride. However, he cannot share the details, since it will be released next year. We’ll be on the lookout for this one. We’re always here for more LGBTQIA+ visibility.