This Week's Guest: Albert Williams
What's the difference between an end and a beginning, and are they sometimes the same thing? My guest this week is Albert Williams, a longtime queer artist and activist who's seen the queer world transform over the course of his life. Throughout that time, there were periods when change just wasn't coming fast enough, and that's when he and his friends found ways to force one era to end and a new one to begin.
Also -- throughout the month of July, The Sewers of Paris needs your nominations to win a Podcast Award. Just go to PodcastAwards.com and nominate The Sewers of Paris in the LGBT category. It's open July 1 through July 31, so if you're enjoying the show I'd be very grateful if you could help it win this award.
This Week's Recommendation: The Fox and the Hound
Thanks again to Albert for joining me. As he pointed out, stories about young queer people and young straight people discovering their differences have been a part of our community for decades. And for my recommendation this week, take a look at a film that have an unexpected perspective on that experience: Disney's the Fox and the Hound. And make sure you have a lot of tissues around because it's one of those "you will cry" Disney films.
The story follows a young orphaned fox, and his best friend, a puppy being trained to be a hunting dog. As kids, they're inseparable -- until the expectations of their separate worlds intrude on their relationship. The fox wants to remain close forever, but the hound is being pressured to not just turn his back, but to attack his former friend. And the older dog who trained the hound is particularly determined that they should maintain their traditional roles as adversaries.
Who knows if anyone who worked on this movie intended for it to have queer subtext, but the core of the conflict -- two boys from different worlds -- is painfully familiar, particularly when coupled with the hostility of the older generation. And although the ending is pretty melancholy, there's a glimmer of optimism as well: in a climactic moment, a bridge is built between the world of the fox and the world of the hound. They're not quite able to cross it, but at least it's there -- and maybe future generations can go further than they did.
Clips of Stuff We Talked About
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0