Why Is Everything “Lesbian” Always Dying?

Plus, PFLAG turns 50, but have the parents of queer kids really grown up?


Episode Notes

This month, hosts Christina Cauterucci, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Bryan Lowder explore two parts of the queer world heavily associated with the 1970s: PFLAG and “The Lesbian.” First, they mark the 50th anniversary of PFLAG with a discussion of how the relationship between parents, parenthood, and queer people has changed over the last five decades, how it hasn’t, and what all that means in this dangerous era of “parental rights.” Then, they’re joined by Mairead Sullivan, a scholar and author of the newish book Lesbian Death, a fascinating analysis of the cultural association between the figure of The Lesbian and, well, death. Why is The Lesbian and her bed, her spaces, her very identity, always dying? Who’s killing her? Sullivan helps the hosts sort it out.

Items discussed in the show:

Lesbian Death by Mairead Sullivan

Gallup’s latest count of LGBT people in the U.S.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s 1977 photo in drag.

Gay Agenda

Christina: The novel Confidence by Rafael Frumkin

JGP: Pedro Pascal’s Instagram

BL: Nico Lang’s @QueerNewsDaily; Julia Serano on “transgenderism”; and Christina on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ love of high heels.

This podcast was produced by Morgan Givens.

Please send feedback, topic ideas, and advice questions to outwardpodcast@slate.com.


About the Show

Outward, Slate’s queer podcast, is a whip-smart monthly salon in which hosts and guests deepen the audience’s understanding of queer culture and politics, delight them with unexpected perspectives, and invite listeners into a colorful conversation about the issues animating LGBTQ communities.

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