Queer Utopian Fiction and Dystopian Reality TV

Netflix’s queer dating show features pets, processing, and very little sexual chemistry.


Episode Notes

This month, Outward explores utopian fiction and dystopian reality TV. First, Bryan and Christina are joined by author Theodore McCombs to discuss Uranians, his new collection of speculative stories, which uses queer difference and divestment from the normal as an engine to drive five fascinating tales. Then they’re joined by producer June Thomas to discuss The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Netflix’s latest take on the dating show, which follows a cast of queer women and nonbinary folks as they try to decide who they will marry. Finally, the hosts add some new items to the gay agenda.

Items discussed in the show:

The CBC report on Patricia Ginn of the WindSisters

Uranians: Stories, by Theodore McCombs

Ted’s essay in Slate on “late-Victorian daddy” Edward Carpenter’s queer utopianism

More on Karl Heinrich Ulrich’s take on the Uranian

The Ultimatum: Queer Love on Netflix

June on the queerness of portrait galleries

Gay Agenda

June: The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh

Bryan: That! Feels Good!, by Jessie Ware

Christina:Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs Magazine,” from Cornell University Library

This podcast was produced by June Thomas.

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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  • June Thomas is the co-host of Slate's Working podcast. She is writing a book about archetypical lesbian spaces.

  • Bryan Lowder is a Slate associate editor and co-host of the Outward LGBTQ podcast. He covers human interest, culture, and queer issues.

  • Christina Cauterucci is a Slate senior writer.