This week, Ana (@anamariecox) sat down with Travon Free (@Travon), the star of the new HBO show Him or Her. They started things off by delving into the show’s premise: it’s largely based on Travon’s dating experiences as a black, bisexual male in America.
That transitioned to a conversation about the importance of representation, something personal to Travon specifically because he hasn’t ever seen himself represented in popular movies or tv shows: “I want to be as visible as possible so that people can start to free themselves.”
Ana then shifted the conversation, asking Travon about his journey to realizing and accepting his sexuality. Growing up in a conservative Christian church made things more difficult as he grappled with his identity, and eventually led him to stop attending before adopting a new approach: “If this is what gets me to hell, f*** it.”
Toward the close of the show, Travon continued on, and explained the ways he’s found acceptance of his sexuality later in life: “I had people around who just were what they were. When if felt like i got to a safe place where i could at least start to explore what it was and figure out what it was, and then be around people like my best friend Sasha, who’s lesbian, other friends of mine who are queer, it made it easy for me to go, yeah, this is me.”
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This week Dr. Carol Anderson joins Ana Marie Cox to talk about current events in the context of her new book, One Person, No Vote. They cover an intensive history of voting rights and the violence in those battles. Dr. Carol Anderson clarifies the lie that is the American dream, and discusses with Ana the work that needs to be done by White people to stop the onslaught of violence that People of Color face day in and day out.
Kiese Laymon joins Ana to discuss his new book, Heavy: An American Memoir. They talk about what it’s like deal with other people’s difficult stories, as well as how they cope with their own. Additionally, they connect the concept of the body to struggles that we face internally with our own issues and externally with political and social issues.
Diana Butler Bass joins host Ana Marie Cox to talk about gratitude, and the contradictions that ensue. They asked what it means to celebrate Thanksgiving, when you’re on stolen land. They conclude by making a distinction between optimism and hopefulness, attempting to change the paradigm on what effective gratitude looks like.
Ana sits down with Rick Wilson to talk about the results of the 2018 Midterms. They analyze the Blue Wave, and discuss voter suppression, the struggles they faced in the election, and what will happen next in terms of the White House, investigations, and potential policy.
Rebecca Traister joins Ana to recap the 2018 midterm elections, and the work that led up to them. Their conversation touches on the demographic of White women and their voting patterns, the history of why White women continually vote conservative, and the changes that were made this election to reach out to other marginalized and often disenfranchised communities.