Armistead Maupin At DBF

Posted in Book Reports, Holidays, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 2, 2018

When PG heard that Armistead Maupin was coming to the Dick Hater Book Festival, not going was out of the question. There were rumors of a film showing/Q&A on saturday, and PG scoured the DBF website, looking for information. When the film showing was finally put on the website, tickets were no longer available.

On the morning of the talk, PG fussed over which shirt to wear, settling on a purple t-shirt with no adornment. Next, PG called his friend “P” to make arrangements to meet at the First Baptist Church, site of Mr. Maupin’s appearance. The ring tone for PG calls on “P”‘s phone is “Tutti Frutti.” “P” had agreed to let a friend do laundry at his house, and had to jiggle the schedule a bit. “P” wore a tie dyed t-shirt, with a chest hair display hole below the collar. This all blends in nicely with the lavender shirt, pink suspenders, and Levis that Mr. Maupin wore.

The talk started at 1:15. PG arrived at 12:30, and snagged a prime parking spot. The talk was in the sanctuary, and PG found seats in the fifth row pew. The church house setting gave Mr. Maupin pause. He said something about using profanity, and the pastor said “Its all good.” Mr. Maupin then told the story of getting lubricated on maitais, and coming out to his neighbor. She said “big fucking deal.”

When PG arrived at the church, Mr. Maupin was standing in front of the auditorium. PG went down and shook his hand. “My blog is Chamblee54, and I am writing about this, so I am going to watch what you say.” Mr. Maupin looked sideways, as if to say “who does this guy think he is.” Later, while discussing gender transition, Mr. Maupin paused for a second, and said he manted to say this properly. He was watching what he said.

The talk was a delight, as everyone knew it would be. The *southern-ness* of his parents, moving to San Francisco, the Tales of the City series, and Rock Hudson all were discussed. The pbs lady who hosted the event said that Mr. Maupin was like the Forrest Gump of our generation. This went over about as well as PG telling Mr. Maupin to watch what he said.

At some point, the racial values of 1950s North Carolina came up again. It occurred to PG that this was a very white audience. He looked in the rows ahead of him, and to the side, and did not see any p.o.c. When the talk ended, PG was one of the first to stand up, and did a quick survey of the rest of the room. There may have been p.o.c. at this event, but PG did not see them. For painfully woke Decatur, this is an interesting development. You can welcome people all you want, but if nobody shows up, then nobody shows up.

PG spoke to Mr. Maupin one more time. While discussing the techno-gentrification of San Francisco, Mr. Maupin said that “Decatur is starting to look pretty good.” He then said that maybe you say Deck-a-tur. After the show was over, PG approached the stage, and told Mr. Maupin that the correct pronunciation was Dick Hater…. the town had been renamed Dick Hater in honor of the lesbian population. Mr. Maupin laughed, and acted like he had never heard that. A man with a DBF badge told PG “You’re making that up.”

Chamblee54 has featured Mr. Maupin one, two, three, four, five, six times. Pictures, for the text to go between, are from The Library of Congress.

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