If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, chances are you have someone in your biological family that is outright homophobic. In a recent interview with Pink News, Armistead Maupin, author of the book series, Tales of The City, recounted how when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, in 2014 his brother decided to not attend. Maupin explained:
“My university decided to honor me with an honorary doctoral degree about five years ago and I asked my little brother to come to the ceremony, thinking he’d be proud of me, and he was embarrassed to have to do it. He made up a pathetic excuse for why he couldn’t attend. This s**t’s been going on there for a long time. My own family supported Jesse Helms, the conservative senator who was the most homophobic person in congress. I lost all patience with that – I have lost all patience.”
Maupin’s sister, Jane Maupin Yates shared a picture of that day on her Facebook account last year, explaining how proud she was of her brother.
Maupin also discussed what it was like to see Donald Trump as the president and if things will be better for LGBTQ Americans under President Biden:
It’s too early to tell whether it’s going to be that much better, but he’s certainly undone a lot of the horrible s**t Trump put into place. When I wrote my memoir Logical Family, in 2017, I had a statement about my brother saying that he had joined what I considered to be a fascist movement in America, the Trump campaign. When I wrote it, I thought, ‘Maybe that’s a little bit too strong.’ I’m glad I didn’t change it because it wasn’t strong enough. Fascism can happen everywhere and it’s happening in America, in pockets, and we have to keep a very close eye on it.
Maupin expressed his opinion on the rise in transphobia in Britain and how to fight it during his interview with Pink News.
Show our support by speaking out against anybody in our circles who are making noises like that. Challenge them, don’t be afraid to call an asshole an asshole. Support your trans friends. Do what you can. It all happens on a personal level, always – it happens to a certain degree on a cultural level, artistically. That’s what I tried to do when I invented Anna Madrigal, who was the first sympathetic trans character in literature.
Maupin, who now lives in the United Kingdom, will be doing a small speaking tour across the UK starting October 6 in London hosted by actor Russell Tovey.