Daily Dose: The life and ‘Tales’ of a gay writing giant

Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.

The Birthday Candle: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

In honor of Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin turning 76 today, we offer up the documentary biopic of the man himself. The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin includes extensive interviews with Maupin, his husband Christopher Turner, family, friends and collaborators like Laura Linney, Ian McKellen, Olympia Dukakis and Amy Tan.

Fans of Tales of the City will no doubt notice conspicuous parallels between Maupin’s own life and those of his characters. More intriguing, however, are Maupin’s recollections of the controversies he endured as a writer, including the right-wing backlash to the Tales of the City miniseries, which almost got PBS defunded. The author also remembers the decimation of AIDS, how the crisis shaped his life and relationships, as well as how the epidemic only boosted his activism and drove home the need to tell LGBTQ stories.  Who’d have thought that one of Maupin’s most touching stories, would be his own?

Streams on Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.