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Wow wow wow.Thank you for sharing this, DW. As Grrace just stated: beautiful piece.
“. . . inadvertently gave me parts of themselves for me to heal” — now *that’s* putting it beautifully.
Thank you for reading it, Stevie! And yes, jazz — Hot Club swing especially — has been a particular passion for me in recent years. There’s something about being “in the pocket” that’s unlike anything else in music. And the blues, so simple and yet so. . . everything.
Thanks again, Alex. Blessings back!
Thank you, Alex! Music plays a similar role in my own life, having carried me through some of my most difficult chapters of grief. As the piano is to you, the violin is to me, and a day without playing it feels empty and unfinished. I love how it takes my mind off of absolutely everything and connects me with something deeper, wider, greater. It’s hard (impossible) to articulate in words, but I keep trying!
As it happens, I’m touching on some of that in my third story in the music series, to run Feb. 14.
Miranda, that’s absolutely perfect! In my own life, music has carried me through all the toughest days and years — and I can’t imagine making it through this pandemic without it.
Cabrogal, I reached out independently to participants — mostly via their Instagram accounts. Those who chose to speak with me responded. No interviews were arranged by the studio, and no one was forced into speaking with me. Reddy and Reddy alone gave me his account of the week. And for the record: I did, in fact, quote Brandonn Mixon complaining about his depiction on the show and saying he regarded its shooting as “staged.” To be sure, I also quoted plenty of others saying it wasn’t staged, but with all of them I was only conveying to the reader exactly what was said to me.
Again, I understand your skepticism. But again, you’ll see that I address that skepticism directly, talking about the nature of reality-shows and the urge, even the need, to question them.
Thanks so much, Sandra. I agree. I think the everyday compassion at play, and the way it promotes kindness and connection regardless of differences, is indeed the show’s most powerful message. When my son first suggested we watch it together I hadn’t expected that — and I certainly didn’t expect to be expelling all that saline!
Hello, Cabrogal – thanks for your comment. For what it’s worth, I completely understand the need to question a “happy ending’ story arc on movies or television, particularly when it comes to portraying people’s deeply complex humanity and individual pain. This is why I addressed up front my own skeptical questioning of tidy narratives conveying triumph & transformation. It’s also why I set out to interview the “Queer Eye” participants themselves — and I labored to convey what they had to say with accuracy and sensitivity.
And just to be clear: The production didn’t swoop in on them until they’d given their consent. As I went on to explain in the story, the timing of the stars’ arrival was engineered to catch participants off-guard — but they had already agreed to be on the show.
Kindred Spirit, I understand your skepticism, but Neal Reddy was very clear to me about his experience on “Queer Eye.” I spoke with him at length about his week, and he was candid in describing both his reluctance at the start of the show and all the positive change it had inspired in him by the end. He repeatedly emphasized the fact that he had never discussed his experience with depression pre-“Queer Eye” — and had never gone to therapy, either. He felt more at ease in expressing emotion as well.
Hi, Sam. As I described in the story, Karamo Brown is a licensed social worker & psychotherapist, although I don’t believe he’s working as such right now. The others all have businesses in their fields. And of course everyone’s arc of grief and recovery is different, but most of the folks I interviewed seemed to feel that their time on the show helped.