Pride Center’s Queerantine Guide: Media Edition
By now, we’ve all flexed those screen muscles and binged the heck out of the latest streaming series, had the same several albums on a loop, or read (or re-read) entire shelves of books. If you’ve attended any of Pride Center’s daily virtual community gatherings, you’ll know that we love to throw out our favorite shows, movies, books, and music that we just can’t stop consuming. Back in April, the Pride Center team felt inspired to publish our official Queerantine Guide to all things media. Our staff has been surveyed, and here are some of their picks that have gotten us through the past month of physical isolation. As we trudge on and continue to #flattenthecurve, we’ve updated it with some fresher picks for Pride season.
Anne Moyerbrailean | SafeSpace Anti-Violence Coordinator
BOOKS Son of the first woman U.S. president meets and falls in love with an English prince and they start a steamy but secret love affair? If that makes you say “yes, please!” Anne recommends Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston. This book has it all – and so much more – which offered Anne the perfect escape that she needs right now. Switching up genres completely, Anne also recommends Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor because of it’s beautifully disturbing plot and narration – check out this review if you want to learn more.
In line with her work at SafeSpace, Anne recommends Know My Name by Chanel Miller – a memoir about Chanel’s trial and life after being sexually assaulted. It’s a powerful, important and, at times, surprisingly funny and relatable read. Anne also recommends In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, which is a Memoir about Carmen’s abusive, queer relationship. Academic, personal, and creatively written, Anne appreciated this book for addressing an important and underrepresented topic – IPV in queer women’s relationships.
TELEVISION Anne splurged for the BritBox add-on to Amazon Prime and it has changed her life. Anne recommends almost every show on BritBox, but some of her favorites are Lewis, Rosemary & Thyme, and Midsomer Murders. Not on BritBox but sticking with the British theme, Anne has also watched too much Love Island UK on Hulu since the start of quarantine. With 60, 1-hour long episodes in a season, it has definitely kept her busy. Anne also got hooked on Netflix’s Selling Sunset (she’s an Amanza).
MUSIC Gaslighter by The Chicks on repeat. Duh!
Reggie Condra | Health & Wellness Coordinator
TELEVISION He’s been binging The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (ah, isn’t it fun to dream?) on Netflix and HBO’s The Outsider. Reggie also suggests Search Party (HBO), deeming it a “hilarious satire of self-indulgent, privileged Millennials. You will not have a “favorite character”, but rather a “least despised” character.” But maybe the real shining moment of his quarantine binge-list is The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo/Hulu).
Richard Elliott | Health & Wellness Coordinator
YOUTUBE The Kurzgesagt channel – it’s an educational series that delves into physics, science, society, etc. Extremely well-done and informative.
Justin Marsh | Director of Development & Communications
PODCAST While their podcast listening has decreased severely since the cut in their commute time, Justin still manages to tune into the New York Times’ Popcast, hosted by music editor Jon Caramanica – recommended for any fan of pop music.
MUSIC Speaking of Popcast, one recent episode featured a breakdown of Dua Lipa‘s latest album, Future Nostalgia. Let’s just say this album was made to get you through quarantine. Songs like Cool and Physical should be on any dance party playlist – even if you’re just alone in your living room. And as if that weren’t enough, she recently teamed up with The Blessed Madonna to remix the entire album with guest spots from Missy Elliott, Madonna, and Justin’s pop diva icon, Gwen Stefani. Another album on constant repeat is The Chicks’ long-awaited latest album Gaslighter.
TELEVISION Countless series have been binged in their entirety this quarantine season, but the highlights include Feel Good (Netflix), Glow Up (Netflix), Making the Cut (Amazon), and rewatching I’m Sorry. Plus, we’ve been blessed with two seasons of Selling Sunset (Netflix) this summer (Justin’s a total Mary in this Buzzfeed quiz). And what summer wouldn’t be complete without the major guilty pleasure that is Big Brother (CBS)?
MOVIE Although Reggie and Justin both recently commiserated over their inability to watch a movie to completion without falling asleep, Justin did make it through 2019’s Knives Out, which is a thrilling whodunnit, without catching zzz’s.
Taylor Small | Director of Health & Wellness
MUSIC Record-breaking Australian musician, Tones & I, has been blasting through her speakers (sorry, neighbors!) – you may know her single Dance Monkey – but check out her latest single Bad Child. Prior to the pandemic, Taylor spent a couple of weeks along the coast of California and the soundtrack was Justin Bieber‘s latest album, Changes. Al Olender (formerly of the band Upstate) recently released her debut solo single Folie à Deux which has her all in her feels. And of course, there’s always WAP on repeat.
TELEVISION She’s also binged the series Locke & Key (Netflix) and found the latest episodes of Saturday Night Live, which were filmed entirely in the casts’ personal homes, a real tear-jerker. More recently, she began rewatching Scandal (because Shonda Rhimes).
GAMES Mario Kart Tour – an all-time favorite app game that has taken most of the staff by storm this pandemic.
Gustavo Mercado Muñiz | Transgender Program Coordinator
BOOKS Gustavo has been diving into the Brooklyn Brujas series during the pandemic – a latinx-infused queer fantasy from decorated author Zoraida Cordova. They have also been reading Beyond the Gender Binary and Femme in Public by Alok Vaid Menon, Poet, Prophet, Fox by MZ McDonnell (local author), Sister’s Entrance by Emtithal Mahmoud, Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
MUSIC If you know Gustavo, you know they ADORE Beyoncé. So it should be no surprise that their quarantine anthem has been the entire album Lemonade. Consider this the perfect occasion to consume the visual album.
TELEVISION The latest season of Insecure (HBO) and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Hulu) have been at the top of their series consumption list. The latter stars and is written by the hilarious queer Aussie Josh Thomas. They’ve also been watching Dominique Jackson‘s episode of Defining Moments with Ozy (Hulu), Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC), The Get Down (Netflix), and rewatching Euphoria (Hulu).
MOVIE Gustavo’s film pick for quarantine survival is Nappily Ever After, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour who is best known as being the first female film director in Saudi Arabia. They also loved Disclosure, which is a documentary focused on trans people in media, and The Half Of It (Netflix).
Mike Bensel | Executive Director
TELEVISION Mike suggests binging BBC’s Killing Eve (starring Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy fame). He says he’s “in love” with the murderer. And while early in the pandemic, that was his show du jour, it’s been a bit more difficult watching anything on TV with what’s happening in the world.
BOOKS Mike’s listening to the audiobooks of How to be Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.
Skylar Wolfe | Director of SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program
MUSIC In what may be the musical recommendation of all quarantine musical recommendations, Skylar has been queueing up the “Happy Musical Songs” playlist on Spotify.
TELEVISION If you haven’t binged the two seasons of Sex Education, you’re definitely missing out. He recommends the series, about a teen who offers sex advice thanks to the knowledge gleaned from his sex therapist mother.
STAGE Vermont icon Alison Bechdel‘s Tony-winning Fun Home is slated to stream via Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre, so while it has yet to be consumed, Skylar is anxiously anticipating watching it.