Wednesday October 04, 2017

Armistead Maupin's transformation from conservative activist to gay rights pioneer

Armistead Maupin is most famous for his series of books, Tales of the City, about a group of people living in San Francisco.

Armistead Maupin is most famous for his series of books, Tales of the City, about a group of people living in San Francisco. (Christopher Turner/Harper Collins Canada)

Listen 18:44

We often talk about the moments that changed artists into the people we know today. But author Armistead Maupin might have had one of the biggest transitions of any guest we've had on q

Maupin is most famous for his series of books, Tales of the City, about a group of people living in San Francisco, books that have shone a light on the city's queer community for over four decades. They were also turned into three successful PBS series starring Laura Linney. (Netflix has recently announced that it is developing a new instalment of the series.) 

The Tales of the City books and TV series were ahead of their time in depicting stories of LGBTQ people, but Maupin himself wasn't always a proactive voice of the gay community. Maupin grew up as an arch conservative confederate in North Carolina. He was even a segregationist. 

Maupin has now released a memoir called Logical Family and it tells how he changed from conservative activist into a groundbreaking writer and gay rights pioneer. 

Maupin speaks to Tom Power today about growing up in the South and his relationship with the LGBTQ community.

— Produced by Ben Edwards