Tag Archives: Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin was born on this day in Washington, D.C. in 1944. Armistead Maupin is an American author and playwright, born on May 13, 1944, in Washington, D.C. He is best known for his "Tales of the City" series of novels, which explore the lives of a diverse group of characters living in San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s.

Gay History – May 13: Happy Birthday Armistead Maupin! With Love, 28 Barbary Lane.

Armistead Maupin was born on this day in Washington, D.C. in 1944. 

Maupin is an American author and playwright, born on May 13, 1944, in Washington, D.C. He is best known for his “Tales of the City” series of novels, which explore the lives of a diverse group of characters living in San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s.

Maupin family moved when he was young and he  grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He began working as a newspaper reported in Charleston, S.C. before he moved to San Francisco in 1971 to work for the Associated Press. He also later worked as a writer and producer for television, including stints on “The Young and the Restless” and “Knots Landing.”

In 1976 Maupin started his famous “Tales of the City” series  in the San Francisco Chronicle. The series follows the lives of a group of friends, including the main character Mary Ann Singleton, who moves to San Francisco from Ohio and becomes part of the city’s vibrant counterculture scene. The series was later compiled into several books, beginning with “Tales of the City” in 1978, and has been adapted for television and stage productions.

Because the installments were published so soon after Maupin wrote them, he was able to incorporate many current events into the serials portrayal of both straight and gay life in San Francisco, as well as gauge reader response and modify the story accordingly. At one point Maupin received a letter from a reader who pointed out that one of the characters’ names was an anagram, providing Maupin with one of the more memorable and surprising plot twists in the book. 

Real life people such as Jim Jones and a thinly veiled Elizabeth Taylor are mentioned in the story lines. A prominent closeted gay celebrity is represented as “______ ______” throughout the third novel, with sufficient detail available to deduce that it could be Rock Hudson.

Tales of the City was later reworked into the series of books published by HarperCollins (then Harper and Row). The first of Maupin’s novels, entitled Tales of the City, was published in 1978. Five more followed in the 1980s, ending with the last book, Sure of You, in 1989. A seventh novel published in 2007, Michael Tolliver Lives, continues the story of some of the characters. It was followed by an eighth volume, Mary Ann in Autumn, published in 2010 and a ninth and final volume, The Days of Anna Madrigal, in 2014.  Maupin was one of the first writers to address the subject of AIDS in his storylines.

Of the autobiographical nature of the characters, he says “I’ve always been all of the characters in one way or another.”

The Tales of the City books have been translated into ten languages, and there are more than six million copies in print. Several of the books have been adapted and broadcast on BBC Radio 4

On June 7, 2019 after a year in development Netflix released a new 10-episode installment of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” based on the book “Maryann in Autumn” 

Maupin married his husband Christopher Turner in Vancouver. During a trip to Australia in 2011, Maupin and his husband were denied the use of a restroom at a saloon in Alice Springs where they were having lunch. The bartender told them to go across the street because their rest room was reserved for “real men.” “So we did what real men do and crossed the street to the visitor’s center where we filed a complaint,” Maupin wrote. “Impressively we received an e-mail apology from the bartender that afternoon. Fair dinkum, mate. Next time don’t [expletive] with the poofters.”

If you have never read it or seen the PBS mini-series based on the books, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series it is a must read for all in the LGBT community both old and young.  It’s an entertaining and loving throwback to an earlier time that l looking back to an almost forgotten time in LGBT history that has since overshadowed by the AIDS epidemic.

Thank you and Happy Birthday Armisted.

Mouse. (WK)


Netflix Orders 10 Episode Installment of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City Book: Maryann in Autumn

Netflix Orders 10 Episode Installment of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City Book: Maryann in Autumn

After all most a year in development Netflix has officially ordered a new 10-episode installment of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” book “Maryann in Autumn”.

The series follows Mary Ann, who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter and ex-husband Brian, twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.

Lauren Morelli, who previously worked as a writer and co-executive producer on the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Maupin will executive produce.

Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis will reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal respectively. In addition, Barbara Garrick, who played DeDe Halcyon Day in the original miniseries, is also set to return.

PBS carried the original six-part “Tales” miniseries in January 1994, which generated some controversy for its depiction of LGBT relationships. Showtime ran the subsequent miniseries, 1998’s “More Tales of the City” and 2001’s “Further Tales of the City.”


This Week In Gay History May 11 – 17: Nero Performs 1st Gay Marriage, The Equality Act of 1974, and MORE!

Gay Rome


54 AD Nero becomes Emperor of Rome. Nero married two men in legal ceremonies, with at least one spouse accorded the same honours as an empress. Gay relationships are accepted and institutionalized in this time period.

1102 AD – The Council of London took measures to ensure that the public, quite tolerant of homosexuality at the time, knew that it was sinful, marking a significant shift in church attitudes towards homosexuality, which previously had been more or less indifference, or very mild condemnation. Many priests were homosexuals, likely one of the causes of the change in attitude, as moral reformers such as Bernard of Cluny called for change.

 1250 – 1300 AD – “Between 1250 and 1300, homosexual activity passed from being legal in most of Europe to incurring the death penalty in all but a few contemporary legal compilations.” – John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (1980)


May 11

1999 – Billy Bean the former outfielder and left-handed hitter for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres makes headlines in when he became only the second baseball player to publicly come out, three years after his retirement. It was a long struggle to get there. As a closeted pro athlete, he struggled to juggle his secret and his career. He divorced his wife in 1993 and secretly moved in with his first lover. When his lover died of AIDS, Bean didn’t attend the funeral because he was too frightened that his secret would be revealed. “Why was it so impossible to think that a baseball player could grieve for a man?” he later reflected. “That was a terrible, terrible decision I made.”

His 2003 book, Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major League Baseball, chronicles the ups and downs of his life as a gay man and baseball player. He is currently a real estate agent in Miami.

May 12

1975 – California decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults. Assembly member Willie Brown  and state Senator George Moscone (who will later in his career be assassinated along with LGBT civil rights great Harvey Milk in San Francisco)  co-sponsor AB 489, the “Consenting Adults Bill,” which decriminalizes sexual activity between consenting adults.  Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law on May 12, 1975, and it goes into effect January 1, 1976.

May 13

1944Novelist Armistead Maupin is born. Maupin becomes famous for his Tales of the City  novels, the first portions of which were published initially as a newspaper serial in The Pacific Sun and later picked up San Francisco Chronicle, and then reworded into a popular bestselling series of books.  Reworked into the series of books published by Harper Collins places his gay characters within a large framework of humanity, creating a social history of San Francisco during the tumultuous decades of the 1970s and 1980s.  Maupin is  compared to the Charles Dickens of San Francisco. Like Dickens’s London, Maupin’s San Francisco is populated by all sorts and conditions of humankind: waifs and scoundrels, high-society hypocrites and burghers complacent in their middle-class ways, and at the center, a group of earnest seekers after a happy life.

May 14

1883 – One of America’s foremost female impersonator is born as Julian Eltinge in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Eltinge was a stage and silent film star with few realizing he was actually a man until  So popular was he that during the Korean War a troop ship was named in his, or rather, her honor.

1974 – Long before ENDA (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act)  is introduced in 1991, the first federal gay rights bill is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974  but fails to pass. The Equality Act of 1974.  Introduced by Bella Abzug and ironically Ed Koch the sweeping federal bill would have banned discrimination against lesbians, gay men, unmarried persons and women in employment, housing and public accommodations. Abzug and Koch’s bill stands as the first-ever national legislative proposal to end discrimination against lesbians and gay men.

40 years later and we are still waiting……….

1981 – The Reagan administration cancels the White House subscription to The Advocate.

 2002 – On the ABC primetime news program Primetime Live, Rosie O’Donnell officially comes out in order to offer support to a gay male couple trying to adopt in Florida

May 15

 356 BC – Alexander the Great is born in Macedonia. One of the greatest conquering generals of all time, Alexander’s love of Hephaistion, before and during a marriage, is well accepted as factual history. Upon Hephaistion’s death in battle, Alexander wept for days and provided him a funeral normally afforded kings.

 1897 – The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, (Wissenschaftlich-Humanitres Komitee) was founded by Dr Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin, Germany to campaign for social recognition of homosexual, bisexual and transgender men and women, and against their legal persecution. The committee was dissolved in 1933 when the Nazis destroyed the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft in Berlin where the WhK was based.

1969 – Canada decriminalizes private same-sex acts.

1977 – CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcasts a segment on child pornography, concentrating on “adult homosexuals who prey on small boys.”  As a result teenagers from a conservative New York Catholic high school go on a gay bashing spree, beating one victim to death. They are later sentenced to 35 and 40 years in prison.

May 16

1921 – Patrick Dennis (pseudonym of Edward Everett Tanner) , the writer who created Auntie Mame was born in Chicago. A bisexual man, he is the only author to have had three novels on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time. Auntie Mames first edition spent 112 weeks on the bestseller list, selling more than 2,000,000 copies in five different languages. The manuscript was turned down by fifteen publishers before being accepted by the Vanguard Press

May 17

1866 – Composer Erik Satie is born in Honfleur, Calvados. Throughout his life he lived in a small Paris room. Dissatisfied with his compositions, he returned to school when he was forty to study music formally. Satie, a contemporary of Ravel & Debussy collaborated with Jean Cocteau to create the ballet Parade (1917) and left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the Dada 391 to the American culture chronicle). Still today his untutored works are among his most popular.

 1972 – John Waters’ outrageous movie Pink Flamingos opens in theaters and introduces the world to Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead). When the film was initially released, it caused a huge degree of controversy due to the wide range of “perverse” acts performed in explicit detail. It has since become one of the most notorious films ever made and is rated as #29 on the list of 50 Films to See Before You Die

Armistead Maupin Puts His Beloved 28 Barbary Lane Up For Sale, Leaving San Francisco.

Armistead Maupin, the iconic gay American writer, best known for his Tales of the City series of novels, set in San Francisco has put his home up for sale.

While its proper address may not actually be 28 Barbary Lane it is slightly reminiscent of Anna Madrigal’s home according to its description. (Updated though the years, of course.)

“A charming front garden (marijuana plants?) winds up to the shingled Edwardian. The main level features a delightful living room, updated kitchen and dining room opening to a gorgeous landscaped rear garden. (Anna’s home?)  The middle level features an elegant master bedroom with outstanding views, a second bedroom and handsome marble bathroom. (Mouse?  Mona? Maryann?) The third bedroom, with en-suite bathroom, opens to a secluded sunny and romantic deck with fantastic views.”(Brian are you masturbating?)

Maupin, his husband, Chris Turner, (and their Labradoodle, Philo T. Farnsworth) will soon be heading to their first Burning Man experience in the Nevada desert. After that they’ll be on their way to New Mexico, where they plan to resettle.

The relocation has “been percolating for a while,” said Maupin. Santa Fe “has a different magic from San Francisco, but it has magic, and I need an autumnal adventure.

But while Maupin is leaving San Francisco it’s not the end of the journey for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane just yet.

Maupin is working on his 11th book, a new “Tales” story titled , “The Days of Anna Madrigal.”

The move is “nothing I’m taking lightly,” says Maupin. “It’s been 41 years since I landed here, and it gave me my story. … I keep reminding myself that Barbary Lane is portable, and everything I learned here became part of me and is something I’ll always have.”

If anyones interested in making an offer on Maupin’s beautiful home. (Or buying it for me?) You can check out the real estate listing HERE.

"Mary Ann in Autumn" – A Tales Of The City Book by Armistead Maupin: 2010”s Most Anticipated LGBT Novel – (28 Barbary Lane Lives!)

Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel” revolves around f the main characters of the original “Tales of the City” series, Maryanne Singleton.

Now at the age of 57. Mary Ann been living as a Connecticut housewife for the past 20 years. She’s having another life crisis and has to come back to San Francisco to take care of it and renew her friendship with Michael Tolliver

Where Michael Tolliver Lives was a benediction, a book I couldn’t read three pages of without weeping, this is a hearkening back to the bad old days of the Chronicle serial, with odd, unbelievable plot twists that make a person whoop with laughter.

Truth be told I really can’t wait.  I was Michael “Mouse” Tolliver.

But then again, weren’t we all?

What’s "Too Gay" Today? – Prop 8 Being Struck Down Of Course! – WATCH: Winning Lawyer Ted Olsen’s Video Statement and REACTIONS FROM Cyndi Lauper, Kim Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Lambert, Armistead Maupin, Zachary Quinto, Kathy Griffin. Nancy Pelosi AND MORE!

*Today on a very special episode of What’s “Too Gay” I am going to post reactions from people who actually give a damn about us and the wonderful ruling tfrom Judge Vaughn Walker striking down Prop 8.  (So there will be NO hate groups in this post and NO Gay Inc Groups reactions from the likes of HRC,  Equality California, NGLTF, or others who now praise this court case but originally did everything they could to stop it.  We DO Remember.)

So let’s celebrate!

Cyndi Lauper:  “Gay and lesbian couples have long struggled for acceptance and the ability to marry the person they love and want to build a family with. Today’s landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional is a testament to the fundamentals on which this great country was built and validates that the discrimination gay couples face must come to an end. We as a society should be embracing these couples and helping them make the lifelong commitment to each other that many of us straight people take for granted each and every day. This decision is a major step in the right direction towards equality.

“Gay and lesbian couples have long struggled for acceptance and the ability to marry the person they love and want to build a family with. Today’s landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional is a testament to the fundamentals on which this great country was built and validates that the discrimination gay couples face must come to an end. We as a society should be embracing these couples and helping them make the lifelong commitment to each other that many of us straight people take for granted each and every day. This decision is a major step in the right direction towards equality.

Kim Kardashian via Twitter:  Prop 8 was struck down! This news is amazing!!!! Its about time! Congrats to everyone!

Ellen DeGeneres:  Today, California’s Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional. When Prop 8 was passed two years ago, I said, “One day we will look back and realize how wrong this is.” Now, we’ve made a huge step forward. In today’s ruling, the court stated that Prop 8 “fails to advance any rational basis” for denying the right to marry, and the court is right. We’re all equal, and we should all have equal rights. I’m so grateful for today’s decision.

*Read MUCH more after the jump! – Kathy Griffin, Wil Wheaton, Christina Applegate, Michael Ian Black, Adam Lambert, Zachary Quinto,  Shanna Moakler, Nancy Pelosi,  more reactions and  WATCH OUR HERO: Ted Olson’s Video Statement after the verdict!

Wil Wheaton: via Twitter:  Congratulations to all my friends who can now get married again. It’s disgraceful that there’s even a question about your rights.

Michael Ian Black:  via Twitter:  Finally I have somebody to blame for my disintegrating marriage. Thanks, gays! – How the hell am I going to explain to my wife about that dude I married? “I thought it didn’t count” won’t work now. (Tounge -in-cheek funny or just an idiot?  Your call there)

*  Christina Applegate:  via Twitter:  I am crying with absolute joy! Thank you thank you thank you for letting equality win. All men are created equal! Period!!!

*  Kathy Griffin: “I am, of course, thrilled and heartened by Judge Walker’s ruling. My thoughts and best wishes are with the brave plaintiffs — Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo — on this emotional day. I also applaud the remarkable work of lead attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies; two men who, 10 years after facing off in Bush v. Gore, have teamed up to fight the good fight on behalf of loving California families. As we all know, the antigay movement is certain to appeal this landmark case to the ninth circuit U.S. court of appeals in San Francisco and, ultimately, to the United States Supreme Court in Washington. So, while today’s decision is a key victory in the fight for marriage equality, we still have a long way to go before my mother, Maggie, can break out her box of wine in celebration. I urge my friends and fans to stay strong, be vocal and take strength in the knowledge that we will be on the right side of history.”

Adam Lambert:  “We’re gonna throw glitter on this barn tonight!!!”

Zachary Quinto:  via Twitter:  Dear california: you. better. work. (Oh yeah you’re not Gay.  Come out already!)

Shanna Moakler:  “This is so much bigger then marriage, it’s about wisdom, compassion and knowing we CAN be heard, action DOES make a difference!”

Armistead Maupin:  This battle has always been about love, and love won out today. When I was in law school, I was bored to distraction by the sight of a legal transcript. This one read like sonnet.”

Nancy Pelosi: “I am extremely encouraged by the ruling today, which found that Proposition 8 violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 8 has taken away individual rights and freedoms, and is a stain upon the California Constitution. We must continue to fight against discriminatory marriage amendments and work toward the day when all American families are treated equally.”  (Um Nancy.  You have the power to take on DOMA you know.

The White House:  “The president has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.  (Thats it? Meeeh.)


LGBT Pride Month Cinema – WATCH: Armistead Maupin’s "Tales Of The City" – Episode 6 – Book One

Its Christmas time on Barbary Lane and Mystery and Magic is in the air. Anna Madrigal has invited everyone to a little party she’s cooking up and no one wants to show up alone. Brian hits some old haunts and finds there are still skeletons there. Mona’s detective work has panned well, but gets a little suprise when she finally tracks down one of Dorthia’s parents. Beachaum Day has no idea that the patient that he is interupting with a call to the doctor is non-other than his wife Dee Dee. The doctor agrees to have lunch with Beachaum to break it off, and guess who their waiter is? Beachaum finally sees the truth about Dee Dee and the doctor sees the truth about Beachaum. A few blocks over, Mouse fianlly runs into Mona and scolds her for not keeping in touch. Mouse invites her to the Christmas party but Mona has a plan to follow through with. She shares her concerns about Dorthia’s possible drug problem with Mouse and promises to call Mrs. Madrigal. Creepy Norman pushes Mary Annes curiosity to the edge and it turns her into a Nancy Drew of Barbary Lane.

If you missed the other 5 Parts CLICK HERE and follow the links!

LGBT Pride Month Cinema – WATCH: Armistead Maupin’s "Tales Of The City" – Episode 5

We rejoin Tales as Brian cruises a diner. The waitress decides to take him up on his off but wants to take him out to Colma, cemetary land, to a trailer park non the less. Later, Mouse says goodbye to his parents after a tough visit. Then Mona goes to the Church of Justice and Peace in the Castro. Poppers welcome.  Creepy Norman is up to no good as usual. This time we find him snooping around for more information on Mrs. Madrigal. Meanwhile, Mona isn’t having the beautiful lesbian relationship she had imagined. Dee Dee also finds herself in a momentary relationship that leaves a bad taste in her mouth. Remember the blackmailer? Beachaum voices his protest against children once again completely oblivious to the truth

LGBT Pride Month Cinema – WATCH: Armistead Maupin’s "Tales Of The City" – Episode 4

So after the little incident at the End Up, Mouse heavy heartedly talks to Mary Anne about love and romance and the search for both, all the while Mrs. Madrigal sneaks Edgar Halcyon through the courtyard and into her bedroom! Early that day, Mary Anne met up with the creepy roof guy, Norman, to go see a matinee and meets a “little friend” of his named Lexi

LGBT Pride Month Cinema – WATCH: Armistead Maupin’s "Tales Of The City" – Episode 3

In Episode 3, we start out with Mary Anne getting a job at the Bay Area Crisis Switchboard, or the suiside hotline if you will, and after her first day of work, comes home to a little crisis waiting for her in the garden. The next day Mrs. Madrigal and Edgar Halcion grow closer and closer on a walk to the beach.

*Miss Part One – CLICK HERE
*Miss Part Two – CLICK HERE