Tales of the City: LGBT Series on Netflix

As Netflix continues to broaden their reach on LGBT shows, they recently released a new series: Tales of the City, based on the novels and stories written by Armistead Maupin. The stories were written from 1978 to 2014 and include a total of nine novels and three miniseries released in 1993, 1998 and 2001. Maupin’s stories find the characters from the LGBT community in a variety of scenarios and controversial situations for that time. He was also one of the first authors to talk about sexually transmitted infections.

The history

The story is approached from the perspective of Mary Ann, a woman going through a midlife crisis. Well loved within her neighborhood apartment in San Francisco called 28 Barbary Lane, which consists of various tenants from the LGBT community, Mary Ann chooses to abandon her life, her ex-husband and her bisexual daughter; in order to have a brighter professional future.

After 20 years of absence, she decides to return for the celebration of Anna Madrigal, who is the land lord of the old apartment and also a transsexual woman, who is about to celebrate her 90th birthday. The iconic celebration brings together the people of the community to give thanks to Anna Madrigal for all that she has done for the people of the LGBT community “lagging”, and of course for the tenants to whom she has offered love, affection and empowerment.

Mary Ann is both excited and nervous pending her return, but with the notorious social scabs that come with the consequences of her absence, she fears unacceptance and conflict because of her decisions. Aware of how her absence has affected the community, Mary Ann struggles with the fact that she probably no longer has a place within the neighborhood she once knew so well.

So, after 20 years of absence living in a more contemporary community, Mary Ann faces a host of new ideals which will make you sit and reflect on how the rights of the LGBT community have evolved. The struggles and triumphs that they have experienced to empower themselves to rise up free from a not so friendly society.

What teaches us

Tales of the City perfectly explains the clash between contemporary and modern society, the evolution of feminism and the steps we must take to empower ourselves and others. The series sheds light on a new homosexual generation who are interested labeling and without fear of being judged, who possess privileges that homosexuals did not have 30 years ago when government funded help did not exist for people living with HIV.

A critique to the politically correct: When you become an adult and realize that you have been stuck for a long time holding onto secrets in order to keep society happy… That’s when the “neurosis” of the former turns to support for the rights of the LGBT community. Tales of the City on Netflix provides a variety of characters, relatable for each type of person, so don't worry, there's no reason why you wouldn’t find one that you too identify with.

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