MATTHEW TODD / HOW TO BE GAY AND HAPPY

“We’re just a whole group of people swirling around together, trying to get on with our lives, not knowing that we’ve been traumatised.”
– Matthew Todd

Our final episode of season four, #queer, takes us to London, where we speak to the author of perhaps the most extraordinary book of 2016: Matthew Todd.

Matthew Todd is a sometimes stand-up comedian, and a playwright, whose play Blowing Whistles, described as one of the most popular gay plays of recent times, has had sellout seasons in the UK and Australia. A long-time editor of the UK gay magazine Attitude, and a person who has actively participated in, and even helped shape, contemporary LGBT culture, Matthew has recently published a stunning book under the title Straight Jacket: How to be Gay and Happy, in which he takes a critical look behind the shiny façade of this culture. Part memoir, part investigative journalism, and part polemic, the book asks if gay people are as happy as it seems, and as happy as they could be, and as happy as the LGBT culture depicts. If not – why not?

In an unflinching, honest conversation about crystal meth, bullying, and fascination with divas, we cover everything that straight people rarely know, and the LGBT people rarely talk about.

“Being gay is more complicated than we have thought. … We’ve presented it as if it’s just like: ‘some people have blue eyes, some people have brown eyes’. … I think to be LGBT is really different, actually, and that goes against the grain of what we’ve been thinking over the last 10-15 years, that it’s exactly the same… Even if you go into a gay bar, it’s very different from going into a straight bar: the way people behave, the way people look, sometimes, the way people dress. There’s nothing wrong with that. If we can’t think about that, investigate that, and ultimately accept that, how can we feel OK in ourselves?”
– Matthew Todd