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Nov 24, 2020

In this episode, we are joined by Mike Curato, a queer Asian author and illustrator, to talk about his latest graphic novel, Flamer, inspired by his own personal life story. We cover a lot of topics including, mental health, bullying, suicide, and the wave of intolerance plaguing our country, and also looking ahead at how we can all do better.

Mike Curato is a gay first generation half Filipino-Irish American author and illustrator of books for youth. He has created many picture books for young children, and just released his debut queer young adult graphic novel, Flamer.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How Mike is managing quarantine life and Zoom dates
  • Experience of growing up biracial in an intolerant world
  • The importance of finding community
  • Why honesty is important in writing a book and how our shared humanity connects us together
  • Finding family in the queer community - but also facing racism within our queer circles
  • Navigating intolerance within dating apps and within our own gaysian community
  • Mike's experience with bullying and thoughts of suicide and how it inspired the plot of Flamer
  • What got him through the suicidal ideations and difficult high school experiences
  • The journey towards self-discovery and turning towards healing
  • Why sharing our story is so critical to help us understand each other
  • The importance of looking inward at our own internalized racism and intolerance

Show notes:

  • Kuku Hughs - Displacement
  • Trung Le Nguyen - The Magic Fish
  • Alison  Bechdel - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • Alison Bechdel - The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
  • Ocean Vuong - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

You can find Mike Curato at:
Twitter: @MikeCurato
Instagram: @mike_curato

You can follow me at:

Instagram: @stevenwakabayashi
YouTube: @stevenwakabayashi
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