Sep 1, 2023
Dennis is joined via Zoom by author Manuel Betancourt to discuss his new book The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me About (Desiring) Men. In the book, which he describes as a memoir in essays about masculinity and desire, Manuel writes about such subjects as Ricky Martin's thirst traps on Instagram, Mario Lopez's wrestling singlets on Saved By The Bell, Antonio Banderas's tighty-whities in Law of Desire and why flamboyant Puerto Rican TV astrologer Walter Mercado used to make him squirm. Manuel also talks about getting rejected by a number of publishers and nearly giving up before his eventual publisher called to say they were interested. He also discusses watching American TV when he was growing up in Columbia, writing a thesis on queer fandom for his doctorate and whether straight actors should play gay characters. Other topics include: the difference between a hunk and heartthrob, his childhood obsession with Maleficent, the joy of wearing crop tops, the power of "phantom nostalgia," Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall and why we'd both let Jonathan Groff spit on us whenever he wants.