Reimagine has been hosting candlelight vigils throughout the pandemic in order to break down taboos and hold space for all that we've lost. At this special gathering, "Tales of the City" author Armistead Maupin will discuss living through two pandemics (AIDS in the 1980s and COVID-19 today), LGBTQ+ aging, legacy, and the power of writing and creativity. Our additional guest is Wilfred Labiosa, the CEO of Waves Ahead Corp, a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico focusing on the elder and LGBT+ community.
Launched in 1976 as a groundbreaking serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Armistead Maupin’s iconic Tales of the City series has since blazed its own trail through popular culture – from a sequence of globally best-selling novels, to a Peabody Award-winning television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney, to an ambitious new musical that had its world premiere at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater in 2011. The series now encompasses nine hugely popular novels: Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, and Mary Ann in Autumn. The final Tales novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal, was released in January 2014. It premiered at #3 on the Independent Bestseller list and #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list. In 2019 Netflix will be airing a new series based on the novels titled Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.
Maupin’s 1992 novel, Maybe the Moon, which followed the serio-comic adventures of a dwarf actress working in Hollywood, was named one of the ten best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly. The Night Listener (2000), a psychological suspense novel inspired by an eerie episode in Maupin’s own life, became a 2006 feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. In 2017 he wrote a memoir titled Logical Family which grew out of his critically acclaimed one-man show of the same name. Neil Gaiman said this about Logical Family; “Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers, and the story of his life is a story as fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us.”
In 1997 Maupin received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle of New York. In 2002 he was honored with the Trevor Project’s Life Award “for his efforts in saving young lives.” Maupin was the first recipient of Litquake’s Barbary Coast Award for his literary contribution to San Francisco. In 2012 he was awarded Lambda's Pioneer Award which is bestowed on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing. In 2014 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He also received the Visionary Award from the 2014 Outfest Legacy Awards for his collected novels and their "...diverse, interconnected community of San Francisco bohemians -- which shaped our collective fantasy of what LGBT life is and could be...." Maupin is the subject of a new documentary titled Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin. He lives in London with his husband Christopher Turner, a photographer.
Wilfred Labiosa, PhD, (he/him/él) has been a community leader for more than thirty years. He has been working in the public health field for more than 25 years with marginalized communities such as the Latino and LGBT communities in the United States and Puerto Rico. He has published extensively his research with the dually-diagnosed Latino community, mental health and a substance abuse diagnosis; works as a consultant and/ or supervisor on state, national and international projects that focus on mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, homeless, youth, Latinos, LGBTQ+, people with dual diagnosis or evidence-based treatment modalities. He has worked with LGBT and HIV organizations locally, nationally and internationally for many years, as a mentor, mental health provider or evaluator. Born and raised in Puerto Rico; He graduated with a doctorate degree from Simmons University, School of Social Work, and Master's Degree from Northeastern University's Department of Counseling Psychology, and a graduate certificate from Suffolk University’s management of non-profits. His Bachelor’s degree is from Boston University. He is currently the CEO of Waves Ahead Corp, a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico focusing on the elder and LGBT+ community.
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers.