Dalila Ali Rajah
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How This Young Gay Boy Came Out to Hank Azaria

How This Young Gay Boy Came Out to Hank Azaria

How much freedom to you give your inner sissy? Do you try to rein it in, like a disobedient pinkie beside a tiny teacup?

My guest this week on The Sewers of Paris, a podcast about entertainment that changed the lives of gay men, is Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins. He was brought up in an intensely religious home. Though he was basically born flaming, his church did its best to scare the queer out of him. And for a time, he gave in, but that inner sissy had a way of making itself known in strange ways, such as doll larceny, illicit drag, and inappropriately erotic playwriting.

Try though as he might to blunder and butch his way through the world, in the end there was just no way to stop that inner sissy from breaking free. It just needed a little help from Agador Spartacus — the character played by Hank Azaria in The Birdcage. Philip idolized the character, and when he ran into Azaria by chance at an event, he knew he'd found the one person he could trust with his secret.

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