Karine Jean-Pierre
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John Waters Probes His Drama-Filled Ancestry on Finding Your Roots

Gates Waters Close

It’s going to be a very queer season of Finding Your Roots, the PBS series in which historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. delves into celebrities’ genealogy.

Filmmaker and self-proclaimed “filth elder” John Waters is featured on the series’ season 7 premiere, airing Tuesday night, along with actress Glenn Close. In addition to Waters — the man behind Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, and more — out celebs who’ll appear this season include journalist Don Lemon, actress Jane Lynch, and Bravo media personality Andy Cohen.

The series has long been inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks — it’s traced the lineage of out luminaries such as Anderson Cooper and RuPaul — but this season’s lineup seems particularly so.

The season will also feature several people who are icons or allies to the LGBTQ+ community, such as Close, Broadway star Audra McDonald, actors John Lithgow and Christopher Meloni, and musician Rosanne Cash.

In the season premiere, Waters is pleased to hear that his family tree “drips with drama,” as Gates puts it. The filmmaker additionally notes that an account regarding one ancestor “sounds like a movie scene I’d write.”

The premiere episode airs on most PBS stations Tuesday at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central, but check your local listings. It can also be streamed or viewed on the PBS app. Find out more at PBS.org, and watch a season preview below.

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