Del Shores: Sordid Lives, Leslie Jordan, & Southern Baptist Sissies

Del Shores
Del Shores, a trailblazing gay filmmaker, playwright, and actor known for his contributions to the genre of LGBTQ+ entertainment. He discusses his plays and films Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies and includes a comparison between the two stories. Del also shares stories about his friend Leslie Jordan.

Del Shores, a trailblazing gay filmmaker, playwright, and actor known for his contributions to the genre of LGBTQ+ entertainment is Brad’s guest. The conversation begins with a discussion of his plays and films Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies and includes a comparison between the two stories. The comparison reflects on how each represents different aspects of Del’s life.

Del also opens about his own creative process and the themes that show up in his work, like religious damage and exploring attraction. The conversation continues the discussion about the immense success of Southern Baptist Sissies, which tackled these issues head-on and the healing it brought to so many viewers.

The talk turns towards the recent loss of Leslie Jordan, a close friend of Shores, and how they are honoring his legacy.

Throughout the episode, Shores candidly shares about his personal life and struggles as a gay man, exploring themes of codependency and finding. He talks about the role of storytelling in his own life and how he hopes to inspire others to tell their own stories and connect with one another. His goal to inspire led to The Del Shores Foundation that helps budding LGBTQ+ southern writers and storytellers to the forefront with an annual competition for writers in the categories: short film, screenplay, and plays.

Through laughter and deep conversation, this episode is a testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to heal, connect, and transform.


Del Shores Foundation Website

Del’s Website

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More About Del Shores

Del Shores has written, directed and produced successfully across studio and independent film, network and cable television and regional and national touring theatre. He is the writer/director/producer of the films Sordid Lives, Blues for Willadean, Southern Baptist Sissies and A Very Sordid Wedding. He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature Daddy’s Dyin’…Who’s Got The Will? He has written eleven plays, produced thousands of times worldwide, four adapted for screen.

Del’s publisher is Samuel French/Concord Theatricals. In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, Sordid Lives: The Series. He also wrote and executive produced Showtime’s Queer As Folk for the last three seasons, wrote and produced for Dharma & Greg and Ned & Stacey.

He has directed Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer; Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton- John; Emmy winners/nominees Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Leslie Jordan, Bonnie Bedelia, Bobbie Eakes, Patrika Darbo and Rue McClanahan; Spirit Award winner Dale Dickey; Screen Actor’s Guild Award-winner Beth Grant; as well as Caroline Rhea, Debby Holiday and David Steen.

As a performer, Shores has performed in hundreds of standup gigs, with multiple national tours and four live filmed DVDs including his one man play Six Characters In Search of a Play. He is a GLAAD Award, NAACP Award and a LA Weekly Lifetime Achievement award winner. In March 2023, he was given The Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award “for groundbreaking and distinguished achievements in LGBTQ+ playwritng and arts advocacy by The Celebration Theatre.

Navigating the Challenges of Coming Out in a Religious Household

Coming out can be a difficult and overwhelming experience, particularly if you come from a religious family background. For many members of the LGBTQ+ community, coming out means disclosing something that clashes with their family’s values and beliefs. Unfortunately, this can result in family members being unaccepting or even rejecting of their child.

While it can feel scary and isolating, it’s essential to remember that you are not alone. Many LGBTQ+ individuals have faced similar challenges, and there are resources and support available to help you navigate your journey.

Here are some tips on coming out while being in a religious family:

1. Assess your safety. First and foremost, it’s vital to consider your safety when thinking about coming out. If you believe that revealing your true self may put you in physical danger or harm, it might not be safe to do so at this time. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or support group that can help you stay safe while exploring your options.

2. Choose the right timing. Coming out can be an emotional process, which is why it’s crucial to consider the right timing. While there is no set time or perfect moment, it’s best to avoid times that are already stressful, such as holidays or family gatherings. Try to choose a quiet and comfortable moment when you can connect with your family member(s) one-on-one.

3. Come from a place of love. It’s essential to remember that your religious family members may have a strong emotional reaction to your disclosure. Try to appeal to their sense of compassion and empathy, explaining how you feel from a place of personal truth and sincerity. It can also be helpful to emphasize how you are still the same person they love, featuring how your revelation is a natural part of who you are and not something you have chosen.

4. Don’t give up hope. Remember that coming out is not something that ends with just one conversation. It may take time for your family to accept and understand your truth. Even if the initial reaction is not what you hoped for, stay patient and keep trying to communicate with acceptability.

5. Take care of yourself. Dealing with a religious family’s reaction and coming out can be an emotionally taxing experience, so it’s essential to take care of yourself. Surround yourself with people who support you and can help you process your feelings. Take time to prioritize rest, relaxation, and self-care. Remember that you are not alone, and there are resources available to support people as they navigate the coming out process. You are valid, lovable, and deserving of respect and acceptance, whether you’re religious or not.

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