SUGAR’S COMING OUT PARTY: an oasis where radical empathy is enforced

[youtube_video width=399 height=233]Dear Sugar[/youtube_video]

[ Tues Feb 14 12 ]

Isaac Fitzgerald hosted The Rumpus‘ special Valentine’s Day coming out party for beloved advice columnist Sugar—anti-spoiler: it’s Cheryl Strayed!—at a sold-out Verdi Club. Below is the list of performers, in order. But first some thoughts:

A lot of us are familiar with Cheryl’s writing. We know her to be a magnificent writer of prose. I was sitting directly behind her during this show, went up to her before things got started and asked for a hug. We barely know each other. I wanted a hug because I respect her and I wanted her to know this. I didn’t know she was Sugar. I asked her if she was going to read, excited at the prospect. I didn’t know. When it was announced that Cheryl is Sugar I imagined people throughout the room and the rest of the world looking at Cheryl in a different way—even those who know her and, like me, are fans of her work. To be honest, I don’t read Sugar’s column. I don’t spend a lot of time reading things on the internet. It didn’t make a difference to me that Cheryl is Sugar.

I imagined people thinking, Oh, you’re Sugar? and taking the rest of her writing more seriously. It made me a little upset but I realized that we all have a little Sugar in us, a secret self we develop in our own time, and we would do well to look at and treat one another accordingly. That we can all be found out if we pay close enough attention. That there are yet parts of us no one knows.

Go. Get your Sugar on. You don’t have to wait for Cheryl. She’s not waiting for you.

  1. Pocket Full of Rye
  2. Janine Brito
  3. The Rumpus Women
  4. Steve Almond introduces Sugar
  5. Dear Sugar
  6. Sugar Q&A
  7. Cheryl Strayed
  8. “Tiny Beautiful Sleepless Nights”
  9. The Yellow Dress

Above is the entire show. Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Insert” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly.

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