How to describe Ben Mandelker? Well, for one, he’s one of the most quick-witted people I know. He’s also a screenwriter and blogger who created and then sold the website TVgasm years ago (he still blogs, mostly about TV and food, on his own well-trafficked blog, BSideBlog). But here’s the really interesting part about him—and the part that earned him an episode of his own: for 30 years, he was 100% in the closet. As in: we were friends and I had no idea he was gay until he came out to me a few years ago.
In this episode we talk about what it was like to live with a secret like that for your entire life—the compartmentalization needed, the shame (and online porn) required to maintain the ruse you’re somewhat convinced people suspect isn’t true anyway. We get into all that as well as how the recovery movement in a way mimics the gay movement in terms of societal awareness and the attempts many of us make toward removing the shame about something you can’t control and isn’t your fault. We also reminisce a bit about the days when we got paid decent money to sit on a TV set and discuss The Bachelor for 20 minutes (mentioned also in the Jimmy Pardo episode!) So enjoy Ben. I think you will. And if you do (and even if you don’t), you should listen to his two podcasts, Watch What Crappens and The Banter Blender. I’ve been a guest on both and laughed my ass off both times.
Subscribe to the podcast on Itunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Ben Mandelker on Twitter and his own blog. Find Watch What Crappens here and The Banter Blender here. Photo courtesy of Ben Mandelker; used with permission.