Named by the AV Club as the best series on the Internet, Husbands has completed its second successful season and has now launched a brand new comic book series on Dark Horse. Created by sci-fi writing goddess Jane Espenson and actor-writer Brad “Cheeks” Bell, Husbands revolves around a happily married gay couple Cheeks (Bell) and Brady (Sean Hemeon), who run into conflict in the second season over how “out” they want to (or can) be.
Team Husbands was approached earlier this year by Salt Lake City’s Youth Homeless Resource Center, which hoped the series stars might help them raise funds and awareness in Salt Lake City for its shelter for the area’s homeless youth, disproportionately LGBTQ. A shelter with overnight accommodations being built by the organization recently suffered a fire, which has set back the project.
The Utah LGBTQ community has had a much harder time than most other communities, according to a recent survey by the Human Rights Campaign. When LGBTQ youths were asked if they’re verbally harassed, 69% of respondents said yes in Utah compared to 53% nationwide. Asked if they’re physically assaulted, 27% of Utah’s respondents said yes in Utah, with only 17% nationwide.
The Trevor Project, a national LGBT suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization reports that most of its calls come from Salt Lake City, with an average of one suicide attempt each week. The statistics are both startling and tragic, with the community attitude towards the LGBT community brought into high relief when the local Mormon Church-owned NBC affiliate refused to run the new situation comedy The New Normal (The local CW station eventually picked it up).
So Brad and Sean decided to take a Husbands honeymoon to Salt Lake City for UniTy You Are the Future. The November 11 event will include a full showing of Husbands season two, followed by a panel with Brad, Sean, Jane, and representatives from The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign. Sean, Brad, and others will share their personal stories with the audience, and provide a hopeful and positive message for the community.
Sean feels especially close to this new Husbands project. A self-described “recovering Mormon,” Sean has family ties to the area, and his story will have special resonance for Utah LGBTQ youth. He pointed out to me recently that the teen homeless population in Salt Lake City is hugely disproportionately LGBTQ.
Jane Espenson will be on my Let’s Talk TV LIVE broadcast Monday night November 5 to discuss her latest Once Upon a Time episode, and will be joined in the second half hour by Sean and Cheeks to talk about their wonderful web series, the new comic book, and the Salt Lake City event on November 11.