Quote from TOIL AND TROUBLE

“Bewitched was not influencing me. I knew I couldn’t make a devil’s food layer cake appear by blinking at the kitchen counter. I was not happy that I couldn’t do this, but I understood that I couldn’t. It wasn’t like I would watch an episode and then go stare at the back of my brother’s head, trying to turn him into a donkey. But if I could have done that, I would have given up TV forever. The show presented a positive image of witches and witchcraft. Samantha didn’t ride a broom (except sidesaddle in the animated opening credits) or have a long, ugly nose with a wart on it. She was perky and blonde. She drove a blue convertible. She wasn’t being burned at the stake; she was serving a molded chicken liver and apricot gelatin salad at a dinner party for one of her husband’s clients. Uncle Arthur was the first gay man I’d seen on TV. Even though nobody actually came right out and said he was gay, it wasn’t like he was trying to hide it. A gay male witch on TV. If you were black, you could watch black people on TV, but they were going to live in the ghetto and be poor. You couldn’t get both black and rich, not until The Jeffersons, years later. If you were Hispanic, you had a few commercials (mostly taco shells and coffee). If you were from the Middle East, like Matek, the new kid in my class, you absolutely had to wear a white turban in the desert. And that was about it. So seeing a big queen doing magick on my favorite show was amazing. I never thought Samantha appreciated Uncle Arthur enough, though. That man would have done anything for her, and she was always kind of a worrywart killjoy. I would have begged him for diamonds the size of basketballs and little brass cricket boxes from “the Orient” filled with scorpions that I could bring to school and hide in the desks of the kids I hated (all of them).”

— Toil & Trouble: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
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