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This Day In Gay History September 18, 1981: “Mommie Dearest” Opens Nationwide

Mommie Dearest

Walk into any gay bar in America and shout,‘Tina, bring me the ax! and  you will  unleash a torrent of  quotes from one of the most unintentionally campy gay cult classics ever made, Mommie Dearest

Based on the 1978 tell-all memoir of the same name penned by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford,  Mommie Dearest tells it all.  From Crawford’s demanding nonstop attention and allegiance from her adopted kiddies to sinkfuls of ice and rubbing alcohol facials.  And lets not forget the booze, the boys and of course “NO MORE WIRE HANGERS”!

Faye Dunaway’s portrayal is so eerily visual and over the top it couldn’t help becoming one of the biggest gay camp classics of all time.  Interestingly Dunaway has always gone to great lengths over the years to distance herself from the movie– in an alleged voicemail rant which can be heard here. the actress declared that she was not interested in “dilly-dallying” over the film’s notoriety, and has repeatedly refused to discuss it in interviews.

Well Dunaway be dammed!  It was all about Joan anyway. And as nasty as she was Mommie Dearest resurrected her stardom and psychosis from beyond the grave in theaters across the country and energized a generation of drag queens who re-discovered shoulder pads, fuck me pumps,  and the “don’t fuck with me fellas” attitude that Joan Crawford was famous for.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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