Tag Archives: The Wizard of Oz

Gay History - June 10th: Happy Birthday Judy Garland!

Gay History – June 10, 1922: Happy 100th. Birthday Judy Garland! The Queen of Gay Icons.

Forget Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and yes, (Sorry Matthew Rettenmund of Boy Culture) even Madonna.  Judy Garland was and always will be greatest and ultimate gay icon of our time.  Garland led the way for gay men through the darkness for some 40 years.  Her pain, her joy, her talent, was there for the taking and everyone felt it..

Born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on June 10th. 1922, 100 years ago Ms. Garland was renowned for her contralto vocals and attained international stardom that continued throughout a career spanning more than 40 years as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on concert stages

Garland herself had numerous gay friends from the beginning of her Hollywood career. She liked to visit gay bars with openly gay friends Roger Edens and George Cukor, to the chagrin of her handlers at MGM.   But Judy’s true connection with gay men was rooted in her ability to overcome the inner conflict, instability and loneliness that defined her life even during stardom. Judy’s necessity to maintain a “stage presence” at all times despite her inner turmoil led to a severe prescription drug addiction and eventually her tragic death. Gay men of the homophobic 50’s and 60’s identified with the dichotomy of her life as they too had to hide behind walls of perceived strength.

Garland’s journey to personal acceptance as the young Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz resonated throughout the gay community. Despite intense fear, confusion and a series of trials, Judy as Dorothy finally made it “home” by realizing that she possessed all of the heart, strength and courage needed to find the true happiness that lived within. Gay men of the past and today also embarked on adventures of self-discover through both the good and the bad that led full circle to self-acceptance.

Unfortunately today because of the AIDS epidemic and its annihilation of almost a generation of gay men of the era le’ Garland who worshiped her, Judy runs the risk of becoming a gay culture memory

The message of The Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland’s personal courage and strength is credited with giving many gay men the strength to come out and live their lives despite adversity. Thus came the expression “Friend of Dorothy,”

Happy Birthday Judy.  We still love you and always will.

Happy HOMOween! – WATCH: “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special!” (1976) – FULL Video

Tune Out The Rocky Horror Remake and WATCH

Yes all my ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night its time once again for Back2Stonewall.com’s annual viewing of The Paul Lynde Halloween Special!

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special was  broadcast October 29th, 1976 on ABC.  It featured guest star Margaret Hamilton in her first and only reprisal of her role as The Wicked Witch of the West and guest starred Billie Hayes as Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf, Tim Conway, Roz (Pinky Toscadaro) Kelly, Florence Henderson,the rock band KISS, Billy Barty, and yes even Betty White! PLUS an un-billed surprise appearance by Donny and Marie Osmond! (And believe me there is nothing scarier than Mormons on Halloween!.)

So lets do the REAL time warp and travel back to 1976 and join the gay legendary comedic actor Paul Lynde as he makes everyone Halloween just a little bit homo before it got trendy. 

WATCH: RuPaul and Todrick Hall In “Straight Outta Oz” A Crazy Re-imagining of the Children’s Classic

The deluxe edition of Todrick Hall’s take on the Wizard of Oz, titled Straight Outta Oz just came out, and it includes three new tunes, including an amazing re-production of an earlier song “Low,” which features a cameo by RuPaul

 

 

You can watch the Straight Outta Oz visual album in its entirely right here (Be warned: It’s over an hour)