Yesterday the New York Times published a column lamenting that Judy Garland is not an icon to the youngest generation of gay men. An excerpt:
I asked Brodie if he’d ever heard gay guys refer to themselves as “Friends of Dorothy?” “Why would they do that?” “Because gay men once identified, very powerfully, with Judy Garland: her wit, gravitas, glamour.” It’s a concept that Brodie seems to find embarrassing. “I guess I’m just not interested in glamour,” he said. “I’m interested in artists who can tell me about real life.” Given that perhaps the common denominator of virtually every gay idol — Garland, Callas, Piaf — was her ability to transcend reality, this comment struck me as significant. That such ladies have, to an extent, gone out of style suggests how very much real life has changed for gay men of my generation.