Please help me understand this....?

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    Aug 03, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
    What is the deal with "gay icons"?

    Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Cher, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.

    I just don't understand the correlation between these women and gay men. Why are they considered "gay icons"?

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate any of them, but I have never been particularly drawn to any of them either.

    And why is a gay man "a friend of Dorothy"? I get that it's from "The Wizard Of Oz" and all, but.....why?

    Am I missing something? Am I the only gay man that feels this way?

    Any thoughts?

    ~Q
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    Aug 03, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    Good question, I also want to know this too.
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    Aug 03, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    I am not sure it can be explained to you....really!

    It is a natural reaction to their campy, over the top, iconic personalities and characters.

    Of course, Dorothy is every gay man's wish to be in a world that isnt oppressive like this one....where society isnt totally modeled against you.

    But if you cant get the campy humor....you're fucked. ... icon_eek.gif
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Aug 03, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    I dunno, there is something about divas that gay men like? Madonna, Britney, Cher, Kylie, etc. I had a co-worker who knew I was gay, ask me if I liked Cher? No. He didn't believe me. Like it was a prerequisite of being gay or something.
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    Aug 04, 2008 12:01 AM GMT
    You realize that we are taking names, right, gentlemen?
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    Aug 04, 2008 12:02 AM GMT
    Well you forgot the one true gay icon the: wonderful Ms Divine. Whom got started working in bathhouses in NYC, as entertainment. Now this women has earned the right to be a gay Icon! But forget the rest, One just does not get it?

    Something to do with tragedy?

    As for a friend of Dorothy. I know down here in the real Oz. In the dark days when it was not safe to be out, it was used as a code. A code for a gay party would of been, are you going to the party at Dorothy's?

    One truly does not understand this gay icon thing. Even Kylie, whom is not long out of nappies, is now called one too; wtf.
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    Aug 04, 2008 12:06 AM GMT
    I think it has to do with the desire to be loved for the fucked up glamorous/tragic figures they were. At least that's the draw for me. I empathize with numerous female icons, though mine tend toward the more tragic than campy, e.g. Janis Joplin, Courtney Love, etc.
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    Aug 04, 2008 12:39 AM GMT
    Courtney Love is love.
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    Aug 04, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
    I luv u Madonna


    madonnaspearskiss_narrowweb__300x321,0.j

    She is not a girl that follows the rules and she is free to do what she wants. And as gay men I think we want to be free to do whatever we want.
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:03 AM GMT


    Isn't Freddie Mercury a gay icon?
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:16 AM GMT
    meninlove said

    Isn't Freddie Mercury a gay icon?


    Even if he were, that's different. I could understand that one.icon_razz.gif
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:23 AM GMT

    Maybe we'll see more male gay icons, seeing as so many celebs are coming out now.

    Interesting to note that Joan Crawford is a gay icon that turned out to be lesbian!

    Ellen DeGeneres is another gay icon, as is Margaret Cho.

    I think someone here hit the nail on the head in reference to the ones you first mentioned, in that they were/are Divas.

    The Diva profile is one many gays relate to as there is a tragic nature to them, which they can relate to in their own experiences of unrequited love. French Canadian gays I know consider Edith Piaf a gay icon.
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:43 AM GMT
    Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Cher, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.

    We are drawn to people we can relate to and I've said this before that gay men and women have a lot in common. For one, both groups are highly underrated in society and often downgraded simply because of who we are. Those women you mentioned are all strong and fabulous and most importantly seemingly unconcerned by society's unfair prejudices and discrmination toward them. All of those women are held in high regard by their fans who include gay men, but it isn't hard to hear rude jokes about each of them.

    Infact, I'm proud of you because what you listed are really the cream of the crop and the best demonstrations of female gay icons. All of those women are extremely eccentric, and/or a little odd, or some would say downright crazy...compared to your cookiecutter "safe" female star. They managed to be that unusual and still make it past stardom, these women are immortals.

    Gay men look at them and think: wow, here she is and crooked nose, indifferent personality, marginal beauty and all she still is fabulous and I CAN BE TOO.

    Yes, they are female, but so symbolic of what every gay man wants: acceptance despite what society sees as his flaws. When you think of it this way, it really has nothing to do with gender at all. It becomes a totally human affair.

    I mean, think about the time Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Judy Garland got big. Being homosexual was a great taboo and besides the rumors, there were no gay representatives of gay men on the silver screen. There was noone to look at and say "I want to be like him." I want to be recognized for my abilities, my talents, and my appeal despite what I do in my bedroom or who I choose to love. However, these bombastic, larger than life women of the time: the ones you mentioned, they could be that unflinching representation of homosexual angst that men of the time undoubtedly felt back then.

    And now, the love and esteem for these women endures...because it deserves to. Sometimes when I go to the movies or listen to music: I feel largely underrepresented. I mean, the last BIG gay movie wasn't even centered around out gay characters, but rather closeted str8 acting guys. Music stars like Lance Bass and Sysco may both be a little obvious, but both appeared on t.v as either very hetero or in limbo for years before they came out. However, I can pop Funny Girl into my DVD player or Cher's Believe into my stereo and suddenly all my fabulous awkwardness is represented through them.

    Speaking of gender roles, a large population of gay men are fems....sorry, but I don't find it unusual that they can relate to women better than men especially in the entertainment world (mainstream media not theatre) because noone looks like them. True there has been a lot more sprinkled about, the fab five comes to mind, but that is a farely recent phenomenon.

    I've said it before, a LARGE portion of gay culture is not aimed at g0ys or str8 acting men or people on this site who can go out in society and choose to be identified as gay. Gay PRIDE is so flamboyant and gender indifferent because it was created by feminine men who were too obvious to hide it (why should they) and had to stand up and shout "This is who we are!" I think the gay icons you mentioned are perfectly adequite examples of how outragious and fabulous gay culture is because those women exude it.

    I know a lot about this. I am very masculine and str8 acting now because it is a choice I made. I used to be a BIG fem. It could be seen and heard from miles away. I experienced a little backlash from it, not a lot because I was a BIG fem. However, I remember being drawn to gay female icons because they were so much like me. Yeah, they were women, but then again, I was a lot more female atleast emotionally and even physically. I remember wanting to dress and act a little more fabulous, but I was painfully aware of my surroundings and I schrouded myself in oversized black and blue clothes. I changedbecause I thought its what I had to do for acceptance. I used to have to physically clinch my throat to stop my voice from coming out too high. Before I grew out my chest and shoulders, I had to puff them up physically. It may sound funny, but I had to essentially fake it until I made it. Before too long, the voice stuck and the muscles grew. Now I am completely masculine and it isn't an act.

    However, I never stopped loving my feminine side. I still feel grief because I caved and I ended him eventhough she was just me. These days I sometimes allow my voice to go up several octives and pirouette out into the open or to let the natural pep in my step show through. My wardrobe has certainly changed since High School. Anyway, what I mean to say is: those women were and are still more familiar to me than the macho male stereotype represented in most of society even if I do resemble that stereotype now, which makes me want to listen to Cher cds now while singing along and combing my make-believe tresses.
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:50 AM GMT
    GuiltyGear saidJudy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Cher, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.

    We are drawn to people we can relate to and I've said this before that gay men and women have a lot in common. For one, both groups are highly underrated in society and often downgraded simply because of who we are. Those women you mentioned are all strong and fabulous and most importantly seemingly unconcerned by society's unfair prejudeces and discrmination toward them. All of those women are held in high regard by their fans who include gay men, but it isn't hard to hear rude jokes about each of them.

    Infact, I'm proud of you because what you listed are really the cream of the crop and the best demonstrations of female gay icons. All of those women are extremely eccentric, and/or a little odd, or some would say downright crazy...compared to your cookiecutter "safe" female star. They managed to be that unusual and still make it past stardom, these women are immortals.

    Gay men look at them and think: wow, here she is and crooked nose, indifferent personality, marginal beauty and all she still is fabulous and I CAN BE TOO.

    Yes, they are female, but so symbolic of what every gay man wants: acceptance despite what society sees as his flaws. When you think of it this way, it really has nothing to do with gender at all. It becomes a totally human affair.

    I mean, think about the time Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Judy Garland got big. Being homosexual was a great taboo and besides the rumors, there were no gay representatives of gay men on the silver screen. There was noone to look at and say "I want to be like him." I want to be recognized for my abilities, my talents, and my appeal despite what I do in my bedroom or who I choose to love. However, these bombastic, larger than life women of the time: the ones you mentioned, they could be that unflinching representation of homosexual angst that men of the time undoubtedly felt back then.

    And now, the love and esteem for these women endures...because it deserves to. Sometimes when I go to the movies or listen to music: I feel largely underrepresentated. I mean, the last BIG gay movie wasn't even centered around out gay characters, but rather closeted str8 acting guys. Music stars like Lance Bass and Sysco may both be a little obvious, but both appeared on t.v as either very hetero or in limbo for years before they came out. However, I can pop Funny Girl into my DVD player or Cher's Believe into my stereo and suddenly all my fabulous awkwardness is represented through them.

    Speaking of gender roles, a large population of gay men are fems....sorry, but I don't find it unusual that they can relate to women better than men especially in the entertainment world (mainstream media not theatre) because noone looks like them. True there has been a lot more sprinkled about, the fab five comes to mind, but that is a farely recent phenomenon.

    I've said it before, a LARGE portion of gay culture is not aimed at g0ys or str8 acting men or people on this site who can go out in society and choose to be identified as gay. Gay PRIDE is so flamboyant and gender indifferent because it was created by feminine men who were too obvious to hide it (why should they) and had to stand up and shout "This is who we are!" I think the gay icons you mentioned are perfectly adequite examples of how outragious and fabulous gay culture is because those women exude it.

    I know a lot about this. I am very masculine and str8 acting now because it is a choice I made. I used to be a BIG fem. It could be seen and heard from miles away. I experienced a little backlash from it, not a lot because I was a BIG fem. However, I remember being drawn to gay female icons because they were so much like me. Yeah, they were women, but then again, I was a lot more female atleast emotionally and even physically. I remember wanting to dress and act a little more fabulous, but I was painfully aware of my surroundings and I schrouded myself in oversized black and blue clothes. I changedbecause I thought its what I had to do for acceptance. I used to have to physically clinch my throat to stop my voice from coming out too high. Before I grew out my chest and shoulders, I had to puff them up physically. It may sound funny, but I had to essentially fake it until I made it. Before too long, the voice stuck and the muscles grew. Now I am completely masculine and it isn't an act.

    However, I never stopped loving my feminine side. I still feel grief because I caved and I ended him eventhough she was just me. These days I sometimes allow my voice to go up several octives and pirouette out into the open or to let the natural pep in my step show through. My wardrobe has certainly changed since High School. Anyway, what I mean to say is: those women were and are still more familiar to me than the macho male stereotype represented in most of society even if I do resemble that stereotype now, which makes me want to listen to Cher cds now while singing along and combing my make-believe tresses.

    JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH!!!! ...COULD I GET THE FUCKING READER DIGEST VERSION OF THIS???
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    Aug 04, 2008 1:52 AM GMT
    OH MY GOD BECKY!!!
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    Aug 04, 2008 2:30 AM GMT
    Perhaps, it's that they were all married to a Gay man at some point.
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    Aug 04, 2008 4:12 AM GMT
    "When I die I have visions of fags singing 'Over the Rainbow' and the flag at Fire Island being flown at half mast." --Judy Garland

    While not the best source, there is a separate article for Judy Garland as gay icon on Wikipedia. Before I read that article, I remember hearing that the death of Garland helped spark the Stonewall Riots. It is apparently due to her personal struggles, her lack of being accepted, and her campy movies. As for Cher and the like, I agree. I have nothing against them, but I am not drawn to them, either. Why they were chosen over, say, Arethra Franklin, I am not sure.

    I do find it funny that I could pass as straight if I had Brokeback Mountain with my dvd's, but a Cher or Madonna cd would probably peg me as gay to many 'outsiders.'
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    Aug 04, 2008 4:54 AM GMT

    Let's not forget my generations gay icons. Jem, it's a t.v show from 85. As a young boy that was different,I remember identifying a lot with the series leading lady.

    It was originally animated, but here a couple of fans, have recreated an episode using dolls and...

    OMG! This is completely adorable.

    Thank god some men are able to overlook society's antiquated gender roles or else this masterpiece may have never been made. Thanks Taly and Chris, grown men playing with dolls never looked so good!


    ..............................

    ..........................................................Jemmyspace.jpg
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Aug 11, 2008 5:00 PM GMT
    Wow. GuiltyGear is brilliant.
  • CAtoFL

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    Aug 11, 2008 5:16 PM GMT
    shoelessj saidWow. GuiltyGear is brilliant.


    True, but I'm still working on seeing beyond the yummy pecs and abs. icon_lol.gif