Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Greatest Of Them All

June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969

It's the eternal question - Are we gay because we love Judy Garland, or do we love Judy Garland because we're gay? When all is said and done, though, beyond the folklore and mythology which has surrounded "Joots" since she was barely a teen; beyond the fact that she remains The Gayest Gay Icon Ever; Judy's talent is what has made and sustained her legend.

As far as we're concerned, no accolade or hosanna could be considered hyperbolic when it comes to Miss Judy, as stereotypical as that may sound, and for that we make no apologies. Very few performers touch us so deeply that their best work can move us to tears of joy, sadness, and sheer wonderment that so much talent could exist in one human being. Happy Birthday, Judy Garland! We're sure you're having a ball.


  1. as i write, "the harvey girls" is on TCM. the best damn pop singer of the 20th century.

  2. Are we gay because we love Judy Garland, or do we love Judy Garland because we're gay?

    *idea for thesis*

  3. i know you all know it, but i'll say it just the same...gays have taste ergo, we love judy....among other things.

  4. She's such an icon. I love her too! I'm convinced that I'm a gay man trapped in a woman's body! :)

  5. MJ - I wish I'd done that in college!

    normadesmond - Well, certain gays. Our sisters who worship at the altars of Abercrombie & Fitch and Britney Spears, I'm not so sure about.

    Sarah - Woohoo! And lucky for us, too - we get to see fabulous things from your collection like Jayne Does Japan!

  6. TJB- of course, you're right. it's the sisters with taste that have continued to elevate the masses, though much of that mass is unaware (and is being asked to move to the back of the bus as i write) so hold on.

  7. Catching a glimpse of Judy singing, here or there, I am always transfixed by her. "The Man That Got Away" is the most flawless torch song of all-time. It is startling that Judy was able to call forth that deep emotion each time she sang it.

  8. Barry Manilow said it best,
    Judy was the top of the pyramid,you don't get any better than that!

  9. normadesmond - I'm the first to admit, that at age 33, my tastes are almost completely out-of-sync with my generation, and certainly anyone younger (although, I have to admit, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" grew on me). Which is a damn shame, because even through the 1970's and 1980's, a younger generation of gays kept the legends from previous decades alive and relevant (at least to the homos!). Somewhere in the 1990's, that became "unfashionable."

    Genre magazine ran a very unflattering, disparaging story about this around '92/'93, just as I was coming out; it more or less dismissed the stereotypical "gay divas" like Judy, Bette, et al, as irrelevant and only adored by aging queens with no other hobbies or productive lives. I rather angrily responded by letter that I was 16 (going on 17), NOT some lonely Miss Havisham surrounded by scratchy Mimi Hines LP's and a dozen cats, and that I respected these performers not just for "camp"'s sake, but because they represent a professional style of entertainment and organic talent that is almost completely gone.

    Hell hath no fury like a queen scorned... anyway, my letter was published the following month, as the lead-off to the comments page, and I actually received letters and phone calls (!) from others who appreciated what I had to say.

    And here we are, 17 years later, and obviously, these ladies are still relevant and beloved by the discerning denizens of SSUWAT! For which I thank you!

  10. I come here because you keep their spirits ALIVE!

  11. i love that GENRE printed your letter!

    as for the 90s, who cares! just keep on posting darling!! i'm well aware that what i like isn't cutting edge any longer.....and i can handle it.


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