Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gay Icons - The Divas: Judy Garland

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends! Today's Gay Icon involves an American actress and singer who is the epitome of what a Gay Icon is: adored by gay people since 1939, so much in fact that "Friend of Dorothy" became the go-to euphemism used for describing gay men without others knowing its meaning (taken from the name of the most famous character she portrayed). Also, it is said, that this lady's death was the spark that lit the fire of the Stonewall Riots. I mean, she's the only Gay Icon whose daughter is a Gay Icon too. The Advocate has called her "The Elvis of homosexuals." We are, of course, talking about the heartbreakingly talented Judy Garland.

Serendipitously, just before I started writing this, I read that filming began today for a new biopic about Judy Garland, starring Renée Zellweger. More than 80 years after Judy first made a name for herself - and people are still very much interested. That's a good sign, no?

Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was the youngest child of Ethel Marion (née Milne) and Francis Avent "Frank" Gumm. Her parents were vaudevillians who settled in Grand Rapids to run a movie theater that featured vaudeville acts. She was of Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry.

"Baby" (as she was called by her parents and sisters) shared her family's flair for song and dance. Her first appearance came at the age of two-and-a-half, when she joined her older sisters Mary Jane "Suzy/Suzanne" Gumm and Dorothy Virginia "Jimmie" Gumm on the stage of her father's movie theater during a Christmas show and sang a chorus of Jingle Bells. The Gumm Sisters performed there for the next few years, accompanied by their mother on piano.

The family relocated to Lancaster, California, in June 1926, following rumors that Frank Gumm had made sexual advances towards male ushers. Frank purchased and operated another theater in Lancaster, and Ethel began managing her daughters and working to get them into motion pictures. Garland attended Hollywood High School and later graduated from University High School.

In 1928, the Gumm Sisters enrolled in a dance school run by Ethel Meglin, proprietress of the Meglin Kiddies dance troupe. They appeared with the troupe at its annual Christmas show. Through the Meglin Kiddies, they made their film debut in a 1929 short subject called The Big Revue, where they performed a song-and-dance number called That's The Good Old Sunny South. This was followed by appearances in two Vitaphone shorts the following year: A Holiday in Storyland (featuring Garland's first on-screen solo) and The Wedding of Jack and Jill. They next appeared together in Bubbles. Their final on-screen appearance came in 1935, in an MGM Technicolor short entitled La Fiesta de Santa Barbara.

This is from their first appearance in The Big Revue. Excuse the quality of the picture and sound - after all, it's almost 90-years-old!

This is a very rare recording of the Gumm Sisters (including 7-year-old Judy Garland) singing When The Butterflies Kiss the Buttercups Goodbye in 1929. This song is from the short A Holiday In Storyland:

This is also in 1929, The Land Of Let's Pretend from Bubbles:

This is La Cucaracha from the Gumm Sisters' final on-screen appearance, in La Fiesta de Santa Barbara:

Several stories persist regarding the origin of the name "Garland". One is that it was originated by actor and singer George Jessel, who had collaborated with the sisters, after Carole Lombard's character Lily Garland in the film Twentieth Century, which was then playing at the Oriental; another is that the girls chose the surname after drama critic Robert Garland. Garland's daughter Lorna Luft stated that her mother selected the name when Jessel announced that the trio "looked prettier than a garland of flowers".

By late 1934, the Gumm Sisters had changed their name to the Garland Sisters. The group broke up in August 1935, when Suzanne Garland flew to Reno, Nevada, and married musician Lee Kahn. Around that time, Frances changed her name to Judy, inspired by this popular Hoagy Carmichael song:

Judy's family life was not a happy one, largely because of her mother's drive for her to succeed as a performer and also her father's closeted homosexuality. The Gumm family would regularly be forced to leave town owing to her father's illicit affairs with other men, and from time to time they would be reduced to living out of their automobile. However, in September 1935 the Gumms', in particular, Ethel's, prayers were answered when Judy was signed by Louis B. Mayer, mogul of leading film studio MGM, after hearing her sing. Tragedy soon followed, however, in the form of her father's death from meningitis in November 1935.

The studio did not know what to do with her, as at age thirteen, she was older than the traditional child star but too young for adult roles. Her physical appearance was also a dilemma for MGM. She was only 4 feet 11.5 inches (151.1 cm), and her "cute" or "girl-next-door" looks did not exemplify the most glamorous persona required of leading ladies of the time. She was self-conscious and anxious about her appearance. "Judy went to school at Metro with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, real beauties", said Charles Walters, who directed her in a number of films. "Judy was the big money-maker at the time, a big success, but she was the ugly duckling ... I think it had a very damaging effect on her emotionally for a long time. I think it lasted forever, really." Her insecurity was exacerbated by the attitude of studio chief Louis B. Mayer, who referred to her as his "little hunchback".

Her first feature film was Pigskin Parade, a comedy that managed to secure a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Stuart Erwin, during the year that Supporting Actor nominations were first introduced at the Oscars. The problem was that he was the star of the movie, but hey, the Oscars were still young and learning on the job. Anyway, he lost to Walter Brennan. From this film, here's Judy with It's Love I'm After:

Judy's career did not officially kick off until she sang one of her most famous songs, You Made Me Love You, at Clark Gable's birthday party in February 1937, during which Louis B. Mayer finally paid attention to the talented songstress. The song also appeared in the movie Broadway Melody of 1938 (which was actually released in 1937):

Following her rendition of You Made Me Love You, MGM set to work preparing various musicals with which to keep Judy busy. All this had its toll on the young teenager, and she was given numerous pills by the studio doctors in order to combat her tiredness on set. Another problem was her weight fluctuation, but she was soon given amphetamines in order to give her the desired streamlined figure. This soon produced the downward spiral that resulted in her lifelong drug addiction.

MGM hit on a winning formula when it paired Garland with Mickey Rooney in a string of what were known as "backyard musicals". The duo first appeared together as supporting characters in the 1937 B-movie Thoroughbreds Don't Cry. Garland was then put in the cast of the fourth of the Hardy Family movies as a literal girl-next-door to Rooney's character Andy Hardy, in Love Finds Andy Hardy, although Hardy's love interest was played by Lana Turner. They teamed as lead characters for the first time in Babes in Arms, ultimately appearing in five additional films, including Hardy films Andy Hardy Meets Debutante and Life Begins for Andy Hardy.

Meet The Beat Of My Heart appears on in Love Finds Andy Hardy:

The highly successful Babes in Arms included I Cried For You:

... As well as Good Morning:

Alone was found in Andy Hardy Meets Debutante:

Meanwhile, in 1938 she also starred in Listen, Darling, where she sang Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart. It was the song that she sang at her MGM audition in 1935, as well as the song that she sang on the radio the day her father had died. It still is one of Judy's best known and loved songs:

In 1939, Judy shot immediately to stardom with The Wizard of Oz, in which she portrayed Dorothy, an orphaned girl living on a farm in the dry plains of Kansas who gets whisked off into the magical world of Oz on the other end of the rainbow. Although producers Arthur Freed and Mervyn LeRoy had wanted her from the start, studio chief Mayer first tried to borrow Shirley Temple from 20th Century Fox, but they declined. Deanna Durbin was then asked, but was unavailable, resulting in Garland being cast. Her poignant performance and sweet delivery of her signature song, Over The Rainbow, earned Judy a special juvenile Oscar statuette on 29 February 1940 for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor.

From the same film, this is We're Off To See The Wizard:

... Also, here's Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Klaus Nomi did an excellent cover of the song.

The Wizard of Oz was Judy's first step at becoming a Gay Icon: the slang term "Friend of Dorothy", which likely derives from Garland's portrayal of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, became a code phrase gay people used to identify each other. Dorothy's journey from Kansas to Oz "mirrored many gay men's desires to escape the black-and-white limitations of small-town life ... for big, colorful cities filled with quirky, gender-bending characters who would welcome them."

In the film, Dorothy immediately accepts those who are different, including the Cowardly Lion (in a very camp performance by Bert Lahr). The Lion identifies himself through song as a "sissy" and exhibits stereotypically "gay" (or at least effeminate) mannerisms. The Lion is seen as a coded example of Garland meeting and accepting a gay man without question.

In the 2001 documentary Memories of Oz, openly gay cult film director and social satirist John Waters spoke about seeing The Wizard of Oz as a child:

"[I was] the only child in the audience that always wondered why Dorothy ever wanted to go back to Kansas. Why would she want to go back to Kansas, in this dreary black and white farm with an aunt who dressed badly and seemed mean to me, when she could live with magic shoes, winged monkeys, and gay lions? I never understood it."

Now growing up, Judy began to yearn for meatier adult roles instead of the virginal characters she had been playing since she was 14. She was now taking an interest in men, and after starring in her final juvenile performance in Ziegfeld Girl (1941) alongside glamorous beauties Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr, Judy got engaged to bandleader David Rose in May 1941, just two months after his divorce from Martha Raye. Despite planning a big wedding, the couple eloped to Las Vegas and married during the early hours of the morning on 28 July 1941 with just her mother Ethel and her stepfather Will Gilmore present. However, their marriage went downhill as, after discovering that she was pregnant in November 1942, David and MGM persuaded her to abort the baby in order to keep her good-girl image up. She did so and, as a result, was haunted for the rest of her life by her 'inhumane actions'. The couple separated in January 1943.

This is I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, from Ziegfeld Girl:

By this time, Judy had starred in her first adult role as a vaudevillian during WWI in For Me and My Gal (1942). This movie was Gene Kelly's film debut. Judy Garland got him the job after seeing him in the Broadway musical Pal Joey. From For Me and My Gal, this is After You've Gone:

... And this is When Johnny Comes Marching Home:

In 1943, she starred in Presenting Lily Mars. From this film, here's When I Look at You:

Also in 1943, she reunited with old pal Mickey Rooney in Girl Crazy. In it, she performed I Got Rhythm:

Within weeks of her separation with David Rose, Judy was having an affair with actor Tyrone Power, who was married to French actress Annabella. Their affair ended in May 1943, which was when her affair with producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz kicked off. He introduced her to psychoanalysis and she soon began to make decisions about her career on her own instead of being influenced by her domineering mother and MGM. Their affair ended in November 1943, and soon afterward Judy reluctantly began filming Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), which proved to be a big success. The director Vincente Minnelli highlighted Judy's beauty for the first time on screen, having made the period musical in color, her first color film since The Wizard of Oz (1939). He requested that makeup artist Dorothy Ponedel be assigned to Garland. Ponedel refined her appearance in several ways, including extending and reshaping her eyebrows, changing her hairline, modifying her lip line and removing her nose discs and dental caps. She appreciated the results so much that Ponedel was written into her contract for all her remaining pictures at MGM. After filming ended in April 1944, a love affair resulted between director and actress and they were soon living together.

Vincente Minnelli was gay or at least bisexual. According to biographer Emmanuel Levy, "He was openly gay in New York - we were able to document names of companions and stories from Dorothy Parker. But when he came to Hollywood, I think he made the decision to repress that part of himself or to become bisexual."

A film classic, Meet Me in St. Louis contained some memorable songs. Among them, Oscar nominee The Trolley Song:

... Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas:

... The Boy Next Door:

... and Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis:

Vincente began to mold Judy and her career, making her more beautiful and more popular with audiences worldwide. He directed her in The Clock (1945), a rare non-singing role, and it was during the filming of this movie that the couple announced their engagement on set on 9 January 1945. Judy's divorce from David Rose had been finalized on 8 June 1944 after almost three years of marriage, and despite her brief fling with Orson Welles, who at the time was married to screen sex goddess Rita Hayworth, on 15 June 1945 Judy made Vincente her second husband, tying the knot with him that afternoon at her mother's home with her boss Louis B. Mayer giving her away and her best friend Betty Asher serving as bridesmaid. They spent three months on honeymoon in New York and afterwards Judy discovered that she was pregnant.

Meanwhile, she starred in The Harvey Girls (1946), which included the Oscar-winning song On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe:

On 12 March 1946 in Los Angeles, California, Judy gave birth to their daughter, Liza Minnelli, via caesarean section. It was a joyous time for the couple, but Judy was out of commission for weeks due to the caesarean and her postnatal depression, so she spent much of her time recuperating in bed. She soon returned to work, but married life was never the same for Vincente and Judy after they filmed The Pirate (1948) together in 1947. Judy's mental health was fast deteriorating and she began hallucinating things and making accusations toward people, especially her husband, making the filming a nightmare. It is said that Judy eventually found out about Vincente's affairs with men and tried to commit suicide once, after catching him in bed with another man.

From The Pirate, this is Mack The Black:

... this is Be A Clown:

... and this is Love Of My Life:

Around that time, she also began an affair with aspiring actor Yul Brynner, but after the affair ended, Judy soon regained her health and tried to salvage her failing marriage. She then teamed up with dancing legend Fred Astaire for the delightful musical Easter Parade (1948), which resulted in a successful comeback despite having Vincente fired from directing the musical.

This is the title track:

... this is A Couple Of Swells:

... this is Better Luck Next Time:

... and this is Mr. Monotony, which was featured in a deleted scene from Easter Parade. She's really sexy in this:

Afterwards, Judy's health deteriorated and she had the first of several suicide attempts. In May 1949, she was checked into a rehabilitation center, which caused her much distress. She soon regained strength and was visited frequently by her lover Frank Sinatra, but never saw much of Vincente or Liza. On returning, Judy made In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which was also Liza's film debut, albeit via an uncredited cameo. She had already been suspended by MGM for her lack of cooperation on the set of The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), which also resulted in her getting replaced by Ginger Rogers.

Here is Liza's film debut:

... also from Good Old Summertime, this is I Don't Care:

... and this is Put Your Arms Around Me:

After being replaced by Betty Hutton on Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Judy was suspended yet again before making her final film for MGM, entitled Summer Stock (1950). At 28, Judy received her third suspension and was fired by MGM, and her second marriage was soon dissolved. Summer Stock, however, included one of her most iconic performances, Get Happy:

... this is Friendly Star:

... and this is If You Feel Like Singing, Sing:

Garland was a frequent guest on Kraft Music Hall, hosted by her friend Bing Crosby. Following Garland's second suicide attempt, Crosby, knowing that she was depressed and running out of money, invited her on to his radio show - the first of the new season - on October 11, 1950.

"She was standing in the wings of it trembling with fear. She was almost hysterical. She said, 'I cannot go out there because they're all gonna be looking to see if there are scars and it's gonna be terrible.' Bing said 'What's going on?' and I told him what happened and he walked out on stage and he said: 'We got a friend here, she's had a little trouble recently. You probably heard about it - Everything is fine now, she needs our love. She needs our support. She's here - let's give it to her, OK? Here's Judy.' And she came out and that place went crazy. And she just blossomed." (Hal Kanter, writer for Bing Crosby). From one of Judy's eight appearances on the show between 1950-51, here's When You're Smiling:

... and this is Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody:

Having taken up with Sidney Luft, Judy traveled to London to star at the legendary Palladium. She was an instant success and after her divorce to Vincente Minnelli was finalized on 29 March 1951 after almost six years of marriage, Judy traveled with Sid to New York to make an appearance on Broadway. With her newfound fame on stage, Judy was stopped in her tracks in February 1952 when she became pregnant by her new lover, Sid. At the age of 30, she made him her third husband on 8 June 1952; the wedding was held at a friend's ranch in Pasadena. Her relationship with her mother had long since been dissolved by this point, and after the birth of her second daughter, Lorna Luft, on 21 November 1952, she refused to allow her mother to see her granddaughter. Ethel then died in January 1953 of a heart attack, leaving Judy devastated and feeling guilty about not reconciling with her mother before her untimely demise.

From her triumphant concerts at the London Palladium, this is Over the Rainbow:

... this is Get Happy:

Garland filmed a musical remake of the film A Star Is Born for Warner Bros. in 1954. Garland and Sidney Luft, her then-husband, produced the film through their production company, Transcona Enterprises, while Warner Bros. supplied the funds, production facilities, and crew. Directed by George Cukor and co-starring James Mason (with whom she had an affair during filming), it was a large undertaking to which she initially fully dedicated herself. As a member of the film's production team later confided to film-critic Roger Ebert:

"Judy was marvelous for the first seven or eight months. Everybody had heard about how temperamental she was, how impossible she was to work with, but in fact, she was sunny and calm. She was off the pills, looking good, and working well."

"But the film got into trouble. It fell behind the shooting schedule, and it was well over budget. And the studio got rattled. They were working Judy incredibly hard."

"One week we came to work and there was a nurse on the set. In those days when you saw a nurse, it almost always meant a star was on dope. They were going back to the same so-called solution of 10 or 15 years ago: If Garland was in trouble, or you thought she might be, put her on pills. Speed her up, slow her down. Run her like a clock."

"But Judy couldn't take it. She became a different person, an absolutely different personality when she was on dope. I think perhaps that in the final months of shooting on A Star Is Born, Judy finally passed over that thin line. You never know where the line is, but I think that during that period she crossed it and she was never going to be able to pull out again."

Upon its world premiere on September 29, 1954, the film was met with tremendous critical and popular acclaim. Before its release, however, it was edited at the instruction of Jack Warner; theater operators, concerned that they were losing money because they were only able to run the film for three or four shows per day instead of five or six, pressured the studio to make additional reductions. At the 1967 Chicago International Film Festival, the film's director, George Cukor, recalled the story:

"When we finally got the film into the can, we had what I considered one of Garland's finest performances. But the studio ran into trouble - the public thought the picture was too long - and so they butchered it. Absolutely butchered it. If I had been allowed to edit it myself, I could have sweated out 40 minutes without anyone noticing. But they cut it the crude way, taking out whole musical numbers intact. Two of Judy's best numbers came out that way."

"And the tragedy is, they've disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to them. To the best of my knowledge, a complete print of the original version of A Star Is Born no longer exists anywhere. That's criminal, but what can you do?"

Although it was still popular, drawing huge crowds and grossing over $6,000,000 in its first release, A Star is Born did not make back its cost and ended up losing money. As a result, the secure financial position Garland had expected from the profits did not materialize. Transcona made no more films with Warner.

Garland was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and in the run-up to the 27th Academy Awards, was generally expected to win, having won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role. She could not attend the ceremony because she had just given birth to her son, Joseph Luft, so a television crew was in her hospital room with cameras and wires to broadcast her anticipated acceptance speech. The Oscar was won, however, by Grace Kelly for The Country Girl (1954). The camera crew was packing up before Kelly could even reach the stage. Groucho Marx sent her a telegram after the awards ceremony, declaring her loss "the biggest robbery since Brinks." Time labeled her performance as "just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history". Indeed it was...

This film contained my favorite Garland song, The Man That Got Away. This is the film version (the sound is not great, but still...)

This is a great version from a TV Special, in 1962:

... also from A Star is Born, this is Gotta Have Me Go with You:

... also, Here's What I'm Here For:

... and Swanee:

Garland appeared in a number of television specials beginning in 1955. The first was the 1955 debut episode of Ford Star Jubilee; this was the first full-scale color broadcast ever on CBS and was a ratings triumph, scoring a 34.8 Nielsen rating. She signed a three-year, $300,000 contract with the network. Only one additional special was broadcast in 1956, a live concert-edition of General Electric Theater, before the relationship between the Lufts and CBS broke down in a dispute over the planned format of upcoming specials.

In 1961, Garland and CBS settled their contract disputes with the help of her new agent, Freddie Fields, and negotiated a new round of specials. The first, entitled The Judy Garland Show, aired on February 25, 1962, and featured guests, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Following this success, CBS made a $24 million offer to her for a weekly television series of her own, also to be called The Judy Garland Show, which was deemed at the time in the press to be "the biggest talent deal in TV history". Although she had said as early as 1955 that she would never do a weekly television series, in the early 1960s, she was in a financially precarious situation. She was several hundred thousand dollars in debt to the Internal Revenue Service, having failed to pay taxes in 1951 and 1952, and the failure of A Star is Born meant that she received nothing from that investment. A successful run on television was intended to secure her financial future since she also had lost millions of dollars as a result of her husband's strong gambling addiction. With hundreds of debts to pay, Judy and Sid began a volatile, on-off relationship resulting in numerous divorce filings.

Following a third TV special, Judy Garland and Her Guests Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet, Garland's weekly series debuted on September 29, 1963. The Judy Garland Show was critically praised, but for a variety of reasons (including being placed in the time slot opposite Bonanza on NBC), the show lasted only one season and was canceled in 1964 after 26 episodes. Despite its short run, the series was nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Best Variety Series. The demise of the program was personally and financially devastating for Garland.

From this show, this is a version of The Man That Got Away:

... also from this show, this is Just in Time:

... also, When You're Smiling:

... and It's Almost Like Being in Love:

A highlight of The Judy Garland Show was her famous duet with Barbra Streisand (the one Diva passing the torch to the other). This is a medley of Get Happy & Happy Days Are Here Again:

This is the Hooray For Love medley:

Sure enough, daughter Liza also memorably appeared on the show. Here, Judy is introducing her by singing the song, Liza:

... and this is a medley they sing together. Liza was 17 at the time:

This is Judy with all three of her children, performing Consider Yourself, from the musical Oliver!:

Back to the movies, in 1960 she performed the Oscar-nominated song Faraway Part of Town from the musical Pepe, without actually appearing in the film (she's heard singing through the radio):

In 1961, at the age of 39, Judy returned to her ailing film career, this time to star in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), for which she rightly received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress (she was great in it), but this time she lost out to Rita Moreno for her performance in West Side Story (1961). This is her key scene. Maximilian Schell said of this scene: "[Before we filmed the scene where I cross-examine her], Judy [Garland] asked me, 'Can you hit me more, off-camera? - be tougher on me? - because then I can feel more. I can give more.' She had to break down and get tears, and so I did it for her, much more than what [was] written in the script. I invented a lot of things until she finally broke down. Then afterwards, she sent me flowers and a little note, 'Thank you for being so mean to me'."

Also in 1961, her concert appearance at Carnegie Hall on April 23, was a considerable highlight, called by many "the greatest night in show business history". The two-record album Judy at Carnegie Hall was certified gold, charting for 95 weeks on Billboard, including 13 weeks at number one. It won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Female Vocal of the Year, and has never been out of print. From this album, this is When You're Smiling:

... this is The Man That Got Away:

... this is I Can't Give You Anything But Love:

... this is Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart:

... this is Stormy Weather:

... this is Over The Rainbow:

Her battles with alcoholism and drugs led to Judy's making numerous headlines in newspapers, but she soldiered on, forming a close friendship with President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, Judy and Sid finally separated permanently, and on 19 May 1965, their divorce was finalized after almost 13 years of marriage. By this time, Judy, now 41, had had her final performances on film - alongside Burt Lancaster and Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes' A Child Is Waiting (1963) and alongside Dirk Bogarde in I Could Go on Singing (1963). From the former, here's Judy singing Snowflakes:

Garland wasn't single for long. She married actor (and tour promoter) Mark Herron in a Las Vegas ceremony in November 1965. (They actually wed in the summer of 1964, but since Garland was still legally married to Luft, they had to wait to make it official.)

He produced Garland's two 1964 London Palladium concerts with Liza, as well as some 1956 Canadian appearances. They separated five months later. Garland was granted a divorce in 1976, testifying that Herron had beaten her. According to The Los Angeles Times, he said he had "only hit her in self-defense."

In truth, they separated when Judy had discovered that Mark was gay. In fact, he was having a steamy affair with Liza's first husband, Peter Allen, while he was still married to Judy.

Herron continued acting - often appearing in summer stock productions. He had a long-lasting relationship with fellow actor Henry Brandon. The two stayed together until Brandon's death in 1990. Herron died in 1996.

In 1966, she began an affair with young journalist Tom Green. She then settled down in London after their affair ended, and she began dating disk jockey Mickey Deans in December 1968. They became engaged once her divorce from Mark Herron was finalized on 9 January 1969 after three years of marriage. She married Mickey, her fifth and final husband, in a register office in Chelsea, London, on 15 March 1969.

Judy went to Hollywood one last time, in 1967, to work in Valley of the Dolls. It was even rumored that Jacqueline Susann, the author, had modeled one character on Garland. But she never made the picture. She was fired after a few weeks in a cloud of charges and counter-charges. She was late or never came to the set at all, according to the studio. She forgot lines. She was in a state of emotional crisis.

Judy told another story - that the studio had fired her vindictively. But one of the people who worked on the set told a different version: Judy was raised at a time when Hollywood took infinite pains to obtain the perfect take of a scene. At her studio, MGM, this was particularly true; MGM films aimed for a gloss of perfection. Scenes would be shot again and again, with particular care taken to protect the image of the female star. Makeup would be adjusted; subtle changes in lighting or camera angles would be tried.

Judy was trained to that system and worked under it in every film except Valley of the Dolls. But in Valley, the idea wasn't to make her look good. The blunt truth is that an aging, haggard Garland would be closer to the character - and more attractive to the peeping toms in Susann's audience.

To complicate matters, Garland was doing scenes with actresses raised on television, where three takes of a scene are considered excessive. Patty Duke and Sharon Tate were quick to pick up dialog and accustomed to getting scenes right the first time through. This clash in working styles upset Judy. After a week of admirable behavior, she began to go to pieces. But not before the decision had already been made that she would have to go. Susan Hayward replaced her.

She never worked in Hollywood again, but she continued working on stage, appearing several times with her daughter Liza. It was during a concert in Chelsea, London, that Judy stumbled into her bathroom late one night and died of an overdose of barbiturates, the drug that had dominated much of her life, on the 22nd of June 1969 at the age of 47. Her daughter Liza Minnelli paid for her funeral, and her former lover James Mason delivered her touching eulogy.

After her body had been embalmed, Deans took Garland's remains to New York City on June 26, where an estimated 20,000 people lined up to pay their respects at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, which remained open all night long to accommodate the overflow crowd. Some have suggested a connection between the date of Garland's funeral on June 27, 1969, and the Stonewall riots, the flashpoint of the modern gay liberation movement, which started in the early hours of June 28. There were several patrons at the Stonewall bar that night, Garland fans who, according to bar patron Sylvia Rivera had come from the very emotional Garland funeral earlier in the day to drink and mourn. Rivera said that indeed there was a feeling in the air that something would happen that night: "I guess Judy Garland's death just really helped us really hit the fan."

Garland has been called one of the greats of entertainment, and her reputation has endured. The American Film Institute named her eighth among the greatest female stars of Golden Age Hollywood cinema. She has been the subject of over two dozen biographies since her death. She has been portrayed on television by Andrea McArdle in Rainbow (1978), Tammy Blanchard (young Judy) and Judy Davis (older Judy) in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001), and Sigrid Thornton in Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door (2015). Renée Zellweger is set to portray Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy, which is expected to be released in 2018. On stage, Garland is a character in the musical The Boy from Oz (1998), portrayed by Chrissy Amphlett in the original Australian production and by Isabel Keating on Broadway in 2003. End of the Rainbow (2005) featured Caroline O'Connor as Garland and Paul Goddard as Garland's pianist. Adrienne Barbeau played Garland in The Property Known as Garland (2006) and The Judy Monologues (2010) initially featured male actors reciting Garland's words before it was revamped as a one-woman show.

As an epilogue, I'd like to present a long but very interesting essay on the connection between Garland and gay men by Michael Joseph Gross, which appeared on The Atlantic in 2000. Here it is:

"One bright day last summer on Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Afrodite, a bald black drag queen with a silver stud in one nostril and big, muscular hairless legs, strode toward me, her eyes locked on the dust jacket of the book I was carrying: Judy Garland: The Secret Life of an American Legend (1992), by David Shipman. 'Judy Garland?' She sniffed imperiously. 'You big queen.'"

"No one had ever called me a big queen before, and to my surprise, I kind of liked it. Such sissifying slaps carry historical punch for a gay man today. They mark him with the effeminacy that in previous generations was integral to the popular image of gay men - witty, frowsy, fussy old queens who memorized every minute of All About Eve and poured their hearts into antiques and opera and, perhaps most damnably of all, Judy Garland."

"Blatant effeminacy last seems to have been widely acceptable in (white, urban, middle-class) gay culture in the late 1960s, a time memorialized in Mart Crowley's 1968 play which depicted the quip-lashed anguish and emotionally destructive conditions of life in the closet with unprecedented candor. Judy Garland's status as a mascot for that generation of gay men is signaled early on in the dialogue of Crowley's play, The Boys In The Band, ('What's more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?' 'A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation'), and the play's title is lifted from the dialogue of Garland's 1954 film, A Star Is Born."

"Some observers of gay life in the sixties go so far as to argue that Garland's death sparked the modern gay-rights movement; the Stonewall riots occurred in Manhattan's West Village just hours after her funeral, in New York in June of 1969. It's a provocative coincidence, but most scholars deny any causal relationship between the events. (Garland did have a loyal following among patrons of the Stonewall Inn. As Charles Kaiser explains in [1997], the bar had no liquor license; it passed itself off as a bottle club, requiring all its so-called members to sign in at the door. Many used pseudonyms, of which 'Judy Garland' was among the most popular.)"

"After Stonewall, gay stereotypes got butch: out went the queens and in came the clones - hypermasculine, mustachioed men whose big muscles, Levis, and work boots became premium symbols of gay identity. In the 1980s and early 1990s the AIDS epidemic again made vulnerability and other traditionally feminine traits more acceptable in gay culture; but when the crisis abated, the testosterone flowed again. Perhaps the most theatrical demonstration of this resurgent masculinity is the ascendance of circuit parties - bacchic all-night revels rippling wall-to-wall with world-class physiques."

"Coming out in the past ten to fifteen years has been considerably eased by the mainstream culture's speedy incorporation of gay life. As a result, gay men in this generation are mostly indifferent to the faux tragedy and flamboyant exoticism of camp, and to old-time gay icons like Judy Garland. We have fetishized a flamboyant normalcy, exemplified by the frat-boy chic of Bruce Weber's slyly homoerotic ad campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch. Young gay men today just want to be regular guys - with better-than-average bodies."

"It's easy to see why gay men might want to forget queeny stereotypes, particularly the stereotype of the Judy queen. In the late 1960s, when the mainstream media rarely acknowledged the existence of homosexuality, articles about Judy Garland sometimes functioned as vehicles for the aggressive derision of gay men. Time, in its August 18, 1967, review of Garland's final engagement at New York's Palace Theatre, observed, 'A disproportionate part of her nightly claque seems to be homosexual. The boys in the tight trousers roll their eyes, tear at their hair and practically levitate from their seats, particularly when Judy sings [Over the Rainbow].' In the same article, Time quoted psychiatrists' interpretations of the gay-Garland connection. One offered that 'Judy was beaten up by life, embattled and ultimately had to become more masculine. She has the power that homosexuals would like to have, and they attempt to attain it by idolizing her.'"

"William Goldman described the final night of that Palace run in Esquire. He had seen 'a young boy, maybe twenty-one, maybe less ... staring up at her and wringing his hands. He cannot and will not stop with his hands, even though his constant wringing pressure has forced the skin to burst. He holds a handkerchief as he continues to stare up at her and wring his hands and bleed.' Goldman also gave readers some yuks by eavesdropping on straight men in the audience that night: 'Tonight,' says one married man to another, 'no one goes to the men's room.'"

"Perhaps the darkest dig at the gay-Garland connection came from Mel Torme, in his 1970 memoir about working on The Judy Garland Show for CBS. Torme, who observed that it was 'a rule, not an exception,' that studio audiences for the show were 'heavily populated' with 'Odd Fellows,' also repeated the remark of an unidentified 'someone' who exclaimed, 'Judy? Yeah, she's the Queen of the Fags!'"

"This is ugly stuff, and yet most gay writers have been equally harsh in their treatment of the subject. Gay love for Judy Garland is most often explained by slinging around stereotypes about the masochism of diva worship - an approach exemplified by Daniel Harris in 1997. Harris argues that gay men's worship of divas, of which Garland is his primary example, is a pathology issuing from 'the almost universal homosexual experience of ostracism and insecurity,' which ultimately leads to 'the aestheticism of maladjustment, the gay man's exploitation of cinematic visions of Hollywood grandeur to elevate himself above his antagonistic surroundings.' Harris continues, 'The answer to the proverbial question why did gay men like Judy Garland so much?, is that they liked, not her, so much as her audience, the hordes of other gay men who gathered in her name to hear her poignant renditions of old torch songs that reduced sniffling queens to floods of self-pitying tears.'"

"The specter of these 'sniffling queens' wallowing in the campy show of Garland's melodramatic, drug-dazed last years has relegated her to a marginal place in gay culture today. Most surviving tributes are either kitschy (she occasionally pops up on greeting cards and T-shirts, and ad campaigns for gay travel agencies sometimes recycle the ruby-slippers motif in their promotional materials) or coarse ('Judy Garland Park,' officially named Schuylkill Park, is a well-known outdoor cruising area in Philadelphia; a 'Judy Garland Memorial Forest' of similar repute stands on Fire Island)."

"Garland's popularity in the culture at large is perpetually nourished by a stream of high-end products that preserve or pay homage to her work: more than half the episodes of Garland's television variety show were recently issued on DVD. An uncut recording of the famous Carnegie Hall concert on April 23, 1961, including stage patter and applause never previously released, was issued this spring. A new biography, Gerald Clarke's was published this past March. A television movie based on Lorna Luft's 1998 memoir of growing up as Garland's daughter, will be broadcast by ABC next season, with Judy Davis starring as Garland. And Garland's third and fourth husbands, Sid Luft and Mark Herron, are rumored to be at work on their own books about her."

"Such events give succor to the few who brave on as Judy queens today. Yet even those who admit to admiring Garland temper their enthusiasm. The film director John Waters recently told me that he thinks the gay-Garland connection is 'an embarrassing topic.' (To put Waters's embarrassment in perspective: he makes movies whose characters have included a sphincter that sings.) 'I mean, I do love her,' he said, 'but if a reporter were coming to my home, I wouldn't have Judy Garland playing. They'd think maybe upstairs I had a room devoted to her.' Waters also said, 'A gay man loving Judy could almost be like a black person watching a minstrel show' - a joke that suggests the degree of hostility, anger, and fear with which many gay men view this stereotype."

"Presumably, hard-core gay Garland fans - including men who make a living as experts on her career - would be best qualified to talk about the connection between their love for her and their love for men. But they avoid the topic. 'Judy sang for humanity,' one asserts. Another says, 'I've talked to gay men who are crazy about Judy, but I've also talked to a lot who are not.' A third writes, 'I feel the main reason that gay men love Judy Garland is for the same reason that straight men love her (indeed, why ANY human being would love her), because she is simply the most talented artist the world has ever known, and possibly ever will know.' Given the ridicule that Judy queens have suffered over the years, a certain amount of defensiveness is to be expected. Yet the combined force of all these strained evasions renders one question about gay men who love Garland more compelling than the rest: Why are they afraid?"

"Garland embodied many of the paradoxical emotional states that gay men commonly experience while coming out: vulnerability and strength, sincerity and duplicity, self-consciousness and abandon, adolescence and maturity. The role of Dorothy alone could have secured her place in gay mythology - the lonely, misunderstood small-town kid who has a great adventure in a wild new world where fabulous friends appear to help her on her way, and where no sorrow can overwhelm her. For many gay men, Garland was also a mother figure. The playwright Charles Busch recalls his boyhood, saying, 'I remember watching her with her children on television - she was presented as a kind of Auntie Mame at that point - and I remember thinking, wouldn't it be great to have a mom like that. She was so affectionate and fun, and she sang.' Most crucially, and most simply, Garland recognized our existence. Gay men knew that she knew they loved her. In her last movie, I Could Go On Singing (1963), she even gave homosexuals in the audience a wink. 'I've already drunk enough coffee to float Fire Island,' she says in a throwaway line near the end of the film. To gay men in that closeted time, the flicker of recognition must have seemed like a bolt of lightning."

"Excavating the gay-Garland connection should begin, however, with considering how Garland stands out from other movie divas who have been glorified in gay culture. Mae West, Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford were self-sufficient and strong, on and off the screen; they moved with easy invincibility both inside and outside the bedroom. Although Garland is often counted among these women, she does not quite fit. Their strength was thoroughly self-assertive; hers was self-effacing. Beginning as the supportive, long-suffering, asexual foil for Mickey Rooney's adolescent adventures, she grew into a concert performer whose every appearance cried out, as the film director Stanley Kramer observed, 'Here is my heart, break it.'"

"To be sure, the woman did not know when to stop. Garland's concert performances were so intimate and unguarded that listeners believed she was singing for them individually. Jerry Lewis is quoted by Anne Edwards, as having said, 'People of all kinds, with worries and problems and heartaches, go to see her; and they identify with her... The stout women in the audience identify with her, and the people who remember their own unhappy childhoods identify with her. All the people whose insides have been torn out by misery identify with her, and she is singing for all of them. In a way, she's singing with a hundred voices.'"

"The most famous of Garland's signature songs either expose her loneliness and vulnerability (The Man That Got Away, Over the Rainbow) or trumpet a delirious confidence in love (The Trolley Song, Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart). Yet even the love songs are fraught with Garland's sexless self-effacement: they describe a feverish experience of loving in which reciprocity is almost beside the point. (Compare this with the chutzpah of Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler, singers who have been crowned Garland's heirs; they carry themselves as if the whole world were created to provide wind beneath their wings.)"

"The high points of Garland's concerts coupled a song of the first kind with one of the second, for a one-two punch that felt listeners' pain and then carried them beyond it. For example, imagine yourself a gay man at her 1961 Carnegie Hall concert, your heart breaking as she sings The Man That Got Away, whose lament for unrequited love perfectly describes your fear of growing old alone, because your relationships are so often short-lived, because you cannot live your love in public: 'The road gets rougher / It's lonelier and tougher / With hope you burn up / Tomorrow he might turn up.' Then, your eyes still stinging with tears, you watch her tiny frame fill with preternatural confidence. She reaches out to pick you up and set you down in the promised land, a place where you will never be lonely again. San Francisco begins in a mood so light and silly that the audience breaks into laughter at the very first phrase. Garland vamps through the first chorus, and then her pace slows, her intonation broadens, and you fly: 'Saaaan Fraaan-cisco / When I arrive, I really come alive / And you will laugh to see me / Perpendicular, hangin' on a cable car.'"

"You might think she knows your heart. You might even think she loves you."

"Garland's biographies attest that a particular connection with gay men was an abiding fact of her life. Her father, Frank Gumm, whom she adored, and Roger Edens, her mentor at M-G-M, who became a kind of surrogate father to her, were predominantly homosexual. It's unclear whether she was aware of her father's orientation."

"It's also unclear how Garland felt about her gay following. She sometimes seemed to relish it, once bragging, 'When I die I have visions of fags singing Over the Rainbow and the flag at Fire Island being flown at half mast.' (According to the film historian Vito Russo, houses on Fire Island were draped in black on that day.) Unfortunately, Garland also had a habit of falling in love with gay men, including two of her husbands, Vincente Minnelli and Mark Herron. Get Happy, Gerald Clarke's new biography reveals that Herron, during his marriage to Garland, had an affair with Peter Allen, who at the time was married to Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli."

"In her last years, Garland was surrounded by a cadre of gay men who blurred the line between fandom and friendship. Lorna Luft has written that her mother's relationships with these men would descend into terrible confusion when Garland began falling in love with them: 'I remember all too clearly the screaming accusations that filled our house in the middle of the night when she encountered one of her lovers' 'indiscretions.' I didn't hear the word 'fag' from the kids at school. I heard it from my mother.'"

"Such details suggest that for the most devoted Judy queens, believing in the goddess must on some level have been a hard faith to keep. Sure, she was all theirs at the end - David Shipman's biography notes discreetly that Garland attended many parties where 'she was the only woman present,' and Gerald Clarke adds that when she got really desperate for money, she sometimes sang in gay piano bars. But the piano bars paid her $100 a night, and she probably spent that on drugs. The seediest stories about the gay-Garland connection make it sound like the kind of arrangement that people get stuck with when they think that getting by is the best they can hope for. Still, Garland's wild ambivalence toward gay men was more gracious than her treatment of most people, including herself. And masochistic pleasure in the idol's defilement was probably only a minor aspect of Judy-love."

"The most powerful of Garland's emotional conflicts, and the one that I believe best explains her particular appeal to gay men was her inner struggle between sincerity and duplicity. Garland's stage fright was legendary, and it was rooted in her inability to believe in her talent. (At the wrap party for her last M-G-M production, she confided in one of the film's music directors, 'I'm a fat slob! I'm so ugly and untalented. They're going to find me out!') Nevertheless, she said that the only times she was 'truly, truly happy' were when she was performing."

"Her mortal fear of duplicity fueled the creation of a character whose appeal was the soul of sincerity. This did not quell her anxiety. The more fully invested Garland became in her stage persona, the more intense her love for her audience grew; because she valued this connection above all others, the role she played eventually devoured her life. Gerald Clarke creates a precise and chilling picture of the way in which Garland fed her audiences her soul. A visitor to her dressing room during her final singing engagement in London saw her listening to a recording of the performance she had just given. Clarke describes the scene: "'Oooh!' she cried when she heard the first burst of applause. Then, leaning into her makeup mirror, she kissed her own reflection, 'You're a star!' she exclaimed. 'You're a star! You're a star!'"

"Yet Garland's role-playing was not merely self-destructive. It also allowed her to reveal something true about herself. To sing the song that was most completely her own, Garland often donned drag - an androgynous hobo outfit that she referred to as her 'Little Tramp' costume. Thus attired, she ended hundreds of concerts sitting on the edge of the stage, a spotlight shining on her face, singing Over the Rainbow. There is one surviving film of her performing the song this way - one long extreme closeup, in which the coal smudges on her chin and cheeks draw attention to the black pools of her eyes, focused on infinity. In her short black wig with messy bangs, she looks like a little boy who has been playing in the dirt on a windy day. Sometimes on the rests between notes her lips shape the coming lyric as if the words were fighting their way out of her. At one moment she smiles as if she sees something so beautiful that she cannot contain her delight; at the next, she shakes with an innocent anger, as if she knows that her longing will never lead to the freedom she imagines with such devastating clarity."

"Gay men know about role-playing. Most of us become adept at artifice early on. We learn, often before we know that we are learning, how to hide many of our deepest desires, even from ourselves. Coming out almost always sparks an inner struggle between sincerity and duplicity - a fight to find and claim whatever is real inside us. So there is a strange comfort in seeing Garland trapped in a terror that we know, wondering if she is really Judy Garland or if her whole self is a sham. For the gay men who believed in her, who believed despite her failures that her sincerity and her joy were real, this act of faith cannot have been unrelated to the project of believing in themselves - even if the selves they believed in were selves they had to make up."

"Coming out offers every gay man the chance to make his life new. Before it is a declaration of desire for sex, coming out is a decision to accept one's desires and a commitment to figuring out how best to live accordingly. Because one can bear only so much freedom, however, many men have opted to play one of the roles that gay culture has concocted for us - from the Judy queen to the butch clone to the Abercrombie & Fitch jock. None of these roles is exactly congruent with anyone's true self; each is merely a vehicle for expressing powerful and contradictory feelings about what it means to be gay."

"For a lurid show of such feelings, look back at that relic from the last days of Garland's reign, The Boys in the Band. The setting is a queen's birthday party; in the climactic scene the party's host, Michael, dares each guest to reveal the greatest love of his life. This is in part a ruse to force a purportedly straight man who has shown up unexpectedly to define his ambiguous sexual identity. In the end, Michael's preoccupation with questions of identity destroys his ability to engage his friend's actual personality - a failure to love that, the play suggests, stems from Michael's self-hatred."

"The allusion made in the play's title relates directly to gay role-playing. About halfway through A Star Is Born, Garland, playing an unknown singer for whom James Mason has arranged a Hollywood screen test, loses her confidence. On the morning of her screen test, the studio wardrobe department convinces Garland that her look is all wrong, that she must be a different kind of woman to be acceptable in the movies. Mason, who discovered Garland singing in the wee hours in an empty jazz club with the chairs turned up on the tables, and spied in her a native talent more powerful than any he had ever seen before, snaps her back to her natural self before she goes in front of the cameras: 'It's the Downbeat Club at three o'clock in the morning,' he says, 'and you're singing for yourself and for the boys in the band - mainly for yourself.'"

"In A Star Is Born, the boys in the band are the people with whom you are your truest self - the ones who know you and bring out great things in you. But the boys in Crowley's band are not supportive, trusted insiders; they are a community of individuals whose solitude is never breached. They are, in the words of another Garland standard, 'alone together.' Thus the play's title is a poor description of its characters' relationships with one another. 'The boys in the band' works better as a description of the relationship between the play's characters and the gay men in its audience. It challenges us to find some way of understanding them as our people, at the same time that it challenges us to not turn out the same. Above all, the title orders us, as individuals, to drop the pretense, to remember who we are."

"Judy Garland began losing her power over gay men because we got that message and started becoming more integrated characters than the screaming queens of yore. We no longer need a surrogate to embody the conflicts that so many of us experience because we now have more and better resources for sorting them out for ourselves. Young gay men have ditched diva worship and chosen the role of the regular guy as a gesture of healthy adolescent rebellion, a way of taking full advantage of what's distinctive about coming out now: coming out is increasingly viewed, and experienced, as a gesture of strength that makes one more of a man, not less."

"All that is true, but so is this: the fetish of the normal guy is also a function of fear. Previous generations of gay men faced the risk of social exile when they came out. My generation worried less about being outcast and more about being dead."

"So we play strong, and we banish the Judy queens because they are emblems of weakness. In the past, when gay culture was a community of outcasts, it was a community where weakness could be forgiven and enjoyed. Now it is a community of survivors, in which we are likely to deny or despise all signs of weakness in our numbers."

"I saw Liza Minnelli's one-woman show, Minnelli on Minnelli, at New York's Palace Theatre last December. The first act was a raw spectacle of fear and courage. At times Minnelli literally trembled with fright. Her manner was tentative and her intonation sloppy, and her six hunky chorus boys gamely saw her through. Then, every once in a while, from God knows where, she would pull out the power of Sally Bowles, her role in Cabaret. The contrast was exhausting to watch. During intermission, at the mezzanine bar, I said hello to a young man in a muscle-hugging, sky-blue spandex shirt, whom I recognized from Boston. 'What do you think of Liza?' I asked. 'I don't care about her,' he said without a trace of irony. 'But I love those guys.'"

"His response both horrified and relieved me - horrified because it neatly summarized the ruthless dimension of the cultural shift I've been describing, and relieved because Minnelli's half-crippled stage presence made me so uncomfortable that I, too, had been focused on a hairy-chested chorus boy for much of the evening."

"After Minnelli's show, I got into a cab that might as well have been a time machine and went to see the female impersonator Tommy Femia do his Judy Garland act at the midtown drag club Don't Tell Mama. 'Are the children here tonight?' he called out, forlorn. 'Lorna...? Liza...? Hmm... Well. You're all my babies! Especially in this neck of the woods.'"

"The mostly gay audience laughed pitilessly at the first, needy pleas, which played on Garland's emotional failings and highlighted the loneliness that is so much a part of her popular image - and was once so much a part of our own. Our meanness and judgment made room for a rush of sympathy and self-deprecation when she suddenly, comically claimed us - 'You're all my babies.'"

"This exchange is a perfect example of the purifying power of camp. Susan Sontag has observed, 'Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of 'character.' Moreover, what it does is to find the success in certain passionate failures.' In this respect, the Judy queens were on to something important. Finding the success in passionate emotional failure was their forte. And the role they played, like most of the roles gay men have played, was an earnest but imperfect effort to heal the anger and fear that coming out forced on them."

"Since the 1960s the Judy-queen stereotype has helped to shape popular notions in this country of what it is to be gay. Every man who has come out since then has had to come to terms with that and other stereotypes, in a process that combines accepting and resisting these notions with innumerable strategies, from lifting weights to watching QAF. Now, straight people depend less on such stereotypes for understanding gay men, and we depend less on them for defining ourselves. As a result, the average guy with the better-than-average body is growing confident and comfortable enough with his love for men that he can move easily between the Kansas that he comes from and the Oz that he makes up. It is increasingly true that he can go anywhere, including home, in full possession of his integrity as a gay man."

"If his strength is more than cosmetic, however, he will not despise or deny the Judy queens; he will give them at least as much grace as the world now gives him. Then he will really be out of the woods. The distinction between Kansas and Oz will not disappear, but something much better will happen: the whole world will turn Technicolor."

This, my friends, ends today's story. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.