Gay people and Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, etc., musicals..

So what’s up with all that? What’s the basis for the association? Is it just an ongoing straight joke about gays
with no basis in fact, or does being gay actually have a
statistically significant correlation with liking Streisand
et al.? If there is a correlation, then why?

If any of you are gay and actually understand the origin of
this real or alleged phenomenon, can you please explain it?

Can’t speak for the others, but I believe that Garland had no problem with gay blokes, and this was appreciated. My view on musicals is that some gay people have crap taste too.

I have no idea, but here’s something that happened to me:

I used to sit two cubes down from a gay guy. One day I was whistling something (from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which I had recently seen), and this guy said out loud, “OK, who around here that isn’t gay is whistling Broadway show tunes?”

Well, at least one gay friend of mine HATES Judy Garland. “She can’t sing, she can’t act—and what the hell kind of role model was SHE?” he says. He’s thinking of forming a group called Gays Against Garland (G.A.G.).

He and his boyfriend went to a costume exhibit, and he walked up to Judy’s “Valley of the Dolls” metallic pantsuit and yelled, “hey—the pockets are still fulla pills!” The other museumgoers were NOT amused.

According to the Theater Folklore that I’ve heard, Garland and Minnelli’s marriage was of the lavendar persuation. No idea if it’s true, but that’s the rumor.

There’ve been rumors for years about Judy and Vincente. Each bio of Judy that appears gets more and more concrete about it. The latest, “Get Happy” by Gerald Clarke, apparently states Judy’s lesbian affairs with certainty (although I haven’t read it yet; it’s on my bookshelf awaiting me. My parents gave it to me for my birthday last month because I am a big Judy queen).

As to the OP, this gets into the whole “diva” thing again. Gay men oftentimes in the past felt that they could not (or should not) model themselves on heterosexual men. That left women as role models and heroes, and so cults of personality would spring up around some of these women who projected powerful images. That their personal lives were often tragic only made them more open for identification by these men. The arts has always attracted more than its share of gay men because of the flamboyant and (relatively) open theatrical atmosphere. Consequently, a coded “gay sensibility” found its way into a lot of Broadway shows. Combine that with the diva mystique and that pretty well explains it.

I can’t explain Barbra Streisand. I don’t think anyone can explain Barbra Streisand. I can’t stand Barbra Streisand. She should have been arrested years ago for murdering songs.

Heh heh heh. This reminds me of a bit from gay comedian Bob Smith’s book, Openly Bob. He’s talking about different kinds of big queens and contends that str8 people who worship Star Trek and Elvis are just as much big queens as gay people who worship Broadway and Judy. He envisioned this exchange between an Elvis queen and a Judy queen:

“Elvis gained more weight.”
“Judy lost more weight.”
“Elvis was a big drinker.”
“Judy could drink Elvis under the table.”
“Elvis was addicted to painkillers.”
“No pill could kill Judy’s pain!”

Elvis wasn’t a big drinker; in fact, he didn’t drink much at all. He got all he needed from pills. Ironically, he especially avoided beer, because he didn’t want a beer gut. :rolleyes:

This was covered in my Gay Guy thread.

Three words: Pathos, pathos, pathos. :smiley:


I wonder why Joan Crawford and Bette Davis became big gay icons, but not Barbara Stanwyck? They all had—

• Over-the-top glam looks
• Talented but stylized acting skills
• Great “bad girl” roles
• Were strong women with colorful private lives
• Long careers (1920s–70s)

Why is poor “Missy” Stanwyck left out in the cold?

Barbara Stanwyk has her followers, but she was never as big as Taylor or Garland or Crawford or Davis, IIRC. I think every queer drama queen has their own personalized diva depending on their own lives (personally, give me Bette Midler - loud, laughing and happy, which suits me just fine).


Most stereotypes, fair or unfair, have at least a grain of truth to them. All I’ll add is an anecdote my brother who lives in San Francisco told about himself. He recently got his second new car, the big Saturn, fully loaded. He said the first thing he did was cruise Castro St. with Judy going full blast on the CD player.

I’ll ask him about Barbara Stanwyk.

Hey, I like the Wizard of Oz but I’m not a “Friend of Dorothy.”

You know, I just can’t get into Judy, or Barbara, or Liza. Not one song of theirs moves me, not at all. Even the screen legends, while they all had good roles gets to me. However…I do like female singers, but they tend to be more modern artists (R&B). Anyways sorry, I just had to put my own opinion in :).

I have just finished reading the Gerald Clarke biography mentioned above, and this is what the author has to say about the subject: