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Feature: The divas who helped gays out of the closet

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  1. Witty article but you forgot the one and only Googie Gomez(Who?) The Torch song singer and MC at the Ritz Bathhouse in the Film “The Ritz!” A marvelous creation of Rita Moreno in a Bassesque/latino bombshell, constantly be mistaken for a drag queen and wanting to make it big on Broadway; “one day you will see the name Googie Gomez in Lights and you will say “Was that her?” and they will say “Yes that was her” BUT Ju know what? I always was her just nobody noticed!”

  2. Brian Burton 27 Oct 2009, 5:28pm

    Mike,
    Carol Channing,and ‘Dimonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.’ She still is a Diva at 87 now. Before homosexual legality, Gays loved the sheer Camp of her entertainment. On Broadway or West-End Shows, Carol Channing was the Glitziest of them all. It was rumoured that Mae West, off Stage and out of the spotlight was quiet prudish. I heard this said on many occasions in the 1960s.

  3. Simon Murphy 28 Oct 2009, 1:59am

    The era of gay divas and icons seems to be over thankfully. They served a very useful purpose in their day but nowadays there seems less need of them.

    Current gay icons seem to be iconic merely for having cried once. And they are rather silly.

  4. Simon Murphy 28 Oct 2009, 2:01am

    Then again Marlene Dietrich is much more iconic than Jesus even though she actually existed (although she may not look as good naked on a cross perhaps.)

  5. Brian Burton 28 Oct 2009, 8:19am

    Simon Murphy,
    I’m always pleased when you acknollage Jesus exists, you can never escape Jesus in your coversations because I know (as I think you know) you are on your ‘Road To Damascus.’ Deare Simon, you are more loved than you know!

  6. Harthacanute 28 Oct 2009, 11:05am

    Jesus existed (probably) – but he had a schizoid personality disorder, lived in a K-hole, fantasised that he was the son of an imaginary God and has 2,000 years on the clock for keeping gays firmly in the closet. Diva to boot? Probably – he certainly had the frock for it and would have looked great in the transformation scene in La Cage.

  7. Brian Burton 28 Oct 2009, 1:28pm

    Hathacanute, (or whatever?) Yea, yea, yea!

  8. Our Gracie made appearances in Stars on Sunday during the 70’s not Songs of Praise. Shirley Bassey, Cliff Richard, Howard Keel, John Gielgud, James Mason, Ralph Richardson, and Anna Neagle were amongst other big names in the programme which was then attracting some 15 million viewers.

    There was a real gay gem in Gracie’s 1935 film Look Up And Laugh. A gay male couple appear throughout and are characterised sympathetically albeit played for laughs. In one of the main musical numbers Gracie sings Love is everywhere as she says goodnight to various characters. As the song title indicates there are different kinds of love – young, old, a miser and his money, and as the two gay men turn out the light together she smiles affectionately.

    Although Gracie Fields was known for being very generous and warm to fans I have read that she got a little weary of the legions of gay men who fawned constantly at her restaurant complex on the Isle of Capri.

  9. theotherone 28 Oct 2009, 11:30pm

    erm…Dietrich was not some cypher for Gay Male Homosexuality she was a Lesbian.

    This article takes that from her but then Gay Men have always done that havn’t they?

  10. Brian Burton 29 Oct 2009, 6:50am

    theotherone,
    I would say Dietrich was Bi-sexual at least that is what I gathered after she had sex with John F. Kennedy in his Whithouse Love-nest. Shs complained that after sex with Kennedy he immediatley fell asleep and by dawn’s early light he was gone and Dietrich had to find her own way out of the Whitehouse ‘back door.’

  11. Why do a large number of gay men so often turn to these over-the-top exaggeratedly feminine women who bear little relation to real women in the real world? I just don’t get it. There seems to be some extreme need for total femininity. Are the real women in their lives just SOOOOOOOO drab?

  12. Brian Burton 29 Oct 2009, 11:18am

    Paddy….Yes!

  13. Well, Brian, if you’re saying that gay men towards these exaggerations of femininity because the real women in their lives are so drab then it means a lot of gay men must have one hell of an aversion to their sisters, mothers, aunts, and so on. Hmmm. It’s been long said that most gay men had over-bearing mothers in their lives. Should we alter that to over-bearing and dull dull dull???????? :-) Are gay men really all just screaming “Gimme me a mama who behaves like a REAL WOMAN!” LOL

  14. Gertrude Stein, Katherine Hepburn a multitude of others

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