A Conversation for Descriptors for Sexual Minorities

Where's Dorothy from, then?

Post 1


I've sometimes heard the phrase 'a friend of Dorothy' to denote a gay man - does anyone know where this comes from?

I Manchester you can see some cafes displaying the 'Dorothy' sign to indicate that they're gay-friendly.

Where's Dorothy from, then?

Post 2

Cupid Stunt

I know this one... all I can remember is that it doesn't refer to Dorothy from the wizard of Oz, but to an actual person. Named Dorothy obviously. smiley - smiley

Where's Dorothy from, then?

Post 3

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

"Friends of Dorothy" is a fairly rare term, so I didn't include it.

Most people assume the term references The Wizard of Oz. And that's a fair reference. Drag queens, long associated with the gay community (though individual drag queens are often straight), tend to attach to any famous female film role that is easy to impersonate and that features instantly-recognizable clothing/hairstyle/make-up. Perhaps because the role of Dorothy was originally intended for Shirley Temple, the outfit used to make Judy Garland look younger is a bit outrageously over the top. It's impossible to forget.

The other, probably original reference is to lesbian author Dorothy Allison. She was a well-acclaimed fiction writer whose early works breached topics like discrimination and silence in small towns. Claiming to be a "Friend of Dorothy" was useful because gay people would probably get the reference, while straight people would assume you were involved in some sort of charity association.

Since Dorothy Allison has been joined by tons of other gay writers and various other media figures, I would guess the original meaning has given way to the new one. Let's face it -- it's easier to remember the glittery red shoes than the title of an acclaimed book.

Where's Dorothy from, then?

Post 4

Cupid Stunt

That would be the one. smiley - smiley

Who's going to be the first to make a joke about the red shoes?

Where's Dorothy from, then?

Post 5


You know, I always thought it was because Dorothy went "Somewhere over the Rainbow"!!!

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