Monday, June 22, 2009

Judy Garland Missing From
'Gay Icons' at the National Gallery

The great Judy Garland died 40-years ago on this date, and her place in the gay pantheon may be in jeopardy, if her absence from an important show about to open at London's National Gallery is any indication.

Earlier this month, I was contacted by journalist David Kaufman, a writer proud of his transracial heritage, who blogs at, alerting me to a post of his about this exhibition.

Like any good and sensible gay man, I'm a huge Judy fan and right now, I'm listening to her Carnegie Hall come-back concert. I think every gay man, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person in America ought to play at least one Judy song or movie today and pay homage to this gay icon.

What does Kaufman have to say about the show and who is missing?

As its name would suggest, the show displays photographs of 60 Gay/Les/Bi icons as chosen by a 10-member/star-studded panel of cultural opinion-makers such as Elton John, Sir Ian McKellen and Billie Jean King.

Who — and who did not — make the list (most of which is still being kept confidential) may surprise you. ...

And more unlikely choices including Andy Warhol Factory-member Joe Dallesandro, Quentin Crisp, gay rights activist Peter Tatchell and the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing (who tragically took his own life following criminal charges of homosexuality in 1954).

There’s no Cher, no Kylie, no Liza, no Barbra — not even Judy. ...

Perhaps, most unusually, is the presence of a large number of hetero folk on the Gay Icons list — from Princess Di and Nelson Mandela, to Elton John’s TWO selections, his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin and the great cellist, the late Rostropovich. ...

What the hell? Bernie Taupin is included, while Judy is left out is beyond outrageous. It's a scandal and the organizers of this show should be publicly shamed for their egregious omission.

Judy forever!

1 comment:

Wondermachine said...

An outrage indeed.
We posted the date in our Gay Wisdom email this morning ( but I hadn't thought to listen to some Judy till you mentioned it. Currently listening to "Do It Again." Man, that was a great show!