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Judy, Oz and the Need for a Shared History

  • GLBT Historical Society Museum 4127 18th Street San Francisco, CA, 94114 United States (map)


GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114


$5.00 | Free for members

*Limited Seating, advance RSVP recommended.

RSVP and purchase tickets here

Author Dee Michel, author of Friends of Dorothy: Why Gay Boys and Gay Men Love The Wizard of Oz, discusses the strong connection between the The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, and Anglo-American gay male culture.

Some beliefs about Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz are:
• The movie has been a gay favorite since 1939.
• ‘Friend of Dorothy’ refers to Garland as Dorothy.
• It’s no coincidence the Stonewall Riots occurred the night of Garland’s funeral.
• The rainbow flag is related to “Over the Rainbow.”

These statements are probably not true; they seem to be folkloric beliefs that provide a sense of gay identity and gay history. This presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.

Dee Michel has just written Friends of Dorothy: Why Gay Boys and Gay Men Love The Wizard of Oz and has given many talks on the Oz–gay connection. His article on gay men and Oz, which appeared in the /Baum Bugle/ in 2002, was mentioned by readers as a favorite article in a 2011 poll. He has talked about the topic at the Library of Congress, academic conferences, gay studies classes, Oz conventions and at Boston’s GLBT Youth Pride rally. Dee’s father, Martin Michel, was gay himself and read the Oz books as bedtime stories to Dee and his brother, and passed along to Dee the books he had as a child. He served as a volunteer at Boston's Gay Community News and as the first male co-chair of the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association. Dee has Masters and PhD degrees in library and information science and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Photo credit: Dee Michel by Gaku Shiroma.