Cute article from Joel Stein in Time Magazine in light of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing…
Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article at the bottom:
Irish wakes are good, sitting Shivah is O.K., jazz funerals are great, and ayatullah processions have their moments, but the people you really want to show up when you die are the gays. The Abbey, a gay bar in West Hollywood, is still mourning Elizabeth Taylor, who hung out there with her dog Daisy, drinking watermelon-and-apple martinis. Taylor was a gay-male icon: beautiful and talented with a messy personal life, addictions to drugs or alcohol, and about 14 marriages. I don’t know the details because I’m straight.
In fact, gay icons totally confuse me. I get that Maria Callas and Judy Garland are hot, talented women martyred by their art. But Marilyn Monroe was fabulous and tragic, and gays don’t care about her except as a Halloween costume. And I’ve yet to hear of one drag queen who puns off of Vincent van Gogh. Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Cher seem to have fine lives. Is inner strength the key? Or vulnerability? And how can you possibly iconicize all four Golden Girls? They’re so different.
But all of them have a much better deal than having straight-dude fans. The moment you stop playing your sport, they ignore you and your sad suburban autograph signings. But if you’re a gay icon and get addicted to meth, stop working and abuse your assistant, your fans just love you more for it. I needed to figure out how to become a gay icon. Even if it required drinking watermelon-and-apple martinis.