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Reasons Why The Idiom, "Friends of Dorothy" Needs To Be Retired...


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Posted (edited)

Okay so let me start out this post by saying, "I'm bored".  Seriously... I work from home, it's been a slow week, and I'm sick of watching television.  It's 90+ degrees out, super humid, and we don't own a pool.  The beach is miserable in this weather, and I'm so prone to sweating that a single hot pepper is all it takes to put me into state of prolonged hyperhidrosis.  Trust me, if I had @#$% to do around the house, or something else planned, you wouldn't be reading this.

 

Anyway, as you may have guessed from the title, I'm not a fan of the FOD idiom and I think it should be changed to "LGBTQ+ and Friends" .  Here's the reasons:

 

  1. It was kind of a good idea, but executed poorly.  Back in the day we were all worried about getting gay bashed, disowned, or fired from our jobs.  Out of necessity we created little code words, hung colored handkerchiefs out of our back pockets, and wore a single earring in our right ears (when straight guys were wearing them in their left), all so that we could identify members of our own community without having to ask and hopefully not get the @#$% kicked out of us.  FOD is an example of this but let's be real... a secret handshake isn't much of a secret if everyone knows how to do it.  Straight folks don't need the code breaking skills of Alan Turing to figure this one out - all one needs to do is ask guest services, "Who's Dorothy, and why she does get to have a party with all her friends in the 'so-and-so' lounge and I don't?"
     
  2. It's based on a stereotype.  Dorothy = Wizard of Oz = Judy Garland, and ALL gay men worship Judy Garland.  This is completely and utterly untrue!  Look, get it right:  All gay men love musical theater & films and a only sub-set of us, albeit a large sub-set worship Judy Garland.  I'm in the Julie Andrews camp myself, so this whole "Goddess: Judy Garland" thing is kind of absurd and I definitely became LESS of a fan when I found out she had an affair with Orson Welles.  And what about our Lesbian sisters?  They're totally not represented at all with this outdated idiom because they're not into musical theater like us gay men.  They obviously prefer shopping at Home Depot for their endless home improvement projects while wearing sensible shoes.  The cruise lines don't call it "Friends of Dorothy & Pals with Toolbelts" now do they?  That would be ridiculous, right??
     
  3. I think we've reach a point in our existence where it's safe to put the term "LGBTQ+ and Friends" on the cruise calendar.  If everyone knows or can figure out what FOD is anyway, let's call it what it needs to be called.  And for god's sake ... NO MORE LETTERS!  If you feel you need another letter for yourself we've already got you covered with the "+" thing.  "+" is good!  "+" = "the more the merrier".  "+" means the same as like, "Once I got through check-in, and got on the ship, they handed me a cocktail and I snagged another one off the tray when no one was looking!... that was a plus!!"  .  I'm old enough to remember when there were only 2 letters, L & G.  Then the "B's" got pissed and that got the "T's" and the "Q's" attention.  I did see "I" and "A" tagged on the back of that for a while, but not so much anymore.  Look... there are only so many letters in the alphabet, we all know them by heart, but probably only in one direction while humming a tune to ourselves.  And not for nothing, you don't need to have your own letter to hang with us.
     
  4. If you're straight, and decided to show up to a LGBTQ+ gathering because you saw "and Friends" in the title, then you're probably cool and you can hang with us.

 

All kidding aside, don't get me wrong... I'm all for meeting other LGBTQ+ folks on a cruise and would NOT like to see these special gatherings go away because I think they definitely have their place.  There's a kind of security in knowing that there's at least SOMETHING we already have in common.

 

I'm tired of this now... post over.

Edited by DenGNNJ
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Thanks for the laughs.  I agree with you on this one.  It's like a rainbow flag; everyone knows what it symbolizes anymore.  While a few still hate the idea of gays, most folks anymore could care less.  Let me know where to sign your petition  😂😉

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If we lived in a perfect world, I would agree.  But this isn't a perfect world.  There shouldn't be any shame in being an alcoholic either--the person just has a disease--but there aren't shipboard AA meetings, only Friends of Bill W.

 

And also, a lot of people are at different stages of being out.  I can imagine a scenario where someone would be more willing to go for something that doesn't blatantly wave a rainbow flag.  It doesn't affect me--I've been out since I was 17, and time has marched on to the point that I've been out almost ten years longer than I was in--and I'll be at an LGBTQ+ mixer with bells on.  But just like there shouldn't be shame in having a problem with alcohol, there also shouldn't be shame for being on a different part of your journey.

 

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19 minutes ago, starri said:

If we lived in a perfect world, I would agree.  But this isn't a perfect world.  There shouldn't be any shame in being an alcoholic either--the person just has a disease--but there aren't shipboard AA meetings, only Friends of Bill W.

 

And also, a lot of people are at different stages of being out.  I can imagine a scenario where someone would be more willing to go for something that doesn't blatantly wave a rainbow flag.  It doesn't affect me--I've been out since I was 17, and time has marched on to the point that I've been out almost ten years longer than I was in--and I'll be at an LGBTQ+ mixer with bells on.  But just like there shouldn't be shame in having a problem with alcohol, there also shouldn't be shame for being on a different part of your journey.

 

I can see the point you're trying to make but using the terms, "Friends of Dorothy" or "Friends of Bill W" on a cruise ship daily planner, with the notion that you're somehow protecting and promoting a person's anonymity, when everyone knows what those two things mean is kind of pointless. 

 

PLUS, whether you agree or not, this lends itself to have us as a community be compared with people who are suffering from a disease.  The difference is that LGBTQ+ folks aren't diseased, Bill W. was a real person, and "Dorothy" is a crappy gay stereotype.

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1 minute ago, DenGNNJ said:

 The difference is that LGBTQ+ folks aren't diseased, Bill W. was a real person, and "Dorothy" is a crappy gay stereotype.

So was Dorothy Parker, who is likely the actual origin of the FoD term.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, starri said:

So was Dorothy Parker, who is likely the actual origin of the FoD term.

Yeah, probably not... 

 

The origin of the phrase is most commonly attributed to the movie, The Wizard of Oz because Judy Garland, who starred as the main character Dorothy, is a gay icon. In the film, Dorothy is accepting of those who are different. For example the "gentle lion" living a lie, "I'm afraid there's no denyin', I'm just a dandy lion."[2][3] Others claim that the phrase refers to celebrated humorist and critic Dorothy Parker, who included some gay men in her famous social circle.[source?]

 

2.  Brantley, Ben (June 28, 1994), New York Times, p. C.15

3. Paglia, Camille (June 14, 1998), "Judy Garland As a Force Of Nature", New York Times

 

Wikipedia may not be the most reliable source of info, but unsourced facts are still unsourced facts.  Besides, Wizard of Oz Dorothy makes a lot more sense than an author who was actively writing in the 40's & 50's and died in 1967.

 

Dorothy Zbornak has a better shot at being the source of this than Dorothy Parker.

 

Edited by DenGNNJ
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, starri said:

I'm in favor of that origin too.

Plus, I was trying to be funny.  I don't need a lot of people doing what I had to do ... look up Dorothy Parker on Wikipedia to find out who she was.  In the middle of reading my diatribe, that would definitely take one out of the moment.  LOL!!!

Edited by DenGNNJ
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2 hours ago, Surfguyxxx said:

Let me know where to sign your petition  😂😉

June 10, 2022 - Celebrity Millennium - Martini Bar - 7:30 pm. 😉

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2 hours ago, DenGNNJ said:

Back in the day we were all worried about getting gay bashed, disowned, or fired from our jobs.  Out of necessity we created little code words, hung colored handkerchiefs out of our back pockets, and wore a single earring in our right ears

 

2 hours ago, DenGNNJ said:

Straight folks don't need the code breaking skills of Alan Turing to figure this one out

 

I think it's humorous to call it FOD, and it's a tradition and cruisers like traditions. The letters are quite new, have an activist connotation and will lead to guests complaining that their letter is missing. Also every gay (or B or L or whatever) will have broken the code before they embark the ship and every H who likes the relaxed atmosphere without being a direct friend themselves will find their way as well. Yet, the 2 times I walked all the way to the bar as an H, it was completely empty except for a bored bartender. I'm wondering if FOD is used as a decoy, where the new code word is "22:30 Knitters meet at the Ocean bar" to make sure nobody would actually show up with needles and wool.

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Great Post!!!  I have always been a friend of the "Friends of Dorothy" term -- I like the tradition and it is a bit humorous, but you have actually convinced me that it is time to move on.  I think the term only resonates with my age group (boomer) and I recognized that I and my peers are less and less the target demographic for gay gatherings.  But, for the record, not all gay men love musical theater (I assume) and I am not a Judy Garland fan (I just don't get it).  

 

Thanks for a great discussion.  

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Boytjie said:

Does any cruise line still use FOD?

 

Last week on HAL it was listed as LGBTQ and Friends Meetup. 

 

Big mistake of HAL IMHO. The letters make it like "we have dedicated a special bar for people who have the LGBTQ disease". Not sure what the American connotation of LGBTQ is, but to me it's "activism".

 

An 8 year old explaining that "Mike has no father, but he has two mothers" (actual real live example, except Mike isn't really called Mike) is just perfect and it should be just that for the rest of his live. The LGB.. letters puts a perfectly normal couple that happens to be of the same sex into a category of whom it is expected to dedicate their lives to demonstrate against oppression while in reality they don't have time for politics as one works as a teacher and the other just recently got promoted and can now decide if a mortgage should be granted or not. They don't hang out flags and there's no reason why they should either.

 

While I haven't been at a FOD gathering (well, except that I was but also was the only one), Dorothy seems a like a welcoming person for anyone, no need to bring the flags and politics. No need for letters either, everyone who needs to know knows that Dorothy throws the best parties.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, flag fan said:

But, for the record, not all gay men love musical theater (I assume) and I am not a Judy Garland fan (I just don't get it). 

We’ll, nobody’s perfect.  LOL!!

Edited by DenGNNJ
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9 hours ago, Boytjie said:

Does any cruise line still use FOD?

 

Last week on HAL it was listed as LGBTQ and Friends Meetup. 

You mean it’s possible I wrote all that @#$& for nothing? 🙄

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1 hour ago, DenGNNJ said:

You mean it’s possible I wrote all that @#$& for nothing? 🙄


Well… you likely have not been on a cruise at least a year and a half so you get a pass! 😜

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

Big mistake of HAL IMHO. The letters make it like "we have dedicated a special bar for people who have the LGBTQ disease". Not sure what the American connotation of LGBTQ is, but to me it's "activism".


That is a bizarre way to look at it! 😮 

 

So you think some of the letters are for normal people and others are not normal?!

Edited by Boytjie
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1 minute ago, Boytjie said:


That is a bizarre way to look at it! 😮 

 

Maybe. Almost every article I read that has the word "LGBTQ" in it is about politics, gender neutral toilets and safe spaces. I feel we're actually going backwards by carving out gays (and all the other letters) as "special", as if they are an endangered species instead of a big percentage of the population of which most don't want to be treated as "special" and don't want to be categorized as being part of a community. Dorothy is just fine, "you are only allowed when you have a letter or don't feel a need to fight people who do" is a bit weird.

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46 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Maybe. Almost every article I read that has the word "LGBTQ" in it is about politics, gender neutral toilets and safe spaces. I feel we're actually going backwards by carving out gays (and all the other letters) as "special", as if they are an endangered species instead of a big percentage of the population of which most don't want to be treated as "special" and don't want to be categorized as being part of a community. Dorothy is just fine, "you are only allowed when you have a letter or don't feel a need to fight people who do" is a bit weird.

 

The "+" means anyone else that might not identify with a letter! 😉

 

I do not identify with some mysterious Dorothy. 🙂 She sounds like an old lady with a church hat. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

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Great thread.  I'll sign the petition as a '+'.  My last cruise I was practicing guitar in a room when a Friends of Bill started and they invited me to stay. It was very enlightening and I learned a lot and made new friends.  

 

Question though, if a married straight guy and his SO are the only other folks showsing up at a new LGBTQ+ event, is is a bit annoying or awkward?

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30 minutes ago, Pizzasteve said:

Great thread.  I'll sign the petition as a '+'.  My last cruise I was practicing guitar in a room when a Friends of Bill started and they invited me to stay. It was very enlightening and I learned a lot and made new friends.  

 

Question though, if a married straight guy and his SO are the only other folks showsing up at a new LGBTQ+ event, is is a bit annoying or awkward?

 

It would not bother me.

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Regardless of what it is called, think yourselves lucky that American-based lines routinely hold and advertise such meet-ups. British-based lines, even the largest, never do...

I tend to only sail on (by today's standards) small ships of 2000 pax or fewer and so it is usually quite easy to meet other friends of Dorothy without a meeting...😀

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1 hour ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Maybe. Almost every article I read that has the word "LGBTQ" in it is about politics, gender neutral toilets and safe spaces. I feel we're actually going backwards by carving out gays (and all the other letters) as "special", as if they are an endangered species instead of a big percentage of the population of which most don't want to be treated as "special" and don't want to be categorized as being part of a community. Dorothy is just fine, "you are only allowed when you have a letter or don't feel a need to fight people who do" is a bit weird.

 

Well, from your Dutch situation you may be right, but I live in Hungary and I do feel as an “endangered species”. Here governmental discrimination is used as tool for campaigning. I live in a country where the direction of a kindergarten was fired for painting the fence in the colours of a rainbow! Since that time I am showing that I am just part of a “big percentage of the population”. Today showing a movie with a LGBTIQ+ character is for adults only, the movie Philadelphia is banned by the same clause as hard core porn. Teachers must tell in the classroom that only heterosexuality exists - all according to our new “paedophile law”. So it is even more important to accept your “letter”. Not for being treated “special”, but for being treated as every other human being. Being gay only can already be a very political statement both in the EU and in the year 2021! I can live well with traditions as being a friend of an elderly lady, but calling a spade a spade is still important.

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50 minutes ago, Pizzasteve said:

Question though, if a married straight guy and his SO are the only other folks showsing up at a new LGBTQ+ event, is is a bit annoying or awkward?

 

In worst case you will be invited for a drink by a man.

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