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


DenGNNJ
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On 8/28/2021 at 11:18 AM, Britboys said:

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...😀

You are lucky that you can identify other gay people. My gaydar has never worked so a meeting or a sign would help me. However I find that religious fanatics usually have no problem identifying me as gay.

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I know the FOD is fading but i for one have always liked it. At 50 it is a carry over from the previous generation. Those men (and women) are heroes for me. They collectively fought battles against discrimination, disease, and marginalization so that I don't have to. They laid a foundation for my human rights. And often it was done with sly humor and subversiveness. We know all know who Dorothy is and that has more currency than Friends of Maria Callas or Nina Simone. And those boys who were in her camp knew that life could be better over the rainbow (metaphorically) and fortunately led the way for us all. In my opinion, to have endured that struggle entitles you to a measure of silliness and I will gladly follow their lead.  

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:36 AM, Stefan_Varong said:

 

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

I would be flattered. When I was younger it happened occasionally.  Thanks for the welcome everyone.

Edited by Pizzasteve
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It really doesn't bother me (I'm 52 if that helps explain my perspective).  It makes me think of the movie My Fellow Americans with Jack Lemmon and Lauren Bacall that had a pride parade scene with everybody dressed up as Dorothy, it was not the slightest bit offensive.  But I'm sure people would be bothered by it in today's ultra-sensitive political environment.    

 

Incidentally, I never have much luck with these meetings anyway and rarely attend them.  As I've said before, I think I meet more guys in the gym/spa than anywhere else. 

 

I was on a cruise once that double booked a lounge with FOD and Friends of Bill W.  It created a lot of confusion but it gave everybody a good laugh too. 

 

I think people just need to laugh more.  

 

P.S. And yes, the Bill W meeting was held at a bar, now try and figure that one out🤣

 

Edited by atexsix
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On 8/28/2021 at 7:01 AM, Boytjie said:


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?!

I can kind of see that though.  A gay couple invited me to church once and over time it grew, more gays and a few lesbians began to sit with us and after awhile I couldn't shake the feeling I was sitting in the "gay section" and that bothered me at the time (it was about 20 years ago).

 

 

Edited by atexsix
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On 8/30/2021 at 1:51 PM, atexsix said:

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?!

---------------

I can kind of see that though.  A gay couple invited me to church once and over time it grew, more gays and a few lesbians began to sit with us and after awhile I couldn't shake the feeling I was sitting in the "gay section" and that bothered me at the time (it was about 20 years ago).

 

 

no... it's pretty bizarre LOL!!!

Edited by DenGNNJ
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  • 2 months later...

If FOD,  once but no longer used, was considered a code, then what is the word "Gay"?  And labelling us like a bowl of alphabet soup isn't much of an improvement.  Upon noticing my multi colour breast pocket handkerchief, a passenger once asked "And what letter are you? 

 

 

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:18 AM, Britboys said:

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...

Cunard is famous for very well-attended nightly LBTQ Get-togethers (formerly called FOD). On our QM2 trips, 20-35 people will regularly show up every evening at 5:00 in the Commodore Club.

I don't know about P&O (or Thompson or Saga).

Edited by MarkBearSF
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On 8/29/2021 at 10:52 AM, CrankyOldGuy said:


I was going to say this, haven't seen this term used on a cruise in over a decade.

Yup. Even Cunard has changed their terminology. 

...and there is a longstanding dispute as to the source of the FoD term. It is not necessarily a reference to Judy Garland.

Edited by MarkBearSF
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An interesting story about "Friends of Dorothy"

During one of the recurring gay purges in the 80s, an investigator came upon the term. And spawned a multi-million dollar wasted search to find this secretive lesbian, Dorothy, who they were sure was a the center of this "gay ring."


They never found Dorothy.

Edited by MarkBearSF
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1 hour ago, MarkBearSF said:

 

Cunard is famous for very well-attended nightly LBTQ Get-togethers (formerly called FOD). On our QM2 trips, 20-35 people will regularly show up every evening at 5:00 in the Commodore Club.

I don't know about P&O (or Thompson or Saga).

A friend and I sailed QE on a round-Britain cruise ex Southampton in 2016. We turned up twice for the LGBT Meet in the Commodore Club but it appeared that we were the only ones who did...

I have sailed on many P&O cruises over many years and never seen a meet advertised. Sailed once on Thomson/Marella and there wasn't one. Saga and Fred Olsen would probably never do them as they have an elderly and conservative passenger demographic.

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1 hour ago, Britboys said:

A friend and I sailed QE on a round-Britain cruise ex Southampton in 2016. We turned up twice for the LGBT Meet in the Commodore Club but it appeared that we were the only ones who did...

I have sailed on many P&O cruises over many years and never seen a meet advertised. Sailed once on Thomson/Marella and there wasn't one. Saga and Fred Olsen would probably never do them as they have an elderly and conservative passenger demographic.

Must be a Brit thing. (Although your countrymen were well represented on crossings) Our experience has been primarily on the QM2 mostly crossings, but also US-based cruises. It was a big deal. (Going waaaay back, I recall a busy FOD on the QE2 in 1989 to Hawaii, but an almost empty one on a W Med QE2 cruise out of Southampton in 2008.)

...and yeah, probably not a Saga thing, (although it should be)

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13 hours ago, MarkBearSF said:

Must be a Brit thing. (Although your countrymen were well represented on crossings) Our experience has been primarily on the QM2 mostly crossings, but also US-based cruises. It was a big deal. (Going waaaay back, I recall a busy FOD on the QE2 in 1989 to Hawaii, but an almost empty one on a W Med QE2 cruise out of Southampton in 2008.)

...and yeah, probably not a Saga thing, (although it should be)

Funnily enough, my first ever 'cruise' was a TA Crossing aboard QE2 in 1995 to celebrate my partner's 40th birthday. I don't however recall any FOD Meets being advertised. It is however a long time ago so my memory may be failing me - even though you recall one back in 1989...😂

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Years ago, aboard the Regal (The old Regal) they announced a FOD gathering which cause a bit of a stir.  We overheard people wondering who this 'Dorthy' may be and, as it was a public location, were planning on being in the room.  Knowing this I arranged with a Lesbian friend to make a somewhat late but dramatic entrance and as she stood in the entranceway I rose and approached her making a bit of a fuss saying "Oh, Dorothy".  The room went silent and confusion reigned.  

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I personally find the term humorous, a throw back to another time. The term is not in any way derogatory or insensitive unless you deem it to be by your own personal thoughts. I think many people here have made good points. 

Yes its not something most younger LGBTQ people are going to be attracted to, but neither are they going to be generally attracted to those of us who understand the FOD term. Not to be glib or disrespectful, the majority of people I have met at these mixers are either 1) just looking to make shipboard friends and have a drink and let any wall they might have up down a little or 2) someone hoping to get with someone and inevitably it doesn't work. 

I think that as the poster from Hungary stated, not everyone is lucky as us in the United States/Canada, where we generally have more freedom to express our sexuality outwardly and openly. I for one would hate to have anyone on a cruise, get tagged in a social media post and have to explain to less then understanding family, employers or government officials why they were at a gay event - FOD has a much lighter connotation then LGBTQ. 

Indeed someone also said LGBTQ has more of a activist slant to it, and I also agree it does, not because the words L G B T Q alone are words of activism or words to rise up, but rather words have power and in the past these were "unspoken" words, they just weren't used in "polite company" and you never wanted to attract them to you due to fear or reprisal. In this era, the words are said, so they carry weight, a tremendous amount and no they as words are not bad, what people can do with them to others certainly can be and we should respect and afford all of our community - far and wide, ample room to live, laugh, love and thrive. Just because our lived experiences are of one way, it doesn't mean its what everyone is experiencing. 

I can easily go to a FOD mixer or an LGBTQ mixer and talk, be social and make friends. The difference is for many if its the LGBTQ mixer, I wont ever get the chance as they are not ready to be blanketed by those letters publicly because of the possible repercussions.

So I say keep it as it is, those in the know, know, those who want to come, come and those who wonder in unexpectedly, well we have an opportunity to change hearts and minds if necessary. 

Edited by paulypride
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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently was on the Regal Princess (October 2021); I can't remember if it was branded FoD or LGBTQ+ and Friends (think the latter) but what I found special is that it was the first cruise I've been on where it was a hosted activity with the Assistant Cruise Director being there to thank us for being onboard.

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4 hours ago, RemyLeBeau said:

I recently was on the Regal Princess (October 2021); I can't remember if it was branded FoD or LGBTQ+ and Friends (think the latter) but what I found special is that it was the first cruise I've been on where it was a hosted activity with the Assistant Cruise Director being there to thank us for being onboard.

Wow!  We will be on Ruby Princess in January so hope to experience the same!

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