Today, on the anniversary of Judy Garland’s famously attended funeral in New York City, along with the NYC Gay Pride parade this weekend, it seemed like an appropriate time to devote a blog post to this icon. She is a deeply beloved figure both within the gay community and to children and adults around the world who have landed upon her classic film, the Wizard of Oz. I was one of those kids, awed and fascinated by the innocent and beautiful Dorothy in the blue dress. The Wizard of Oz played on repeat in my home, as I fawned over her voice, her sparkly red shoes, and her metaphorical journey back home.
As beloved and talented as she was, she was also a tragic figure, dying at the early age of 47 from an accidental barbiturate overdose, with a long string of failed marriages behind her and a history of childhood abuse by studio executives. As loved as she was, she never could quite seem to muster that same love for herself. She picked herself up by the bootstraps many a time, only to fall back into the same patterns of addiction and difficult men. Continue reading “Lessons from Beyond the Rainbow”