There was a time when gay men were so besotted with Judy Garland that "Judy" was just slang for a gay man. Josh Trujillo caught the tail end of that culture: as a kid, he was obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, and discovered that Oz conventions (yes, there really is such a thing) served as a sort of meeting-place for older closeted gay men.
What is it about The Wizard of Oz that calls to the gays, and why has its grip weakened over the last few decades? Also: why are there so many INSANE adaptations? I'm not just talking about the creepy Return to Oz or the delightful The Wiz, but also strange phenomena like the sex ed play The Wizard of AIDS, a Japanese version set in space, and a proposed TV series that would have Dorothy working in a hospital. Oooookay.
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And now, here are a few YouTube clips of interest. Let's start with The Wiz, parts of which I adore and other parts of which I can't skip over fast enough. I forgot just how '70s this movie is.
...and then just a few years later came Return to Oz, a chilling horror show.
And then there's Wicked. The Oz universe sure is a chameleon.
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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