What does Betty White mean to gay men who like me

IA little known fact is that when you receive your gay card, it’s already hand-delivered by Betty White.

Well let’s say at least spiritual say, it was.

I don’t know specifically why the LGBT community, for generations, obsessed with Betty Whiteapart from saying it makes perfect sense and throughout a lifetime with the unmistakable star – how often can multiple generations talk about a beloved entertainer? – she means a lot to many people.

Haunted everyday beasts

Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.

The Gay men’s great obsession with golden girls has become its own pop-culture joke. The bond between the eccentric men, Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia is fold into the fabric of SeeingHBO’s groundbreaking comedy series about a group of gay friends in San Francisco. On his podcast, RuPaul bragged about his encyclopedic knowledge of a thesis-worthy show.

There’s a raunchy and withering sense of humour, which can draw fair comparisons to both old Hollywood divas and damn-favorite gays, but of course, drags on the queens as well. There’s progress and at the time, the way the comedy’s history focuses on HIV awareness, cross-dressing, and the trauma of being out with a family member. There’s also the idea of ​​a family chosen for the LGBT community — not to mention the fantasy of living through the years with the best of friends, having a lot of sex and gobbling cheesecake. without affecting your waistline.

In the moment after it was announced that Betty White died on New Year’s EveI thought about a lot more things golden girls.

I think of my grandmother, my aunt, my parents, and my cousin, we all gathered to watch the series together. I’ve never seen Nana laugh so hard as when Dorothy interrupted one of the stories about St. Rose’s Olaf with murderous eyes. It’s my turn, I never laughed so loudly.

When I got older, I never stopped watching the show. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that no one else was either. When I got to college, the girls down the hall, who were going to be my best friends, would come to my dorm and we would watch together, arguing over who was the Blanche of the group and who was Roses have more passion than we’ve ever given “that Sex and the city character is you? ” question.

After I went out and started making real gay friends, it was a nice surprise when I went to someone’s apartment to get pregnant and see replays playing on TV — and then back at the bar. gay bar later that night.

After I went out and started making real gay friends, it was a nice surprise when I went to someone’s apartment to get pregnant and see replays playing on TV — and then back at the bar. gay bar later that night. And when I find a partner to share my life with, I know what it means when I doze off and laugh hysterically to golden girls Also a bedtime ritual.

Today take a moment to think about what that means is quite touching. As a curious boy and seeing your grandmother and family laugh at this humor and stories that seem to be written just for you and your interests — and how, maybe, I see How dear the program was, it also helped them understand me better. That in the lonely, scary times of my life, the show wasn’t just an escape or a refuge, but a vehicle for me to rediscover community. The family I choose.

And as a journalist, fortunate enough to have had a career that has encompassed the television industry and the impact it has had on all of us, it’s astounding considering the role Betty White has played in it all. those things. No one else has accomplished what she has done and, because of the culture now, never will again.

From the Herculean quest, she made The Betty White Show in the fifties — even singing her own commercial — for the delicious Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore Show Of course, Rose on golden girls and a late-life revival as a goofy, goofy senior on projects like Hot in Cleveland and OfferIt’s not just that she’s been on our TV, well, forever (basically, because TV has been around). It was that she made a point to ignite any expectations of her talent or “type” (never forget: it was her insistence that she and Rue McClanahan swap roles. for each other golden girls so they don’t re-read the same old characters they always play) and insist on making the work more important than the screen.

When you are loved, you have power. She used that power for animals and for the LGBT community, which is more important than we can take for granted.

At first, I was a bit startled by the volume of “Kevin, are you okay with this?!” text that I received from friends and family when TMZ announced that White had passed away, just before her 100th birthday. Very sad, of course. But she is also 99 years old, the last living member of the two golden girls and Mary Tyler Moore Show Embryo. For years, we’ve asked for a daily trending topic on Twitter to reassure us that she hasn’t passed away. I wouldn’t exactly say it was a surprise.

But then I looked around my one-room apartment and discovered at least five pieces of memorabilia with White’s face on it. Starting to understand why people might be concerned that I wouldn’t settle down in a time like this, as someone filling their studio apartment with Betty White pictures might be unstable right from the start. head. However, I actually find this moment quite beautiful – and perfect, Betty.


Actresses Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur attended the DVD release party for Golden girls on November 18, 2004, in Los Angeles, California.

Carlo Allegri / Getty

We all have a chance to remember all the reasons why we love our Golden Girl. (Do yourself a favor and pour a nice glass of wine and go through all the different scenes in her career that people have posted in tribute. I sprinkled some gems throughout this piece.) But There’s also time to go: just a few weeks before turning 100, after the magazines have cover stories have been published celebrate the milestone, and on the final day of another brutally bleak year. It’s called a funny moment, honey.

And so here I am at the end of 2021 as I started it, and almost every day in between: sighing heavily, glancing at the news and muttering “damn” and shed a few tears. . But call me Mary Richards by number Funeral for Chuckles the Clown: It’s cruel, but I’m also laughing.

I’m thinking about Betty’s Sue Ann Nivens and what she taught me: When people underestimate or judge you, you deserve to be an asshole. Maybe, even, that’s what earns you their respect. If nothing else, it makes you undeniably great.

I suspect that’s what the LGBT community and so many other marginalized people have to do with — the passive-aggressive sarcasm you use as a weapon and shield when you’re misunderstood or devalued. However, there is also faith in that. Swinging on that kind of armor takes away the inherent talent, intelligence, and sense of humour. It’s a caustic humor that carries pain. Its a lot. But it’s funny anyway. In it, at least, there’s fun.

There’s something remarkable about the way White proves in all of his characters that kindness and sassy are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are great, dynamic additions. I have no doubt that gay men love golden girls because insults are painful. But in that lies the beauty of that show and those characters — and, from us, the desire for what they have.

They mercilessly stoned each other because they knew each other well. At the point in their lives when society dismissed them – an experience in which the gay community knew something – they found people who understood them, their flaws and all, better than anyone. in their previous lives. Jokes are not just funny. Those are gestures of love. It means you’re really getting to see who you are, absolutely. Wouldn’t we all be just as lucky?

It’s quite surprising how wisely White played with America’s Lover reputation during her own golden years.

For some reason, it’s not just fun to play the part of a mouth-watering old man or an overzealous old man, no matter how junior that stock character may be. It’s the legend’s chance to prove that, even as an ageless girl, her sense of humor and taste are unmatched. I still can’t believe I had a chance interviewed her in 2011 when she’s TV’s It Girl again thanks Hot in Cleveland. She initially rejected the project. I asked her why she changed her mind. Without skipping a beat, she curtly: “I have the spine of an eel”.

It’s a great joke because it has no truth in it. Read through any obituary published today and learn all the ways she fought for herself, for opportunity for women, and for social causes like same-sex marriage at a time when those things are not common or easy. What amazed me the most: You never doubted for a second that she didn’t have a blast doing it.

It’s disappointing that there isn’t really a torch to pass through. The fire went out with her. Culture is different. TV is different. What we want or expect from our stars is different. That’s why I’m so grateful we all got this: our lives with Betty White. What does Betty White mean to gay men who like me


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