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Vintage footage interview with Irv Kupcinet in September 1967. In this tumultuous decade for civil rights, Judy expresses a disdain for attacks that were made against homosexuals, especially her audience. She was always ahead of her time, an advocate for human rights. Her death and funeral, in June 1969, is believed to have inspired the Stonewall riots, the flashpoint for the modern Gay Liberation movement. The Rainbow is the universal symbol for the LGBT community.
The psychology of Judy as a Gay icon is a matter of debate. Personally, I don’t think human rights is about psychology … there is no great mystery to understanding the fundamental need we all have to be treated with dignity & respect, forging the dream to be who we are. Judy understood.
What is particularly interesting about her comments is that Judy described the writer as a lesbian. It seems to me, Judy made the slander of homosexuals a matter for the woman to consider, as an evident self contradiction & perhaps for the writers self-awareness.
The conversation was sparked by Kup’s reference to an August magazine article , highlighting Judy’s appearance at The Palace.
Here is the excerpt: “Curiously, a disproportionate part of her nightly claque seems to be homosexual. The boys in the tight trousers roll their eyes, tear at their hair and practically levitate from their seats, particularly when Judy sings: If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,why, oh why can’t I?
Psychiatrists offer multiple explanations for the phenomenon. Manhattan’s Dr. Leah Schaefer claims that homosexuals gravitate toward superstar because “these are people they can idolize and idealize without getting too close to. In Judy’s case,” she adds, “the attraction might be made considerably stronger by the fact that she has survived so many problems; homosexuals identify with that kind of hysteria.”
Agrees another Manhattan psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Hatterer: “Judy was beaten up by life, embattled, and ultimately had to become more masculine. She has the power that homosexuals would like to have, and they attempt to attain it by idolizing her.”
Irv Kupcinet (July 31, 1912 November 10, 2003) was an American newspaper columnist and a broadcast personality based in Chicago, Illinois. He was popularly known by the nickname “Kup”.
Since the date of this posting, there have been many comments that have been interesting, insightful … differences of opinion, interpretation.
I suppose I could offer words to establish my position, but I prefer not to.
I posted this interview – title & description – exactly the way I wanted to. … A conversation about A Great Lady, her love for her audience – Gay or not – & the history that will always be a part of our societal growth & experience.
In many ways, with Judy as part of that history, I consider the remarkable changes that have happened … And I am reminded about how far we still have to go.
I think the comments tell the story of a society that is becoming more enlightened – about Judy & sexual orientation, & the fundamental rights that all of us are born to.
Interspersed with the Light will always be shadows – comments, ways of thinking, manners of approach – that still tell the story of where we are not …
I already know the truth about Judy … her views … her life experiences in the Gay Community.
Anyone who knows about Judy also knows these things.
There is no great mystery here… nothing new under the sun … But perhaps the sun is a little brighter than it used to be … Hopefully to get even brighter.
Judy lived & performed in a bright light.
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