There's a quote from a Woody Allen movie, Celebrity: "You can tell a lot about a society by the people they choose to celebrate.". So why do the gays obsess about some celebrities and have lukewarm feelings about others? Why was Farrah Fawcett a gay icon yet Michael Jackson not?
Decades before oh-so-gay Sir Elton John penned the song Candle In the Wind, Marilyn Monroe was already my protector spirit, my concept of perfection in a human and thousands of gays along with me were already in love with the vulnerable, sexy, nymph-queen of America. Marilyn is still our modern-day Aphrodite. An immortal star amongst the gods of Mt. Hollywood. Why are Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Britney Spears, Princess Diana, Cher, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue all godesses to us gays? They all share common demoninators. They were not supposed to be the stars they had become, they fed on tragedy and struggle, transforming it into grace and enviable beauty. Above all, these tortured souls had a certain flamboyance to the way they lived their lives so fiercely, slicing through any obstacles or critics like a hot knife through butter. It's an added bonus if they have a biting, acerbic wit like Bette Midler, Lilly Tomlin, Sandra Bernhard and the queen of sardonism; Kathy Griffin. It's funny how this sub-group of gay icons are traditionally awkward, ugly ducklings. It's part of their appeal to us. Wouldn't it be great to see a new gay icon come about that can combine the beauty of Marilyn with the wicked comedic talent of Kathy Griffin? That would be a Super-gay icon and a one-stop shop of entertainment for the gay masses.
I remember how thousands of straight white and black men idolized Michael Jackson trying their hardest to emulate his smooth moves and add to their "game" with the ladies, spending $400- for the latest Thriller or Beat It leather jacket. Still, Michael didn't cut it as a gay icon even though all his mannerisms and flair, signaled he was one of us. It had a lot to do with the fact that he never really came out. It's hard to relate to a celebrity when it's not really clear what they are or what they feel strongly about. Last report from a close friend was that he was none of the above and was asexual. Elizabeth Taylor once said in an interview, "he was not from this Earth".
Although today's gay youth connect more to Britney than Marilyn, her stronghold to the title of modern-day Aphrodite has yet to find a competitor memorable enough to topple her from her post. Her grace was never before seen but hopefully will be seen again tomorrow. Who will be our next gay icon? It definitely won't be Lindsey.
Enjoy the never before published pictures above of a 24 year old Marilyn before she was "somebody". The quotes below are Marilyn's as well.
- Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer.
- What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can't I just be an ordinary woman? A woman who can have a family ... I'd settle for just one baby. My own baby.
- I have too many fantasies to be a housewife.... I guess I am a fantasy.
- It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.
- It's better for the whole world to know you, even as a sex star, than never to be known at all.
- Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
- The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
- Sex is part of nature. I go along with nature.
- Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
- 1956 interview about her childhood: Looking back, I guess I used to play-act all the time. For one thing, it meant I could live in a more interesting world than the one around me.
- Also from Lee Strasberg's eulogy: Marilyn Monroe was a legend. In her lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.
A recent exhibit at London's National Portrait Gallery titled "Gay Icons"
Lindsay Lohan's Marilyn spread: http://gawker.com/5003223/
Britney buys cemetery plot next to Marilyn's: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/news/article_1410248.php/