Gay Parody: “The Wizard of Pride” by Ryan Field
I always believe things work out for the best. Last summer Tony and I went through one of the most stressful real estate situations of our lives. It was grueling, which was unusual because we’ve always had good experiences with real estate. I can’t go into detail about that, however, most of the stress was caused by an aggressive realtor trying to force us into making a decision that would have been very bad for us. Thankfully, we were smart enough to make the right decision, for us and for our future.
While we were going through this real estate nightmare, I received an e-mail from Lori Perkins from Riverdale Avenue Books in New York asking me if I would be interested in doing an LGBTQ parody of The Wizard of Oz. The e-mail was totally unexpected, and I wasn’t in the mood with all that real estate stress to deal with something as difficult as trying to parody a classic like The Wizard of Oz. But then I thought it over for a day or two and I realized that it was probably the best thing that could happen to me at that moment. I needed a diversion from the stress, I needed something completely different, and I needed a project to get my mind off everything. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
So I wrote the book in about two months and I submitted it to Riverdale. I don’t have a release date yet, but I’ll post about that as soon as I get one. But this really is total parody, with LGBTQ characters. Instead of having the main character as Dorothy, my main character is Darius. Toto is a pitt bull named Sparky, Darius is having an affair with three young farmhands, and the story is set in 1939 and it shows how totally closeted gay men were back then. The word gay wasn’t even used. My story begins with Darius being blackmailed by the town’s meanest real estate agent after she catches him having sex with one of the farm hands. And that’s when Darius runs away from home, with his dog Sparky, only to get caught up in a twister that knocks him out cold.
Instead of Darius dreaming about the Land of Oz, he dreams about a place called the Land of Pride. It’s an LGBTQ friendly fantasy land where everyone is equal, there is no discrimination against any LGBTQ people, and it’s run by a man they call The Wizard of Pride. I made a lot of changes with respect to the original Wizard of Oz, however, it is a parody and a fantasy of what a gay man might imagine if he’d been placed in Dorothy’s situation. Even the red shoes are different. Instead of those boring low red flats, Darius wears sexy red stilettos. And the scarecrow, tin man, and lion, become characters loosely based on The Village People. I didn’t hold anything back with this one, and at times it is a little outrageous (even for me), but there is a happy ending. The only thing Darius really wants in his life is to meet a man, fall in love, and live happily ever after.
I will post about this more in the future when the book is released, but I wanted to do a post about it now for future reference. I kept asking myself one question: what young gay person alive wouldn’t want to dream about a total fantasy land called The Land of Pride, and with all LGBTQ characters?
Andy Warhol’s Drag and Trans Portraits
It still amazes me a little that anything trans or drag related is so new to the mainstream. I tend to forget that it’s all new to the mainstream, so this article becomes more relevant in certain ways.
It’s about a new Andy Warhol show that portrays his work in a very different way. I think it also shows how different the world is now.
When the images were first exhibited they were displayed anonymously. However, the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York has undertaken research to identify the sitters, and for this show, the names will be displayed alongside the portraits.
Here’s the link. I also think it’s a good example of how the whole gender thing isn’t new, especially with respect to trans people. I’m always amazed when straight heteronormative people seem to think being transgender is something new. It’s not. It’s been around since the beginning of time. We’re just seeing it all come to the surface now. And it’s about time.