Tuesday, September 20, 2022

"Friends of Dorothy" A Cruise Ship Euphemism

According to CruseCretic: 

On Ship Engagement Party 

The term “Friends of Dorothy“ is still in use on some cruise ships, although modernization efforts have put what these meet-ups are more front and center. "Friends of Dorothy" is an old euphemism for people who identify as LGBTQ+: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all other members of the queer community. With more openness around sexuality now, the term Friend of Dorothy has become merely quaint, and LGBTQ+ events at sea are labeled with clear language on most major cruise lines.

In case you do not get the connection, The term Friends of Dorothy reaches back more than half a century, coming into popular use in the 1950s as gays and lesbians developed a connection with the musical icon Judy Garland, whose relentless spirit epitomized camp and glamour, while her rather tragic life circumstances mirrored their own struggles in everyday life.

Garland's most famous role – as the ever-optimistic and wistful Dorothy in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" – gave gays and lesbians a "secret" code word that they could use to refer to themselves. At cocktail parties or company gatherings where one could not be comfortably "out and proud," gays would inquire discreetly of each other, "Are you a Friend of Dorothy?" The admission of "I am, too!" would likely lead to fast bonding in an age when gay bars were clandestine and, in some cases, dangerous.


The daily "Celebrity Today" is the ship's news letter of ship's events, port information, and a hour-by-hour schedule. It provides a detail "all that is happening" for your planning. It was left every evening by the cabin stewart and was part of the ship's phone app.

Royal Caribbean / Celebrity has moved in the 21st century and listed an everyday, "LGBTQ+ Meet and Greet"; 8 pm at the Martini Bar. "Friends of Dorothy" was no longer to be seen. 

I attend most every evening and made friends with Teresa, her traveling companion and several others. Eight o'clock was a great time; after dinner and before the late theater show. Plans could be discussed for the next day and several nights we attend the delightful late theater show together.       

Overall my cruise was super LGBTQ+ friendly. How so, you may ask? One evening on my upper deck walk after dinner, I wandered into an engagement party. On the top deck's jumbotron, the message read "Marry Me?"  A gay couple's engagement party that was orgistrates by the ship's staff. Champaign was served to everyone present. Also music, dancing and smiles / tears were prevalent.

In many ways we have come a long way! No more dated euphemisms. 

The Engaged couple with the Ship's Crew Members



1 comment:

  1. I actually never knew of that phrase. Thanks for blogging on it! Very interesting.