My earliest cinematic influence was The Wizard of Oz. (Clip—Judy singing “S.W.O.T.R.”) By seeing this film yearly between the ages of five and ten, my destiny was clear; from that point on, I would remain a Friend of Dorothy’s. In the debate over whether being gay is a consequence of nature or nurture, I personally support nature. Millions of kids sat through those annual broadcasts of The Wizard—and within some of those millions, there was a seed, a chromosome, that made Dorothy, the Wicked Witch and Glenda our muses for a sensibility which, in our early years, would have to remain secret.
My next influence film-clé came from my mother who cultivated within me a cult-like devotion to the film Gone with the Wind. I first saw the film at the age of nine, by which time I was also reading the novel. At that age I could not really understand some of the plot’s dynamics, such as the scene where Scarlett is lying in bed singing like a bird the morning after an especially good fuck by Rhett. But I did understand adultery and the red dress preceding that scene—living in suburban America in the late sixties helped me understand that much. But the scene that made the most to me is Scarlett, alone and afraid in a shelled-out field trying to eat some dug-up turnip, retching it and making her vow. It would take me half the intermission to stop crying.
19 December 1993