Happy Pride season everyone! I know for a lot of people this year’s celebrations are also especially revelatory since the pandemic got in the way of parades and other in-person parties last year. Over the past year there’s also been a lot of fantastic writing and media about The Golden Girls that explores how the show relates to LGBTQ topics. So just in case you were too caught up in binging your favorite episodes I thought I would put together a list of content from the past year. The library is open!
A Deep Dive into the Queerness of “The Golden Girls”
Thomas West explores how the show “embraced and emphasized the fundamental humanity of queer people” in his essay on Medium. I love that characters like Phil Patrillo and Gil Kessler are starting to get as much as attention as Clayton Hollingsworth!
Dorothy Zbornak Might Not Be Queer, but She’s an Amazing “Queering” Character on The Golden Girls
This essay from the hosts of the Enough Wicker post explains how the process of queering a character applies to one Dorothy Zbornak. It’s also part of a four-part series that coordinates with Kate Browne’s TV Milestones book about The Golden Girls. Oh, and you can listen to the Enough Wicker interview with her, too!
His ‘Golden’ Moment: Stan Zimmerman shares his comedic writing break on The Golden Girls, why his career choice forced him to stay in the closet so long, and what coming out accomplished
This Stan is no yutz! In fact, he’s the writer behind some of the first season’s funniest episodes, including “The Flu.” Stan Zimmerman has shared his experiences about working on the show on The Golden Girls cruise and other tribute shows and podcasts. In this interview he talks about deciding to come out after working on the show and dishes about his favorite moments working with the Girls.
What Jazz, Sexuality, & Gender Studies Have to Do with The Golden Girls
One of the things I love so much about The Golden Girls is all the ways you can relate the show to just about anything thanks to all the jokes and references made by the writers. But one that really surprised me was how Elliott H. Powell connected it to jazz music. It sounds far fetched but actually makes perfect sense. Read his fascinating interview with the Enough Wicker gals to learn all about his research.
Why ‘The Golden Girls’ continues to resonate with us three decades later
It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times… It was 2020 and there was a pandemic! But if you forgot, last year was also the 35th anniversary of the premiere of the The Golden Girls. This article features commentary from producer Marsha Posner Williams, Heklina from Golden Girls Live, Jim Colucci, and others about why The Golden Girls still matters.
And speaking of Jim Colucci, of course I have to include my own interview with him! I got in touch over e-mail during quarantine, and Jim was so kind to discuss his book, some favorite fashion moments from the show, and more. This was definitely a bright spot for me last year!
The Golden Girls Meet a Trans Man
Where has this podcast been all my life, and why haven’t I been listening to it?! If you, like me, desperately need to catch up with Gayest Episode Ever then this episode about the “Strange Bedfellows” episode is a great place to start! Hosts Glen and Drew talk to writer Henry Giardina about trans representation in media, Gil Kessler, and much more.
Gayest Episode Ever has lots of other episodes–including five others about The Golden Girls–about LGBT-themed episodes of classic sitcoms. You can also read an interview with the hosts on the NewNowNext website.
Out On the Lanai Pride Special Episode
Even though Out On the Lanai isn’t making regular episodes anymore, they always seem to know just when we need to hear from them again. Enter this special pride episode! H. Alan talks about all of our favorite queer moments from the show with a fresh perspective. He also reminds us of many details about the show, such as the fact that Lois Nettleton was nominated for an Emmy award her role as Jean in the “Isn’t It Romantic?” episode–a big deal for 1987! You might think you know all there is to know about these episodes, but I promise you’ll learn a new thing or two.
The Curious Case of Philip Petrillo
Like Rose’s husband Charlie, we never actually got to see Dorothy’s brother Phil on the show. Thankfully, Thomas West is here again to help explain what makes him such a significant presence on the show. I remember the topic of crossdressing as being very popular on afternoon talk shows in the mid-1980s when The Golden Girls was on the air and throughout the 1990s. Of course, it was always sensationalist and often homophobic. That’s what makes episodes like “Ebb Tide’s Revenge” all the more remarkable. Read Thomas’ essay to learn why!
Gayest Episode Ever also has an episode about Phil.
“Why are Madonna and the Golden Girls queer icons?”: LGBTQ stars discuss their love of divas and dames
“Why We Love: Pride Edition’s “Divas & Dames” episode explores the universal appeal of Golden Girls, the lasting power of Madonna, why Murder, She Wrote isn’t just a show for grandmas, and so much more.”
The Golden Girls taught me the importance of a chosen family
The Golden Girls are a shining example of the concept a chosen family. Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia become friends who live and spend time together because they love each other simply for who they are. This article explains why the chosen family is important to the LGBTQ community. It’s also a big part of what’s made the show so popular over the years.