Can Meryl Streep Make Homophobic Julia Child Into a Gay Icon?

To judge from all the men I've seen at the annual West Hollywood Halloween carnival dressed as The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly, Meryl Streep has the ability to transform just about any character into a gay icon. On the face of it, then, her role as Julia Child in Julie & Julia should be an easy layup for that demographic, as the strapping Child was a gender pioneer in the kitchen, a campy presence on TV, and an acclaimed chef who loved to call gay men "homovipers." Wait, what?

On the eve of the film's release, blogger Joe My God recalls that Child was well-known for her homophobia, and was even sued when she blocked a gay chef from an executive position with the American Institute for Wine and Food. Two years ago, Boston magazine excerpted a work by Laura Shapiro which comprehensively detailed Child's prejudices:

Homophobia was a socially acceptable form of bigotry in midcentury America, and Julia and [her husband] Paul participated without shame for many years. She often used the term pedal or pedalo -- French slang for a homosexual -- draping it with condescension, pity, and disapproval. "I had my hair permanented at E. Arden's, using the same pedalo I had before (I wish all the men in OUR profession in the USA were not pedals!)," she wrote to Simca. Fashion designers were "that little bunch of Pansies," a cooking school was "a nest of homovipers," a Boston dinner party was "peopled by 3 fags in an expensive house.... We felt hopelessly square and left when decently possible," and San Francisco was beautiful but full of pedals--"It appears that SF is their favorite city! I'm tired of them, talented though they are."

The opposite of homosexual, in her terminology, was "normal" or "well muscled" or "very masculine!" Or, as she often put it, "real male men." Lesbianism was less of an affront to her, though she felt sorry for women so sexually benumbed that they were not attracted to men. ("Can't be much fun.")

Eventually, the article asserts, the AIDS crisis tempered Child's demeanor somewhat. Why, look how well Child eventually got along with this trannie, with whom she made pita bread!

Just kidding, that is married Canadian chef Jeffrey Alford dressed up as Anton Chigurh, for some reason.

· Julia Child, Homophobe [Joe. My. God.]


  • leticia shore says:

    go go, yes Julia. People that are not afraid of truth and willing to say it are real people. The gay agenda forcing and constantly badgering their "serious problem" and trying to call those who call it for what it is the "bad phobic people" is one of the saddest reasons for what is wrong not what is right in this world. Many people with great talents have wasted them on gay issues.
    It is truly repulsive, how one cannot enjoy dancing on a cruise with having gay couples demonstrate to the public their need to show themselves acting out as close to a bedroom behavior as possible. They seem to have a tremendous need to impose this on others. Insisting on trying to get your way, doesn't make them more than spoiled little brats that think nagging and whining is the way they will get what they want from those who have to told them they are wrong.
    To choose to express this in an anonymous manner is simply to choose not having to hear their carrying on replies. As I said, they already do that on cruises and every other public place. Sometimes it looks like they do it more in public than at desperate.

    • It seems you are paying too much attention. Why does it bother you so much to see 2 people show affection? And who do you think you are to say something is wrong? You are a human being just like the rest of us. We dont java any right to judge each other.

  • ALice says:

    You know what?
    Fuck Julia Child and her hatefull bigoted mouth. The fat ugly cow.
    Streep can go to hell for portraying here.
    This is one film which will not get my money.

  • tim says:

    You are so right! I have never seen hetro couples acting overly chummy in public.

  • Carrie says:

    I knew a drag queen in Sydney called Leticia Shore.
    Are you her?
    Probably not. The Leticia Shore I knew was too perceptive & too intelligent to have missed the tongue in cheek slant to this article. You were the target dear. Not those terrible gays.

  • Richard says:

    Yeah, because straights never makeout or have romantic moments in public.

  • david nesbitt says:

    Dear Ms. Shore,
    Please go to hell.
    LOL... quite childish ( no pun intended) i know; however, this seems the only reasonable way to talk to a person who resembles a piece of used toilet paper.
    Quite sincerely yours,
    David Nesbitt

  • Francesca says:

    Wow Julia Child was a product of her time, instead of being politically correct by today's standards. Oh my god!

  • Mary says:

    I wonder if her homophobia arose from fear — fear that her husband might be so inclined? There was obviously specualtion on that aspect.
    I can actually sympathize with that a little. I'm fiercely liberal and have always been very supportive of my LGBT friends, but when my own husband announced his bisexuality, I found myself growing angry, bitter -- and homophobic.
    Once I realized what I was doing -- and why -- I was able to backtrack and change the course of my thinking and feelings.
    I just wondered if that was what spurred Julia into such hateful comments.

  • xxxciter says:

    fairly idoitic of her and her husband considering the prejudice they faced during the MacArthianism era for being flaming liberal sympathizers... too bad, I can respect people for having opinions -- just not hypocrites!

  • Ok Veitch says:

    IDK anything about food agression so I hope someone else can help you. But, it seems like you should leave the kittie alone when it is eating. definitely dont pet it while it is eating, the nicest kitties dont like that.

  • :/ says:

    I wonder how Julia felt about black people? Don't think I wanna know.

  • thegirl says:

    I would imagine that that information would be taken out of context and spun so that it would sound as though she were a member of the KKK.
    Julia Child didn't hate gay people. In fact, it was Mrs. Child who convinced my Uncle that he was being unfair to himself and his wife by staying married when he knew himself to be gay.
    Yes, she was sued when she denied admittance to the Food and Wine institute to a young chef, but the case was thrown out of court because he was denied admittance because he lacked the skill needed to attend, not because he was gay.
    I have absolutely no doubt that Mrs. Child said every word attributed to her in the article as she moved in circles where admission of homosexuality wasn't news and using certain phrases only contributed to weakening their ability to hurt as anger or disdain was not the context. Nor did Mrs. Child dismiss homosexuals while complimenting real male men while pitying lesbians for missing out. These are separate comments from completely separate letters about completely different situations.
    I imagine that three different letters about "Would you believe he said I HATE NIGGERS" "...AND IF THEY GET IN THE HOUSE I'LL KILL THEM ALL" "Some HAIL SATAN movie" would make for an even more interesting article.

  • thegirl says:

    The interesting thing about libel and slander laws is that they don't apply to the dead. Did you stop to question, for even a minute, why this was only written about after Mrs. Child's death?