What Is a Friend of Dorothy on a Cruise Ship?

The term “Friend of Dorothy” is a euphemism used in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly within the context of cruise ships, to discreetly identify oneself as a gay or lesbian individual. It originated during a time when homosexuality was less openly discussed or accepted. The term references Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” series, as Judy Garland, who portrayed Dorothy in the 1939 film adaptation, has long been an icon within the gay community.

By using the phrase “Friend of Dorothy,” LGBTQ+ individuals could discreetly signal their sexual orientation or seek out other like-minded individuals while on a cruise ship. The term has now become somewhat of an inside code, recognizing and acknowledging the presence of LGBTQ+ individuals without explicitly stating their sexual orientation.

While the use of this term has diminished over time due to increasing acceptance and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community, some people may still use it, particularly in older or more traditional settings. It is always important to be respectful and sensitive when discussing or using such terminology, as individual preferences and comfort levels may vary.

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