Introduction
l
  : ,
,   
I’m uncomfortable generalizing about people who do queer writing and teach
ing, . . . but some effects do seem widespread. I think manyadults (and I am amon
them)are trying, in our work, to keep faith with vividly remembered promis
made to ourselves in childhood: promises to make invisible possibilities and desir
visible; to make the tacit things explicit; to smuggle queer representation in wher
it must be smuggled and, with the relative freedom of adulthood, to challeng
queer-eradicating impulses frontally where they are to be so challenged.
—Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Tendencies
W
hen I was ten years old, my grandmother gave me a book abou
the films of Judy
Garland.1
This book quickly became one of m
most cherished possessions, and I would spend countless hours porin
over it, scrutinizing each photograph and reading the text so often that
virtually memorized it by heart. I recall that there was one particular par
that held a special fascination for me. It was an addendum at the very en
of the book about Garland’s ‘‘number one fan,’’ Wayne Martin. Accord
ing to the piece, Martin took movie fandom to ‘‘new extremes,’’ goin
so far as to turn his modest-looking apartment into a veritable Garlan
shrine, which he dubbed ‘‘Judyland.’’ My fascination with this particu
lar section came from a pressing sense that Wayne Martin and I share
something more than just an interest in Judy Garland. Though it wa
never stated, I ‘‘recognized’’ that Martin was gay, in much the sameway—
and using many of the same hermeneutical signs—that I was coming t
‘‘recognize’’ my own gayness. I could see it, for example, in the care
fully structured references to Martin as ‘‘strange,’’ ‘‘peculiar,’’ ‘‘gentle
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