Friends of Dorothy

A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Icons

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Pub Date Oct 10 2023 | Archive Date Oct 01 2023

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The ultimate celebration of LGBTQIA+ icons profiling 40 artists, entertainers, writers, and activists who inspired the queer community with their style, openness, and diversity.

This giftable collection of Instagram-worthy illustrated biographies takes you on a tour through LGBTQIA+ history from the 20th century through today, featuring profiles of Britney Spears, Judy Garland, RuPaul, Lady Gaga, Mae West, Freddie Mercury, and Lil Nas X.

What makes a gay icon? Free, uninhibited expression; an open mind; creativity; and bravery. Friends of Dorothy celebrates a wide range of people with the strength, vulnerability, charisma, and style that set them apart and gave them status with the queer community. 

Queer icons include supporters of LGBTQIA+ rights such as Marsha P. Johnson, and others like Divine and RuPaul who shattered social barriers to become important cultural ambassadors of queerness, changing the world in the process. Other icons are timeless entertainers with unique appeal, from Judy Garland and Bette Midler to Grace Jones and Lady Gaga.

This collection welcomes readers into a flamboyant world populated by larger-than-life figures who inspired LGBTQIA+ people—over the decades—creating controversy, challenging conventions, and sometimes putting their own lives on the line in order for new generations to live in a more equal and accepting world. 

With spectacular color portraits by artist Alejandro Mogollo Díez, the dramatic visual style perfectly captures the flair and panache of these figures.
The ultimate celebration of LGBTQIA+ icons profiling 40 artists, entertainers, writers, and activists who inspired the queer community with their style, openness, and diversity.

This giftable...

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ISBN 9781623543518
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 39 members

Featured Reviews

Very good book. Takes many icons and gives points on why they are revered in the LBTQ community. Interesting read. Some are fairly obvious, some were not. The facts given informs the reader on why they have received “icon” status in the LBTQ community. Informative read. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest opinion. Receiving the book in this manner has no bearing on this review.

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The term icon is a very overused title in this era of superlatives. The media is quick to apply the term without the individual having impact coupled with longevity. No so Anthony Uzarowski. Beginning with the great Judy Garland and ending with Lil Nas X, the author offers us his list of forty iconic singers and actors. I have no issue with his choices, as he backs them all with a well written commentary on their importance to the LGBTQ+ community. I just wish he added more to his list for my selfish delight.

I have lived long enough to know of each artist on the list. The younger generation will not, but what a great learning opportunity for them. I thoroughly enjoyed this brief history on LGBTQ+ icons and highly recommend it.

I received an advance review copy from Charlesbridge publishing through NetGalley.  I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I think this will make a great coffee table book addition to any collection. The illustration of the icons were really well done and I loved reading about the individuals and their impact on the community. The print was rather small and difficult to read and I wish there were photographs to accompany the book. Overall, I think it was a beautiful book and informative on some iconic people.

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I don't think I'll ever tired of this genre of book, they help to fill a long overdue gap in the 'coffee table biography' market.

The love and admiration for each featured person spills from the page, each accompanied by lovely illustrations

More like this please!

I received an advance copy for free from NetGalley, on the expectation that I would provide an honest review.

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What a gorgeous book full of love! The introduction alone was very moving in my opinion and I loved discovering more about those “friends” Some totally unknown by me and some more obvious.
I’ll probably get a copy once it’s out because the art is alone is gorgeous! Will also make a great gift!

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Prepare to be immersed in a world of colorful splendor and heartfelt admiration as you embark on the remarkable journey, "Friends of Dorothy: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Icons." Anthony Uzarowski's delightful book, complemented by the exceptional illustrations, is a genuine testament to the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating its rich history and honoring the icons who have paved the way for acceptance and equality.

The vivid illustrations by the talented illustrator capture the essence of each featured LGBTQ+ icon, bringing their vibrant personalities to life. The masterful use of color and attention to detail is captivating, as each page bursts with a kaleidoscope of hues that mirror the diversity and vivacity of the LGBTQ+ community.

Uzarowski's writing complements the illustrations flawlessly, striking the perfect balance between information and admiration. With a kind and accepting tone, the book skillfully recounts the stories and achievements of LGBTQ+ pioneers, from trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and Harvey Milk to cultural icons such as RuPaul and Ellen DeGeneres. Each page is filled with anecdotes, inspiring quotes, and insightful trivia that not only educate but also empower me to appreciate the indomitable spirit of these incredible individuals.

One of the greatest strengths of "Friends of Dorothy" is its positivity and inclusivity. Uzarowski navigates through history, emphasizing the triumphs and contributions of LGBTQ+ figures while avoiding any sense of anger or bitterness. Instead, the book radiates love, acceptance, and gratitude, reminding us all of the progress we have achieved and the ongoing work that lies ahead.

"Friends of Dorothy" is not just a book; it is a celebration, a beacon of hope, and a symbol of unity. It is a testament to the LGBTQ+ community's resilience, creativity, and unwavering spirit. It will undoubtedly find its place on the bookshelves of individuals of all backgrounds, fostering understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

Uzarowski's "Friends of Dorothy: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Icons" is a visual masterpiece and a powerful tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. With its vibrant illustrations and heartfelt storytelling, this book resonates with joy, love, and a deep appreciation for the trailblazers who have shaped history. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the tapestry of LGBTQ+ culture and learn about the incredible individuals who have inspired generations.

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This was a very interesting read! While the book would have still been enjoyable in black and white on my kindle, I ultimately decided to read it on my tablet to experience it in color. The illustrations are beautiful, so if you are able to read it in color-I definitely recommend doing so. I think this will make an excellent coffee table book and I am excited to grab a printed copy when it releases!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

This is a must read! It features vignettes on prominent and some lesser known LGBTQIA persons. I loved the graphics and learning more about some and the introduction to others. I do hope this is the first of a series and not simply a one and done. A great read for Pride month.

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Another great pride read! "Friends of Dorothy" by Anthony Uzarowski is an informative read taking is on a trip throughout the biographies of 40 queer icons and lgbtq+ allies.
There are plenty of hardships and challenges within these pages, the focus feels like its on the contributions these stars have made and the positive effects they've had on the queer community. The fantastic artwork of Allejandro Mogollo Díez helps to make this a really fun read. The art pieces reimagine iconic images and poses cementing these celebrities in our minds.
Ranging from silver screen sirens such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, to heartthrobs like Tab Hunter and Montgomery Clift. Camp favorites Divine to Grace Jones. Activists from Marsha P Johnson to James Baldwin. Iconic musicians such as Cher, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, to Lana Del Rey and Lil Nas X. There's something for everyone here.
My only complaint is that I want more and Im keeping my fingers crossed for a few sequels!

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This book tells the stories of many icons for the queer community from Judy Garland to Lil Nas X. This book has so much information inside of it and was so interesting. The title Friends of Dorothy originates from pre WWII when the queer community started identifying themselves as friends of Dorothy in reference to Garland's role in the Wizard of Oz. To be considered an icon for the queer community, the standard is to be someone who is versatile and who works against the pressures of society. For Garland is was continuing to strive and find work even though Hollywood was telling her she was too old, while for others it was not having the typical Hollywood look.
I really enjoyed this read and the variety of representation it had from Pre WWII until today. With captivating illustrations and concise but well written summaries, this book would be a great way to learn about a variety of icons to the queer community.

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It is so refreshing to have a book devoted to female artists, actors and musicians. Not a tone of in-depth detail, but enough to be interesting.

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A fun coffee table book filled with pictures, quotes, and short bios of queer icons. There are stars we all know and love as well as some lesser known ones (many queer and many not)— from Judy Garland, Frida Kahlo, and Josephine Baker to Marsha P. Johnson, Lady Gaga, and Lil Nas X.

Of course any book like this will be limited, but I was surprised by a few stars that were missing: David Bowie, Laverne Cox, Ellen Degeneres, for instance. It seems the author has a bias toward movie and music stars, and I do wish they included a few more activists and writers, as well as more BIPOC (especially in the first half of the book). The illustrations were lovely and probably my favorite part. Out Oct 10!

**Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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What is a gay icon? An individual who not only lives their own truth but has the strength to do so openly, loudly, and proudly.
This book covers 40 artist, entertainers, writers, and activist who have inspired and given hope to our community and anyone who feels different.
They are not all gay or Lesbian but they are Allies, freinda, family,and supporters of include supporters of LGBTQIA+ rights such as Marsha P. Johnson, and others like Divine and RuPaul who shattered social barriers to become important cultural ambassadors of queerness, changing the world in the process. Other icons are timeless entertainers with unique appeal, from Judy Garland and Bette Midler to Grace Jones and Lady Gaga.
The color portraits of these icons are beautifully done.
As I like to say, learn your history. All parts of that history. Your chosen family, your compatriots, your allies. All of these stories are vital no matter if you've been out for decades or are just beginning to search for you self.
Thanks to @netgalley for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

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A 4.75? Maybe a full 5?

I loved how informative this journey through history was!

There was such a wide range of people presented in this book. Music, movie, and media stars that were either out and in the LGBTQIA+ community, closeted and believed to be a part of the community, or just strong allies to the community; this book covered the past ~100 years worth of the entertainment industry.

As someone that was born in the late 90s, I have only ever known some of these icons’ names or just their greatest hits so learning more about some of the impressive work they did in their lives, especially when it was difficult to do, was super eye-opening. Even for some of the more recent icons’ who I’m very familiar with their work for the community and in general, I learned some great new information!

The only tiny aspect that I didn’t love was how some of the (specifically the more recent/living) icons’ negative/harmful aspects were slightly brushed over. Some of the older icons’ who had controversial pasts and comments were mentioned briefly at the end of their sections but some of the newer ones were not mentioned. As much as some of these people can be icons to a subset of the community I think it’s important to acknowledge that there are some who have also said and done things harmful to other subsets of the community.

Ultimately I loved how informative and GORGEOUS this was! Beautiful portraits of each icon as well as some great quotes from each person!

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I got this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

This was a really good collection of LGBTQ+ icons through the ages, and it gives a mini biography for each one! I especially liked the relevant quote pulled from each one, and the diversity in the people chosen here! Definitely recommend buying this for school libraries, using in the classroom or just general reading a little here and there!

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The perfect queer coffee table book!

This is such a great book, either to sit and read at once (like I did), or to casually flip through (like I will again). Some of these icons, I was well aware of, but some I was pleasantly surprised by! Anthony Uzarowski managed to fit a whole life, as well as all the reasons for being a queer icon, into every short bio, and Alejandro Mogollo Díez's art represents each icon beautifully. I just can't believe Dolly Parton didn't make the Top 40 cut!

I can't wait for this to come out so I can put it on my coffee table.

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In this collective biography, forty artists and entertainers who have inspired the LBGTQ+ community are celebrated in short profiles averaging three pages each. Each begins with a full-page color portrait, done in a graphic style, and concludes with a quotation that exemplifies their outlook on queer culture. Icons featured include Mae West, Frida Kahlo, James Dean, Liza Minelli, Cher, Marsha P. Johnson, Rupaul, and Little Nas X. The entries discuss their careers and their relationship to the gay community. For example, Garland’s song “Over the Rainbow” is considered an inspiration for the rainbow flag. Readers will find this uplifting, and a way to seek out icons they may want to learn more about. The book ends with a list of a dozen other allies, each with a one paragraph annotation.

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This book is exactly what it says on the tin. Inside are brief biographies of 40 icons for the queer community, from Frida Kahlo to Lil Nas X, complete with quotes and beautifully done art. Illustrator Alejandro Mogollo Díez has made so many bright, colorful pieces for this book. The art is so lively and interesting, which pairs well with the (sometimes dark) biographies. Each bio goes into the personal history of each icon but also where they fit into queer history, delving into what this icon means to the community.
My only complaint is the honorable mentions-- I wish each would have been fleshed out into more chapters as well, especially since some honorable mentions were actual queer people instead of just allies. Unfortunately, I'll just have to wait for a second book.
This would make an excellent coffee table book to teach some queer history, add some color to the room, and start conversations.

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This was really a quick read for an adult. I liked the quick stories about each celebrity. I learned a lot. I have a hard time getting students to read nonfiction

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This was such a cute little collection. Dorothy was such an integral part of my childhood as a baby queer and I adored reading about all these transformative celebrities was great. I especially liked that there was a mix of high-profile and lesser known people included. I was surprised to learn some new things about old faces, and discover entirely new heroes in the process.

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<i><u>I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. </i></u>

the graphics were beautiful, the stories were well done and gave great insights into their roles into the LGBT+ community, but i do with there was a <i>liiiittle</i> bit more diversity. there was good diversity but would always love to see more

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Beautiful, impactful and well researched.

Thank you to NetGalley and Charlesbridge, Imagine for allowing me to view an e-arc of Friends of Dorothy!

While this book would make a great coffee table conversation piece for anyone in the LGBTQ community, it is also so much more than that. With intimate, reverent bios of each icon and beautifully drawn illustrations it tells the life stories and history of each person and what it was about them that led to them becoming queer idols, and patron saints of sorts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning about each featured star and how they have contributed to the community and what they have meant to gay communities in past and present day.

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This book is so important. I love that the queer icons included in the pages are both queer and not. I appreciate the context for the impact some of the world's biggest stars have made on this community. I think the writing also does a great job of not outing anyone or speculating, especially posthumously.

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This is one of the best LGBTQ roundup books I've read. There's a good mix or actual LGBTQ icons and not. The way Uzarowski writes these biographies have a storybook quality. Uzarowski's writing made the book not boring like others of its kind tend to be.

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A good primer on why certain celebrities (and cultural icons, like Marsha P Johnson) are important to the queer community at large. Short entries, easy to understand and read through, and a good little book for someone just starting to delve into the why of certain references with short biographies and a bit on what they mean to the queer community.

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Uzarowski gives short biographies of 40 LGBTQ+ Icons (some queer themselves and some allies). In each, he focuses on how and why these individuals became icons in the community. Because of this focus, I learned so many new things about so many of these individuals. Mogollo Diez's art is superb and lovely to experience. I loved how I was able to learn so much powerful the LGBTQ+ community has been in making an impression on popular culture and in adding beauty, diversity, and light to the lives of so many despite the lack of acceptance so many in the community have experienced for so many years.

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I was not expecting this book to be as fantastic as it was! There is a perfect blend of historical significance, fun facts I never knew, and each celeb's connection to the LGBTQ+ Community. I would highly recommend it as a gift as well, it's a fun, quick read that will certainly leave you with some new knowledge.

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Thanks NetGalley, Charlesbridge, and Imagine for this arc!

4/5 stars

This was a beautiful, informative, and inspiring book. It has so much info I never knew about so many icons! The biographies are short and well written, great to just pick up and read a couple at a time when you have a free minute. The portraits are really lovely as well!

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Watch Anthony Uzarowski's interview with Robert Bellisario on YouTube!
My idea of a good, entertaining browser's book for gifting this #Booksgiving.

It is important to note that thes mini-biographies are of queer icons, not necessarily queer people. No one, the author is careful to state, imputes a private sexual behavior to the not-out folk in here...though I guess you would have to be a diehard homophobe to ignore the unspoken realities of some of the faces herein. Still, there is no necessity of being out, still less out and proud, to be a bona fide gay icon.

The author, whose interview linked above you should totally devote an hour of your life to watching, is a major pop culture maven. His credentials are spread all over gay media. He knows, in other words, his stuff. He has selected a good balance of music, film, and activists of both sexes and other genders. The forty lovely illustrations are both good art and witty commentary...Freddy Mercury has one fun portrait in here! the ppackage is aimed directly at gifting, whether to yourself or others.

It isn't groundbreaking new information, or incisive commentary, it is pretty much just what it says...celebratory profiles with portraits, meant to be engaged with in bursts or otherwise over time. A browser's book, as I said before; thus pretty much perfect for the gift giving season.

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more of this please
What an interesting book about the icons of the LGBT community,
The graphics are very good, definitely a Libor that I would recommend

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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. A celebration of celebrities who celebrate and stand for equal rights for the LGBTQIA community. The great art of each of these celebrities and information about each.

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This book is an absolute gem. It's packed with insightful information, well-researched facts, and thought-provoking analysis. The author's writing style is engaging and keeps you hooked from start to finish. Highly recommend! 5 stars all the way!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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