I just read the message below and it got me thinking. Maybe we all should be doing things a little different in regards to the FOD meetings
The traveler was complaining that Holland America would not allow a Friends of Dorothy Meeting on his ship. I have read this complaint before on these boards and it is usually on the ships owned by the Carnival Corportation.
I think we should request these meetings with a different name other than Friends of Dorothy. We should be more direct and request a Gay and Lesbien social meeting instead of the closeted "Friend of Dorothy's " meetings. AA members call it a Friends of Bill to be anonymous. I not looking to be anonymous. The reality is that we are usually a minority traveling on these ships and all we want to be able to meet others with a common thread for a little socializing.
Friends of Dorothy appears to be so sneeky and clandistine, especially in this day and age where we most of us can live openly as a gay person. If we start calling it what it really is, maybe they wont be able to deny having a meeting so easily.
As a gay seventy year old ocean cruise traveller, I must admit that I loved the call for an
FOD gathering. For in our day, the clandestine was not only favoured but necessary
and we loved it, speaking in code to one another. But as a Canadian and now enjoying
the benefits of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I must agree it time to put away
the shields and protection for it is time to enjoy the fruits of all the efforts made on our
behalf. So let's call the gathering just what it is "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
Transgender meeting at such and such a place and at such a time" (The term GLBT
was once "decoded" by an unsuspecting friend as a "Great Lettuce, Bacon and
Ya know, I've been thinking. (Yes that is very dangerous) I have to agree here that it should be simply a G/L get together and the heck with this "Friends of Dorothy" junk. What the heck, the Friends of Bill is there to help cure people who have a drinking problem and give them support. You aren't trying to 'cure' homosexuality are you? Ain't gonna happen folks as that just isn't done unless you happen to be a rightwing extremist. (okay, I lean towards the right in lots of ways but I also not stupid to think it is a choice) Being gay is nothing to be ashamed of and you should not have to hide behind code words. Have a get together just like the singles mixer or GO to the singles mixer. Sounds reasonable to me. What say you?
i agree completely. its time to put the necessities of the past behind us. i was recently on the QM2 where they did offer FOD meetings but only americans showed up as the english and other nationalities had no idea what a friend of dorothy was.
Just a note to Jim Bragg. There is no CURE for alcoholism. Friends of Bill is a code name for A.A. People in A.A. are there for help to stop drinking, there is no cure. Many Friends of Dorothy are also Friends of Bill, or should be.
Exactly my point. These FOD meeting are not and should not be considered on the same level as Friends of Bill meetings. Let's just call them what they are, mixers for those who are gay. Maybe there aren't enough numbers on most cruises to justify the mixers with the exception of those cruises that have a large contingency of G/L's onboard from a group cruise type deal. In which case I see no problem with going to the singles mixer if you are single. I don't remember seeing any rules about these singles having to be hetrosexuals. Heck, I know of a number of couples that go to them just to meet new friends. (yes, just friends people, don't let your minds hit the gutter) <G>
When I originally suggested to change the FOD name it was for the reason of discrimination. It seems to me that it would be a lot harded to say no to a Gay and Lesbien Social than a Friends of Dorothy meeting. If they say no to ta GLBT meeting when they do it for other groups, then it is discrimination and the Cruise Lines should be made aware of it.
My 2 cents.......
I have read that there are either policies or cruise directors that dictate whether requests for gatherings can be accommodated.
Using this board as well as the CC board, perhaps a different directions can be taken.
Carnival Corporation owns almost everything and except for Princess has no problem accepting gay full ship charters or gay groups. Gay money is happily accepted.... Perhaps an inquiry could be made to Micky Arinson, or the head of Carnival Corps customer services and or sales asking for some direction. If we asked how we could get the "mixers" or meetings scheduled perhaps the lCorporate big wigs could decide the terminology that could be put into daily schedules that would be palletable for the line. By asking for a policy up front, the standard could be set, included in their human resources and diversity training.....thus avoiding problems for the passenger that requests a get together.
Why leave things to individual when the Corporate heads can set policy. Believe me, if a policy could be set, every other line would have to think twice.
But asking for a policy would have to be done not with a threat, but in such a way to suggest the image of gay friendly equates to gay dollars.
Just a thought.
I feel inspired. In our own little way perhaps we fellow cruise enthusiasts can crack the closet door just a little bit more. Lets encourage the use of GBLT meetings on board over and above “FOD” – as some of you mentioned this is not intended to be an anonymous gathering – but a social gathering of well Gay’s on Board….
Also, I think it is wonderful to attend the singles gatherings that are offered on board.
Perhaps someday soon we can gather with other married couples as well. I have been with partner mere 3-years. Last August on the Diamond, they offered a newlywed with golden Anniversary couples gathering, for a time of Q&A. We were tempted to attend but alas did not, as we were not sure how we would be received. I would have loved to hear the storied, antidotes and advise from these golden couples. Someday!
Thank you all!
Mikey (& Anthony)
Next cruise 1/15/2005 Diamond to Mexico
Mikey, I can relate totally to what you said about the anniversary get-togethers on board. I always feel kinda left out when they do the not-so-newlywed game show, and it doesn't allow "unmarried" couples.
Funny enough, most of our straight friends always comment how Art and I are like "old married couple" after 10 years together. I wear that badge proudly.
Just wanted to add that bit of wistfullness.
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
I do agree Jim (and others)....time to retire the "Friends of Dorothy" mask and just put it out there as a G/L Family and Friends gathering. I will do that on my next cruise! It is very much like the singles/solo get togethers I think.
Strangely enough....when I was still partnered to Robert, we often did sail in late August, which was our Anniversary (the 24th) and our TA always noted this date in our record as a special event....and Celebrity always invited us to the Anniversary receptions! In fact, one time the Social Hostess called us to make sure we absolutely felt welcome to come! I guess that's part of why I have become such a Celebrity regular. Have just found them to be the most gay friendly in the mass market.
Funny how only by reading all your posts on this subject, did I realize why we didn't feel like attending the "FOD" meetings on our last cruise (Mercury, Nov 15 '04), although we met a bunch of interesting and nice people on our last cruise's FOD meetings (Radiance, Nov. 03): IT'S BECAUSE I FELT I WOULD GO INTO A MEETING I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ASHAMED OF ! WHY ELSE IS THERE A "CODED" NAME FOR THE MEETING????? You guys are so right.....had it been advertised as a GLTB or Gay Meeting or social event or the like, we would have loved to attend.
I feel a little dumb that it took your comments for me to understand my own actions...! Oh well........
It's BEYOND time to retire the "Friends of Dorothy". It's quite a paradox to be moving towards gay marriage but afraid to list a meeting as gay and lesbian. I'm even against listing it as GLBT. Say it out loud and proud that it's a GAY-LESBIAN-BISEXUAL-TRANSGENDER meeting and let them squarely refuse to let it happen..........then everyone write a letter and start a class action for discrimination.........ENOUGH of the victim mentality.
Come on Guys...LIGHTEN UP. Stop taking yourselves so serious......."Friends of Dorothy" is kind of FUN!! Something between us girls don't ya know. Besides it's always a hoot when you see straight people with that "confused" look on there face wondering just who are Dorothy's friends..I think it's great...kind of "our little secret"
I cant wait to see the response from the cruiselines when we start asking for for GAY AND LESBIAN meetings (where not everyone knew what they were or just didnt ask) and ask for them to be printed in the activity sheets as such. I think the "age-old" monster will once again rear its ugly head. The whole FOD thing was a way for the cruiselines to hide from what it was really hosting. It will be interesting to watch.
I totally agree about the change in our representation.
When I was on the Grand Princess in Dec. 04, I was looking through the Patter to find where the meeting might be. I was surprised to see that it was called the "Rainbow G/L/B/T Get Together". The meeting time and location were poorly planned, and I was not able to attend. (Oasis Pool Bar at 6:30 PM) However, it did not take long (even on that size ship) to meet everyone that we wanted too. But, yes, I do agree that our representation should be made more mainstream, however, I also like the codewords, too....for the PLU...People Like Us. :-)
I go with Tony B. FOD is fun and silly. Cruises I've been on have had FOD meetings and it didn't take long before most other passengers understood the code. My last Christmas Cruise, on the Legend, had a Friends of Dorothy get together and a Friends of Dorothy Golf Tournament -- both listed in the daily cruise news. A passenger named Dorothy was even crowned our goddess and blessed the golf match. We also had a gay couple from Canada chosen to participate in the not so newly wed game. So I say: Surrender Dorothy! Be what you are: a Friend of Dorothy thru and thru!
JimnBillinPA - What Tom was referring to, is that RSVP had requested chartering one of Princess' ships but was always turned down by the corporate types, who said it didn't fit their "image" (insert roll-eyes emoticon here). Since Carnivore bought them, they've changed their tune and RSVP will be chartering the Grand Princess next year. I sailed with Princess a few times and had no problems getting a FOD party mentioned on 2 trips (the asst. CD even did one of his morning info shows dressed as Carmen Miranda), but one time I did have some trouble. I asked an asst. CD about one and she said she'd host, but I needed to ask the main Cruise Director. When I asked him, he said, "Oh, no - we never do those." I called him a liar (tactfully) and told him of my past experiences. Then, he siad "Well, we'd need to find a sponsor on-board to host," thinking I'd never find one. I told him I already had one and gave him the dates and times she said she could do it. And, that if he didn't, I'd go higher up the chain to complain about discrimination. He relented, but refused to speak to me or even have eye-contact with me for the rest of the cruise.
1. While corporate and even some ship CDs (who like to behave as nazi commandants sometimes) may refuse due to some "policy," each ship has the right to print and schedule whatever they see fit.
2. Be persistant, and be prepared to call the CDs bluff. It helps to mention the money aspect, too.
3. Even if they don't schedule one (regardless of what name is used), let your gaydar work and seek out other FODs and try to set up a time and place on your own.
We just completed two one-week cruises on the Grand Princess. During the first week, the cruise director was James Lay. Another guy, Tim Donovan, who has worked for many years on the Grand and other Princess ships, took over for the cruise beginning February 5.
It was interesting to see what a difference a change in cruise director can have on the accommodation of gay-friendly meetings. With James Lay, there were two "Rainbow/GLBT Get-Togethers" with free champagne and a host from the cruise director's staff. Once Tim Donovan took over, there was only one meeting--at 9:30 on the last formal night--and that was only after we sent a hand-written note to the cruise director specifically requesting a meeting. Unfortunately, the timing chosen by the cruise director was so inconvenient that hardly anyone appeared. The cruise director himself did show up, but his purpose seemed to be more for the purpose of ensuring that nothing unruly would result from having a meeting of LGBT friends.
If you want LGBT meetings on cruise ships, you will have to take initiative, and even then your goals may be stymied by an unsupportive cruise director. As a footnote, some of our previous discussions on this board have shown that not all gays are interested in attending such meetings in any case.