In honor of the opening of Julie & Julia today (a movie which Robert Wilonsky calls "half of a great movie" in the Weekly), gay blogger JoeMyGod points to a 2007 Boston magazine piece in which the venerable Julia Child was revealed to be a homophobe, much like the majority of her generation. In specific:
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 [her friend and co-author Simone Beck]. 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."
Her bitterness toward gays in "our" industry also got her sued in 1992, when she was accused of blocking a gay San Franciscan by the name of Daniel Coulter from becoming executive director of the American Institute of Wine and Food, which Julia helped found. We're still trying to figure out what happened to Daniel Coulter, who does not appear to have continued a culinary career. Any tips would be appreciated.