Julia Sugarbaker

I can remember being in my first gay video bar. Which, for those who don’t know, means a gay bar with TVs hanging on most of the walls playing exceptionally homosexual content.  Think Judy and Barbra singing the Happy Days Are Here Again medley or remixed scenes from Mommie Dearest that somehow heightens its camp or any scene ever shot with lots and lots of feathers.  At this point in my gay career I’ve been to gay video bars all over the country and the one clip every single one of them has played is of the 1986 Designing Women episode called “The Beauty Contest”.  You’d be hard-pressed to find gay men NOT reciting every word with pristine cadence of this biting and delicious monologue effortlessly spitting out of Dixie Carter’s mouth.  Carter was perhaps best known for playing Julia Sugarbaker, a spicy and jaw-dropingly eloquent liberal Georgian businesswoman with shoulder pads that touched God if her heels were high enough.  

 

Designing Women fiercely touched on gay issues at a time where sitcoms wouldn’t dare.  Julia, especially, defended a young gay man inflicted with AIDS on the 1987 episode, “ Killing All the Right People,” (written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason) where 24 year old Kendall hires Sugarbaker & Associates to decorate his own funeral.

 

“As far as I’m concerned, this disease has one thing going for it: It’s killing all the right people,” shouted Kendall Dobbs, an idiot with a brooch and contemporary of Julia.  Julia promptly kicked her out of the office, but not before shredding her ego before an audience.  Her way of cunningly tearing down someone with a rhythmic downpour of shade is something most drag queens can only dream about.

 

Julia to this day remains a character of strength.  People would underestimate her and they would always lose.  She was a sharp tongued example of believing in your own morals and not being an asshole.  Thanks, Dixie! Thanks, Linda! Thanks, Designing Women!

 

 Let’s get on to the cake! 

 

For the Bourbon-Soaked Peaches

* 3 peaches, skinned and sliced in chunks

* Bourbon

* ¾ cup sugar

* ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne

 

For the Peach Buttercream

* 1 peach, blended

* Heavy Whipping Cream

* 32 oz of Powdered Sugar

* 1.5 cups of butter, softened

* 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne

 

For the Cake

* 3 peaches, skinned and sliced in chunks

* Bourbon

* ¾ cup sugar

* ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne