Skip to comments.How America Went Gay
Posted on 07/01/2007 7:30:05 PM PDT by Coleus
For more than 20 years, I and a few of my colleagues in the field of psychoanalysis have felt like an embattled minority, because we have continued to insist, against today's conventional wisdom, that gays aren't born that way. We know that obligatory homosexuals are caught up in unconscious adaptations to early childhood abuse and neglect and that, with insight into their earliest beginnings, they can change. This "adaptation" I speak of is a polite term for men going through the motions of mating not with the opposite sex but with one another. For most of this century, most of us in the helping professions considered this behavior aberrant. Not only was it "off the track"; the people caught up in it were suffering, which is why we called it a pathology. We had patients, early in their therapy, who would seek out one sex partner after another-total strangers-on a single night, then come limping into our offices the next day to tell us how they were hurting themselves. Since we were in the business of helping people learn how not to keep hurting themselves, many of us thought we were quietly doing God's work.
Now, in the opinion of those who make up the so-called cultural elite, our view is "out of date." The elite say we hurt people more than we help them, and that we belong in one of the century's dustbins. They have managed to sell this idea to a great many Americans, thereby making homosexuality fashionable and raising formerly aberrant behavior to the status of an "alternate lifestyle." You see this view expressed in some places you would least expect. The Pope says same-sex sex is wrong, but a good many of his own priests in this country (some of whom are gay themselves) say the Pope is wrong. Indeed, in much of academe and in many secondary school classrooms gays are said to lead a new vanguard, the wave of the future in a world that will be more demographically secure when it has fewer "breeders" (which is what some gay activists call heterosexuals these days). How did this change come about? Well, the revolution did not just happen. It has been orchestrated by a small band of very bright men and women-most of them gays and lesbians-in a cultural campaign that has been going on since a few intellectuals laid down the ideological underpinnings for the entire tie-dyed, try-anything-sexual Woodstock generation. In various ways, Theodore Reich, Alfred Kinsey, Fritz Perls, Norman O. Brown, Herbert Marcuse and Paul Goodman preached a new countercultural gospel: "If it feels good, do it."
It was all part of a plan, as one gay publication put it, "to make the whole world gay." I am not making this up. You can read an account of the campaign in Dennis Altman's The Homosexualization of America. In 1982 Altman, himself gay, reported with an air of elation that more and more Americans were thinking like gays and acting like gays. There were engaged, that is, "in numbers of short-lived sexual adventures either in place of or alongside long-term relationships." Altman cited the heterosexual equivalents of gay saunas and the emergence of the swinging singles scene as proofs that "promiscuity and 'impersonal sex' are determined more by social possibilities than by inherent differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, or even between men and women." Heady stuff. Gays said they could "reinvent human nature, reinvent themselves." To do this, these reinventors had to clear away one major obstacle. No, they didn't go after the nation's clergy. They targeted the members of a worldly priesthood, the psychiatric community, and neutralized them with a radical redefinition of homosexuality itself. In 1972 and 1973 they co-opted the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association and, through a series of political maneuvers, lies and outright flim-flams, they "cured" homosexuality overnight-by fiat. They got the A.P.A. to say that same-sex sex was "not a disorder." It was merely "a condition"-as neutral as lefthandedness.
This amounted to a full approval of homosexuality. Those of us who did not go along with the political redefinition were soon silenced at our own professional meetings. Our lectures were canceled inside academe and our research papers turned down in the learned journals. Worse things followed in the culture at large. Television and movie producers began to do stories promoting homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. A gay review board told Hollywood how it should deal or not deal with homosexuality. Mainstream publishers turned down books that objected to the gay revolution. Gays and lesbians influenced sex education in our nation's schools, and gay and lesbian libbers seized wide control of faculty committees in our nations' colleges. State legislatures nullified laws against sodomy. If the print media paid any attention at all, they tended to hail the gay revolution, possibly because many of the reporters on gay issues were themselves gay and open advocates for the movement. And those reporters who were not gay seemed too intimidated by groupthink to expose what was going on in their own newsrooms.
And now, what happens to those of us who stand up and object? Gay activists have already anticipated that. They have created a kind of conventional wisdom: that we suffer from homophobia, a disease that has actually been invented by gays projecting their own fear on society. And we are bigots besides, because, they say, we fail to deal with gays compassionately. Gays are now no different than people born black or Hispanic or physically challenged. Since gays are born that way and have no choice about their sexual orientation, anyone who calls same-sex sex an aberration is now a bigot. Un-American, too. Astoundingly now, college freshmen come home for their first Thanksgiving to announce, "Hey, Mom! Hey, Dad! We've taken the high moral ground. We've joined the gay revolution." My wife, Clare, who has an unerring aptitude for getting to the heart of things, said one day recently in passing, "I think everybody's being brainwashed." That gave me a start. I know "brainwashing" is a term that has been used and overused. But my wife's casual observation only reminded me of a brilliant tract I had read several years ago and then forgotten. It was called After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990's, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen.
That book turned out to be the blueprint gay activists would use in their campaign to normalize the abnormal through a variety of brainwashing techniques once catalogued by Robert Jay Lifton in his seminal work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China. In their book Kirk and Madsen urged that gay activists adopt the very strategies that helped change the political face of the largest nation on earth. The authors knew the techniques had worked in China. All they needed was enough media-and enough money-to put them to work in the United States. And they did. These activists got the media and the money to radicalize America-by processes known as desensitization, jamming and conversion. They would desensitize the public by selling the notion that gays were "just like everyone else." This would make the engine of prejudice run out of steam, i.e., lull straights into an attitude of indifference. They would jam the public by shaming them into a kind of guilt at their own "bigotry." Kirk and Madsen wrote:
All normal persons feel shame when they perceive that they are not thinking, feeling, or acting like one of the pack....The trick is to get the bigot into the position of feeling a conflicting twinge of shame...when his homohatred surfaces. Thus, propagandistic advertisement can depict homophobic and homohating bigots as crude loudmouths....It can show them being criticized, hated, shunned. It can depict gays experiencing horrific suffering as the direct result of homohatred-suffering of which even most bigots would be ashamed to be the cause.The best thing about this technique, according to Kirk and Madsen: The bigot did not even have to believe he was a loathsome creature:
Rather, our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof. Just as the bigot became such, without any say in the matter, through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, his bigotry can be alloyed in exactly the same way, whether he is conscious of the attack or not. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even a slight frisson of doubt and shame into the previously unalloyed, self-righteous pleasure. The approach can be quite useful and effective-if our message can get the massive exposure upon which all else depends.Finally-this was the process they called conversion-Kirk and Madsen predicted a mass public change of heart would follow, even among bigots, "if we can actually make them like us." They wrote, "Conversion aims at just this...conversion of the average American's emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media." In the movie "Philadelphia" we see the shaming technique and the conversion process working at the highest media level. We saw Tom Hank's character suffering (because he was gay and had AIDS) at the hands of bigots in his Philadelphia law firm. Not only were we ashamed of the homophobic behavior of the villainous straight lawyers in the firm; we felt nothing but sympathy for the suffering Hanks. (Members of the Motion Picture Academy felt so much sympathy they gave Hanks an Oscar.) Our feelings helped fulfill Kirk and Madsen's strategy: "to make Americans hold us in warm regard, whether they like it or not."
Few dared speak out against "Philadelphia" as an example of the kind of propaganda Kirk and Madsen had called for. By then, four years after the publication of the Kirk-Madsen blueprint, the American public had already been programmed. Homosexuality was now simply "an alternate lifestyle." Best of all, because of the persuaders embedded in thousands of media messages, society's acceptance of homosexuality seemed one of those spontaneous, historic turnings in time-yes, a kind of conversion. Nobody quite knew how it happened, but the nation had changed. We had become more sophisticated, more loving toward all, even toward those "afflicted" with the malady-excuse me, condition. By 1992 the President of the United States said it was time that people who were openly gay and lesbian should not be ousted from the nation's armed forces. In 1993 the nation's media celebrated a huge outpouring of gay pride in Washington, D.C. Television viewers chanted along with half a million marchers, "Two, four, six, eight! Being gay is really great." We felt good about ourselves. We were patriotic Americans. We had abolished one more form of discrimination, wiped out one of society's most enduring afflictions: homophobia. Best of all, we knew now that gay was good, gay was free.
Excuse me. Gay is not good. Gay is not decidedly free. How do I know this? For more than 40 years, I have been in solidarity with hundreds of homosexuals, my patients, and I have spent most of my professional life engaged in exercising a kind of "pastoral care" on their behalf. But I do not help them by telling them they are O.K. when they are not O.K. Nor do I endorse their "new claim to self-definition and self-respect." Tell me: Have we dumped the idea that a man's self-esteem comes from something inside himself (sometimes called character) and from having a good education, a good job and a good family-and replaced that notion with this, that he has an affinity to love (and have sex with) other men? In point of fact, many of my patients had character; they had an education; they were respected ad men and actuaries and actors. But they were still in pain-for one reason and one reason alone. They were caught up in this mysterious compulsion to have sex with other men. They were not free. They were not happy. And they wanted to see if they could change.
Over the years, I found that those of my patients who really wanted to change could do so, by attaining the insight that comes with a good psychoanalysis. Others found other therapies that helped them get to the bottom of their compulsions, all of which involved high motivation and hard work. Difficult as their therapeutic trips were, hundreds and thousands of homosexuals changed their ways. Many of my own formerly homosexual patients-about a third of them-are married today and happily so, with children. One-third may not sound like a very good average. But it is just about the same success rate you will find at the best treatment centers for alcoholics, like Hazelden in Minnesota and the Betty Ford Clinic in California. Another third of my patients remain homosexual but not part of the gay scene. Now, after therapy, they still have same-sex sex, but they have more control over their impulses because now they understand the roots of their need for same-sex sex. Some of these are even beginning to turn on to the opposite sex. I add this third to my own success rate-so that I can tell people in all honesty that my batting average is .667 out of more than a thousand "at bats."
Of course, I could bat .997 if I told all my patients in pain that their homosexuality was "a special call" and "a liberation." That would endear me to everyone, but it would not help them. It would be a lie-despite recent pieces of pseudo-science bolstering the fantasy that gays are "born that way." The media put its immediate blessing on this "research," but we were oversold. Now we are getting reports, even in such gay publications as The Journal of Homosexuality, that the gay-gene studies and the gay-brain studies do not stand up to critical analysis. (The author of one so-called "gay-gene theory" is under investigation by the National Institutes of Health for scientific fraud.) I was not surprised to hear this. My long clinical experience and a sizable body of psychoanalysis research dating all the way back to Freud tell me that most men caught up in same-sex sex are reacting, at an unconscious level, to something amiss with their earliest upbringing- overcontrolling mothers and abdicating fathers. Through long observation I have also learned that the supposedly liberated homosexual is never really free. In his multiple, same-sex adventures, even the most effeminate gay was looking to incorporate the manhood of others, because he was in a compulsive, never-ending search for the masculinity that was never allowed to build and grow in early childhood.
When I tried to explain these dynamics to the writer who helped me put together a kind of popular catechism on homosexuality, I found he had a hard time understanding what this "incorporation" meant. He said, "Your patient would be more manly if he took in the penis of another man? Sounds a little dumb. Would I run faster if I ate the flesh of a deer?" I told him, "You have to understand that we are talking about feelings that come from deep in the unconscious mind. They are very primitive. In fact, if you have ever read any Indian lore, you may remember that Indians would, in fact, eat the flesh of a deer in order to become faster afoot. To us, that is a very primitive idea. But it had a mythic significance for a young Iroquois brave. And Madison Avenue still makes use of such mythic meanings. The ad people sell us things based on the notion that we will become what we eat or drink or possess." The point I was making was this: We do not understand same-sex sex until we realize that the dynamics involved are unconscious.
This is one reason why psychoanalysis is the tool that gets us to the heart of everything. Once my patients have achieved an insight into these dynamics-and realized there is no moral fault involved in their longtime and mysterious need-they have moved rather quickly on the road to recovery. Their consequent gratitude to me is overwhelming. And why shouldn't it be? They were formerly caught up in compulsions they could not understand, compulsions they could not control. Now they are in charge of their own lives. Their former promiscuity may have looked a lot like "liberation." But it was not true freedom. It was a kind of slavery. And it was not a lifestyle. With the onset of AIDS, as the playwright and gay militant Larry Kramer said in a 1993 interview, it turned out to be a death style. I have had some patients tell me, "Doctor, if I weren't in therapy, I'd be dead."
Testimonials from my recovered patients make me feel my work is worthwhile-despite regular demands from the gay rights community for my silence. What would they have me do? Pack my bags, find a new profession, lock up a lifetime of research and analysis, hide my truth under a bushel? It is not my psychoanalytic duty to tell people they are marvelous when they are out of control, much less ask disingenuous rhetorical questions like, "What kind of God would afflict people with an 'objective disorder' in the disposition of their hearts?" Giving God the credit for their gayness is a persistent refrain in much gay literature today, and I am saddened to see people of evident good will become unwitting parties to the blasphemy. Gays ascribe their condition to God, but he should not have to take that rap, any more than he should be blamed for the existence of other man-made maladies-like war, for instance, which has proven to be very unhealthy for humans and for all other living things. God does not make war. Men do.
And, when homosexuality takes on all the aspects of a political movement, it, too, becomes a war, the kind of war in which the first casualty is truth, and the spoils turn out to be our own children. An exaggeration? Well, what are we to think when militant homosexuals seek to lower the age of consensual sexual intercourse between homosexual men and young boys to the age of 14 (as they did in Hawaii in 1993) or 16 (as they tried to do in England in 1994)? In the Washington March for Gay Pride in 1993, they chanted, "We're here. We're queer. And we're coming after your children." What more do we need to know?
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Homos can’t reproduce: they can only recruit and seduce.
Very relevant and more at link:
>>>Though some criticized the Mattachine movement as insular, it grew to include thousands of members in dozens of chapters, which formed from Berkeley to Buffalo, and created a lasting national framework for gay organizing. Mattachine set the stage for rapid civil rights gains following 1969s Stonewall riots in New York City.<<<
Pioneer, coalition-builder and radical faerie
Henry Harry Hay, the founder of the modern American gay movement, died on October 24, 2002 at age 90. He had been diagnosed weeks earlier with lung cancer. Despite his illness, he remained lucid to the end and died peacefully in his sleep at his home in San Francisco.
Harry Hays determined, visionary activism significantly lifted gays out of op-pression, said Stuart
Timmons, who published a biography of Hay, called The Trouble with Harry Hay, in 1990. All gay people continue to benefit from his fierce affirmation of gays as a people.
Hay devoted his entire life to progressive politics, and in 1950 founded a state-registered foundation network of support groups for gays known as the Mattachine Society.
Hay was also a co-founder, in 1979, of the Radical Faeries, a movement affirming gayness as a form of spiritual calling. A rare link between gay and progressive politics, Hay and his partner of 39 years, John Burnside, had lived in San Francisco for three years after a lifetime in Los Angeles. Hay is listed in histories of the American gay movement as the first person to apply the term minority to homosexuals. An uncompromising radical, he easily dismissed the heteros and never rested from challenging the status quo, including within the gay community.
Harry was one of the first to realize that the dream of equality for our community could be attained through visibility and activism, said David M. Smith of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC. When you were in a room with him, you had the sense you were in the company of a historic figure.
Due to the pervasive homophobia of his times (it was illegal for more than two homosexuals to congregate in California during the 1950s), Hay and his colleagues took an oath of anonymity that lasted a quarter century until Jonathan Ned Katz interviewed Hay for the ground-breaking book Gay American History, published in 1976. Countless researchers subsequently sought him out. In recent years, Hay became the subject of a biography, a PBS-funded documentary, and an anthology of his own writings called Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of Its Founder.
Before the establishment of the Mattachine Society, attempts to create gay organizations in the United States had fizzled or been stamped out. Hays first organizational conception was a group he called Bachelors Anonymous, formed to both support and leverage the 1948 presidential candidacy of Progressive Party leader Henry Wallace. Hay wrote and discreetly circulated a prospectus calling for the androgynous minority to organize as a political entity.
Hays call for an international bachelors fraternal order for peace and social dignity did not bear results until 1950. That year, his love affair with Viennese immigrant Rudi Gernreich (whose fashion designs eventually earned him a place on the cover of Time magazine), brought Hay into gay circles where a critical mass of daring souls could be found to begin sustained meetings. On November 11, 1950, at Hays home in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles, a group of gay men met which became the Mattachine Society. Of the original Mattachine founders, Chuck Rowland, Bob Hull, and Dale Jennings pre-deceased Hay. Konrad Stevens and John Gruber are the last surviving members of the founding group.
Mattachine took its name from a group of medieval dancers who appeared publicly only in mask, a device well understood by homosexuals of the 1950s. Hay devised its secret cell structure (based on the Masonic order) to protect individual gays and the nascent gay network. Officially co-gender, the group was largely male — the Daughters of Bilitis, the pioneering lesbian organization, formed independently in San Francisco in 1956.
Though some criticized the Mattachine movement as insular, it grew to include thousands of members in dozens of chapters, which formed from Berkeley to Buffalo, and created a lasting national framework for gay organizing. Mattachine set the stage for rapid civil rights gains following 1969s Stonewall riots in New York City.
Harry Hay was born in England in 1912, the day the Titanic sank. His father worked as a mining engineer in South Africa and Chile, but the family settled in Southern California. After graduating from Los Angeles High School, he briefly attended Stanford, but dropped out and returned to Los Angeles. He understood from childhood that he was a sissy — different in behavior from boys or girls — and also that he was attracted to men. His same-sex affairs began when he was a teenager, not long after he began reading 19th century scholar Edward Carpenter, whose essays on homogenic love strongly influenced his thinking.
A tall and muscular young man, Hay worked as both an extra and ghostwriter in 1930s Hollywood. He developed a passion for theater, and performed on Los Angeles stages with Anthony Quinn in the 1930s, and with Will Geer, who became his lover. Geer (who later generations grew to love as Grandpa Walton on the TV series The Waltons), took Hay to the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, and indoctrinated him into the American Communist Party. Hay became an active trade unionist. A blend of Marxist analysis and stagecraft strongly influenced his later gay organizing.
Despite a decade of gay life, in 1938 Hay married the late Anita Platky, also a Communist Party member. The couple were stalwarts of the Los Angeles Left. Hay taught at the California Labor School and worked on domestic campaigns like that for Ed Roybal, the first Latino elected in Los Angeles. The Hayses occasionally hosted Pete Seeger when he performed in Los Angeles, and Hay recalled demonstrating with Josephine Baker in 1945 over the Jim Crow segregation policy of a local restaurant. When he felt compelled to go public with the Mattachine Society in 1951, Hay and his wife divorced.
After a burst of activity lasting three years, the growing Mattachine rejected Hay as a liability due to his Communist beliefs. In 1955, when he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, he had trouble finding a progressive attorney to represent him. He felt this was due to homophobia on the Left. (He was ultimately dismissed after his curt, brief testimony was deemed unimportant.) Hay felt exiled from the Left for nearly fifty years, until he received the Life Achievement Award of a Los Angeles library preserving the history and artifacts of progressive movements.
A second wind of activism came in 1979 when Hay founded, with Don Kilhefner, a spiritual movement known as the Radical Faeries. This pagan-inspired group continues internationally based on the principle that the consciousness of gays differs from that of heterosexuals. Hay believed that this different way of seeing constituted the greatest contribution gays made to society, and was indeed the reason for their continued presence throughout history.
For most of his life Hay lived in Los Angeles. However, during the early 1940s, Hay and his wife lived in New York City. He returned there with John Burnside to march and speak at the Stonewall 25 celebration in 1994. During the 1970s, he and Burnside moved to New Mexico, where he ran the trading post at San Juan Pueblo Indian reservation.
His years of research for gay references in history and anthropology texts led Hay to formulate his own gay-centered political philosophy, which he wrote and spoke about constantly. His theory of gay consciousness placed variant thinking as the most significant trait in homosexuals. We differ most from heterosexuals in how we perceive the world. That ability to offer insights and solutions is our contribution to humanity, and why our people keep reappearing over the millennia, he often stressed.
Hays occasional exhortations that gays should maximize the differences between themselves and heterosexuals remained controversial. Some academics and activists seeking full integration of gays and lesbians into straight society tended to reject his ideas while still respecting his historic stature.
A fixture at anti-draft and anti-war demonstrations for sixty years, Hay worked in Womens Strike for Peace during the Vietnam War as a conscious strategy to build a coalition between gay and feminist progressives. He also worked closely with Native American activists, especially the Committee for Traditional Indian Land and Life. Hay was a local founder of the Lavender Caucus of Jesse Jacksons Rainbow Coalition during the early 1980s, and was determined to convince the gay community that its political success was inextricably tied to a broader progressive agenda.
Despite his often-combative nature, Hay became an increasingly beloved figure to younger generations of gay activists. He was often referred to as the Father of Gay Liberation.
Hay is survived by Burnside as well as by his self-chosen gay family, a model he strongly advocated for lesbians and gays. His adopted daughters, Kate Berman and Hannah Muldaven, also survive him. A circle of Radical Faeries provided care for him and Burnside through their later years.
Harry Hay leaves behind a wide circle of friends and admirers among lesbians, gays, and progressive activists. Donations in his memory can be made to the San Francisco GLBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, San Francisco CA 94102 (identify it for the Harry and John Founders Wall plaque), or to the One Institute and Archives, 909 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007.
[This obituary was prepared by Stuart Timmons, Hays official biographer, historian Martin Duberman, Joey Cain of the San Francisco GLBT Pride Parade, and Harry Hays niece, Sally Hay. IN Steps Jamakaya also contributed to the story.]
Excellent article. Needs to be widely read here on FR.
This is really going to tick off some of our long-standing pro-homo cheerleaders here at FR. As always, expect them to debate anything other than the facts presented here.
Many think and have said Kirk and Madsen's book (mentioned in the article) has been misrepresented for this reason or that reason, but having read the book I have verified the quotes and they are indeed accurate.
Click FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search for a list of all related articles.
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Why would a friend let a friend kill himself?
Why would such a person be called a friend?
This is really going to tick off some of our long-standing pro-homo cheerleaders here at FR. As always, expect them to debate anything other than the facts presented here.
You mean we have people like that here, too? Probably dovetail with the atheists.
Wait, why did I get pinged to this?
Seems like on the one hand you have a guy who makes money by “converting” gay people, and propped up on the other side are several gays with an agenda.
This is pretty far removed from the general scenario in the real world.
I very much doubt [homosexuality] is a choice.in this thread I thought you might be interested in reading what some experts in the field have to say.
BTW, Socarides (who died earlier this year) was a well known psychiatrist who believed in client autonomony. That is, if homosexuals wanted help dealing with their same-sex attractions he would offer that help.
Any book on this should be called:
“From the Gay Nineties to the Gay Nineties:” how things changed...
Some people think a true friend is somebody who only tells you what you want to hear. Sigh.
Unfortunately, they also ADOPT.
If so, that is actually 1 of the FEW “anti-conservative” groupings I have NOT seen here yet on FR.
I think it’s VERY possible many/most homosexuals are that way by nature - bad nature. Defects occur by genetics and by pre-natal accident; why not defective sexuality?
I fear now, though, since they’ve been forcing themselves upon all of society in the last 20 years successfully, that many are now actually CHOOSING it - especially if they’ve been abused and don’t understand any other way.
“It has been orchestrated by a small band of very bright men and women-most of them gays and lesbians-in a cultural campaign that has been going on since a few intellectuals laid down the ideological underpinnings for the entire tie-dyed, try-anything-sexual Woodstock generation.”
I would agree. *sigh* Almost EVERYTHING in the US if not the world was ruined by the ‘60s idiots.
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