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Homintern was an early term for a supposed conspiracy of gay elites who allegedly controlled the art world. The word is a play on Comintern (short name of the Communist International) and was used because it was believed that such homosexuals, being regarded as enemies of traditional values, were active Communists as well. What was termed the "homintern" in the mid-twentieth century is now more often described as a "Gay Mafia".


"Homintern" was used in the 1950s and appeared in number of popular mass-circulation magazine articles during the 1960s to refer to what was believed by many to be an international cabal of influential gays who, it was asserted, controlled the arts and culture.[1] These magazine articles were often illustrated with the color lavender; sometimes the Homintern was called the lavender conspiracy. It was claimed that there was a secret worldwide network of gay art gallery owners, ballet directors, movie producers, record label executives, and photographers who, behind the scenes, determined who would become successful artists, dancers, actors, and models.[citation needed]

The term "Homintern" was used in articles even in liberal magazines such as Ramparts.[2] It was frequently used in the conservative magazine National Review.[citation needed] William F. Buckley, Jr. sometimes warned of the machinations of the Homintern on his TV talk show Firing Line. It was believed by conservatives that the Homintern deliberately manipulated the culture to encourage homosexuality by promoting camp programs like the popular 1960s TV series Batman.[citation needed]

After the emergence of gay liberation in 1969, belief in the Homintern faded because after the Stonewall riots, many gay people came out of the closet so it was more difficult to postulate this conspiracy theory.[citation needed]


Period quotations[edit]


  1. ^ Michael S. Sherr (25 November 2007). "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  2. ^ There was an article in Ramparts in 1966 by journalist Gene Marine about the Homintern.
  3. ^ Harold Norse: Memoirs of a bastard angel, W. Morrow, 1989, ISBN 9780688067045, p. 77
  4. ^ 'A Queer Reader' p.315, ed. Patrick Higgins, Fourth Estate (UK), 1993
  5. ^ Anthony Powell: Faces in my time (Tom 3 of To keep the ball rolling, Memoirs of Anthony Powell), Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1981, ISBN 9780030210013, no page
    Anthony Powell: To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell (new edition, shortened) University of Chicago Press, 2001, ISBN 9780226677217, p. 221
  6. ^ a b San Francisco Chronicle book review Sunday, 25 November 2007--Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracyby Michael S. Sherry:

Further reading[edit]

  • Sherry, Michael S. (2007). Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-3121-2. 
  • Woods, Gregory (May 2003). "The 'Conspiracy' of the 'Homintern'". The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide 10 (3). Retrieved 2009-03-28. [dead link]
  • Engel, Randy, The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church, New Engel Publishing, Export-PA, 2006 ISBN 0-9778601-3-2

External links[edit]