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Homintern was a term used from the 1930s onwards for a supposed conspiracy of gay men in elite positions who allegedly controlled the arts, scholarship and/or the theatre world. The word is a play on "Comintern," the short name of the Communist International and was used because it was believed that such homosexuals, being enemies of "traditional" values, were active Communists as well. What was termed the "Homintern" in the 20th century is now more often described as the "Gay Mafia".

The earliest dated reference to the term seems to be from 1937, when the classical scholar Maurice Bowra referred to himself as a member of the Homintern.[1] However, there are competing claims about who coined it:

"Homintern" appeared in a number of mass-circulation magazine articles during the 1960s.[5] These magazine articles were often illustrated with the color lavender and the Homintern was sometimes 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, which in 1966 published an article by Gene Marine about the Homintern. 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 some conservatives that the Homintern deliberately manipulated the culture to encourage homosexuality by promoting camp programs such as the popular 1960s TV series Batman.[citation needed]


  1. ^ “Bowra, Sir (Cecil) Maurice (1898–1971)” by L. G. Mitchell, ‘’Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’’, http://www.oxforddnb.com
  2. ^ Anthony Powell, Faces in My Time, Vol. 3 of To Keep the Ball Rolling: Memoirs by 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, abridged), University of Chicago Press, 2001, ISBN 9780226677217, p. 221
  3. ^ Harold Norse: Memoirs of a Bastard Angel, W. Morrow, 1989, ISBN 9780688067045, p. 77
  4. ^ A Queer Reader, ed. Patrick Higgins, Fourth Estate (UK), 1993, p. 315
  5. ^ Michael S. Sherr (25 November 2007). "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 

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]