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. However, there are competing claims about who coined it:
[1930s?] "The new literary fashion then in the ascendant dominated by what Jocelyn Brooke (himself homosexual, but detached from 'committed' writing) used to call The Homintern, was unsympathetic to me; at the same time the fourth novel on which I was now at work - to have the title Agents and Patients - did not entirely satisfy my own standards in breaking fresh ground."- Anthony Powell (1981)
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"The word 'Homintern', which I coined in 1939, is attributed to Auden, who used it in an article in the Parisian Review about 1941, and has passed into the language. A takeoff on Comintern (Communist International), it was meant to convey the idea of a global homosexual community." –Harold Norse (1989; correction: Auden's first articles in Parisian Review was in 1950)
"A Playboy of the Western World: St. Oscar, the Homintern Martyr" - Title of a review by W. H. Auden of The Paradox of Oscar Wilde by George Woodcock, in Partisan Review, April 1950.
"Anthony Powell suggested that his friend Jocelyn Brooke invented the term that Harold Nurse tells us Auden stole from him. Whoever invented it provided us with a splendid word to explain the social and cultural power of homosexuality." –Patrick Higgins (1993)
^“Bowra, Sir (Cecil) Maurice (1898–1971)” by L. G. Mitchell, ‘’Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’’, http://www.oxforddnb.com
^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