Chapter 7 A Homosexual Agenda?
Is there or was there ever a homosexual agenda? Today there are many local, regional, and national homosexual organizations. In addition, homosexuals have a very prominent written media presence. There is the Journal of Homosexuality, a magazine the Advocate, newspapers, the Blades in Washington DC and New York along with other popular media publications and a large internet presence. How closely do all these various homosexual enterprises work together as a unified entity speaking as one voice for homosexuals? It is hard to tell, it may not be as unified as some may think to portray. But it does speak well for the democratic capitalist society that America is today.
The homosexual rights movement itself speaks of following upon and learning from the earlier civil rights and feminist’s movements. For without them there would be no homosexual rights movement today. But one parallel to these two previous movements cannot be made; they were about equality, racial and gender, for two distinct classes of individuals. There is no homosexual as a distinct class of individuals. Homosexuals are a group of individuals who self-identity by the behaviors they commit. It is these behaviors, particularly sexual behaviors that are committed and that are detrimental to the individuals who commit them and to the society as a whole. Yet the homosexual rights movement is well on its way to changing our society in greater ways then perhaps the combination of these two previous movements together. Homosexuals have been very successful in shifting the discourse from behavior to rights. The homosexual rights movement is an attempt to bring about change in our culture and society that is unprecedented in all of history, particularly in redefining gender and marriage. But when it all said and done, as the homosexuals say and write in their books it is about societal approval for homosexual behavior. It is all about same-sex physical sex acts. The following quotes are by two homosexual historians.
It isn’t at all obvious why a gay rights movement should ever have arisen in the United States in the first place. And it’s profoundly puzzling why that movement should have become far and away the most powerful such political formation in the world. Same gender sexual acts have been commonplace throughout history and across cultures. Today, to speak with surety about a matter for which there is absolutely no statistical evidence, more adolescent male butts are being penetrated in the Arab world, Latin American, North Africa and Southeast Asia then in the west.
But the notion of a gay identity rarely accompanies such sexual acts, nor do political movements arise to make demands in the name of that identity. It’s still almost entirely in the Western world that the genders of one’s partner is considered a prime marker of personality, and among Western nations it is the United States - a country otherwise considered a bastion of conservatism - that the strongest political movement has arisen centered around that identity.
We’ve only begun to analyze why, and to date can say little more then that certain significant pre-requisites developed in this country, and to some degree everywhere in the western world, that weren’t present, or hadn’t achieved the necessary critical mass, elsewhere. Among such factors were the weakening of the traditional religious link between sexuality and procreation (one which had made non-procreative same gender desire an automatic candidate for denunciation as unnatural). Secondly, the rapid urbanization and industrialization of the United States, and the West in general, in the nineteen-century weakened the material (and moral) authority of the nuclear family, and allowed mavericks to escape into welcome anonymity of city life, where they could choose a previously unacceptable lifestyle of singleness and nonconformity without constantly worrying about parental or village busybodies pouncing on them. (Duberman, Left Out, 414-415.)
I have argued that lesbian and gay identity and communities are historically created, the result of a process of capitalist development that has spanned many generations. A corollary of this argument is that we are not a fixed social minority composed for all time of a certain percentage of the population. There are more of us than one hundred years ago, more of us than forty years ago. And there may very well be more gay men and lesbians in the future. Claims made by gays and nongays that sexual orientation is fixed at an early age, that large numbers of visible gay men and lesbians in society, the media, and schools will have no influence on the sexual identities of the young, are wrong. Capitalism has created the material conditions for homosexual desire to express itself as a central component of some individuals’ lives; now, our political movements are changing consciousness, creating the ideological conditions that make it easier for people to make that choice. (D’Emilio, Capitalism and Gay Identity, p. 473-474 in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader by Henry Abelove, Michele Aine Barale and David M. Halperin)
The following information in this paper is taken from a book written by two homosexuals, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, and a law review article, Selling Homosexuality to America written by a senior sales marketing management professional.
The campaign we outline in this book, though complex, depends centrally upon a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.xxvi)
But from here on, this book is devoted to the one scheme that would, if correctly administered, radically hasten and broaden the spread of tolerance for gays in straight society.
We have in mind a strategy as calculated and powerful as that which gays are accused of pursuing by their enemies-or, if you prefer, a plan as manipulative as that which our enemies themselves employ. It’s time to learn from Madison Avenue, to rollout the big guns. Gays must launch a large-scale campaign-we’ve called it the Waging Peace campaign-to reach straights through the mainstream media. We’re talking about propaganda. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.161)
This article explores how gay rights activists use rhetoric, psychology, social psychology, and the media - all the elements of modern marketing - to position homosexuality in order to frame what is discussed in the public arena and how it is discussed. In essence, when it comes to homosexuality, activists want to shape what everyone knows and what everyone takes for granted even if everyone does not really know and even if it should not be taken for granted. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 443-444)
The book After the Ball was published in 1989 and the law review article was published in 2002. One may perhaps wonder after reading both of them and noting how the homosexual rights movement today has affected our society that there is perhaps some validity to the idea of a thoughtful and organized homosexual agenda.
When, in a 1985 Christopher Street article, we presented a blueprint for a national propaganda effort, doubters derided the proposal as irrelevant or impotent, the methods as demeaning and fraudulent, and our intent as reactionary. In February 1988, however, a "war conference" of 175 leading gay activists, representing organizations from across the land, convened in Warrenton, Virginia, to establish a four-point agenda for the gay movement. The conference gave first priority to "a nation-wide media campaign to promote a positive image of gays and lesbians," and its final statement concluded:
We must consider the media in every project we undertake. We must, in addition, take every advantage we can to include public service announcements and paid advertisements, and to cultivate reporters and editors of newspapers, radio, and television. To help facilitate this we need national media workshops to train our leaders. . . . Our media efforts are fundamental to the full acceptance of us in American life. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.162-163)
The strategy adopted at this war conference was to undertake in a carefully calculated public relations campaign to shift the public’s focus from homosexual behavior to the idea of gay rights.
When you’re very different, and people hate you for it, this is what you do: first get your foot in the door, by being as similar as possible; then, and only, then - when your one difference little is finally accepted - you can start dragging in your other peculiarities one by one. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.146)
So when we say talk about homosexuality,’ we mean talk about gay rights issues and nothing more: be single minded. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.180)
This potent weapon was recognized in the formulation of the gay rights campaign when it was strategized that the gay campaign should not demand explicit support for homosexual practices, but should instead take antidiscrimination as its theme. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p.468)
Up until that time, 1988, homosexuals attempted to gain public acceptance based on their behavior. Typical was the idea of Gay Pride and the celebration of being different based on sexual behavior. But this was successful only to the point of a limited tolerance of homosexuality by society. Often those who opposed homosexuality easily reversed the small gains made by homosexual activists in many instances. An example of this was in Florida with Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign where voters repealed a Dade County’s human rights ordinance in 1977. So, at the time the idea of gay rights was radical shift from how many homosexuals were attempting to gain public acceptance. Unfortunately, time has shown that this was a wise course of action. After this war conference was held two different strategies on how to totally repackage homosexual behavior as gay rights was unveiled to the homosexual community in 1989.
1 Pederasts, gender-benders, sado-masochists, and other minorities in the homosexual community with more extreme peculiarities would keep a low profile until homosexuality is in the tent. Also, common homosexual practices such as anal-oral sex, anal sex, fisting, and anonymous sex - that is to say what homosexuals actually do and with how many they do it - must never be a topic. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p.459)
2 America takes pride in being a country where tolerance for others and individual freedom is held in high regard. It is both part of our laws and our culture. Today’s homosexual marketer has properly recognized this environment and has aggressively followed these strategies in promoting the idea homosexuality by directing the consumer away from the specifics of (especially male) homosexual behavior while also advertising that the choice to pursue such behavior is normal, innate, unchangeable, and prevalent. It is even healthy and desirable so it deserves protection as a right. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p.460)
This new campaign was only made possible by an event that took place more than 15 years earlier. This event took place in 1973 and was the redefining of homosexuality from abnormal to normal. It was the decision of the APA, American Psychiatric Association, to remove homosexuality from the lists of sexual disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The removing of homosexuality as a sexual disorder was as a result of a three year long social/political campaign by homosexual activists, pro-homosexual psychiatrists and homosexual psychiatrists, not as a result of valid scientific studies. Rather the activities were public disturbances, rallies, protests, and social/political pressure from within by homosexual psychiatrists and by others outside of the APA upon the APA. The action of removing homosexuality was taken with such unconventional speed that normal channels for consideration of the issues were circumvented. Jeffrey Weeks is a homosexual historian from England and his comments are readily acknowledged by other homosexuals and advocates for homosexuality.
The decision of the American Psychiatric Association to delete homosexuality from its published list of sexual disorders in 1973 was scarcely a cool, scientific decision. It was a response to a political campaign fueled by the belief that its original inclusion as a disorder was a reflection of an oppressive politico-medical definition of homosexuality as a problem. (Weeks, Sexuality and Its Discontents Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities, p. 213)
This new campaign for gay rights has been successful as long it has been able to keep the focus off of homosexual behavior. It should be noted that in the beginning of this new campaign an understanding of this was needed, so definite actions were to be taken and were taken to make sure the focus was on gay rights and not homosexual behavior. But this was to be done at the expense of some in the homosexual community in the short term to gain benefits for the majority of homosexuals in the long term.
After the Ball has now detailed a comprehensive public relations campaign that should go a long way toward sanitizing our very unsanitary image. But we can’t hide forever beneath a coat of whitewash; we have to step out from behind the façade eventually, and unless we’ve made some real changes by the time we do, people will see that we’re still the same old queers. Straights hate gays not just for what their myths and lies say we are, but also for what we really are; all the squeaky-clean media propaganda in the world won’t sustain a positive image in the long run unless we start scrubbing to make ourselves a little sqeakier and cleaner in reality. And as it happens, our noses (and other parts) are far from clean. In one major aspect, America’s homohaters have, like the proverbial blind pig, rooted up the truffle of truth: the gay lifestyle - not our sexuality, but our lifestyle - is in the pits. This chapter will tell you what’s wrong with a lot of gays, why it’s wrong, and how you can dance the new steps . . . after the ball. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 275-276)
In short, the gay lifestyle - if such a chaos can, after all, legitimately be called a lifestyle - it just doesn’t work: it doesn’t serve the two functions for which all social framework evolve: to constrain people’s natural impulses to behave badly and to meet their natural needs. While it’s impulse to provide an exhaustive analytic list of all the root causes and aggravants of this failure, we can asservative at least some of the major causes. Many have been dissected, above, as elements of the Ten Misbehaviors; it only remains to discuss the failure of the gay community to provide a viable alternative to the heterosexual family. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.363)
The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome. And we say talk about homosexuality, we mean just that. In the early stages of the campaign, the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question. As it happens, the AIDS epidemic - ever a curse and boon for the gay movement - provides ample opportunity to emphasize the civil rights/discrimination side of things, but unfortunately it also permits our enemies to draw attention to gay sex habits that provoke public revulsion.; (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.178)
The negative effects of the homosexual lifestyle have been written about in many books and articles written by homosexuals themselves. They are addressed and written to homosexuals but when those who oppose homosexuality attempt to raise this issue they are strongly attacked. What’s even more alarming is that many more in the public at large side with the homosexuals choosing to ignore them or insists that a discussion should not even take place. Yet it is these negative consequences of homosexual behavior that affects everyone. Of particular is AIDS, a sexually transmitted disease that in America was and still is primarily confined to homosexual behavior. There is a concern of a possible second AIDS epidemic among homosexuals in America. What should be very alarming is that homosexuals to gain unprecedented support for gay rights used AIDS, which affected primarily homosexuals. It allowed them to foster to a greater advantage, the idea that they are victims. The idea of homosexuals as victims was to be a critical component in the carefully calculated public relations campaign to make the gay rights movement successful.
· Homosexuals as victims
In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gay’s in the 90s, p.183)
The purpose of victim imagery is to make straights feel very uncomfortable; that is, to jam with shame the self-righteous pride that would ordinarily accompany and reward their antigay belligerence, and to lay groundwork for the process of conversion by helping straights identify with gays and sympathize with their underdog status. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.183)
Now, two different messages about the Gay Victim are worth communicating. First, the public should be persuaded that gays are victims of circumstance, that they no more chose their sexual orientation than they did, say, their height, skin color, talents, or limitations. (We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay - even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.) (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay;s in the 90s, p.184)
Second, gays should be portrayed as victims of prejudice. Straights don’t fully realize the suffering they bring upon gays, and must be shown: graphic pictures of brutalized gays, dramatizations of job and housing insecurity, loss of child custody, public humiliation, etc. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gay’s in the 90s, p.184)
· Protectors a just cause
To go along with the idea of homosexuals as victims there was idea to give potential protectors a just cause.
The Waging Peace media campaign will reach straights on an emotional level, casting gays as society’s victims and inviting straights to be their protectors. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.187)
Thus, our campaign should not demand explicit support for homosexual practices, but should instead take antidiscrimination as its theme. Fundamental freedoms, constitutional rights, due process and equal protection of laws, basic fairness and decency toward all of humanity - these should be the concerns brought to mind by our campaign.
It’s especially important for the gay movement to hitch its cause to pre-existing standards of law and justice, because its straight supporters must have at hand a cogent reply to the moralistic arguments of its enemies. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.187)
· Make Homosexuals look good
Not only were homosexuals to be portrayed as victims but homosexuals also had to be made to look good.
In order to make a Gay Victim sympathetic to straights, you have to portray him as Everyman. But an additional theme of the campaign will be more aggressive and upbeat. To confound bigoted stereotypes and hasten the conversion of straights, strongly favorable images of gays must be set before the public. The campaign should paint gay men and lesbians as superior - veritable pillars of society. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 187-188)
Famous historical figures are especially useful to us for two reasons: first, they are invariably dead as a doornail, hence in no position to deny the truth and sue for libel. Second, and more serious, the virtues and accomplishments that make these historic gay figures admirable cannot be gainsaid or dismissed by the public, since high school history textbooks have already set them in incontrovertible cement. By casting its violet spotlight on such revered heroes, in no time a skillful media campaign could have the gay community looking like the veritable fairy godmother to Western civilization. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gay’s in the 90s, p. 188)
· Make victimizers look bad
Finally there was there a plan on how to deal with the victimizers. That is to make them look bad.
Our primary objective regarding diehard homohaters of this sort is to cow and silence them as far as possible, not to convert or even desensitize them. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p.176)
The real target here is not victimizers themselves but the homohatred that impels them. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 189)
The objective is to make homohating beliefs and actions look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from them. This, of course, is a variant on the process of jamming. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 189)
With the help of the media, they portray those who refuse to buy, and especially any who dare to publicly oppose (competitively react to), the gay rights idea as bigots, homophobes, heterosexists, ignorant, hateful, intolerant, and so on. They position the accused in the same category as racists, sexists, elitists, and other pejorative classes. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 464)
The plan for making the victimizers look bad also included a way of dealing with the issue of homosexuality and morality.
Second, gays can undermine the moral authority of homohating churches over less fervent adherents by portraying such institutions as antiquated backwaters, badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology. Against the atavistic tug of Old Time Religion one must set the mightier pull of Science and Public Opinion (the shield and sword of that accursed secular humanism). (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 179)
We have looked at how the ideas to shift the focus from homosexual behavior to gay rights and to portray homosexuals as victims was to be instrumented, what follows is a look at the foundations for the calculated public relations campaign itself. The core of this campaign was to be through mainstream media by the use of propaganda.
We have in mind a strategy as calculated and powerful as that which gays are accused of pursuing by their enemies - or, if you prefer, a plan as manipulative as that which our enemies themselves employ. It’s time to learn from Madison Avenue, to rollout the big guns. Gays must launch a large - scale campaign - we’ve called it the Waging Peace campaign-to reach straights through the mainstream media. We’re talking about propaganda. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 161)
How could a movement ever penetrate a market that consists of the hearts and minds of an entire society? The key was to consider first and foremost the media in everything the homosexual movement did - to control information and images. Only by controlling the information could they saturate important centers of influence and thus avoid or the information could they saturate important centers of influence and thus avoid or beat other ideas in the market. (Rondeau, “Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 466)
The term propaganda’ applies to any deliberate attempt to persuade the masses via public communications media. Such communication is everywhere, of course, being a mainstay of modern societies. Its function is not to perpetrate, but to propagate; that is, to spread new ideas and feelings (or reinforce old ones) which may themselves be either evil or good depending on their purpose and effect. The purpose and effect of progay propaganda is to promote a climate of increased tolerance for homosexuals. And that, we say, is good.
Three characteristics distinguish propaganda from other modes of communication and contribute to its sinister reputation. First, propaganda relies more upon emotional manipulation than upon logic, since its goal is, in fact, to bring about a change in the public’s feelings. Bertrand Russell once asked, "Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feelings?" The answer is that the public is more eager to hate than to love, especially where outgroups are concerned; and that, knowing this, propagandists have seldom attempted to elicit friendly feelings or dampen hatred. This time, however, we gays will attempt precisely that. And we’ll be more successful than before because we can base our efforts on techniques (desensitization, jamming, and conversion) derived directly from a solid understanding of the psychology of homhatred.
The second sinister characteristic of propaganda is its frequent use of outright lies, a tactic we neither need nor condone. In the long run, big fat lies work only for the propagandists of totalitarian states, who can make them stick by exercising almost complete control over public information. But in pluralistic societies, such as ours, chronic liars on controversial subjects are invariably found out and discredited in the press by their opponents. (There is, alas, an exception: certain lies become hallowed public myths, persisting for as long as the public chooses to believe them. Need we mention the Big Lie?)
Third, even when it sticks to the facts, propaganda can be unabashedly subjective and one-sided. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. Propaganda tells its own side of the story as movingly (and credibly) as possible,sinceitcan count on its enemies to tell the other side with a vengeance. In the battle for hearts and minds, effective propaganda knows enough to put its best foot forward. This is what our own media campaign must do. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 162-163)
* Densenitize, Jam, and Conversion
Generally speaking, the most effective propaganda for our cause must succeed in doing three things at once.
Employ images that desensitize, jam, and/or convert bigots on an emotional level. This is by far, the most important task.
· Challenge homohating beliefs and actions on a (not too) intellectual level. Remember, the rational message serves to camouflage our underlying emotional appeal, even as it pares away the surrounding latticework of beliefs that rationalize bigotry.
· Gain access to the kinds of public media that would automatically confer legitimacy upon these messages and, therefore, upon their gay sponsors. To be accepted by the most prestigious media, such as network TV, our messages themselves will have to be - at least initially - both subtle in purpose and crafty in construction. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 172-173)
The groups used by homosexual activists to distribute the homosexual idea and gay rights issues were those that touched the most Americans and had the highest source of creditability. Just like the tremendous leverage they achieved by co-opting the mental health professions who would then become disseminators of the homosexual agenda through actions and programs, it was planned that the media, the government, educators, and liberal, less fervent churches would be forced on board. Each of these channels carries its own authority and credibility. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 467)
Underlying the core of the campaign, the use of propaganda dissimilated through the use of mainstream media was to be firmly grounded in three long-established principles of psychology and advertising. They are desensitization, jamming, and conversion.
The campaign we outline in this book, though complex, depends centrally upon a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. xxvi)
We can extract the following principle for our campaign: to desensitize straights to gays and gayness, inundate them in a continuous flood of gay-related advertising, presented in the least offensive fashion possible. If straights can’t shut off the shower, they may at least eventually get used to being wet. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 149)
Desensitization aims at lowering the intensity of antigay emotional reactions to a level approximating sheer indifference; . . . (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 153)
The third principle is our recipe for desensitizing Ambivalent Skeptics; that is, for helping straights view homosexuality with neutrality rather than keen hostility. At least at the outset, we seek desensitization and nothing more. You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a good thing. But if you can get them to think it is just another thing - meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders - then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 177)
Jamming makes use of the rules of Associative Conditioning (the psychological process whereby, when two things are repeatedly juxtaposed, one’s feelings about one thing are transformed to the other) and Direct Emotional Modeling (the inborn tendency of human beings to feel what they perceive others to be feeling). (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 150)
Jamming attempts to blockade or counteracts the rewarding pride in prejudice’ (peace, Jane Austen!) by attaching to homohatred a preexisting, and punishing, sense of shame in being a bigot, a horse’s ass, and a beater and murder. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 153)
We mean 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. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 153)
In Conversion, we mimic the natural process of stereotype learning, with the following effect: we take the bigot’s good feelings about all-right guys, and attach them to the label ’gay,’ either weakening or, eventually, replacing his bad feelings toward the label and the prior stereotype.
Understanding Direct Emotional Modeling, you’ll readily foresee its application to Conversion: whereas in Jamming the target is shown a bigot being rejected by his crowd for his prejudice against gays, in Conversion the target is shown his crowd actually associating with gays in good fellowship. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 155)
· Coming Out
Kirk and Madsen in their book, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, took the concept of coming out and applying the three long-established principles of psychology and advertising desensitization, jamming, and conversion to it explaining how it would greatly advance the gay rights movement. Coming out is the concept whereby one publicly accepts and/or adopts the identity of being a homosexual.
First coming out helps desensitize straights. As more and more gays emerge into everyday life, gays as a group will begin to seem more familiar and unexceptional to straights, hence less alarming and objectionable. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 167)
Second, coming out allows more jamming of the reward system for homohatred. Jamming, you’ll recall, means interrupting the smooth workings of bigotry by inducing inconsistent feelings in the bigot. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 167)
Third, coming out is a critical catalyst for the all-important conversion’ process, as well. Conversion is more than merely desensitizing straights or jamming their homohatred: it entails making them actually like and accept homosexuals as a group, enabling straights to identify with them. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 168)
Finally, in addition to making desensitization, jamming, and conversion possible, coming out is the key to sociopolitical empowerment, the ability of the gay community to control its own destiny. The more gay individuals who stand up to be counted, the more voting and spending power the gay community will be recognized to have. As an inevitable result, politics and business will woo us, the press will publicize our concerns and report our news, and our community will enjoy enhanced prestige. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 168)
What is the goal of the gay rights movement? Whether there is a homosexual agenda that is an organized attempt by homosexuals to advance homosexual rights Kirk and Madsen in their book, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, certainly attempt to imply that one is needed and it would be good for both homosexuals and society at large.
Specifically, we want straights to believe that we no more choose gayness than they do straightness; that it’s a valid and healthy condition; and that, when treated with respect and friendship, we’re happy and psychologically well-adjusted as they are. We want them to realize that we look, feel, and act just as they do; we’re hard-working, conscientious Americans with love lives exactly like their own. We want to be seen as the brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, friends and co-workers, and - yes - fathers and mothers of straight Americans: a valued part of American society, a part whose culture, heroes, and news are worthy of attention and respect. (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 379-380)
The following comments are from Rondeau’s article Selling Homosexuality to America and one who opposes homosexuality writes this article. His article was published in 2002; thirteen years after Kirk and Madsen published their book After the Ball. His comments show just how successful homosexuals have been with the carefully calculated public relations campaign to shift the public’s focus and the discussion of homosexuality from homosexual behavior to the idea of gay rights.
Homosexual activists now routinely name themselves as often and as publicly as they wish to be defined. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 462-463)
Concepts introduced through the media, education, government, and courts by the homosexual movement theme have shaped our discourse; homophobia, heterosexism, tolerance and hate speech are now mainstream vernacular. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 483)
The current debate, then, is framed differently by both sides. Is homosexual behavior normal or abnormal? Are the maladies commonly associated with the homosexual condition (depression, AIDS, suicide, cancer) caused by the behavior itself or society’s reaction to it? Are homosexuals just the same as heterosexuals? Should science or society determine the acceptability of gayness?
If history repeats itself, the point of view that holds sway in America’s courts will first hold sway in the minds and hearts of individual citizens, judges, and lawmakers. And the heart and mind of society is the target market that the gay rights campaign means to capture in order to win in courts. (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 452)
This explains why the gay rights movement often focuses on negative labeling (bigot, ignorant, intolerant) in the marketplace of competing ideas; a social environment is created that is unfriendly to anti-homosexual speech. Like Chinese water torture rather than brute force, only socially enforced public compliance at a minimum level, through continued application, can ultimately change the privately held attitude or belief.
Thus, to psychologically propel societal attitude change regarding homosexuality, America is deluged with pro-homosexual messages, education campaigns, positive images, and sympathetic news in the media creating an antecedent condition that can be called societal dissonance." (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 456)
Today, homophobes and heterosexists are proclaimed to be the problem. Hate crimes and gay rights legislation are proposed as the solution.
Yet, the purpose of law is to discriminate against certain behaviors. It even discriminates against those with real pathological behaviors, i.e., alcoholics who drive drunk. Laws discriminate against parents who believe it is normal to exploit their children, companies who justify making false promises or dangerous products, citizens who believe that they should not have to pay higher taxes, incompetent doctors, drug dealers, and ticket scalpers.
The debate is not about the persecution of a political minority but is about the state’s right and its duty to regulate against behaviors that are unhealthy and destructive to society at large. "If at the level of civil politics there are homosexual people who do not want to be known solely through what sex they have or where and with how many they have it, it is nonetheless absurd to claim that sex is merely ancillary to the gay . . . agenda.
Gay rights is not about the attainment of truth nor social justice but the achievement of power. The battle centers on the control of public discourse through marketing and persuasion, to shape what society thinks about and how they think about it. Homosexual activists envision that a decision is ultimately made without society ever realizing that it has been purposely conditioned to arrive at a conclusion that it thinks is its own.
Perhaps with the application of common sense, the balance can be regained between right and rights and thereby not only will the few be protected from the whims of the masses but the masses can be saved from the excesses of the few." (Rondeau, Selling Homosexuality to America, p. 484-485)
Abelove, Henry, Michele Aine Barale and David M. Halprin. The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Routledge. New York and London, 1993.
D’Emilio, John. Capitalism and Gay Identity, 467-476, in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader by Henry Abelove, Michele Aine Barale and David M. Halperin. Routledge. New York and London, 1993.
Duberman, Martin. Left Out. South End Press. Cambridge, MA, 2002.
Kirk, Marshall and Hunter Madsen Ph.D. After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s. Doubleday. New York, 1989.
Rondeau, Paul E. Selling Homosexuality to America. Regent University Law Review. Spring 2002, Vol. 14, No. 2, 443-485)
Weeks, Jeffery. Sexuality and Its Discontents Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities. Routledge and Kegan Paul. London, 1988.