Homintern is a
portmanteauof Homosexual International. The term is a word play on " Comintern" for CommunistInternational. [ An early, perhaps the first use of the term "Homintern" was in an article published by W. H. Audenin a 1940 issue of Partisan Review.]
"Homintern" was used in the 1940s and 1950s and appeared in number of popular mass-circulation
magazinearticles during the 1960s to refer to what was believed by many to be an international cabalof influential gays who, it was asserted, controlled the arts and culture. These magazine articles were always 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 galleryowners, balletdirectors, movie producers, record labelexecutives, and photographers who, behind the scenes, determined who would become successful artists, dancers, actors, rock and roll rock star celebrities, and models.
In the 1960s, the majority of gay people had not publicly discussed their sexuality, so
homophiles had to use what we today call gaydarto determine who was gay. Since this was sometimes difficult, anyone could potentially be part of the conspiracy, and even many gay people believed in its existence. It was widely thought among young people that the members of the Homintern all had casting couches, and that it was necessary to sexually submit to the Homintern on these casting couches in order to have a successful career in the arts. It was taken for granted that the Homintern had absolute control of the Hollywood film industry.
It was believed that the Homintern had secret meetings at which they decided on women's
fashion designfor the coming year.
The term "Homintern" was used in articles even in liberal magazines such as Ramparts. [There was an article in Ramparts in 1966 by journalist Gene Marine about the Homintern.] It was frequently used in the conservative magazine
National Review. William F. Buckley, Jr.sometimes warned of the machinations of the Homintern on his talk show " Firing Line".
The tiny minority of influential people who publicly discussed their homosexuality in 1960s - such as
Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, John Rechy, and Andy Warhol- were automatically regarded as part of the Homintern.
After the emergence of
gay liberationin 1969, belief in the Homintern faded because after the Stonewall riots, many gay people came out of the closetso it was more difficult to postulate this conspiracy theory.
*cite book | last=Sherry | first=Michael S. | title=Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy | location=Chapel Hill | publisher=University of North Carolina Press | year=2007 | isbn=0807831212
*cite journal | last=Woods | first=Gregory | coauthors= | title=The 'Conspiracy' of the 'Homintern' | journal=The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide | volume=vol. 10 | issue=no.3 | pages= | id= | month=May | year=2003 | url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3491/is_200305/ai_n8282771 | accessdate=2008-01-23
date=November 11, 2007
New York Times
accessdate=2008-08-05, by Thomas Mallon, book review of "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy", "
New York Times Book Review", Sunday, 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/25/RVOURTA0G.DTL&type=printable "They're here, queer, and art pioneers:] , by Lisa Montanarelli, book review of "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy", "San Francisco Chronicle Book Review", Sunday,
2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
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