Planet of the Gay Apes


 THE PARANOID STYLE of American politics is such that it’s a safe bet that eventually every conspiracy theory that can be conceived will be conceived—and then broadcast by some conehead with a talk radio show. But occasionally one of these gay-armyconspiracies catches our eye.

So there’s a right-wing radio host named Rick Wiles who’s convinced that a new breed of gay supermen is currently plotting to take over America! Wiles begins with the premise that Hitler wasn’t trying to produce an Aryan race but instead “a homosexual special race” with which to rule the world: “Hitler was trying to create a race of super gay male soldiers,” Wiles avers. And, inevitably: “if it’s not stopped, it will end up in America.”

Wiles offers no evidence for this threat and clearly hasn’t thought it through—how could there be a “race” of gay men?—but as pure fantasy it certainly reveals something about how gay people are perceived in this sector of our society. Surely this image of gay superheroes would have been unthinkable 25 or even ten years ago, when gay men could only be stereotyped as weaklings or sissies. That a race of gay Übermenschen in military drag is now threatening to invade America could be seen as a weird testament to recent victories by the GLBT rights movement.