Such absurd equations show how homosexuality became a floating signifier, associated with whatever political tendency one most disliked. Rather than representing a certain group of people, it represented everything that was wrong—whatever that meant. America’s Red Scare bled into its Lavender Scare; the Soviets associated homosexuality with capitalism and fascism. But empty as it was, the political use of the trope of homosexuality had a devastating effect on real people from both countries."Homosexuality Is Stalin's Atom Bomb to Destroy America" is on display at the Winkleman Gallery in NYC.
Johnson: The politicians behind the Lavender Scare asserted that homosexuals were susceptible to blackmail by enemy agents and so could be coerced into revealing government secrets. In other words, the official rationale wasn't that homosexuals were communists but that they could be used by communists. A Senate subcommittee spent months investigating this claim and came up empty-handed. They found no evidence that even a single gay or lesbian American civil servant had ever been blackmailed into revealing state secrets. The only proof they offered was the well-known case of Colonel Alfred Redl, an Austrian double agent who was exposed just before World War I. Nevertheless, the subcommittee's final report stated emphatically that homosexuals posed a threat to national security and called for their removal from all federal agencies.The Lavender Scare, a documentary.
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