For most of its history, the American gay movement has been part of the democratic Left. Gay liberation's founders were Communists, and its activist core is still overwhelmingly progressive. But in recent years, a more affluent group of gay men has begun to make its mark. Though they are a minority in the queer community (which includes people of all races, classes and genders), conservatives have become the loudest gay voices in the mainstream media. With their withering contempt for feminism and radical politics, these 'gayocons' are changing the movement's public image. Unless their rise is met by a persuasive critique, they may also alter its heart and soul. Homocons offers such a critique. It describes how the gay Right agenda differs from the one the queer community has long embraced. Never abandoning its analysis of the complex relationship between homosexuals and liberal society, the book examines the conflict between liberationists and assimilationists that has raged since the Stonewall era, and explores how political success tipped the balance and facilitated the rise of the gay Right. Finally this book offers an alternative to gay conservatism grounded in queer humanism, a distinct sensibility that has been a major force in progressive thought for more than a century.
Richard Goldstein is an executive editor of the Village Voice, where he has been writing about the intersection of politics, culture, and sexuality for the past thirt-five years. He is the author of several books including Reporting the Counterculture and The Poetry of Rock, and the winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's columnist of the year award (2001).