Camille Paglia

Lesbian Camille Paglia Makes Sense on Harm of ‘Gay’ Promotion to Youth

Monday, January 28th, 2008

This is an oldie but a goodie from the brilliant, politically incorrect (lesbian) feminist Camille Paglia, from her 1998 online Salon Q&A column “Ask Camille.” Now, before you think we’ve sold our conservative souls and are ready to join the Wayne Besen Homosexual Hysteria Club so we can start smearing ex-gays, ridiculing common sense, and destroying traditional marriage — no, we are not sanctioning lesbianism by posting this piece. (Personally, my hope would be that Paglia would outgrow lesbianism, but that’s another essay.) She just makes some refreshing observations that, frankly, we wish more traditionalists would make. (And Paglia has always opposed the Gay Left’s totalitarian impulse by defending the free speech righs of opponents of homosexuality.) 

Of course, the problem Paglia addresses below has only grown exponentially worse in the decade since she wrote this.– Peter LaBarbera

Emphasis is added below:

Dear Camille:

I am a black, conservative female. I am proud to say that you are one of my heroes. I would like your opinion of the following press release, which I am forwarding to you. It’s regarding the Gay Youth Pride Day. Now, according to some, I may have no right to have an opinion about this, because of my heterosexuality. However, I think some in the so-called “gay community” take this pride thing a bit too far. As a 19-year-old, openly straight female, I really don’t understand the need for the self-anointed leaders of the gay rights movement to draw gay youngsters into their self-indulgent politics. Am I misguided or insensitive in my approach to the “young gay dilemma”?

Your conservative admirer in Va.
Dear Conservative:

The psychological turmoil of adolescents at sexual awakening cannot be underestimated. Everything is in flux — impulses, fears, dreams, with simultaneous longings for independence and for protection by adults. What I dislike about the push of organized gay activism into high schools is that it imposes a rigid political paradigm on a stage of life that is in rapid, painful transition for everyone, gay or straight.

As an equity feminist, as well as an open lesbian, I oppose special protections for any group, including my own. Teachers and administrators should obviously not permit physical harassment of any kind on school property, but verbal epithets, however offensive or hurtful, have First Amendment protection. The PC thought police, having been defeated on college campuses after the court-ordered banning of the fascist speech codes, are now oozing their way into high schools. “Hate” cannot be stopped by authoritarian manipulation but by slow social change, which may take generations.

The Internet has been a boon to lonely gay teens in geographically remote areas — but, of course, computers still remain largely a white middle-class luxury. I find very suspicious the statistics about teen suicides with which gay activists badger the media. If gay teens are indeed attempting suicide at a higher rate than straight teens, perhaps more questions need to be asked about the genesis of homosexuality. The intolerable sense of isolation may precede the homosexuality, rather than vice versa.

I have written repeatedly about my theory that homosexuality is an adaptation, rather than an innate trait, and that it is reinforced by habit. With its cant terms of “oppression” and “bigotry,” gay activism, encouraged by the scientific illiteracy of academic postmodernism, wants to deny that there is a heterosexual norm. This is madness. We need more art and history and less politics in primary education. Art gives the young the psychological and spiritual tools for authentic self-discovery. And art is where sexual dissenters have contributed the most to the human record.

In short, I agree with your concern about the Trojan Horse of gay activism, which is being dragged into high schools under the false flag of compassion. Young people who oppose homosexuality for any reason have a constitutional right to express their views, in or out of the classroom. Whatever they may privately believe as individuals, educators have a professional obligation to remain ideologically neutral in their treatment of students.

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