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‘Secret City,’ an Epic Narrative History of the Closet in the Capital

James Kirchick’s new book tallies the cost of homophobia on lives and careers in Washington, D.C., from the days of F.D.R. to the Clinton presidency.

SECRET CITY

The Hidden History of Gay Washington

By James Kirchick

826 pages. Henry Holt. $38.

“Secret City,” by James Kirchick, is a sprawling and enthralling history of how the gay subculture in Washington, D.C., long in shadow, emerged into the klieg lights. But it’s also a whodunit to rival anything by Agatha Christie. How did so many promising men in government wind up dead before their time, by such variously violent means?

John C. Montgomery, a Princeton graduate and the Finnish desk chief at the State Department: hanged in the nude by his bathrobe belt from a third-floor banister. Roger D. “Denny” Hansen, champion swimmer at Yale, Rhodes scholar, National Security Council appointee and professor: asphyxiated in a friend’s garage. Lester C. Hunt, Army Reserve major and a governor of Wyoming turned senator: shot in the head while on a leather swivel chair in his office. Louis J. Teboe, affable accounting clerk at the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs: stabbed in an alleyway with a stiletto knife. And that’s just by Page 226 of a book that stretches to over 800. We’ve yet to reach the tuxedoed lobbyist overdosing at the Ritz to the tune of “A Little Night Music.”

Excepting Teboe, who was lured and attacked by malevolent teenagers intending to rob him, the above cases were all suicides. But Kirchick reveals copious blood on the hands of the powerful, who for decades regarded alternative desires or any association with them as a “contagious sexual aberrancy,” and cause for immediate banishment from mainstream society — a Lavender Menace inextricably linked with the Red one. (Hunt’s fatal shame proved the power of association: His son, Buddy, had been charged once with solicitation at age 25.)

And yet the very skills gay people had to develop to survive — studiousness, compartmentalization, discretion, itinerancy — made them uniquely skilled, Kirchick points out, to sensitive tasks like espionage or high-level advising. For a long time, everyone in D.C. seemed to be looking over his shoulder, seeking signals, codes and clues — a “slight mince”; a “jelly hand shake”; a “limp wrist” or just overzealous grooming. These must have been harrowing existences, but their retelling makes for very good and suspenseful, if occasionally ponderous, reading.

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by Anonymousreply 139July 6, 2022 6:05 AM

“Even at the height of the Cold War, it was safer to be a Communist than a homosexual,” he writes. “A Communist could break with the party. A homosexual was forever tainted.”

by Anonymousreply 1May 23, 2022 12:48 PM

Oh goody! I hope we get at least ten threads on this!

by Anonymousreply 2May 23, 2022 12:48 PM

Is there an audio book version?

by Anonymousreply 3May 23, 2022 2:07 PM

826 pages???

by Anonymousreply 4May 23, 2022 2:07 PM

SCANDALOUS! Fetch mah faintin couch promptleh!

by Anonymousreply 5May 23, 2022 2:10 PM

Glad this book got written. Having worked in DC for many years, I saw first hand how gays were treated--loved as social companions and dinner guests but blocked from any real power.

by Anonymousreply 6May 23, 2022 2:13 PM

The writer used to go by Jamie Kirchik, didn’t he? In the second Bush years he was a Sullivan-esque gay neocon twat writing for mags like The New Republic.

by Anonymousreply 7May 23, 2022 2:15 PM

The real gay power in DC is in real estate - all the major players are gay.

by Anonymousreply 8May 23, 2022 2:18 PM

Very true, R8. There is a gay cabal in DC’s real estate scene.

by Anonymousreply 9May 23, 2022 2:35 PM

R7, yes, he claims to be a "conservative."

by Anonymousreply 10May 23, 2022 5:48 PM

I’ve started this and it’s quite fascinating. It really starts within the FDR administration and focusing on the Gays in The State Department and diplomacy. The Truman section is next and about the interlocking of the Lavender Scare with the Red Scare. It reads like the best journalistic narrative investigative nonfiction, which is to say like good fiction.

by Anonymousreply 11June 22, 2022 8:36 AM

The Red Scare. was perfectly legit as proven by the Venona project. I would suppose this new book then confirms the Lavender Scare.

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by Anonymousreply 12June 22, 2022 9:37 AM

800+ pages? Is there no such thing as an actual editor anymore?

by Anonymousreply 13June 22, 2022 1:18 PM

He calls himself a "classical liberal" which is what the "never Trumpers" do to deny that they were part of a world that enabled him. He writes for teh Spectator but otherwise stays away from right wing pubs.

by Anonymousreply 14June 22, 2022 1:23 PM

Yes this guy has always been conservative on everything except gay rights, and that only because he's gay, like Sullivan. They never really grappled with the question of why anyone should want him to have equal rights when they obviously doesn't care about anyone else's rights. He is a Never Trumper though.

Anyway, all that's nether here nor there re his book, which is a popular history and based on at least some original research.

by Anonymousreply 15June 22, 2022 1:33 PM

A ton of original research and he reached out to quite a few local characters, some of whom are griping that they are not named for playing minorroles in various actions. He lauds Frank Kemeny for his seminal role in gay rights. He also is complimentary toward rehabilitated but still annoying conservative Charles Francis who is trying to preserve gay history.

by Anonymousreply 16June 22, 2022 1:37 PM

I heard him on Tim Miller's podcast. It sounds like a very well-researched book, and he clearly knows his stuff.

by Anonymousreply 17June 22, 2022 1:41 PM

R13 About 200 pages of it are footnotes, which is a smart thing to do with a book like this and to present as much indisputable truth about what you are writing about and make it available to the reader. Not all nonfiction books do that, and the ones that do don’t have to be academic in nature, but it certainly lends it a level of authority that not all books have.

by Anonymousreply 18June 22, 2022 3:29 PM

[quote]About 200 pages of it are footnotes

Oh, thank God. I'm something like 18% through, and it is a slog. Still, I think I'll like his conclusions more than I liked Eric Cervini's.

by Anonymousreply 19June 22, 2022 3:48 PM

I'm really interested in the history of gays in politics. There are still a bunch of them who won't come out....I think we know who I'm talking about

by Anonymousreply 20June 22, 2022 3:52 PM

200 pages of notes? Sounds like the author refused to cut this book down and was forced to move chunks of the text to the notes....

by Anonymousreply 21June 22, 2022 3:52 PM

R21 Endnotes are a staple of legitimate research, and a wise legal precaution when writing about such a sensitive subject. Books of historical nonfiction usually have copious footnotes and endnotes. It's documentation of legitimate research and sourcing.

by Anonymousreply 22June 22, 2022 3:54 PM

R20 It's true. Eleanor may have been a "Big Lesbian Mule," but she was my girl!

My bedroom was right next to hers in the White House!

by Anonymousreply 23June 22, 2022 3:55 PM

I'm about 150 pages in and can't put it down. Fascinating and marvelously written.

The author recently appeared on Andrew Sullivan's podcast. Yeah, I know many here hate him, but it was an excellent discussion.

I like that the book avoids using "qu**r" in its modern connotation; he's gotten some pushback for that from academics, but as he points out on the Sullivan podcast, for most of the history he's examining, and the people he's covering, it was seen as a slur and those people would not have called themselves that -- in fact, he quotes many anti-gay personalities specifically using the term as a slur.

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by Anonymousreply 24June 22, 2022 4:00 PM

R22, honey, I know how research works. 200 pages is a lot of notes. Even for actual academic books.

by Anonymousreply 25June 22, 2022 4:01 PM

[quote]I like that the book avoids using "qu**r" in its modern connotation

I gave up on another non-fiction book about some 20th century gay murders because the author was referring to all the characters as "queer" or "queers." No one talked like that then. Sure, there was the "we're here, we're queer" cheer, but that was about it.

"The Q word" is what I call "queer." I absolutely loathe, hate, and detest it.

by Anonymousreply 26June 22, 2022 4:04 PM

R25 And on a subject as sensitive and litigious as this (who's a homosexual, who's fired whom because of it, who's been pushed to suicide/disgrace because of it, etc.), this book has to be legally and factually airtight. This book has vignettes of gay men who were blackmailed, gay men who were murdered, and powerful men and women who played an active or indirect role in the commission of crimes. It's serious stuff, and his publisher would be negligent if they trimmed down the citations.

We can call Lindsey Graham a big honkin' queer all we want to on DL. But if we put it in a book and sold it, without firm evidence, we'd be open to lawsuits and accusations of sensationalism and fraud.

by Anonymousreply 27June 22, 2022 4:05 PM

overzealous grooming

by Anonymousreply 28June 22, 2022 4:05 PM

R26, most people didn't use the terms gay or bi until relatively recently either....

by Anonymousreply 29June 22, 2022 4:06 PM

"Gay" is the term that has been used my entire gayhood, r29.

by Anonymousreply 30June 22, 2022 4:07 PM

R26: Take some smelling salts and go back to the 19th century or to Russia---probably the sma ething.

by Anonymousreply 31June 22, 2022 4:10 PM

Sorry, R27, I'm better than you are at pretending to be an editor.

by Anonymousreply 32June 22, 2022 4:30 PM

Scanned the sample text on Amazon, and this looks turgid and endless. I'm glad other people are enjoying it.

by Anonymousreply 33June 22, 2022 4:35 PM

This guy should have done the research and let Ethan Mordden write the actual book.

by Anonymousreply 34June 22, 2022 4:37 PM

"Gay" was self-adopted by homosexuals at least by the late 1800s or the early 1900s, and remained in the homosexual underground for decades; the first mainstream usage of it in a possible homosexual context was in 1938, in the film Bringing Up Baby; arguably, it didn't begin being used by the vast majority of the population as an accepted term for homosexuals until the 1960s.

"Queer" was used against gay men as a denigrating slur, certainly from the mid 19th century; although activists "reclaimed" the term in the late 1980s in response to the AIDS crisis, and academics latched on to the term around the same time, it is still used as a slur by many anti-gay individuals and in recent years has been adopted by straight people wanting to appear as edgy.

Personally, I would rather historians use "gay" or "homosexual"; I find "queer" deeply offensive, both due to its history and its modern co-option by straights, and it often dissuades me from wanting to read a book if the author or editor litters the text with it.

by Anonymousreply 35June 22, 2022 4:40 PM

Mordden often has only a nodding acquaintance with the facts.

Kirchik was a guest on Real Time recently. Made a rather strong assertion that Trump if convicted should be pardoned "for the sake of the country." Turned me right off.

by Anonymousreply 36June 22, 2022 4:41 PM

"Mordden often has only a nodding acquaintance with the facts."

That's why I said that the neo-con guy should have been responsible for research!

by Anonymousreply 37June 22, 2022 4:59 PM

There are no more closet cases in D.C., trust me!

All the gays are out!

by Anonymousreply 38June 22, 2022 6:40 PM

It’s been decades at this point that I’ve seen Another Country, though I remember it fondly. What I don’t remember is parts of it taking place in the United States with Burgess (Rupert Everett), or him being in D.C. being expressed at all in the movie. I had no idea he was part of the Lavender Scare. I thought his spying was a British/Soviet thing.

by Anonymousreply 39June 23, 2022 6:28 AM

Does he name names? I don't need another 'guess who this is' book.

by Anonymousreply 40June 23, 2022 9:34 AM

Heard the author on Andy Cohen’s radio show last week (I know MARY!), he was saying the Reagan administration had more gays on staff than any other administration to date. Super interesting, went into the scandal in the 80s with the pages, J Edgar Hoover tid bits etc. I will definitely get this book for summer reading

by Anonymousreply 41June 23, 2022 10:51 AM

Two summers worth.

by Anonymousreply 42June 23, 2022 11:36 AM

Who is Andy Cohen and why does he rate a "Mary!"?

by Anonymousreply 43June 23, 2022 11:37 AM

I guess it's good that he's getting out of his comfort zone and talking to people other than conservaqueers, but Andy Cohen?

He notes that the source of the drag rumor about J Edgar Hoover comes from a non-credible source and that no one has ever really seen Hoover doing the nasty with anyone but he he has several pages of innuendo that makes it clear that he was the Senatrice of his time. A gay colleague of mine who was invited to the White House for meetings in the Reagan years has always insisted everyone seemed "light in the loafers" (his description). I'm guessing that Nancy like impossible women of all sorts could only find people acceptable to her who were gay. Ronnie would have been used to them from the movie days as long as they didn't tell him about their personal lives.

by Anonymousreply 44June 23, 2022 12:03 PM

Any gay men who worked for Reagan deserved to be loaded into a cannon and fired into the sun. Do you think they didn't know about that press secretary constantly laughing and joking about AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 45June 23, 2022 12:08 PM

So, I guess that Tim Gunn story about his father taking him and his sister to meet a woman who looked liked Vivian Vance, but adult Tim was convinced was J.Edgar Hoover remains unverifiable? I mean it sounds like a story crafted just for DL’s amusement, but still, what was on Hoovers schedule that day?

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by Anonymousreply 46June 23, 2022 12:42 PM

This story is about two gay lovers’ affair in Washington. The movie will begin filming in Toronto in July. The book by Thomas Mallon (2007) is set during the McCarthy hearings. It addresses the dilemma of the Lavender Scare and includes lots of famous names.

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by Anonymousreply 47June 23, 2022 4:00 PM

As was mentioned upthread, the guy was on Real Time last week, and I found him to be a real turn off.

Conservative is an understatement for what he is.

by Anonymousreply 48June 23, 2022 4:14 PM

I already have to live in a world built by neocons, so I avoid books written by them.

by Anonymousreply 49June 23, 2022 4:49 PM

I will never understand people who are proud of their ignorance, and even actively pursue it.

by Anonymousreply 50June 23, 2022 5:57 PM

[quote] He notes that the source of the drag rumor about J Edgar Hoover comes from a non-credible source

While Hoover for over 40 years was under the eyes of around the clock FBI bodyguards, staff and servants. This back in the un-woke FBI days when agents would never have tolerated such behavior. Still it was a pretty successful post-mortem smear by people who would have wet their pants if Hoover had looked at them crossly.

by Anonymousreply 51June 23, 2022 6:13 PM

But what did he say about Hoover bestie Clyde Tolson?

by Anonymousreply 52June 23, 2022 6:21 PM

No shit ^

by Anonymousreply 53June 23, 2022 6:36 PM

There apparently were always gay rumors about Hoover throughout his professional life----they just weren't broadcast to general public. And members of the general public were harassed by FBI agents when someone connected to the FBI heard about them spreading gossip. All of that is in the book.

by Anonymousreply 54June 23, 2022 8:01 PM

In the book Stonewall by Martin Duberman there is stuff about Hoover and Tolson. Hinted that Tolson may have been targeted by a blackmail ring that was shaking down prominent gay men

by Anonymousreply 55June 23, 2022 8:11 PM

This author loves to slip in “Foggy Bottom” more then necessary , I’ve never heard it mentioned as much in any D.C. book.

by Anonymousreply 56June 23, 2022 8:32 PM

I love to say Foggy Bottom

by Anonymousreply 57June 23, 2022 8:42 PM

Miss Lindz, you're more of a soggy bottom.

by Anonymousreply 58June 23, 2022 8:48 PM

I call myself a Hoggy Bottom

by Anonymousreply 59June 23, 2022 8:54 PM

I'm a little over half way through it. The topic is interesting and the overall organization by administration is logical and easy to follow. However, he tends to introduce a particular piece of information or person and then abandon that for some tangentially related stuff only to return to it later on.

Perhaps this is to lend suspense, but I find it distracting and occasionally confusing. I have to backtrack quite a bit.

It is informative and I will definitely finish it.

by Anonymousreply 60June 23, 2022 9:01 PM

Senatrice - your beloved DJT calls you Faggy Bottom

by Anonymousreply 61June 23, 2022 9:17 PM

R60 I wish he would have put those characters outlines at the start of each section and not all right at the start. Using an eReader, so jumping back and forth isn’t as simple as with a book.

by Anonymousreply 62June 23, 2022 9:55 PM

Or maybe he didn't need to turn bureaucratic buggery into the Foggy Bottom Lord of the Rings saga. Editor? Hello??

by Anonymousreply 63June 23, 2022 10:02 PM

This book would've been far more interesting and relevant if it had detailed sordid sexual escapades of his mentor, Milky Loads, and other despicable Log Cabinettes, the same group that the author belongs to.

by Anonymousreply 64June 23, 2022 10:11 PM

Thanks r64. Did not know that, but his obvious adoration of conservative gays has caused me to put my IPad down a few times.

by Anonymousreply 65June 23, 2022 10:18 PM

Foggy Bottom is actually a term that has been used for the Department of State in Washington for a long time.

by Anonymousreply 66June 23, 2022 11:36 PM

The author was recently on Bill Maher. He pretty much parroted right wing talking points. Thankfully, the woman on there effectively shut him down

by Anonymousreply 67June 24, 2022 1:38 AM

Does he mention the real gay seedy underworld of the 70s and 80's as the book, "Confessions of a D.C. Madam: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail does?

by Anonymousreply 68June 24, 2022 1:39 AM

In 800 pages? I sure hope so.

by Anonymousreply 69June 24, 2022 2:00 AM

Outrageous Fiction Y'all !

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by Anonymousreply 70June 24, 2022 2:04 AM
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by Anonymousreply 71June 24, 2022 2:06 AM

R66 OK, one learns something new everyday, though I needed to see it in a Wikipedia to fully understand what it means. I only know Foggy Bottom as a neighborhood of DC and didn’t get why he’s always saying it, but it’s a apparently a “metonymy.” Now, I consider myself a very literary person, but this was still a what the fuck moment and something that’s a bit hard to wrap my mind around. I’m guessing this is very much a DC insider politico term that most of the population outside of there wouldn’t understand. And I don’t think he ever explained this in the text before he started throwing this term around. I’m trying to think of something similar, would the term “bridge and tunnel,” which any New Yorker knows means someone from the outer boroughs or Jersey be a metonymy?

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by Anonymousreply 72June 24, 2022 5:28 AM

I don't think "bridge and tunnel" is really a metonym, partly since it's usually used as an adjective. Some proper New York metonyms are Wall Street used to refer to the financial markets and Broadway used to refer to commercial theater.

(Two others that came to mind that aren't really in use much anymore are Madison Avenue used to refer to the advertising industry and Tin Pan Alley used to refer American popular music.)

by Anonymousreply 73June 24, 2022 1:09 PM

Not to mention the lost and lamented Garment District.

by Anonymousreply 74June 24, 2022 1:30 PM

About 90 pages in. So far I'm really liking it. Would Sumner Welles and David I. Walsh be DLers if they were around today?

by Anonymousreply 75June 25, 2022 5:04 PM

I had completely forgotten the long ago time when there were liberal wings of republicans and conservative Democrats.

Sinema and Manchin would have been at home and not the ridiculous caricatures they are today. Of course, I would still have despised them.

by Anonymousreply 76June 25, 2022 5:15 PM

Why on earth would you despise Manchin, R76?! He’s a DEMOCRATIC senator from West Buggtussle!!! Without a unicorn such as him, Mitch McConnell would be Majority Leader today. If you don’t think that matters, wait until, god forfend, Senate Republicans have a majority in the next Congress.

by Anonymousreply 77June 25, 2022 5:35 PM

Well, to be fair, I happen to despise unicorns as well.

by Anonymousreply 78June 25, 2022 6:43 PM

I think it's really good so far. I didn't know Eisenhower's National Security Advisor (who helped him throw gays out of government jobs) was a homo

by Anonymousreply 79June 27, 2022 9:46 PM

Anyone collaborating with the federal government, especially the imperial military wing, deserves whatever they have coming.

by Anonymousreply 80June 27, 2022 9:49 PM

I found the book to be quite good except for the part in the Reagan years where the republigays tried to claim that they were the REAL revolutionaries because the were working from the inside.

by Anonymousreply 81June 27, 2022 9:53 PM

Maybe they had the secret CIA AIDS vax.

by Anonymousreply 82June 27, 2022 9:54 PM

It's a depressing read this week. I'm now mid-Nixon.

by Anonymousreply 83June 27, 2022 9:57 PM

Am I in it?

by Anonymousreply 84June 27, 2022 9:57 PM

I'm at the Kennedy era. Guess what I haven't read about so far?...trannys. No mention of them. You would think since they're SOOO influential in the early gay rights movement, that at least some mention of them would be expected. 🤣

by Anonymousreply 85June 28, 2022 10:33 PM

^ I can't wait until Mitch, Lindsey, Hawley, etc. die so the media can finally tell the truth about them

by Anonymousreply 86June 28, 2022 10:35 PM

😂 he's in good company.

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by Anonymousreply 87June 28, 2022 11:11 PM

Reading the part where Soviets try to blackmail Joe Alsop for being a homo

by Anonymousreply 88June 28, 2022 11:13 PM

[quote] [R26]: Take some smelling salts and go back to the 19th century or to Russia---probably the sma ething.

Do you know what the word “queer” used to mean? It was thrown into the face of gay men like a brick. Just because pseudo-gays are using it to define themselves these days doesn’t purge that from the past. So, be a pal and lighten up with the judgy scorn.

by Anonymousreply 89June 28, 2022 11:29 PM

Thank you, r89.

"Go back to Russia?" Huh?

by Anonymousreply 90June 28, 2022 11:51 PM

R89, pseudo gays? I know gays who use the term. You're just pretending to be offended so you can score points against trans people or woke people or whatever group you're against now

by Anonymousreply 91June 29, 2022 12:02 AM

R91, those gays are co-opted by the nonbinary cult, pseudo gays are just that - straight or bi men, fake gays who just want social media points.

by Anonymousreply 92June 29, 2022 2:16 AM

Wonder why they latched on to queer instead of fag or fairy? Sounds nicer, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 93June 29, 2022 2:22 AM

"those gays are co-opted by the nonbinary cult, pseudo gays are just that - straight or bi men, fake gays who just want social media points."

Oh, nonsense. Gay activists have been using "queer" for decades now. You've heard of Queer Nation, right? And the idea that tons of straight men are pretending to be gay is fucking hilarious. Even the liberal ones would rather kill themselves than have anyone think they're anything other than a "real man" - why do you think women are more likely to identify as bi than men?

You're not really offended by the word, you're just pretending to be in order to score points against the groups of people that you don't like.

by Anonymousreply 94June 29, 2022 2:35 AM

[quote]You're not really offended by the word

That's bullshit, r94. I'm not the poster to whom you're responding, but I find "queer" extremely offensive. It should be pronounced and written "the Q word." I am offended by your inference that someone would pretend to be offended by it.

by Anonymousreply 95June 29, 2022 2:39 AM

Looks like I rattled R91 / R94 ‘s cage. Hmmmm, let’s see … likely a millennial or gen z slightly bi-curious guy, or straight, sexually-fluid girl, who postures by “genderqueer” or whatever preposterous bullshit is in vogue currently (as already mentioned), for purposes of demanding attention and validation.

It’s all so navel-gazing, so exhaustingly post-modern: straight kiddies rolling their eyes and lecturing gay people about what it means to be gay.

by Anonymousreply 96June 29, 2022 2:49 AM

"Hmmmm, let’s see … likely a millennial or gen z slightly bi-curious guy, or straight, sexually-fluid girl, who postures by “genderqueer” or whatever preposterous bullshit is in vogue currently (as already mentioned), for purposes of demanding attention and validation."

Nope, just a liberal who hates Log Cabin Republicans like yourself.

Were you complaining about Queer Nation decades ago? Doubt it

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by Anonymousreply 97June 29, 2022 2:52 AM

So thanks for the confirmation about the cage-rattling, lol!

You’re no liberal. You’re a wokester, doing your performative kabuki for social media cred. You were much too busy protest-voting for Stein in 2016 (and then running to Twitter to crow about it, the whole point of course) to have voted for Hillary, which is what *actual* liberals did.

You are straighter than Chrissy Metz’s line to the breakfast buffet.

by Anonymousreply 98June 29, 2022 3:00 AM

The fact that you use "woke" as an insult says a lot about you. Namely, that you are dumb and a conservative. Only the low IQ Trumpster brigade thinks being liberal is an insult. No, I did not vote for Jill Stein and I actually laugh at people who vote for third party candidates. I'm not straight, either, and I don't know why you think I am. Do you honestly believe tons of straight people hang out on gay boards? Well, you're the one who thinks straight men love pretending to be gay, so......

I notice you didn't deny being a Log Cabin Republican. I guess that one was true.

by Anonymousreply 99June 29, 2022 3:06 AM

From Little Queen George George Stephanopoulos: "Not since Robert Caro’s Years of Lyndon Johnson have I been so riveted by a work of history. Secret City is not gay history. It is American history.”

Did he make it into the book?

by Anonymousreply 100June 29, 2022 4:53 AM

R100 Oh, that’s why he was thanked in the acknowledgments.

by Anonymousreply 101June 29, 2022 5:01 AM

People who refer to so called taboo words as "Q Word" and "N Word" and "F Word" are fucking retarded.

OOOOPS! I mean "R Word".

by Anonymousreply 102June 29, 2022 8:00 AM

68 year old queer here.

Came out when in 1973.

My love of over 40 years and I identified as queer beginning in 1980 because we just didn't fit into either the straight or gay worlds. We were, and remained queer.

by Anonymousreply 103June 29, 2022 8:07 AM

There should at least be an acknowledgement that a) "queer" is deeply offensive to some people and b) dismissing those of us who find it offensive is insulting. And it absolutely should be avoided in professional settings.

by Anonymousreply 104June 29, 2022 3:03 PM

Just on page 15, & the author refers to Henry Wallace as "Vice President" at the September 1940 funeral for the former Speaker, William Bankhead. Wallace didn't become Veep until the following January.

by Anonymousreply 105June 29, 2022 6:47 PM

I’m in the Ford years section and they’re talking about Sean Strub, who went to Georgetown and was an elevator operator at the capital, slowly rising in the Washington Gay underworld. He has a 2014 memoir called Body Counts, did anyone read it? Is it worth checking out?

by Anonymousreply 106June 30, 2022 6:46 AM

How many chapters are there on Jared Kushner?

by Anonymousreply 107June 30, 2022 7:19 AM

[quote]an elevator operator at the capital, slowly rising

They can't afford to repair the elevators in D.C.?

by Anonymousreply 108June 30, 2022 8:18 AM

R106 Awww...Sean Strub was a cute little thing.

And his mother could spell.

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by Anonymousreply 109June 30, 2022 8:22 AM

I had the displeasure of meeting Strub. I liked his book, but he's a typical social climbing snob who drops names but clams up (oddly) when certain names are dropped on him.

by Anonymousreply 110June 30, 2022 11:06 AM

Did Ann Coulter give blurb for this thing?

by Anonymousreply 111June 30, 2022 10:22 PM

No, but George Stephanopoulos did

by Anonymousreply 112June 30, 2022 10:28 PM

Yes I remember what Hillary had to say about George when he was White House staff

by Anonymousreply 113June 30, 2022 10:31 PM

OK, this is quite a story, especially being found under a pile of bodies at the Gay porn theater fire and being one of four to survive it. And caught at the Iwo Jima memorial soliciting sex, coming out admitting these two things and still getting re-elected only to literally blow it all by giving a blow job to a Black librarian from the Library of Congress in the House of Representatives bathroom and being observed doing it by the police. And he was a former Marine and became a Gay activist. It would make a fascinating movie, can we get Dustin Lance Black on this???

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by Anonymousreply 114July 1, 2022 1:40 AM

It is a good story, but he only became an activist because he was caught and his career and marriage were ruined and he had nothing to lose and -IDK- maybe even made friends reinventing himself. Then died of AIDS before the good drugs were there. Pretty awful story.

Did he at least think, before he died, that he was seeing progress? I guess he saw a couple of others able to serve openly in the House.

by Anonymousreply 115July 1, 2022 1:47 AM

There's a bit in the book about a congressman who was blackmailed for being gay. The same blackmail ring entrapped a bunch of rich and prominent guys, including "two famous singers"

Who were the singers? Did any of you eldergays hear about this?

by Anonymousreply 116July 2, 2022 6:31 AM

I'm shocked that they really used "gay" instead of "queer", considering it's DC.

Also, people who reclaim "queer" are either tranny chasers or fetishist/narcissist and usually homophobic heterosexuals/bisexuals, avoid at all costs.

by Anonymousreply 117July 2, 2022 6:47 AM

I'm not "reclaiming" queer, I AM queer.

by Anonymousreply 118July 2, 2022 8:20 AM

R117, the author is a Republican and conservative, so probably averse to the broader implications of 'queer' (which seems to be a whole worldview where one's homosexuality can be only tangentially related to the issue at hand) as opposed to 'gay' (which just means homosexual).

by Anonymousreply 119July 2, 2022 8:36 AM

I'm not going to get or read the book --- so if anyone here who is reading it, let me know if there's any mention of James Jesus Angleton please. (CIA). The guy fascinates me ever since I read "Wilderness of Mirrors."

by Anonymousreply 120July 2, 2022 9:02 AM

R117: Read the book, he uses just about every colloquialism for for gay you can imagine: invert, pansy, fairy, etc. including queer. I'm sure you'll get the vapors.

by Anonymousreply 121July 2, 2022 12:50 PM

R120, he is mentioned but only briefly

by Anonymousreply 122July 2, 2022 6:13 PM

r120 Yes, re: James Jesus Angleton. I gave up on the around that point. Too depressing to read this year. I imagine you've seen the Matt Damon movie, The Good Shepherd.

by Anonymousreply 123July 2, 2022 6:18 PM

The Nixon section is crazy....Nixon was a loony homophobe

He was convinced that someone was leaking info on White House matters to the press and determined that, for no real reason, the leaker must be a homo. One of the suspects was.....Brit Hume, who worked as a researcher for a journalist who Nixon hated:

Anderson's researcher, a budding young journalist named Brit Hume, "sure looks" homosexual, Nixon special counsel Chuck Colson blurted out in a March 1972 Oval Office meeting with Haldeman and Nixon. "He sure does," Haldeman concurred.

by Anonymousreply 124July 2, 2022 6:22 PM

[quote]Brit Hume, "sure looks" homosexual, Nixon special counsel Chuck Colson blurted out in a March 1972 Oval Office meeting with Haldeman and Nixon. "He sure does," Haldeman concurred.

Yeah, right.

by Anonymousreply 125July 2, 2022 6:29 PM

Yeah, this book does dial up the Nixon craziness to ten all the way. I’m a bit frightened what he would have done had the Ellsberg psychiatrist’s notes actually said he was Gay or struggling with his sexuality, I’m sure smearing him on that was his dream and I wonder how much more of a new round of Commie/Queer assault would have been unleashed?

by Anonymousreply 126July 2, 2022 9:05 PM

Did I miss a point where he talked about J. Edgar Hoover retiring and dying? Did he retire or die in the role? Suddenly it was mentioned he was dead in the narrative and I was like when did that happen? And I thought Tolson was quite younger, but then he was dead too when it was mentioned that Matlovich was being buried near them in the cemetery as a fuck you to Hoover. Are they buried side by side like Gertrude and Alice B.?

by Anonymousreply 127July 2, 2022 9:12 PM

[quote] Did I miss a point where he talked about J. Edgar Hoover retiring and dying?

Hoover, for whom the author could not document homosexuality, died in office.

by Anonymousreply 128July 2, 2022 9:40 PM

the author relates a story from 1948 which had bar patrons asking a police lieutenant, "Did you hear that Ms. Blick?!" In 1948!!!

by Anonymousreply 129July 2, 2022 10:16 PM

R129 Wasn’t Blick the DC Vice Squad director who had it out for gays? Weren’t they just dissing him?

by Anonymousreply 130July 2, 2022 10:19 PM

^ Yes, but "Ms." in 1948?!

by Anonymousreply 131July 2, 2022 10:22 PM

Maybe he didn’t know if Blick was married or not?

by Anonymousreply 132July 2, 2022 10:39 PM

Thanks R122 & R123. History is a myth and wow was he busy making myths.

by Anonymousreply 133July 4, 2022 9:53 AM

The stuff about the gay bashing murders in D.C. is really sad

by Anonymousreply 134July 4, 2022 5:43 PM

R134 Yes, it reminded me of those ones that were happening on that beach/cliffside outside Sydney at the same time, it was a sport for men to come into town and bash gays and if the accidentally killed them, that didn’t seem to be a problem with them or the authorities.

by Anonymousreply 135July 4, 2022 6:01 PM

The murder of Ronald Pettine

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 136July 4, 2022 9:55 PM

Just started the part about the page scandal

by Anonymousreply 137July 6, 2022 4:51 AM

Am I in it???

by Anonymousreply 138July 6, 2022 5:01 AM

R138 Don’t worry, you in your Downton Abbey office, will be the star of the sequel 21st Century Secret City.

by Anonymousreply 139July 6, 2022 6:05 AM
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