Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Los Angeles Research Group

Toward A Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question

IV. Anti-Imperialism and Communists

The RU concedes that gays have the ability to be strong anti-imperialists. We are glad to find something in the RU position on gays that we can agree with. The strong participation of gays in the anti-war movement clearly shows this. We also agree that gays are not automatically anti-imperialists by virtue of their gayness, no more than heterosexuals or workers are automatically anti-imperialist. But gays, regardless of their class position do have the concrete experience of oppression (e.g. police repression) that may help them see the capitalist system for what it is. Anti-imperialist gays and their political development should be nurtured, particularly by communists drawing a clear line between themselves and the bourgeoisie by fighting for the rights of gays and against the oppression of gays. Comrades, who through their subjective, ultra-left prejudices, do not seek to recruit every possible ally to the working class struggle are not worthy of being called communists.

However, the RU says that gays “cannot be communists . . because homosexuals do not carry the struggle between men and women into their most personal relationships they are not prepared in principle for the arduous task of class transformation.” Further, “to be a communist, we must accept and welcome struggle in all facets of our lives, personal as well as political. . . Homosexuals cannot be communists, that is, belong to communist organizations where people are committed to struggle against all aspects of their lives.” Portions of these statements are correct; others are absurd and undialectical.

It is true that communists must accept struggle in all facets of our lives. It is not true that communists are committed to struggle against all aspects of our lives. As communists, we are committed to struggle against those aspects of our lives that retard or hold back the struggle for socialist revolution. As communists we support – not struggle against – those aspects which further our goal of a socialist revolution. A personal relationship between two anglo people, or two Afro-Americans, or two Vietnamese people or two proletarians does not mean that such people are therefore not prepared to struggle against national oppression, imperialism, or the bourgeoisie. And contrary to the RU’s wishful thinking, a relationship between two men or two women does not therefore mean that they are not prepared to struggle, in principle, against male chauvinism and supremacy. In truth, this “in principle” business, is nothing but waving a red flag to cover the right essence of their line on the ’gay question.’ (By right opportunism we refer to the tactic of pursuing a course which has immediate benefits, but which when carried out has the long-range effect of holding back or injuring the class struggle.) A good communist is not determined by whether he or she relates sexually to the opposite sex, but on how devoted he or she is to the revolutionary cause of the working class. The logical extension of the RU’s position is that one must be in a heterosexual relationship to be a true communist. By this standard, Uncle Ho Chi Minh, who never married and whose devotion to the struggle of the working class need not be defended here, would not qualify.

No matter how much the RU wishes to prattle about gays “in principle”, the concrete fact is that gay comrades have shown that they are prepared, in practice, for the arduous task of proletarian revolution. They have participated and taken responsible roles in almost every significant revolutionary movement in recent years, from the civil rights to Black liberation struggles, from anti-war actions to Dump Nixon, from the revolutionary workers movement to GI organizing, from the women’s movement to anti-repression and prison work. They have been in study groups and work collectives. Gay comrades, with their heterosexual comrades, have been remolding and steeling themselves, going among and becoming one with the people. If you did not see us or know we were there, it was not because we were deceitful or hiding in shame. We have not considered sex and our love relationships as primary to our political work. We had other priorities: study, political work, etc. Also, we were isolated from other gay comrades and unwilling to press the struggle forward on the gay question as individuals. We believe that our former silence involved an amount of liberalism toward a line we disagreed with and a certain lack of ideological clarity which inhibited our abilities to take the question as seriously as we should have. This situation has changed, and we have no intention now of sitting idly by and letting such subjectivist garbage as the RU and other communist organizations are putting out gain hegemony among the communist forces. While we do not see that the “gay question” is a major issue, we do believe that its correct or incorrect resolution will ultimately affect the success of the coming socialist revolution and the building of socialism and communism. Petty bourgeois ways of thinking, such as subjectivism, tailism, dogmatism, opportunism, and empiricism do not remain isolated in this question or that, but indicate the continuing need for class struggle within the communist forces.