Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review: Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternate Deathstyle

Dick Hafer was an asshole. He wasn't always an asshole (like when he wrote about puppies or trains), but when he was an asshole, it was bad. Real bad.

Copyright 1986 Dick Hafer; Published by The Paradigm Company, Boise, Idaho

In 1986 he wrote this incredible piece of gay history. And I truly mean incredible--lacking all sense of credibility.

It's filled with such shocking statistics as 85% of homosexual men reporting that their first sexual encounter was with another man, whereas 96% of heterosexual men had their first encounter with a woman. Shocking!

Did you know that gay men have sex with between 300 and 500 partners? It's true! Dick helpfully illustrates how this is possible by showing the long line of men each of us has outside our bathroom homes, waiting to be serviced during our grueling 12-hour shifts.


One of the more remarkable chapters covers the History of Homosexuality, in surprisingly good detail given the context. Dick mentions that gays have been around for thousands of years and have faced significant legal and society persecution. He even works in references to the Mattachine Society, Frank Kameny, Stonewall, and the Gay Liberation Front.

Then, of course, it gets silly again and really drives home the whole "gay are perverts" thing by reducing gay mens' existences to the sole pursuit of sex and reminding us that gays are having sex in every national park and behind every patriotic memorial. It gets less silly when it celebrates the marines who assaulted gay men at the Iwo Jima memorial.


If you couldn't already tell, the book is a mess. The vast majority focuses on gay sex acts and how disgusting they must be, but every now and then the book will say something startlingly progressive like how gay men come from all walks of life and how cross-dressers may or may not be gay. There's also a halfway decent chapter on AIDS that looks much like gay-produced comic book primers from the same time period (with a little extra hysteria and a little more homophobia). Oh and later Dick will ponder if maybe AIDS was God's attempt to bring gay men closer to him. Better luck next time, big guy.

Dick's summary of the infamous gay agenda is rather spot-on:


But when discussing anti-gay laws and issues of "fairness," he gets a little confused:


Dick starts to wrap things up with chapters reminding us that gays are a) only interested in sex, b) disease vectors, c) pedophiles, and d) more likely to be criminals, especially mass murderers. Apparently we are even "31% more likely to report at least one traffic accident in the past five years!" [exclamation mark his]. A rational human being would see a statistic like that, recognize that a person's sexuality affecting their driving ability is mind-bogglingly stupid, and assume that the "study" that found this was probably flawed. Dick just goes with it.

Finally, we are assured that homosexuality can be cured, possibly AIDS too. In the meantime, though, we should probably impose a "total quarantine" (dead serious you guys) for all gay and bisexual men. You know, just to be safe.

Wow.

For a primer on what gay people were up against in the 1980s, there are certainly worse sources out there. Deathstyle provides historical context, a summary of the social and legal hurdles facing the gay community, reveals the problems with early "research" about homosexuality, and reminds us that much (though not all) of the discrimination against queer people is driven by religious groups and individuals. It's also wildly entertaining if you read it as a self-parody.

Two big, gay thumbs up.

Comics With Problems scanned much of the book and has made it available online in two parts

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