port. I got in first and was surprised tornsee him climb in after me. The youngrnman settled in with the detachment ofrnyouths who want you to know thatrnthey’re there but that they’re, like, notrnreally there. Like, they transcend limos.rnHe wasn’t as sullen as Matt Dillonrndoing his awful James Dean impression,rnhowever. Despite the black-leather,rnstreet-hood look, this fellow seemedrnmore likable. His eyes darted aroundrnthe spacious interior and finally settledrnon me, the guy in a business suit. Ourrneyes met. “Hi,” he said, offering therntaut nod of a man on a mission. Thusrnbegan my half-hour trip from Kentuckyrninto downtown Cincinnati with a memberrnof the militant homosexual grouprnQueer Nation. Their motto; “We’rernHere, We’re Queer, Get Used To It.”rnI represent a pro-family think tank inrnWashington that differs with Queer Nationrnon anything that matters. A bigot,rnby their description. We were both tornbe guests on The Gerry Springer Show,rnthe Cincinnati-bred clone of the SallyrnJessy Raphael Show, starring formerrnCincinnati Mayor Gerry Springer. I wasrnto tape one show, and the man fromrnQueer Nation was to tape a later one.rnHe seemed to assume from the outsetrnthat I was a sort of coconspirator, sincernwe yere guests on a program known forrnits exploration of unconventionalrn”lifestyles.” Other shows taping thatrnweek included, according to the schedulernin a producer’s office: “Fat andrnProud,” “I Can’t Get Over Elvis,”rn”Phone Sex Killed My Hubby,” andrn”Lingerie Fantasies.”rnThe man from Queer Nation wouldrndebate a Los Angeles minister on therntopic: “Is Homosexuality Curable?” Irnwould play straight man in another freakrnshow. That is, I was to tell America whyrnit wasn’t a good idea for fathers to wearrndresses in front of their kids (show title:rn”My Dad Wears a Dress”). Why evenrndo a show like this, you might ask? Forrnthe simple reason that in today’s mediarncircuses, gender confusion goes largelyrnunchallenged. Those of us who believernin traditional values cannot afford torngive the quacks a monopoly.rnI told my fellow limo passenger that Irnwould be on the “cross-dresser” show,rnand he seemed to take it at face value.rnHe talked for a few minutes, denouncingrn”bigots,” as he called the minister.rnThen I revealed my pro-family affiliation.rn”I’m your opponent,” I said,rnspeaking in a general sense. “But I’mrnnot your enemy.”rnHe looked at me without apparentrnhostility. “I don’t hate homosexuals,” Irnsaid. “I have friends who are gay. But Irnoppose the agenda of the homosexualrnrights movement. I don’t want my kidrntaught in schools that homosexuality is arnnormal, healthy lifestyle. By any yardstickrn—especially public health—it’s anrnunhealthy lifestyle. And I don’t believernhomosexualitv is a permanent condition.rnLast week, I spoke with a womanrnwho had been a lesbian for ten years.rnShe is married now and counsels otherrnpeople out of it. She says that homosexualityrnis 100 percent curable and thatrnit stems from unresolved emotional disordersrnin people from dysfunctionalrnfamilies. I’d have to say that people likernher give the lie to your contention thatrnhumans are necessarily gay from birth.”rnIt was a mini-speech, but I had beenrnlistening to tapes from the L. I. F. E.rnMinistry in New York all week to try tornbetter understand the phenomenon.rnL. I. F. E (Living in Freedom Eternally)rncounselors blend psychological techniquesrnwith spiritual instruction. Theyrnencourage homosexuals to reexaminerntheir lives to determine what causedrnthem to turn inward emotionally and tornfeel so little worth that they believedrnGod Himself had rejected them. Thernmood is one of compassion, not judgment.rn(While the L. I. F. E. programrnoperates on the assumption that all homosexualityrnis revocable, some groups,rnsuch as the Catholic ministry Courage,rnallow for the possibility that the impulsernmay be too difficult to shed completelyrnbut can be controlled.)rn”I was born gay,” the man fromrnQueer Nation said vehemently. “I’vernalways been gay. And it’s better.” Herndismissed the woman I had mentionedrnby calling hers “an extremist view.” Hernsaid the “gay life” was not only equal tornthat of “breeders” but actually superior,rna more responsible choice in a worldrnchoking from o’erpopulation, pollution,rnand starvation. He accused “heteros”rnof causing all problems known to man.rnThe words tumbled out, faster andrnfaster, a torrent of cliches, threats, andrnslogans.rnI waited until he paused, then asked:rn”So your parents were being irresponsiblernwhen they had you, then?” He ignoredrnthis and pressed on, warning ofrnenvironmental collapse and problemsrnbrought on by “fear, greed, ignorance,rnand ‘homophobia.'”rnSuddenly it occurred to me that Irnprobably shouldn’t push too far. QueerrnNation members were known to threatenrnviolence, harass people, and destroyrnproperty. Academic colleagues had confidedrnthat they didn’t dare appear unsympatheticrnlest they get AIDScontaminatedrnblood thrown on them.rnThis kind of stuff sounds plausible inrnthe abstract, but less so when you arernsitting there talking with a real person. Irnfelt no physical threat from the youngrnman, who seemed more interested inrnflailing away at his own doubts. Usingrnslogans as amulets, he warded off simplerntruths known to human beings for thousandsrnof years. Families, he said, are “recent”rnin’entions. There is no such thingrnas “normal.” AIDS is not a “gay” diseasernat all, but is caused by “homophobia,”rnetc.rn”Let’s talk about ‘homophobia,'” Irnsaid. “‘Homophobia’ is a new word thatrnhas already undergone evolution for politicalrnpurposes. It used to mean fear,rnhatred, and persecution of homosexuals.rnNow it means anyone or anythingrnthat doesn’t go along with the homosexualrnrights agenda. ‘Homophobia’ isrna smear that you use to silence yourrnopponents. You’re even using it againstrnthe Boy Scouts.” His face changedrnexpression, from pugnacious to lascivious.rn”I was a Boy Scout,” he said with arnnasty chuckle. “And I did it with myrnScoutmaster. But it was okay, because Irnwanted it. I really wanted it. It wasrngooooood.” He smiled and gazed upward.rn”You guys are going to lose thisrnone,” I said. “It would destroy thernScouts to bring in homosexuals.”rnThe seriousness returned. “You’rernwrong,” he said. “Wc are gettingrnstronger all the time, and we will win.rnWe are more than 10 percent of thernpopulation and growing.” I shook myrnhead. “No, I’m afraid you’re not. Thern10 percent figure comes entirely fromrnthe discredited Kinsey studies. Yournwon’t find it duplicated anywhere. Currentrnstudies show 3 percent tops, withrnsome showing 2 or 1 or even less. Theserninclude surveys from the United States,rnAustralia, and England.”rnHe got angry. “That’s a lie. Therernare lots of studies that show the 10 percent.”rn”You mean like Bell and Weinberg?”rnI said, referring to two Kinsey disciplesrnwho published studies out ofrnIndiana University, where the Kinsey Instituternis situated. “They base a lot ofrntheir stuff on the Kinsey data. TherernMARCH 1993/49rnrnrn