Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Pride and Prejudice

The monkeypox outbreak is emblematic of larger problems in gay culture.


I have never been to an orgy. So far as I know, I’ve never met anyone who has. Maybe I’m naïve, but I think that sort of thing still falls outside the ordinary range of human experience—at least for heterosexuals. Since the monkeypox outbreak, though, I’ve learned that it’s fairly common in the “LGBT community.”

And where did I learn this? Why, from the horse’s mouth. First it was a fellow named Sebastian Köhn, who told The Guardian that he contracted the disease after having sex with “several guys” during Pride weekend in New York City. And that was only the beginning. Now, even the World Health Organization has officially requested that gay men “reconsider” having anonymous sex with as many other men as possible.


What’s really strange is that all these reports in the big-name papers talk about these orgies as if they were common knowledge. The public-health bureaucracies won’t even discourage gays from having sex parties. Those who do are accused of homophobia. It’s almost as though a complete and utter refusal to restrain one’s sexual appetites is integral to male homosexuality. 

Of course, a conservative who points out that gay men tend to be hyper-promiscuous will also be accused of homophobia. It’s been that way since the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Yet the fact remains that chastity—or even monogamy—would render one virtually immune to monkeypox (or AIDS). We’ve known that all along. 

That’s why their “community” is ravaged by STIs. Gay men aren’t born with these illnesses. They’re totally preventable. The sad, ugly truth is that gay men put themselves at risk. Very little has changed in the last forty years. Alas.

There’s one crucial difference, though. In the 1980s, the media was reluctant to discuss the gay lifestyle in any detail. Most straight people thought that homosexuals were like themselves, except… you know, with other dudes. No one wanted to talk about what really happened in the bath houses.

Then, in the 1990s, gay conservatives like Andrew Sullivan began pushing the idea of same-sex marriage. They promised that, if gay couples were allowed to marry, they could be domesticated. If only heterosexuals would give them access to state-sanctioned monogamy, they would rise to the occasion. They would pair up, settle down, and live happily ever after. Actually, in his landmark 1989 essay for The New Republic, Mr. Sullivan predicted that homosexuals would “embrace such a goal with as much (if not more) commitment as straights.”


As gay men became more visible, pop culture worked to reinforce this impression with shows like Will & Grace and Modern Family. Maybe they fooled around a little when they were single. But all they really want is to find Mr. Right, buy a McMansion in the suburbs, and adopt a baby from China. It’s the American Dream! 

Over time there grew up this idea that, the more we normalized gayness, the more normal gays would become. And, setting all moral judgment to one side, that simply hasn’t happened. Gay men have not been domesticated.

Now, if you ask a gay man, he may say that’s a good thing! As Mr. Sullivan pointed out, many of them “cling to notions of gay life as essentially outsider, anti-bourgeois, radical.” They resent the idea of “co-optation into straight society.” They have no desire to be “respectable.” Gay men who want to start ordinary, middle-class families—like Dave Rubin, apparently—have always been a minority. 

Again, this isn’t a moral judgment. It’s just a fact. They wanted to be normalized; they had no intention of being normal. And they got their wish. But I think history would have played out differently had we known then what we know now.

Really, the monkeypox pandemic has offered the public a candid glimpse into the private lives of the “LGBT community.” And this may actually prove to be a watershed moment. I don’t think progressive media outlets realize what a huge cat they’ve let out of the bag. They don’t realize it yet, but most Americans will be genuinely shocked—not only by these men’s promiscuity, but also their recklessness. Maybe reporters in The Guardian have always known that Pride Week is just a huge, open-air free-for-all.  But I’d wager that 90 percent of Americans did not.  This revelation could change the way we view the “LGBT community” forever.  

And it’s not just the promiscuity.  Even more so, it’s the recklessness. Everything we’ve seen since the beginning of this new pandemic has confirmed what the old, “homophobic” medical establishment said about gay men. Male homosexuality isn’t just like heterosexuality, except with two dudes. Whatever happens in the brain that makes a man overwhelmingly attracted to other men, it also (apparently) lowers his inhibitions. 

I hope it goes without saying that gay men themselves deserve nothing but our love and compassion. That’s especially true of those suffering from diseases like monkeypox and AIDS. Obviously there are men who enjoy affectionate, exclusive relationships with other men. Nobody can deny that. 

Yet it’s equally true that male homosexuals have tended to be self-indulgent to the point of being self-destructive. The last 40 years of gay-rights activism haven’t made things better. If anything, the opposite is true. There’s nothing compassionate about cheering these men on as they continue to destroy themselves.

What would it mean to stop cheering them on? For one, governments—federal, state, and local—should stop hosting Pride events. We shouldn’t encourage our countrymen to join a “community” that suffers from STDs at a far higher rate than heterosexuals.

We should also give our countrymen the freedom to pursue voluntary psychological treatment that might rid them of unwanted same-sex attraction. This practice is called reparative therapy, though it’s better known by the pejorative “conversion therapy.” Of course, the LGBT lobby is working tirelessly to outlaw reparative therapy. (Bear in mind, they also believe that sixteen-year-olds should have access to sex-change surgeries. If Timmy wants to like girls, he’s out of luck. If he wants to be a girl, he’s come to the right place.)

We tried to improve the lot of gay people—and especially gay men—by embracing homosexuality as a social good. That experiment has dragged on for four decades now. It has cost thousands upon thousands of lives. And, for all that, it has failed.