On Seeing What We Want To See

Posted in History, Logic, Thinking Critically on  | 3 minutes | 8 Comments →

Time-warp back to WWI around 1920, Newport (Rhode Island) Naval Training Station. The United States government per the Navy recruited male volunteers to pose as gay decoys to infiltrate the growing homosocial subculture the Navy had come to dislike.

The investigation led to the arrest of over twenty sailors and sixteen civilians, whom decoys then testified against in a series of both naval and civilian trials. One vein of entry the decoys used to gain access into the gay male subculture was the local "cruising areas," which are essentially a phenomenon of any underground subculture. Dopers, pill heads and any other kind of recreational drug user have theirs, as do artists, musicians, writers, bikers and skateboarders. People crave fellowship, and this intrinsic need does not simply disappear because the mainstream disapproves of a particular group.

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