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But being gay is still OK because the aberration is ineradicable.
On the other hand Sciabarra tells us about the Rattigan Society, named after gay British playwright Terence Rattigan, who was praised in the 1960s Objectivist magazine for his plays The Winslow Boy and The Browning Version.
But that doesn’t mean we all have to cast ourselves in the role of Lilliputians.
If Rand (or Branden or Peikoff or Kelley) says something you think is ridiculous, don’t accept it, don’t take it personally, certainly don’t take it as a death sentence.
Rand’s views were in line with the views at the time of the general public and the psychiatric community.
In the final chapters, Sciabarra discusses many signs that the prevailing wisdom is beginning to change in Objectivist culture, briefly examines homosexuality through the lens of Objectivist philosophy (rather than Ayn Rand’s personal tastes), and, finally, begins to sketch a new vision of how Rand’s ideas may be applied to the question of homosexuality. Although very interesting on its own terms, the book inadvertently serves mostly to support a principle we may express as an epigram: “The mere touch of a giant raises welts on an ordinary person.” The giant is Ayn Rand (and to a lesser extent, Nathaniel Branden).
(The use of the label “Horror File” to describe what was at worst very tame ostracism and voluntary bad experiences with irresponsible therapists is another example of the touch of a giant raising a welt.) Sciabarra also traces the attitudes of the “post-Randians,” which are sometimes encouraging.
On the one hand, Nathaniel Branden says he would still be willing to help a homosexual patient “convert” to heterosexuality if the patient “insists that he or she genuinely wants to change.” And Leonard Peikoff thinks (male) homosexuality represents a desire for the approval of other men by little boys who didn’t get picked for football.
Without a lot of context, I daresay most straights and some gays are going to find this kind of stuff, well, disgusting.
Perhaps the problem is that Sciabarra adopts his usual academically cool and non-judgmental attitude even with hot-button material Given the philosophical nature of Sciabarra’s other writings, one might expect that Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation might offer a philosophical (and psychological) defense of homosexuality.
It aims to provide a meeting place for gay and lesbian Objectivists and to promote a positive image of homosexuality in the movement.