Coming Out of the Bunker: Gay Nazis Form a Growing Subculture, Via Web
By Seamus McGraw
Published in The Forward, March 16, 2001
He sprawls provocatively on the floor looking up at the camera with just the right amount of lust in his pale blue eyes, almost a parody of the classic soft-core porn models of the 1950s.
His ripe lips are moist and parted slightly. His storm trooper uniform, perfectly creased, clings to every contour of his young, chiseled, Aryan body. With one hand, he caresses his Nazi-style Luger pistol.
It's all just a little over the top. But it's not a joke.
This perfect Nazi Adonis is a poster boy on a Web site for an apparently growing subculture of young white men who are both openly gay and openly racist.
It's not clear precisely how large the gay neo-Nazi movement has become, said Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been monitoring the development of pro-Nazi gay organizations for the past several years. "To some degree, they are the fringe of the fringe," he said.
During the past few years, gay racists in the United States and overseas have started to come out of the bunker.
Web sites by groups such as GAS (Gays Against Semitism), ARC (Aryan Resistance Corps) and others tout their guiding philosophy: While white men are superior to all races, gay white men, say the gay racists, are destined to be the masters of the Master Race. They are gifted, they believe, with even keener intellect and uncommon intuitive abilities, and well endowed with special talents for "promoting male bonding," as some put it.
These gay racists agree that despite antipathy, hostility and sometimes even violence from the avowedly heterosexual neo-Nazi factions and despite rejection and worse from the mainstream gay community, the gay Nazi movement is growing and has begun to emerge from the protected world of cyberspace.
ARC, for example, sponsors regular get-togethers for its all-white members vacations to places like Palm Springs, where they can, in the word of one of the group's leaders, a man who calls himself Wyatt Power, "relax amongst the company of our fellow white brothers."
This is not the first time that gay racists have tried to put their boot prints on American streets, Mr. Potok said.
In the 1970s, Californian Russell Veh launched a gay neo-Nazi organization that supported itself with the proceeds of a small publishing house and a film distribution unit that specialized in Nazi propaganda films. By the early 1980s, however, Mr. Veh had dropped out of sight.
As in Mr. Veh's day, gay Nazis today face a host of problems when they try stepping out into the public eye.
In California, a group of gay Nazis recently tried to join a white-supremacist parade. A fight ensued and several were beaten, according to Gail Gans, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League. A short time later, she said, the same group tried to march in a Gay Pride Day parade, and the same thing happened.
Routinely, leaders of neo-Nazi and other racist groups deliver blistering sermons, reviling homosexuals and consigning them to the fires of the coming apocalypse.
Even in their on-line chat rooms, gay racists are targeted by straight Nazis and skinheads, flaming them with missives like "fags should all die," and crudely worded invitations to "boot parties."
Facing such universal hostility, why, then, would anyone be attracted to the gay neo-Nazi movement?
To be sure, there is an element of fetishism that draws some young gay men to Nazi imagery. In Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, as Hitler was coming to power, disenfranchised gay men flocked to join the S.A., headed by Ernst Roehm, said one gay neo-Nazi. Of course, Hitler later killed Roehm, a gay man who was not terribly discreet, in what was a prelude to the large-scale persecution of gays by the Nazis. But gay racists see Roehm's execution, and the subsequent deaths of thousands of gay Germans, as an aberration, hardly the sort of thing that should be allowed to spoil the fun of being a neo-Nazi.
Then as now, with its boots and leather and its barely concealed obsession with domination, Nazism seems to promise all the bells and whistles and whips and handcuffs that a seeker might expect from a sado-masochistic sexual subculture, gay or heterosexual. (The straight version can be seen in a 1970s' Nazi-themed sexploitation flick "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS" and the mainstream art-house film "The Night Porter.") "But it's not just a fetish," said one young California skinhead who, while not a racist himself, has from time to time found himself rubbing shoulders with gay Nazis. "That's just part of it."
Some, like the gay racist from San Francisco who calls himself Bruder Schaft (German for "brotherhood"), see in the gay neo-Nazi movement an endorsement of their core beliefs.
"People such as myself do not have a voice in modern U.S. politics," Mr. Schaft said. "Why? Because everything is centered around catering to special interest groups."
"On one side you have the foreign, commie-socialist, downtrodden, woe-begotten, ne'er-do-well, feminist, etc. group," he said, "and on the other side the religious nuts."
"Must one fit into one of two boxes? I would venture to say many do not."
But sex and politics alone do not account for all of the gay neo-Nazi movement's appeal.
To some degree, the movement gives its members a kind of twisted standing, said Mr. Potok of the SPLC. One young man, who identified himself as Aeon, seemed to swell with pride when he put it this way: "Some liberal bastard on a newsgroup described me once as '1000 times more dangerous than Joe Redneck and his band of Ku Klux Klan hate-mongers from [expletive] Idaho.'"
Still, life can be lonely for a gay race-baiter, said Cindy, an 18-year-old from Newport Beach, Calif., who, as lesbian white supremacist, is a member of a minority within a minority within a minority. To her dismay, Cindy has learned that most white supremacists believe that a white woman's primary function is to make white babies, she said. To them, the idea of a racist lesbian is beyond absurd. It's unnatural. And it's threatening.
Moreover, she said, her fellow lesbians are every bit as hostile to her.
"Most of the gay women I meet think my racism is ridiculous," Cindy said. Even her lover, who seems to share some of her faith in the theories of racial superiority, rarely discusses it with her.
In her quieter moments, Cindy wonders whether it's all worth it.
"It probably would be easier to settle on either being a lesbian and not talking about my racial beliefs or talking about my racial beliefs with heterosexual white-power people and not mentioning the fact that I am gay," she said.
"But I wouldn't be myself at that point."
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