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INTERVIEWS AND NOTICES

THE CHICAGO FREE PRESS (June 2002): 38.

Write Stuff:  The Appeal of Ayn Rand to GLBT Youth

Lisa Neff

Lisa Neff discusses the appeal of Rand's work "to many teen and college-aged GLBTs. . . . Chris Matthew Sciabarra, a visiting scholar at New York University and an expert on Rand and Objectivism, says he's not surprised.  'She presents characters who are, in many ways, cultural outlaws.  They move against the tide, move against social conformity---but not simply for the sake of being non-conformist.  They proudly march to a different beat, so to speak, because they recognize the beautiful music inside of them.'

"The individualism Rand promotes, Sciabarra says, appeals to GLBT youth who may hear at school and at home that there's something wrong with them.  'It tells them that they have a right to a moral existence, a right to live their lives and to pursue their own happiness.'

"Sciabarra, the author of Ayn Rand:   The Russian Radical and co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand and The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, recently completed a [five] part series on Objectivism and homosexuality.

" 'I was one of those rare Ayn Rand readers who came to her work through her non-fiction, before reading a single word of a her fictional works," Sciabarra says.  'What drew me to her initially was her uncompromising moral stance with regard to human freedom in all its manifestations: economic, social, political, cultural and psychological.  Till this day it is her broad vision of these interrelated aspects of freedom that is most appealing to me. . . . In my view, Rand's work can greatly enrich the GLBT movement by bringing to it a healthy skepticism of statist solutions on the right and left.' . . ."


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