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Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation


PAUL VARNELL, CHICAGO FREE PRESS (3 DECEMBER 2003).  Republished by the Independent Gay Forum.

Also appeared in Philadelphia Gay News 27, no. 52 (26 December 2003):  25.

Rand and Homosexuality

Varnell, who has written previously on Rand's appeal to gay youth, writes that Rand's rigorous defense of "individualism and personal autonomy" has been "a message of encouragement, a powerful nudge toward self-acceptance and a foundation for self-esteem in the face of moralizing religions and social stigma."  Yet, her "strongly negative view of homosexuality . . . influenced many of her followers, leading some gays to remain in the closet or try therapy in the vain hope of changing their orientation. . . . Untangling the story of how Rand's views were gradually put aside or corrected by her successors is the subject of a new monograph by New York University scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation."

Varnell discusses the contents of the monograph and concludes:  "As it turns out, Rand's gripping novels and some of her essays seem destined to have a long and productive influence, while her incidental personal preferences and tastes are likely to be completely forgotten by the next generation. No one could wish things otherwise."

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