If you grew up in the '50s and '60s, you were taught the most horrible thing you could be was communist. Chinese chairman Mao Zedong and Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev were communists, and thus they were the scariest villains in the world. Anyone with even slightly left-leaning politics was called a “commie pinko fag.”
Sen. Joseph McCarthy led the Red Scare to get alleged communists out of the U.S. government and swept up LGBT people in the witch hunt as well.
There are some reasons for that, but mostly of convenient bigotry rather than a joining of forces between the sexual minorities and the communists. In the '30s in left-leaning circles — usually artistic and literary ones — there were a fair number of gay people who were card-carrying communists. Even earlier, in The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Oscar Wilde advocated for an egalitarian society in which wealth is shared by all. Harry Hay, one of the fathers of the gay liberation movement, was an active member of the Communist Party. Award-winning poet James Merrill was for a brief time, another — all the more intriguing, given Merrill's fantastic wealth.
Early in the history and development of communism, the German Communist Party, during the Weimar Republic, joined with the Social Democrats in support of efforts to legalize private homosexual relations between consenting adults. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin repealed the Czarist laws in Soviet Russia, decriminalizing divorce, abortion, and homosexuality. Then Stalin changed all that by reinstating them.
Although Karl Marx himself said little about sexuality at all, many saw that his philosophy was meant to free all people from oppression, including women, blacks, and homosexuals — presumably so they could all serve the state.
Then there are the artworks, murals, statues, and posters selling communism, socialism, and unionized labor — all points on a line. They are outrageously sexy and virile. Some even have confounding messages that look to be promoting homosexuality. These artworks and photos are meant to empower the working class, the proletariat, and elevate their status.
By the time the ’70s rolled around, the phrase “commie pinko fag” was joined with the word “hippie.” (See Archie Bunker, All In the Family.)
So while we are not promoting any viewpoint, please enjoy this muscular dose of propaganda.