Outing:Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence

From William A. Percy
Jump to: navigation, search

Warren Johansson

William A. Percy

Haworth Press, 1994


Description from Haworth Press:


Here is the most complete book on outing — the exposure of closet homosexual cases in high places. Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence is the first historicist treatment of the intolerance of homosexuality in any language. Authors Johansson and Percy analyze the subject from the perspective of the shifting religious attitudes toward homosexual expression. They do not blithely parrot the "right to privacy," but examine the dialectical meaning of privacy. This provocative book focuses on the irreconcilable opposition between the belief in privacy and the assumption of Christian theology that all homosexual activity is visible to the God whose wrath it provokes.

The authors hold that outing is a legitimate tactic for reinforcing the identity and solidarity of the Queer Nation in its struggle for vindication and survival in the age of AIDS. And this book provides readers with a host of issues and definitions and stimulates ideas on outing:

- political and ethical issues - media treatment of sexual behavior and identity - social visibility and invisibility - when to out and when not to out - celebrities and their images - the social situation of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual - life histories of the two principal outers and their techniques

In their "Tactical Guide to Outing," the authors present areas to consider before proceeding with outing: the potential outee's career, income, and place of residence; the nature of the outee's sexual life; family circumstances of the subject; nature of the outee's reputation; motives of the outer; libel and slander; and publicity. Consideration of these areas will allow readers to more clearly decide on "To Out or Not to Out." Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence is today's guide to understanding and accomplishing the task of outing.

Order this book from Haworth Press, Amazon or Barnes and Noble booksellers.

PDF files of the book chapters

Copyright notice: The pages and entire content of Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence are Copyright (c) 1994 by William A. Percy and Warren Johansson. Permission is granted to view and download the below posted chapters for personal academic use only. All other rights are reserved. NO REDISTRIBUTION IN ANY MEDIUM IS ALLOWED.

Page Numbers follow PDF pagination, not printed version

Click on Chapter Titles to view chapter PDFs


Chapter 1

Outing: What It Means and How It Came to Mean It

  • The Closet p. 7
  • From Sodomite to Queer p.14
  • From Being Ferreted Out to Claiming Our Own p.25

Chapter 2

Why Outing Came About

  • Pagan Greek and Roman Tolerance and Visibility p. 3
  • Judeo-Christian Intolerance and Invisibility p. 6
  • Christian Middle Ages p. 12
  • Renaissance and Reformation p. 18
  • Ancien Régime, French Revolution, and Romanticism p. 22
  • The Homophile Movement p.28
  • Reception and Non-Reception of the Movement p. 36
  • New Outings and Their Consequences p. 39
  • The World Wars p. 42
  • Homosexuals in the Military p.47
  • The Enduring Conflict p. 55

Chapter 3

Behind the Mask - The American Homophile Movement (1945-1969)

  • American Contradictions p. 11
  • McCarthyism p. 16
  • The Bureau Was a Closet p. 22
  • The Unforseen Consequences of McCarthyism p. 27
  • Persecution in Britain p. 29
  • Movie Stars: Idols of the Masses p. 30
  • Homophile Organizations: Mattachine and Daughters of Bilitis p. 32
  • Frank Kameny - The First Visible Gay Activist p. 40
  • Continuing Repression and Defamation p. 42
  • Scandal and Law Reform in Britain p. 46
  • The Rebellious 1960s p. 50

Chapter 4

Gay Pride - Out of the Closets and into the Streets! (1969-1980)

  • Stonewall p. 2
  • The 1970s in the United States p. 6
  • Queer Nationals and the Military p. 18
  • Homophobic Backlash p. 20
  • On the Margins of Politics p. 25
  • Two Outings from Opposite Poles p. 27
  • Overseas p. 32
  • The Heyday of the Gay Community p. 33
  • The 1970s in Retrospect p. 35

Chapter 5

The 1980s: Outing by AIDS

  • AIDS and Reagan p. 5
  • Entertainers and Artists p. 13
  • Authors p. 20
  • Athletes p. 22
  • Politicians p. 27
  • Professors and Preachers p. 32
  • The Making of an AIDS Activist: Larry Kramer p. 39
  • ACT UP p. 41
  • Conclusion p. 44

Chapter 6

Outings by Activists (The 1990s)

  • The Progess of AIDS p. 5
  • Time Magazine Outs Outing and OutWeek p. 9
  • Queer Nation p. 12
  • Malcolm Forbes p. 13
  • Michelangel Signorile, Arch-Outer p. 20
  • Michael Petrelis - An AIDS Militant p. 27
  • Outings in Other Cities p. 33
  • ILGA Condemns Outing p. 36
  • End of OutWeek p. 37
  • The Pentagon Is Besieged p. 39
  • Randy Shilts Has Second Thoughts p. 46
  • Fictionalized Treatments of Outing - Television, Film, Novels p. 50
  • Queer Nationals in the Military p. 54
  • The Williams Outing and the Military p. 60
  • Outing in the United Kingdom p. 64
  • Outing Reaches Australia p. 67
  • Magic Johnson, Freddie Mercury and the Media p. 73
  • Pete Wilson's Betrayal of the Queer Nation p. 75
  • Conclusion p. 78

Chapter 7

Missing material which appears on pp. 233-234 of the printed text

To Our or Not to Out - That Is the Question

  • The Case for Outing p. 1
  • The Gamut of Options p. 6
  • Claim to Privacy p. 21
  • The Case Against Queer Nation p. 46
  • The Case For Queer Nation p. 51
  • Nation Building p. 60
  • Comparisons with Other Minority Groups p. 68
  • Prospects of Outing p. 73

Chapter 8

Tactical Guide to Outing

  • Income and Career of Outee p. 1
  • Place of Residence p. 2
  • Nature of Sexual Life p. 3
  • Intimates, Family, and Friends p. 7
  • Fame or Evil Reputation p. 9
  • Motives of Outer p. 10
  • Libel and Slander p. 15
  • Publicity p. 17
  • Council on Outing p. 20
  • Outing Lesbians p. 25
  • Outing and the Clergy p. 27
  • In the Wake of Forbes' Outing p. 29
  • Variety of Opinions Within OutWeek and Elsewhere p. 32
  • Conclusion p. 33

Current Related Literature

See Nuremburg Trials for AIDS by Larry Kramer



“A lucid, well-written history and analysis of the practice of exposing other people’s homosexuality…Johansson and Percy offer vigorous challenge to the claim that privacy rights are an overriding principle, arguing that loyalty to the collective ‘Queer Nation’ is a superior good. A surprisingly balanced final section on tactics and limitations will give pause to overzealous and indiscriminate ‘outers.’” - Paul Varnell, Syndicated Columnist, Windy City Times

“The first book of such scope on this topic. The authors review the scientific, political, and human dimensions society’s intransigent determination to deny the very existence of those men and women whose affections turn toward their own sex has inflicted on that entire population. The authors impeach this malevolent form of oppression with truly Swiftian scorn and respond with a manifesto of refusal to any longer endure or tolerate such evasion and denigration…They offer a detailed program for use by the Queer Nation which the view as a burgeoning new campaign of emancipation irresistibly welling up into expression all around us today.” - W. Dorr Legg, MLD, ONE institute of Homophile Studies, Los Angeles

“Our lives sparkle through every page of this book. OUTING shatters the conspiracy of past and present (and let us hope future) silences about our love. ‘Silence Equals Death’ becomes today’s rallying call. We are everywhere. We are in everyone. Nowhere are we free.” - Charles Shively, Ph.D., American Studies Program, University of Massachusetts Boston

“This lengthy, readable, informative and often entertaining work explores the hot debate in our community over the use of outing as a tactic in our war against institutionalized homophobia. The question divides those who follow Queer Nation’s anarchic in-your-face styles from those who work for gay progress in incremental or orthodox political and educational ways…Percy and Johansson perceptively tie together our history and [this] prominent conflict dividing our movement today.” - Jim Kepner, Veteran Gay Activist; Curator, International Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles

Bounty Offered by William A. Percy in 1994:

hereby offer $10,000 to anyone who first succeeds in outing a living American cardinal, a sitting justice of the United States Supreme Court, or a four-star officer on active duty in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. By outing mean disclosing his or her homosexual orientation or practices to the public through the mass media, so that neither the person nor his or her colleagues of equal rank can effectively deny the accusation. If the outee admits the allegations, so much the better. If not, the educated public must be convinced as evidenced by media coverage and/or public opinion polls. In short, the allegations must stick.

Revised Bounty Offer, 2005:

Now a decade later, after the Supreme Court decriminalized sodomy, and one hopes, as I believe they will, strikes down “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I remove Supreme Court justices from the bounty offer. But because the Catholic clergy and the armed forces still discriminate so harshly against homosexuals, I reaffirm my offer, except that I now am raising the bounty to $20,000.

Outing Wikipedia Entry

Older version: Wikipedia Outing entry Current version: Outing

Note that the current version of Wikipedia's article removes Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence as a reference.

PDFs of Outing book reviews, press releases and related documents

Boston Globe article on Outing
Daily Mirror article on Outing bounty
Full text of Outing bounty
Commercial Appeal story on Outing
'Outing' coverage by the Mass Media
Story on Outing in the Moving Finger
Outing New book announcement
'NY Post' article on the Bounty offer
Press Release about Outing's authors
Press Release -- Outing Excerpts
Outing Bounty Press Release
Outing Press Release
Outing review in Christopher Street
Outing review by Ken Griffin
Outing review by Lambda
Outing review by Mandate
Outing review The Moving Finger
Outing review by Reference and Research Book News
Outing review by Rob Nixon
Outing review by T.M. Ormond in Island Lifestyle
Outing review by the Washington Blade
Outing review by Wayne Hoffman
Bounty offer for outing British Royal Family members
Outing article in The People
Outing trade catalog advertisement
Press Release about the outing of Cardinal Bernardin
Article on W.A.P and Outing by Wayne Hoffman
Outing press release and collected press clippings

Personal tools