Know Your Enemy

The Gay Men Who Built the Conservative Movement (w/ Neil J. Young)

Episode Summary

Matt and Sam are joined by Neil J. Young to discuss his new book, "Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right."

Episode Notes

In this special Pride Month episode of Know Your Enemy, Matt and Sam talk to historian Neil J. Young about his new book, Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right. His absorbing account picks up in after World War II, when neither party made for a good political home for gay people, which helped make a libertarian approach to sexual politics—getting the government out of their private lives—compelling, a feature that would mark the gay right for years to come. The conversation then turns to some of the gay, often closeted architects of the postwar conservative movement, the hopeful years between Stonewall and AIDS, Ronald Reagan's embrace of the religious right and the growing partisan divide on LGBTQ rights, and goes on through the very campy Trump years—and more!


Neil J. Young, Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right (2024)

Neil J. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics (2015)

Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, (1996)

James Kirchick, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington, (2022)

Marvin Leibman, Coming Out Conservative: An Autobiography, (1992)

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