ABSTRACT

Before motion picture actor Brad Davis died, and while he was suffering from the AIDS that brought on his untimely death, he remarked to the news media that the film industry was exceedingly repressive with regard to AIDS and homosexuality (and thus of course repressive to reason in these issues). He also reported that he had been, in his younger years, an aggressive drug abuser. For the purpose of this introduction, sorting out whether gay sex or drug abuse brought about his illness is not the most relevant part of that press interview. It is, rather, the surprise that the motion picture industry would be one that lacked tolerance for gay and lesbian sexual orientation because folklore has it otherwise. Cautious about promulgating conjecture, I brought my notions on Hollywood to some social psychologists who agreed with me and voiced surprise at Davis’ comment. It is no surprise but rather common expectancy that the Church, the military, or even the Boy Scouts (I read somewhere that national Boy Scout leaders have said the ban on homosexual members rests in part on a section of the scout oath that requires members to be morally straight). But if Hollywood, that font of myths could be a myth itself—what then might work environments, not so imbued with a spirit and aura of sexual freedom, be in terms of repressive forces and stressors to gay and lesbian workers?