Funny Queer Theory in the 1980’s CIA Homosexual Investigations

Surveillance image, CIA, 1980.

From a CIA memorandum entitled “Homosexual Investigations” that was written in 1980 for the purpose of investigating colleagues. The document was published in by Muckrock.

1. Know that it won’t be easy.

“One of the most common mistakes made by the average person is the conviction that he can recognize a homosexual on sight. This is similar to recognizing a communist,” the CIA memo explains. Alas, homosexuals do not have special birthmarks or tattoos.

The memo adds, “Very few employees come to work wearing eye makeup or ‘My Sin.’”

2. He’s a good worker.

“The homosexual subject is usually regarded as an above-average employee,” the memo continues. “His work habits are good, he is punctual, responsive to authority, cooperative, friendly, a credit to the organization.”

So if a guy wins Employee of the Month more than once, he’s probably “a gay.”

3. He has a post office box.

“Our subject leads a Jekyll-Hyde existence, constantly cautious, constantly aware that his ‘Mr. Hyde’ will be exposed. He frequently uses a Post Office Box to receive mail from trusted friends,” the CIA memo warns.

So if a guy has a mailbox at home, he likes girls. If he uses a post office box, he likes dicks and butts (of the male persuasion).

4. He drives an Audi or a Volkswagen — but not often.

“His car (preferably foreign) is often reserved for weekends, rarely drives to the office,” the memo says.

Gays love foreign cars, because Foreignlandia is where homosexuality (and its sister affliction, communism) comes from! But the gays don’t drive often. It turns out homosexuality is really good for the ecosystem.

5. He speaks a foreign gay language.

“He has his own language,” the CIA memo warns. And that language includes “pass words,” or “auditory signals with which to test a chance acquaintance.” What are some of those pass words? The memo lists three very secret words that no heterosexual knew about in 1980, apparently:

It’s an ingenious code that only the greatest minds of the CIA could break!

The memo defines “bi” as “interested equally in homosexual and heterosexual activities.” (Which I guess means he owns a Saab and a Ford.)

Another gay phrase is the introductory question “Aren’t you Jack from the North?” If you answer “No, I’m Joe from the North,” you’re gay. If you answer “Yes,” you’re a supporter of anti-enclosure actions in Cambridgeshire in 1549. Also, any Canadian not named Jack is a homosexual.

Funny enough, there’s no mention of the expression “friend of Dorothy.”

6. He has a roommate.

“It is not uncommon for two homosexuals to live together and not engage in mutual sex activity,” the CIA memo explains.

7. He’s a great tenant.

“Landlords often encourage rentals to homosexuals since they are neat, generally quiet, interested in keeping their apartments in good condition, and dependable when it comes to finances,” the memo says.

Gays always get their full security deposit back when they leave an apartment. They need it — paying for upkeep on a foreign car is expensive!

8. He’s really smart …

“The homosexual is a complex, intelligent, interesting and mixed-up individual.”

9. … but he will fuck shit up in public

“In checks of credit and police records, particular attention should be given to any arrests for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or similar offences,” the memo suggests.

Reported by Dominik Böhler.

Dominik Böhler is the Editor-at-Large of GAY45. A 25 y.o., PhD candidate, passionate about the transcendence of science in the philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and agency of human beings. Works in Vienna and commutes to England at the University of Oxford where to continue the DPhil (doctoral) programme in Information, Communication, and the Social Sciences. Böhler does not like to have a social media presence.


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