The Daily Agenda for Wednesday, December 28

Jim Burroway

December 28th, 2011

Closeted Anti-Gay Activist Dies of AIDS: 1986. Terry Dolan, who helped to found the National Conservative Political Action Committee, was pretty well known in elite gay circles. According to Randy Schilts’s And the Band Played On, when playwright Larry Kramer recognized him at a Washington, D.C. cocktail party, he walked up to Dolan and threw a drink is his face. “How dare you come here?” he shouted. “You take the best from our world and then do all those hateful things against us. You should be ashamed.” Among those awful things was sending out fundraising letters for NCPAC, which claimed that “Our nation’s moral fiber is being weakened by the growing homosexual movement and the fanatical E.R.A. pushers (many of whom publicly brag they are lesbians).” Meanwhile, Dolan had, at the time of that 1984 encounter with Kramer, had just ended an affair with a male epidemiologist at the New York City Health Department, and was then enjoying everything the gay social scene had to offer.

Dolan knew how to raise money. “The “shriller you are,” he said in 1982, “the easier it is to raise money.” That’s been the recipe for anti-gay activists ever since. But four years later, Dolan himself was dead of AIDS at the age of 36. The following May, The Washington Post published an article about “the cautious closet” of Terry Dolan. His brother, Reagan White House speechwriter Anthony Dolan was livid, and took out an two-page ad in The Washington Times, arguing that “the greatest and most malicious falsehood in this story was its entire thrust, its basis: the claim that my brother lived and died a homosexual.” But he did live and die a homosexual, and a deeply closeted one at that. But despite his and the family’s best efforts, the secret was out, and no amount of wishful thinking otherwise would ever change that.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


December 28th, 2011

“His brother, Reagan White House speechwriter Anthony Dolan was livid, and took out an two-page ad in The Washington Times, arguing that “the greatest and most malicious falsehood in this story was its entire thrust, its basis: the claim that my brother lived and died a homosexual.”…………..his brother wasted his money

Donny D.

December 28th, 2011

I remember Dolan but I don’t remember his as closeted.

Donny D.

December 28th, 2011

his = him

Rick Rosendall

December 28th, 2011

Terry Dolan was closeted (he couldn’t have been open without suffering right-wing banishment), but as is often the case, it was an open secret in the gay community. He went to gay bars in DC, and he cruised me a few times when we passed each other on the sidewalk on 17th Street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The book “God’s Bullies” describes a gay sexual liaison he had with someone I knew.

One small act of decency I remember of Dolan’s was defending Robert Bauman from an effort to remove him from the board of a right-wing organization after Bauman’s gay-hustler scandal ended his congressional career in 1980. I do not remember if the organization in question was NCPAC, YAF, or the American Conservative Union. While both men’s consorting with the anti-gay right was despicable, Dolan appeared to have a pang of conscience and resisted doing the obvious thing in response to Bauman’s scandal, which would have been to throw him overboard.


December 28th, 2011

Is there a scan of the two-page Washington Times ad placed by Anthony Dolan available?!?!

I think it would be EXTREMELY interesting to see that ad. It could also be extremely interesting to ask Anthony Dolan if he continues to stand by that ad now.

Was Terry Dolan Ken Mehlman’s hero, role model, and inspiration? I see strong parallels. Sick stuff.

Donny D.

December 29th, 2011

Rick Rosendall wrote,

Terry Dolan was closeted (he couldn’t have been open without suffering right-wing banishment), but as is often the case, it was an open secret in the gay community.

It must have been an VERY open secret. I never saw him referred to in gay media of the time as anything but gay. I think straight conservatives “didn’t know” because they didn’t want to know, especially given how politically effective he was for their side. But then this was during the Reagan years, when there still was some live and let live sentiment felt among straight Republican conservatives in regard to gay conservatives. This was before the 1992 Republican convention, the Pat Buchanan Culture War speech and the Republican party basically declaring war on LGBT people.

It may also be that culture war conservatives weren’t patrolling gay media as aggressively and thoroughly then as they are now.


December 29th, 2011


Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.