On this day: the attack of the Lesbian Grapevine

Lesbian Grapevine

On September 12, 1965, the Philadelphia Inquirer carried an ad for a book warning Americans of the secret menace hiding in their midst. Forget nuclear armageddon. Rather, the US faced devastation from a secret network of closeted woman-loving housewives — the Lesbian Grapevine!

Indeed, the blurb on the back of the best-selling The Grapevine: A Report on the Secret World of the Lesbian warned how easily lesbians infiltrated American suburbia.

(Best read in a voice of impending doom a la Twilight Zone voiceovers.)

“She could live next door to you, attend your church, or be a member of your family. But you’d never know it.

“She hides her unnatural life from everyone, except other members of the ‘fourth sex’, kept constantly on alert by the lesbian grapevine.”

lesbian grapevine
For just 95 cents, American women could lie awake at night thinking about lesbians.

Author Jess Stearn previously scored a best-seller with The Sixth Man: A Startling Investigation Revealing That One Man in Six Is a Homosexual.

He hoped lightning would strike twice, and it did. Stearn travelled coast-to-coast, spruiking his book on the radio. He also stopped off at numerous bookstores, scrawling his signature for worry-warts nationwide.

Nothing like a homo beat-up to get the cash register dinging.

The Lesbian Grapevine

But anyway, who were these lesbians? Where did they come from? Outer space?

And also, what were their evil plans for America? Spookily, Stearn warned of ‘a vast, sprawling grapevine with a secret code of its own’  and of the lesbian grapevine’s ‘almost radar-like communication’.

Definitely sounds like an alien invasion.

What did H. G. Wells write in The War of the Worlds?

“This world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied… With infinite complacency, men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter.”

Perhaps the blurb for Stearn’s The Sixth Man can tell us more. Supposedly a quote from a gay man, it warned of the impending overthrow of heterosexual hegemony.

“Someday, we’ll outnumber you. You’ll be the abnormal ones, and we’ll be the normal…”

The new normal

Oh. The good old gay agenda. The world was in imminent danger of a queer takeover. Lesbians and gays would reign supreme and convert everyone to the delights of same-sex love. Sapphic pleasure and the love that dare not say its name would be the new normal.

Nay. Not only normal but compulsory. Except for a few select heterosexuals kept caged as breeding stock.

I heard it through the Grapevine

Stearn’s book was no isolated sensation. In 1953, Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior and the Human Female. In his groundbreaking study, he revealed that 1% of married women engaged in lesbian activity to the point of orgasm.


But that was enough to inspire numerous newspaper articles, radio segments and books about the menace of closeted lesbian housewives infiltrating American households.

They could be anywhere according to Stearn.

“She moves unnoticed in society, working in every field — from Maddison Avenue copywriter to small town beautician.”

Even a famous Hollywood sex symbol was a secret lesbian, he revealed. Her husband, little more than a mannequin, “trotted out occasionally as window dressing and then put back on the shelf.”

Um… Mr Stearn… that’s not a mannequin. It’s a beard.

Of course, as yet, no evidence of a lesbian global coup d’etat has emerged. But better be safe than sorry. You have been warned. Look again at the woman singing in your local church choir. Remain cynical when an aproned neighbour comes calling bearing apple pie. Lesbians are everywhere. And there’s no sure way of knowing who they are. 😮

Also: Mary Renault, lesbian author of male love stories.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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