All posts tagged: historian David K. Johnson

America’s Long Campaign to Erase Gay People Is Itself Being Forgotten

America’s Long Campaign to Erase Gay People Is Itself Being Forgotten

In the summer of 1984, after he finished his first U.S. Foreign Service assignment, in Yugoslavia, Jan Krc flew to Washington, D.C., for what he thought would be a couple of weeks’ training en route to his next post, in South Africa. He thought nothing of it when he was called in for a security debriefing early one morning at the U.S. Information Agency headquarters. There, in a nondescript conference room, he was met by two middle-aged men in suits. The session began with half an hour of preliminaries, but then swerved sharply. Have you engaged in homosexual relations since age 18? Oh, shit, he thought. Krc, who was 27, hesitated. He said he should get a lawyer. The questioners told him representation wasn’t needed; if he answered truthfully, he would soon be on his way to Cape Town. Believing them, he disclosed having had flings with two foreign nationals (not a violation of fraternization rules, as neither was from a hostile country). The interrogators drilled for details. They wanted the names of other Americans …