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"Ralph was sick, not a visible sickness, a sickness of the mind. You see, Ralph was homosexual." (From the movie "Boys beware")
You are gay, and all gays are paedophiles!
Unfortunately not quite a Dead Horse Trope
yet, the basic idea of this one is that all homosexuals (especially gay men) have a sexual interest in children and will molest them if they get a chance. This is still used as an excuse to persecute the gay community, the primary fear being that gays are trying to "recruit" children as part of the "Gay agenda"
(related to Rape and Switch
). Many gays will readily pounce on anyone who dares suggest that this is a majority characteristic.
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- The 1961 short film Boys Beware, notable for not only blatantly describing homosexuality as a contagious disease, but also having the child be punished for being molested. It should be noted that the same producer produced a film, that same year, titled Girls Beware. Apparently, that film inverts this trope, as it implies All Straights Are Pedophiles.
- Milk points out the historical fact that even into the late 1970s homosexual school teachers could be fired for "being a danger to children" using this trope as a pretext.
- Subverted in the Christopher Rice novel Light Before Day. Main protagonist Adam is trying to crack a child pornography case headed by a gay man, but is dreading the possible backlash against the gay community. His mentor, an older mystery writer (who's straight), assures him that the people running the operation are bastards for exploiting children, not for being gay, and that he need not worry about vindicating his community.
- Frank Herbert, author of Dune, was accused of invoking this trope via the character of Vladimir Harkonnen, though there was another explanationnote . The fact that that series isn't exactly long on gay characters didn't help matters.
- In Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, this is discussed. Vanessa, who is a lesbian, discusses having to keep her door open when talking to students alone, because it turns out that she had a get together at her house with some students. The students found alcohol, got drunk, and later accused her of molesting them. Later on in the book, Zoe is accused of molesting one of her clients (she is a musical therapist).
Live Action TV
- Repeatedly averted in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which at one point pulls a Lampshade Hanging on this trope by pointing out that somewhere around 90% of pedophiles are heterosexual men.
- An episode of Law & Order revolves around the cold case of a boy who disappeared in the 1960s and whose body has recently turned up in his old building. The main suspects in the original investigation were a homosexual couple who lived nearby, largely because of this trope. They didn't do it, but the surviving member of the couple isn't particularly keen to cooperate with the detectives because of this trope, and bitterly lampshades it. Turns out it was a heterosexual man who killed him.
- This trope was brought up in an SVU episode featuring a young girl who was raised by lesbians (her birth mother and the mother's partner). After some pictures were found of the family in which the girl was naked in an innocent child kind of way and taking a bath with one of the mothers (a practice that is not uncommon in much of the world) a lawyer convinced the girl's grandparents to press charges and sue for custody by showing them bogus studies that said gays were highly likely to molest their children.
- Discussed on NYPD Blue when PAA John Irvin (who was gay) was coming over to babysit Andy's son. "He's in charge, but if he wants you to do something that makes you uncomfortable you don't have to do it, and make sure you tell me about it." Nothing happened.
- In the Masters of Horror episode "Sick Girl", Ida's landlady discovers she's gay, and accuses her of eying up her ten year old daughter. Ida is understandably offended.
- In Game of Thrones, the eunuch spymaster Varys comes across as Ambiguously Gay, and because of a belief in this trope, some of the other characters at court like to insult him by intimating that he takes sexual advantage of the children who spy for him.
- In the Inspector Lynley episode "Well Schooled In Murder", Lynley's old friend John Corntel works at a private boy's school and is gay, but keeps it to himself out of fear that the staff and parents may turn on him because of this trope. He did have a relationship with a former student of his once the young man was of legal age and in college, and a particular prefect who found out about the relationship uses it to blackmail him. When Lynley eventually gets him to confess this, Contrel very pointedly says he is attracted only to adult men.
- Tom Robinson's 1976 angry gay anthem, Glad to be Gay, contains, among other descriptions of wrongs done to gay people, the lines, "Molesters of children, corrupters of youth/It's there in the papers, it must be the truth."
- South Park has mocked this attitude:
- In the episode "Cripple Fight." Big Gay Al is fired from the Mountain Scouts because of his sexuality and replaced with an supposedly heterosexual man, who really does molest the boys.
- It is played straight with Mr. Garrison in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" (though this episode took place right before he actually came out).
- Parodied in Monkey Dust when one of the Paedofinder General's victims were a couple of Straight Gays based on "some bloke in the pub who knew for definite". He even drops the very name of the trope.
- In many Slavic languages, there is no distinction in the word "pederast" between a pedophile or gay.
- Archaic Japanese contains a similar blur in the terms 若道, 美道, 衆道, and 若衆道, kanji-for-kanji translating to "the way of the youthful/beautiful/many" but meaning both "pederasty" and "homosexuality".