After a brief introduction by Professor Angelina Chin, Halberstam began by referring to the recent film Brüno, a vehicle for the British comic Sasha Baron Cohen. In it, Cohen plays a gay character who describes himself as "the second most understood Austrian of all time," a reference to the fascist dictator Adolf Hitler. The character also performs an exaggerated homosexuality. She used this pop culture example to challenge some commonly-held assumptions (that one's politics flow from one's sexuality, i.e., gays and lesbians "naturally" tend towards progressive politics.) Another common image, especially in the media, is that of the queer victim who stands up to his/her aggressor. This is the dominant figure, the hero in queer meida, but does not necessarily harmonize with the historical record.
Recently, there has been a heightened depiction of (especially male) homoeroticism during the Third Reich. She dissected the various ways in which male homosexuality intersected with Nazism in Germany, tearing down the "Pink triangle vs. Pink Swastika" dialectic.
The final part of the talk was on other media explorations of the homosexuality-fascism connection, including the work of Tom of Finland, Stuart Marshall, Collier Schorr, and Attila Richard Lukacs.
The lecture ended with a quetion-and-answer/group discussion, and was followed by a reception hosted by Pomona College's Queer Resource Center.