“Did you know Lincoln was gay?” I was asked this question once again this week. I hadn’t heard the question in awhile. The friend who posed the question handed me the May 20, 2011 edition of Entertainment Weekly. Inside the magazine there is an article Anger and Heart about Larry Kramer, writer. Apparently, he is writing a new book in which he “outs historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and George Washington.” Okay, now I know where the question came from. Funny, I thought scholar C.A. Tripp had already “outted Lincoln.” At any rate, yet another author is going to reveal this seemingly “unknown fact.” Mr. Kramer (not as quoted in the magazine article) had this to say further about Abraham Lincoln:
“…Abraham Lincoln was gay and had many, many gay interactions, that his nervous breakdown occurred when he and his lover, Joshua Speed, were forced to part, and that his sensitivity to the slaves came from his firsthand knowledge of what it meant to be so very different. And that the possibility exists that Lincoln was murdered because he was gay and John Wilkes Booth, who was gay, knew this.” The Moderate Voice (Web Site).
None of the above “proves” Lincoln was gay. Personally, it’s those kind of assertions that make me angry-they’re just not intellectually honest. I don’t care if Lincoln was gay, by the way. I just want the claim to be backed by truth. And, of course, it never can be.
So until the end of time, I suppose, we’ll be hearing: “Did you know Lincoln was gay?”
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