Was Lincoln gay?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_stanmarsh14, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. B_stanmarsh14

    B_stanmarsh14 New Member

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    The 28-year-old traveller was tall, with rough hands, a chiselled jaw and unforgettable, deep-set, melancholy eyes. He arrived in town, his worldly possessions in two battered suitcases, and inquired at a general store about buying some bedding. But the price was far beyond his budget. The strikingly handsome 23-year-old merchant took pity on the man and invited him into his own bed, free of charge, which happened to be just upstairs. The traveller inspected the bed and, looking into the merchant's sparkling blue eyes, agreed on the spot. For the next four years the two men shared that bed along with their most private fears and desires.

    Was Lincoln gay? - Academia - Salon.com

    Would seam so on the surface, but what would make me think twice, is back in that day, there are many things that happened, that would appear to be homoerotic, but they was anything but, due to need at the time.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. chicagosam

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    Would it really matter if Lincoln was gay?

    The sum of the man is his acomplishments and what he contributed toward the betterment of humanity, not to degrade his accomplishments based on circumstantial evidence of who he may have slept with. Of what importance is that?

    I keep hoping that we would move past a society that seems bent on destroying reputations over unimportant matters and celebrate and honor what is important.
     
  3. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    Of course he was. I'm gay. you're gay. Everybody is gay. Everybody is gay in ways that matter to you.
     
  4. vince

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    How do we know he looked into the merchant's "sparkling blue eyes"? Or that they sparkled at all? I hate that kind of "journalism".

    As the article later states, it was not uncommon in the western frontier for men to shared a bed due to the economics of the situation and that "It sounds like this might be a case of taking a 19th century event and giving it a 20th century context."

    You'd have to be pretty hetero to sleep with Mary Todd!
     
  5. Bbucko

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    It's impossible to apply the social and sexual norms of the last 45 years to people and situations as they existed in the early-mid 19th century. It's like asking if Martin Van Buren would have been any good at parallel parking.

    Same-sex eroticism is as old as humanity itself and is obviously an evolved trait. But even as likely a candidate as Hadrian lived a life that, aside from certain sexual acts, would be unrecognizable to your average self-identified gay adult of today. The idea of a label for sexual proclivities in order to separate them from "normal" only happened at the end of the 19th century, at a time when psychology was just emerging as a scientific specialization, especially when you consider that very few of our ancestors had the luxury of exclusively choosing one gender over another for sexual interest in a way that remained fixed and in-transmutable for life.

    Prior generations had a familial responsibility to reproduce, especially first-born males. A case can be made that, at least among certain demographics, this responsibility still holds.
     
  6. sleeves18

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    everyone knows that Lincoln had the jungle fever.
     
  7. ukguysp10

    ukguysp10 New Member

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    i'm sure all Democrats know he was gay
     
  8. Rikter8

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    Something about blowjob by wooden teeth just doesn't appeal to me.

    I like to think of him as heroic as he was. Doesnt matter if he was gay or straight.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Washington had wooden teeth; Lincoln freed the slaves.

    @ukguysp10:

    Lincoln's legacy belongs to all Americans, his veneration is entirely non-partisan and has been for (way) over 50 years. It's not for nothing that he is one of Obama's true heroes; there's a bust of Lincoln in the Oval Office installed by him.
     
  10. B_stanmarsh14

    B_stanmarsh14 New Member

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    This is basically my thoughts to it all, and makes me wonder if the article is just there to spread myth and bullshit, especially knowing at the time, that some activates that may seam gay to us, was a socially accepted norm to them, or even a case done out of need of the times.
     
  11. Countryguy63

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    He took the "wood" out before putting the "wood" in :wink: :biggrin1: :cool:
     
  12. maxcok

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    Without directly observing what happened in the Lincoln bedroom no one can know absolutely. However, there is fair weight of evidence that indicates Lincoln enjoyed very close relationships with a number of men that eclipsed any of his relationships with women - relationships that were at the very least physical and romantic, quite possibly sexual, in nature. There's a good case to be made that he was by our contemporary definition bisexual at the least, likely more gay than straight. There were plenty of whispers about it in his own time, and many respected historians have made (sometimes veiled) reference to this in the decades since.

    I don't see how this 'degrades his accomplishments' or 'destroys his reputation' in the least. If anything, it puts the lie to the Republican party's wholesale denigration and demonization of homosexuality, as it was quite possibly embodied in one of their most revered heroes. In that sense, I think it is important to show that sexual orientation ought to have no bearing on a person's accomplishments and potential for greatness.


    If you read the LA Weekly article, you'll find that Lincoln continued sharing his bed with men even as president.

    Or just bowing to social convention as men still do in this 'enlightened' age (including many noted Republicans).
     
    #12 maxcok, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  13. chicagosam

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    I'm sure some sensation seeking idiot will spin his memorial in Oak Park Cemetery as proof that he was gay.

    Abraham Lincoln's Tomb
     
  14. Bbucko

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    This "concept" has been bouncing around academia (and the internet) for at least five years now (too lazy to research, but trust me) as regards Lincoln. There are also some letters where he writes in rather flowery prose about his love for the (male) recipient, too. The problem is that we see such things through the prism of contemporary mores, not historical ones.

    The fact that many (or most) of Shakespeare's sonnets were written to a young man, and are much more explicitly erotic, is also discussed in this regard, as well as what little is known about his contemporary Christopher Marlowe.

    "Gay" is an even more recent social construct than homosexual(ity): it largely describes a Western, urban post-WW2 phenomenon that really only blossomed in the post-Stonewall 70s, especially when coupled with the word "pride" (Boys In The Band is riddled with self-loathing). It's a cultural thing, and as with all things cultural, has and will continue to evolve. As someone who came of age in those heady days, I can assure anyone too young to remember that things were very different from the acceptance and and sympathy we enjoy today. This assimilation has not come without its mixed blessings, IMO, but that's a different discussion.

    Anyone with a grasp of reality and sociology can understand that, unlike the colonization of the Eastern Seaboard, the initial settling of America's Far West was a male thing: the only women in most of those miner's or logger's camps, dude ranches and military outposts were prostitutes or missionaries' wives. In lieu of female companionship it's only natural that some kind of M/M sexuality must have been practiced. Undoubtedly some blossomed into full-on love affairs and some were merely arrangements of convenience. But labeling these relationships "gay" shows no understanding of the times and mores of the men involved.

    This, in many ways, similar to what were referred to as Boston Marriages, which may or may not have had any real sexualized aspect.
     
  15. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

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    Lincoln did pay 3.00 for sex with a woman.
     
  16. earllogjam

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    What would it matter if he really was?

    Would it change history? Then of course history is not really objective but always written by and for the people it serves.

    It's like asking if Jesus was gay. The world will never know. But I'm sure if all the people in power for the last 2000 years were gay Jesus certainly would be gay according to history. Oy.
     
    #16 earllogjam, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
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