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Gay Abe?
December 20, 2004 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Lincoln Outed. It's a subject that has been discussed before (hopefully not here), but in "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln," to be published next month by Free Press, C.A. Tripp, a psychologist, influential gay writer and former sex researcher for Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, tries to resolve the issue of Lincoln's sexuality once and for all. The author, who died in 2003, two weeks after finishing the book, subjected almost every word ever written by and about Lincoln to minute analysis. His conclusion is that America's greatest president, the beacon of the Republican Party, was a gay man.
posted by three blind mice (57 comments total)

 
This explains the Log Cabin Republicans.
posted by me3dia at 12:55 PM on December 20, 2004


"Finding Homosexual Threads in Lincoln's Legend"(NYT Review)
posted by ericb at 12:56 PM on December 20, 2004


Funny... I had always thought this trend of cataloging people as gay or straight was a recent phenomena (circa 20th century). Is it possibly that 'ol Abe was neither gay nor straight, but simply a man?
posted by odigity at 12:58 PM on December 20, 2004


From reading these articles, the only implication of homosexuality I see is sharing a bed with another man. In the 19th century, EVERYBODY shared a bed in a non-sexual context. Furniture was expensive, buildings and rooms were smaller, and people seemed slighly more OK being closer together. Beyond that, I fail to see the historical significance of Lincoln's sexual orientation. Unless a lover prompted him to sign the Emancipation proclamation, it just seems wasteful to speculate.
posted by medea42 at 12:59 PM on December 20, 2004


odigity: We're in the age of labels. It's no longer possible to simply exist as a human. You have to be something before you're someone.
posted by xmutex at 12:59 PM on December 20, 2004


Maybe Lincoln was picking up where James Buchanan left off.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:04 PM on December 20, 2004


And in other news, George Washington was really black, Christopher Columbus was originally Chinese, and Thomas Edison was, in fact, a woman.

See kids, making money as a writer is easy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:07 PM on December 20, 2004


The Secret Diaries of Desmond Pfeiffer are now vindicated.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:08 PM on December 20, 2004


In the 19th century, EVERYBODY shared a bed in a non-sexual context.
Just the excuse Michael Jackson has been looking for...
posted by mystyk at 1:15 PM on December 20, 2004


"Me sabbee plenty"--grunted Queequeg, puffing away at his pipe and sitting up in bed.

"You gettee in," he added, motioning to me with his tomahawk, and throwing the clothes to one side. He really did this in not only a civil but a really kind and charitable way. I stood looking at him a moment. For all his tattooings he was on the whole a clean, comely looking cannibal. What's all this fuss I have been making about, thought I to myself--the man's a human being just as I am: he has just as much reason to fear me, as I have to be afraid of him. Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

-- Melville, Moby Dick, so to speak
posted by digaman at 1:23 PM on December 20, 2004


Do you think we could use this method to find out whether there are gay people on metafilter, too?
posted by Hildago at 1:23 PM on December 20, 2004


I was cuddling in bed with a straight friend last night while we watched Star Trek: TNG (the one where Data, a gay android himself, suddenly starts dreaming).

The grand tradition of sweet male affection across phony, nervous-nellie sexual-orientation "boundaries" is alive and well in the 21st century.
posted by digaman at 1:30 PM on December 20, 2004


Do you think we could use this method to find out whether there are gay people on metafilter, too?

Sure -- I've actually done it. Some surprising results: oissubke? Gay! amberglow? Straight!
posted by pardonyou? at 1:32 PM on December 20, 2004


Now Melville, there was a gay man. And with him it matters a bit, with Lincoln, not at all.
posted by OmieWise at 1:35 PM on December 20, 2004


Richard Simmons Announces He's Straight!
posted by redneck_zionist at 1:49 PM on December 20, 2004


In an unrelated development, half a million women suddenly become lesbians.
posted by jonmc at 1:54 PM on December 20, 2004


We're in the age of labels....As opposed to previous points in history? What other "age" did labels not exist? I could easily rattle off examples of social labeling back to about the start of written record, which even then is usually based on oral tradition dating even further..

Back on topic.. this would be more shocking in an orthodox-ish religious light than in a political party light..
posted by rulethirty at 1:55 PM on December 20, 2004


The Straight Dope. As Unca Cecil points out, if Abe was gay, why weren't there rumors and muttered accusations as there were about Buchanan? I understand the desire to find role models in history, but this strikes me as pretty dubious.

OmieWise: Melville certainly seems to have had homoerotic feelings, but Pierre and "Billy Budd" are often treated too autobiographically these days. As Caleb Crain says, "For Melville, homosexual desire is merely one of the engines available to drive a plot, one that serves him well in exploring the moral ambiguity of building political authority out of affectionate bonds between men -- or of making art out of feelings for another person." It seems to me way to simplistic to say "Now Melville, there was a gay man."
posted by languagehat at 1:57 PM on December 20, 2004


I guess I sort of understand that with the whole hoo-hah about gay marraige that the republicans are putting on, maybe this is some sort of an attempt at fighting back at that.

However, despite the fact that I guess you could say that as of late I am definitely "anti republican", and certainly "anti-anything that's anti freedom of choice", my initial reaction to this was "uh, so? Who gives a damn if Lincoln was gay?".

Really, if this is just an attempt to go "hey republicans, one of your own is a homo!", it's not all that effective. The man is dead, there's no way to prove it anyway, and nobody will care. Nobody cares that Cheney's daughter is gay either.

Such free time posessed by the politically active should really be spent on more productive things, like auditing our elections or something.
posted by twiggy at 1:58 PM on December 20, 2004


Sounds like a good read. :)
posted by Hildegarde at 2:07 PM on December 20, 2004


Wait. Data was gay?
posted by footballrabi at 2:31 PM on December 20, 2004


It seems to me way to simplistic to say "Now Melville, there was a gay man."

One reason it's "way too simplistic" is because the concept of a bright line between homosexuality and heterosexuality -- determined by genetics, say -- is very 20th century notion.

Most of the "gay sex" enjoyed by humanity throughout history was had by men who were primarily attracted to women -- and I don't mean in prison.

The notion that enjoying sex with your buddies makes you "a homosexual" -- a word not invented until the late 19th century -- is offbase, and champions of gay rights have been just as guilty as homophobes in spreading this meme: "We can't help ourselves! It's genetic!"

Everyone knows about the Greek tradition of men making love to boys, expounded upon at length in Plato's Symposium. But most of those men also had wives and kids. They were hardly "in the closet," since homosexuality was one of the pillars, ahem, of Greek society. But the Greeks were much more understanding of human nature than we are today, as was Shakespeare in his Sonnets, the most beautiful of which were written praising the beauty of a young man to encourage him to procreate.
posted by digaman at 2:31 PM on December 20, 2004


Regarding labels, from ericb's link:

"The question of Lincoln's sexuality is complicated by the fact that the word homosexual did not find its way into print in English until 1892 and that "gayness" is very much a modern concept."
posted by hopeless romantique at 2:55 PM on December 20, 2004


As Unca Cecil points out, if Abe was gay, why weren't there rumors and muttered accusations as there were about Buchanan? I understand the desire to find role models in history, but this strikes me as pretty dubious.

There were rumors--and more than rumors. In his letters, Speed writes about their three years together above the general store in Springfield, IL: “our Abe is like a schoolgirl (he) often kisses me when I tease him, often to shut me up. He would grab me up by his long arms and hug and hug.” In his famous biography of Lincoln, Carl Sandburg notes that Lincoln and Speed “had a streak of lavender and spots soft as May violets.”
They remained lifelong friends, although both, as society demanded, got married. (In their letters to each other, they referred to their miserable marriages as “forebodings!”) Another historian claims that Lincoln had “numerous homoerotic relationships throughout his life.” Believe it or not, there are actually rumors of Lincoln dallying with Marine guards in the White House. (Shades of Monica!)


Straight men may have shared beds, but they weren't kissing, etc.
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on December 20, 2004


I, for one, am sick of the whole label thing. I can't count the number of married and bisexual men going online for sex these days with other men. Even before the internet came along, I knew lots of gay men that would pick up straight men left and right. I could never understand how they did it, but my gay friends always insisted that it was easy. Shit, all you have to do is drive past any adult bookstore and see all the cars in the parking lot. Most of those men are married or bisexual.

As a teenager, I fooled around with lots of guys who grew up and got married to women. I'm quite sure many of them would have been happy to keep playing with guys, except it becomes very socially taboo once you get beyond puberty. The truth, which both gays and straights are reluctant to admit, is that human sexuality is not black and white.
posted by PigAlien at 3:22 PM on December 20, 2004


What? I've never heard any mention of this, which doesn't mean much, but still... This seems like a waste of scholarship because, A) I'm not sure how such a thing can be proved, especially since the modern view of sexuality is so different than the view during Lincoln's time. Letters can be read out of context and yield "evidence," but it seems dubious at best. And B) I don't see how this really matters. If this is a response to the current Republican push to ban gay marriage it seems that people are already taking the concept of Republican out of context. The Republican party of Lincoln's era has very little in common with the party which shares their name today.

On a tangent I very much agree with this:

The notion that enjoying sex with your buddies makes you "a homosexual" -- a word not invented until the late 19th century -- is offbase, and champions of gay rights have been just as guilty as homophobes in spreading this meme: "We can't help ourselves! It's genetic!"

I've never felt that the genetic debate around homosexuality was relevent. I like to think that gay marriage and other gay rights are supported by the idea of liberty and the possession of personal zones of privacy.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:34 PM on December 20, 2004


The truth, which both gays and straights are reluctant to admit, is that human sexuality is not black and white.

Well yeah. I always said I could understand a guy wanting to fuck a man, I just can't quite get my mind around somebody not wanting to fuck women. Not making any judgements, it's just hard to feature, kind of like not liking candy or something.
posted by jonmc at 3:49 PM on December 20, 2004


What digaman says about the category of "gay" not existing in Lincoln's time is important and true. Homosexual sex was considered a vice, and it was known that some were more prone to this vice than others--just as some men were more prone to gambling or alcoholism or whatever. Now a man who was really flamboyant and effeminate might be called a "Nancy," but that was as close as they had to a category. Or as the excellent NYT article linked above says "The question of Lincoln's sexuality is complicated by the fact that the word homosexual did not find its way into print in English until 1892 and that "gayness" is very much a modern concept. "

All that said, I tend to believe that Lincoln was probably batting for the other team at least part of the time. He shared a bed with Joshua Speed for years and years, when both were successful lawyers and could easily afford their own beds. The only reason we doubt it is because this is Lincoln we are talking about. If it were some more obscure figure we would all look at the same evidence and say "Man, that dude was gay."

Here is a good LA Weekly article that lays out most of the evidence.
posted by LarryC at 3:50 PM on December 20, 2004


I much enjoyed making love with my friend Jennie in college, though I've been with men since. It was fun and sweet because we loved one another.

Straight men may have shared beds, but they weren't kissing, etc.

I've kissed many a "straight man" -- and yes, on the mouth, and yes -- particularly back in college -- with more than kissing going on.
posted by digaman at 3:53 PM on December 20, 2004


Good post, LarryC.

One thing to remember is that even those boy-lovin' Greeks used to put down effeminate men. The notion that homosexuality and effeminacy are synonyms would have been thought ridiculous by the Spartan warriors, who fought as lovers in pairs, believing that a lover would die of shame rather than fail to act valiantly on the battlefield with his lover fighting beside him.

The Marines could learn a thing or two from this notion. Of course, lovers fighting in pairs probably happens in the Marines right now.
posted by digaman at 3:57 PM on December 20, 2004


Wow, bisexuality seems to be a difficult concept for people to get their minds around for some reason. Some people get aroused by both sexes. I'd venture to say that it's the majority of people, the question is only one of degree.

One thing to remember is that even those boy-lovin' Greeks used to put down effeminate men. The notion that homosexuality and effeminacy are synonyms would have been thought ridiculous by the Spartan warriors

Even casual observation today would tell you that the "nelly fag" steretype is bullshit. I've met gays go badass macho they'd make Stallone shit his pants. I've met plenty of gays who were complete regular slobs as well. And flamingly effeminate straights. The myth is promulgated by homophobes and in a backasswards way by the gay community itself when it embraces stereotypes.
posted by jonmc at 4:03 PM on December 20, 2004


Agreed, jonmc.

And there's been a veritable tsunami of faggy straight guys swishing out of their Armani-crammed closets of late: the infamous metrosexual hordes.

Some of my best friends are metrosexual.
posted by digaman at 4:08 PM on December 20, 2004


Off topic, The acceptence of homosexuality in Sparta is somewhat debatable. There is evidence of homosexuality being accepted in Athens, however. The only refrence to lovers fighting together that I've directly seen was in Plato's Republic. Now it is strongly suggested that Plato based many aspects of The Republic on Sparta's traditions, so perhaps there is circumstantial evidence. The Spartan's themselves didn't spend much time writing anything down so there isn't much direct reference.

Anyway digaman's point remains.

Oh, and I somehow manage to be a sloppy metrosexual.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:13 PM on December 20, 2004


Some of my best friends are metrosexual.

I think that "retrosexual" gays must get irritated with metros as much as us straight folk. My freind Jim was a Jim Morrison-haired, leather jacket wearing, Soundgarden & Biohazard lstening, Jackie Chan watching street guy with a fucking Klingon tatoo. And queer as a three-dollar bill. It broke my heart to turn him down when he asked me out. The mrs. wouldn't've liked that.
posted by jonmc at 4:13 PM on December 20, 2004


Could somebody tell me when it was exactly that the Republicans and Democrats switched sides on the spectrum? It seems the Democrats of Lincoln's day would be more like the Republicans of today, and vice versa. This sort of got glossed over in American history (which I took in a Canadian high school).
posted by Kleptophoria! at 4:13 PM on December 20, 2004


I'd say the 50s and 60s, when civil rights stuff really got rolling, Klepto. LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act in 65, and the Republicans creating the "Southern Strategy" of appealing to white men using coded racial terms. You also had the John Birchers and the Klan, and many others that just weren't comfortable tolerating any amount of equality and diversity. (in a nutshell)
posted by amberglow at 4:27 PM on December 20, 2004


oh, Lincoln himself was not as anti-slavery as he appears to us now. I can't find the links now, but there are speeches where he promised to let states decide, etc.
posted by amberglow at 4:29 PM on December 20, 2004


no lincoln log jokes?
posted by bakiwop at 4:30 PM on December 20, 2004


here's a little of it: Election to Congress in 1854 and the Mexican War brought the issue of the expansion of slave territory to the nation's attention. Lincoln formed a clearer position on slavery. He was opposed to black equality and had no intention of disturbing slavery in slave states. However, he recognized that slavery was wrong and should not be allowed to spread to new states. At Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, Lincoln stated that he thought that the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which outlawed slavery in Nebraska and Kansas was wrong. He said that it also was wrong in its basic principle, that of allowing slavery to spread to every part of the world where men can take it. This apparent change in his position developed as Lincoln gained political maturity, saw more aspects of slavery—such as the slave markets in the South—and formed a more "national" view of issues as a result of serving in Congress.

Lincoln ran for Senate in 1858 against Stephen A. Douglas. It was a spirited campaign, and Lincoln and Douglas engaged in seven popular and now famous debates about slavery. Lincoln was not an abolitionist, though he regarded slavery as an evil. He opposed its expansion. Lincoln said that he had no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it existed. Furthermore he said that he had no lawful right to do so and that he had no intention of doing that. He believed also that whites were superior. Lincoln said that he was not and had never been in favor of bringing about the social and political equality of the white and black races. Lincoln stated further that he was not nor ever had been in favor of making voters or jurors of blacks, nor letting them hold office or intermarry with white people.

posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on December 20, 2004


Since ole' honest Abe is long gone from the popular imagination, a much more useful rumor is of Dubya's alleged longterm romance with Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe. Any research to further underscore hypocrisy of the current administration regarding its organized campaign of homophobia is much more interesting to me -- and I suspect to popular attention -- than whether the Log Cabin'ers picked the right logo designer or not.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:33 PM on December 20, 2004


Lincoln said that he was not and had never been in favor of bringing about the social and political equality of the white and black races. Lincoln stated further that he was not nor ever had been in favor of making voters or jurors of blacks, nor letting them hold office or intermarry with white people.

Thanks for the information, amberglow. This is very interesting stuff. It seems to conflict with the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I'll have to do more careful reading.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:43 PM on December 20, 2004


I only recently learned of it myself. Apparently he also would tailor his speeches pro- or con- depending of what part of which state he was in too. what a flip-flopper, huh? ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on December 20, 2004


He was a politicain. What, you expect any of them to be honest?
posted by jonmc at 4:53 PM on December 20, 2004


Apparently he also would tailor his speeches pro- or con- depending of what part of which state he was in too. what a flip-flopper, huh?

It seems very coincidental that Kerry's campaign was run in seemingly the same way (pro-gay rights in Blue states; pro-State rights in Red states). Unfortunately for JFK, his run didn't work out quite as successfully as Lincoln's. Different marketing and campaign funding mechanisms back then, I guess.
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:13 PM on December 20, 2004


The notion that homosexuality and effeminacy are synonyms would have been thought ridiculous by the Spartan warriors, who fought as lovers in pairs, believing that a lover would die of shame rather than fail to act valiantly on the battlefield with his lover fighting beside him.

I think you mean Theban warriors.
posted by languagehat at 6:19 PM on December 20, 2004


we watched Star Trek: TNG (the one where Data, a gay android himself, suddenly starts dreaming)

I'm not so sure Data is gay--he got jiggy wit Tasha Yar, remember? Also, I thought Worf and Riker were the gay couple.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:01 PM on December 20, 2004


What concerns me is the practice of history with an agenda, people setting out to "prove" something. When you set out looking for evidence to advance a specific claim, you can usually find it.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:11 PM on December 20, 2004


It's certain that Lincoln was not himself a dyed-in-the-wool abolitionist, even though he was the first nominee of a party founded on abolitionism. In 1860 he knew (a lot of people knew) that the country might split if a perceived abolitionist were elected President, and indeed, that is what happened. Particularly in the early years of the war, it was important to keep the slave states of Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware in the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation, one will recall, did not end slavery in the United States, nor in areas controlled by the Union army -- only in the unoccupied South. It is widely believed that the primary reason for the proclamation was the hope that it would inspire a general slave insurrection, or at lesat the fear of an insurrection, leading to an allocation of Confederate military resources to protect their home front; at the same time, the proclamation enhanced the morale and increased the numbers of black soldiers fighting for the Union. Finally, there was an aspect of international support for the Union side at a point when Britain was all but openly siding with the Confederacy.

One must recall that the Republican Party, though founded hand-in-hand with abolitionism, was primarily a free soil (i.e. labor) party. The white laborers of the North feared an expansion of slavery which would rob them of jobs. (Also, the Northern upper classes feared widespread unemployment -- see the 1863 draft riots. This all ties into the Frontier and Manifest Destiny.)

As for the Great Switch, it chiefly dates to FDR's New Deal, a period in which the Democratic Party briefly embraced socialism. The Civil Rights era and the Solid South put the party on a collision course, and the Republican Southern Strategy architected by Lee Atwater ended Democratic dominance by robbing the party of moderates. (One may be heartened by signs that Atwater's party is now expelling its own moderates, which is provoking a bit of a backlash.)
posted by dhartung at 9:28 PM on December 20, 2004


Can't remember who said that history is written by the victors. Anyway, being immortalized is their agenda, which is to say that history always has some baggaged agenda, by its nature.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:30 PM on December 20, 2004


Nickname: Rail Splitter. 'N'uf said.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:35 PM on December 20, 2004


But Tripp's book really breaks new ground in its exhaustive portrayal of many of Lincoln's possible gay lovers, including one man who said Lincoln's thighs 'were as perfect as a human being could be'.

That's not exactly the image I have in my head when I think of Lincoln.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:51 PM on December 20, 2004


Thanks for that correction, languagehat. I did mean the Theban warriors, though homosexuality was also practiced widely in Sparta.
posted by digaman at 11:14 PM on December 20, 2004


Sorry for the long post to follow. Another interesting bit of data re: Lincoln and homosexuality comes from the fact that Walt Whitman, who clearly preferred men as objects of eros, felt some sort of deep sympathy with Lincoln, as expressed in the following entry from his, well, blog, Specimen Days:

August 12th.—I SEE the President almost every day, as I happen to live where he passes to or from his lodgings out of town. He never sleeps at the White House during the hot season, but has quarters at a healthy location some three miles north of the city, the Soldiers’ home, a United States military establishment. I saw him this morning about 8 1/2 coming in to business, riding on Vermont avenue, near L street. He always has a company of twenty-five or thirty cavalry, with sabres drawn and held upright over their shoulders. They say this guard was against his personal wish, but he let his counselors have their way. The party makes no great show in uniform or horses. Mr. Lincoln on the saddle generally rides a good-sized, easy-going gray horse, is dress’d in plain black, somewhat rusty and dusty, wears a black stiff hat, and looks about as ordinary in attire, &c., as the commonest man. A lieutenant, with yellow straps, rides at his left, and following behind, two by two, come the cavalry men, in their yellow-striped jackets. They are generally going at a slow trot, as that is the pace set them by the one they wait upon. The sabres and accoutrements clank, and the entirely unornamental cortège as it trots towards Lafayette square arouses no sensation, only some curious stranger stops and gazes. I see very plainly ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S dark brown face, with the deep-cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression. We have got so that we exchange bows, and very cordial ones. Sometimes the President goes and comes in an open barouche. The cavalry always accompany him, with drawn sabres. Often I notice as he goes out evenings—and sometimes in the morning, when he returns early—he turns off and halts at the large and handsome residence of the Secretary of War, on K street, and holds conference there. If in his barouche, I can see from my window he does not alight, but sits in his vehicle, and Mr. Stanton comes out to attend him. Sometimes one of his sons, a boy of ten or twelve, accompanies him, riding at his right on a pony. Earlier in the summer I occasionally saw the President and his wife, toward the latter part of the afternoon, out in a barouche, on a pleasure ride through the city. Mrs. Lincoln was dress’d in complete black, with a long crape veil. The equipage is of the plainest kind, only two horses, and they nothing extra. They pass’d me once very close, and I saw the President in the face fully, as they were moving slowly, and his look, though abstracted, happen’d to be directed steadily in my eye. He bow’d and smiled, but far beneath his smile I noticed well the expression I have alluded to. None of the artists or pictures has caught the deep, though subtle and indirect expression of this man’s face. There is something else there. One of the great portrait painters of two or three centuries ago is needed.
posted by digaman at 11:21 PM on December 20, 2004


Lamest. Revisionist History. Ever.
posted by darren at 2:07 AM on December 21, 2004


Ack - so Electric 6 were right, then?

/shudder
posted by Chunder at 3:21 AM on December 21, 2004


The Spartans were well known for practicing manly love -

...At the age of 12, a boy was paired with an older man, usually one of the unmarried warriors, aged between 20 and 30. This man would have been responsible not only for the conduct of the boy, but also for providing for him materially. He was a surrogate mother, father, teacher and mentor. But he was also a lover, for institutionalised pederasty was a part and parcel of life for the Spartan warriors. These intimate relationships seem to have had lasting psychological and emotional effects on the men. When the time came for them to get married, it must have been a difficult adjustment to make. But the pragmatic Spartans came up with an unusual way to help them through their wedding night. They practised a custom called 'marriage by capture'. On her wedding night, a bride would have her head shaved, like a small boy in the agoge. She would be dressed in a man's cloak and sandals and left alone in a dark room. Meanwhile, her husband would quietly leave the common mess, come to her, lay her down on a straw palette, have sex with her and then slip back to sleep with his comrades as usual. This wasn't just a quaint wedding-night ritual. It could carry on for months or even years. There has been much debate about the significance of this bizarre ritual. However, it seems obvious that it was a piece of sexual theatre, designed to acclimatise men to the presence of women when, until then, their only experience of sex had been with other men.

This from the excellent Channel 4 series on the Spartans (cribbed mostly from Plutarch and Herodotus as the Spartans were not overly big on writing down their history).
posted by longbaugh at 7:34 AM on December 21, 2004


digaman, i love that Whitman thing--I so think he was alluding, no?

We were all taught simplistic myths about Lincoln, and him being gay certainly would never have fit with those. I think he was at the very least bi, and definitely had sex with that Speed guy and at least a few other guys. Does it matter? Yes. It's great to know that one of the greatest presidents this country ever had liked boys like i do. : >

As a society we're very quick to out bad people that are/were gay, but not at all inclined to believe that good people are/were. (Everyone knows about Goebbels, etc, for instance)
posted by amberglow at 10:47 AM on December 21, 2004


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