Homo History: The Presidential Election

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History was never as straight as we are told. Recording our history means reporting the truth.

 

James Buchanan, Jr. (1791 –1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857–1861), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He is, to date, the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor. While Buchanan may have been asexual or celibate, there are many indicators that suggest he was homosexual. The argument has been put forward by several biographers and historians. A source of this has been Buchanan's close and intimate relationship with William Rufus King (who became Vice President under Franklin Pierce). The two men lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King's departure for France in 1844. King referred to the relationship as a "communion", and the two attended social functions together. Contemporaries also noted the closeness. Andrew Jackson called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" (the former being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man), while Aaron V. Brown referred to King as Buchanan's "better half". James W. Loewen described Buchanan and King as "Siamese twins." In later years Kat Thompson, the wife of a cabinet member, expressed her anxiety that "there was something unhealthy in the president's attitude."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The 16th president of the United States has long been rumored to have been gay. Numerous historians point to his rocky marriage with Mary Todd Lincoln as well as the fact that he had very close relationships with several men.

Most of it centers on his relationship with a man named Joshua Speed. Lincoln and Speed spent four years living together and sharing a small bed -- and therein lies the "silver bullet" of the speculation.

Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973) Many historians attribute a big portion of LBJ's political success to a man named Walter Jenkins (1918-1985), who served as his top and closest aide from 1939 (when Johnson was in Congress) until a month before the 1964 presidential election. 
Jenkins resigned in October of 1964 when he was caught with a young man in a YMCA bathroom
Since the man who was closest to LBJ for 25 years turned out to be gay on the down low (he had a wife and six kids; they separated a few years after the scandal) -- speculation surfaced that maybe there was something between Johnson and Jenkins. His presidential opponent, Barry Goldwater, even had bumper stickers made that read "All the way with LBJ, but don't go near the YMCA."

William R. King (1786 –1853) was an American politician and diplomat. He was the 13th Vice President of the United States for six weeks in 1853 before his death. Earlier he had been elected as a U.S. Representative from North Carolina and a Senator from Alabama. He also served as Minister to France during the reign of King Louis Phillippe. There are strong indicators that suggest he was gay. The argument has been put forward by Shelley Ross, biographer Jean Baker James W. Loewen, and Robert P. Watson. After King died in 1853 Buchanan described him as "among the best, the purest and most consistent public men I have known. While some of their correspondence was destroyed by family members, the length and intimacy of surviving letters illustrate "the affection of a special friendship."

Oliver Sipple (1941 –1989) was a decorated U.S. Marine and Vietnam War veteran known for saving the life of US President Gerald Ford during an assassination attempt on September 22, 1975. Sipple was part of a crowd of about 3,000 people who had gathered outside San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel to see President Ford. Sipple noticed a woman next to him had drawn and leveled a .38-caliber pistol at Ford as he headed to his limousine. Reacting instinctively, Sipple lunged at the woman just as her finger squeezed the trigger. Sipple's contact was enough to deflect her aim and cause the bullet to miss. Though he was known to be gay among members of the gay community, Sipple's sexual orientation was a secret from his family. He asked the press to keep his sexuality off the record, making it clear that neither his mother nor his employer knew he was gay. Harvey Milk outed Sipple as a "gay hero" to San Francisco Chronicle’s columnist Herb Caen in hopes to "break the stereotype of homosexuals" of being "timid, weak and un-heroic figures.


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