Four score and seven years ago our president was a homosexual. That’s right! You may be surprised to find that Abraham Lincoln had another, gayer side to him.
Lincoln’s stepmother is quoted saying that he, “never took much interest in the girls.” Some of his acquaintances disagreed with Sarah Lincoln’s comment and cite a strong interest that he took in Ann Rutledge before her death. However, it is only speculation that they may have shared a romantic relationship. And to be honest, guys, we all liked that one person of the opposite gender before we realized we were huge homos, so cut Abe some slack.
In David Herbert Donald’s book, We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends, the nature of Lincoln’s relationship with Joshua Speed is revealed. For four years Lincoln lived in close quarters with Speed, a general store owner. They shared a bed together above the store and stayed close friends until Lincoln’s assassination.
The University of Michigan’s Martin P. Johnson has examined evidence surrounding the rumors of Lincoln’s relationship with David Derickson, his bodyguard and “companion.” General Derickson would spend the night with the president at a retreat near the White House while the First Lady was away. “Companion,” indeed!
W. Scott Thompson of Tufts University states that Lincoln concealed this aspect of his life with his marriage to Mary Todd. Because homosexuality was condemned in this era, it was customary that gay men would still enter into marriages with women to keep up appearances. Hiding his orientation would have been especially important for the president, since he was constantly in the public eye. I think this earns Mary Todd the Beard of the Century award.
Lincoln’s relationships point to a homosexual, bisexual, or pansexual orientation that is sometimes overlooked by historians. Hopefully as time goes on it will be more socially acceptable for politicians to be openly gay. Politics are already changing at a local and state level but we’ve still got a long way to go before Gaybraham Lincoln can finally come out of the closet.