Was Abraham Lincoln Gay?

Andrew Sullivan thinks he was, and Larry Cebula thinks that Sullivan is “almost certainly correct.” That’s a bit too much “certainty” for my taste, but I am not willing to rule it out.

Here is Sullivan:

Here is Cebula on Sullivan:

I think that Sullivan is almost certainly correct. Lincoln shared a bed with Joshua Speed for years, long after both me could have afforded beds and rooms of their own.You will often hear this explained away as a common practice back in the day, and at crowded roadhouses or in army barracks this was true, but it was absolutely not common with two rising professionals who could have easily afforded their own rooms. And Lincoln also shared a bed with a man, Captain David Derickson, in the White House when he was president. There were rumors of homosexuality (though the term did not yet exist) during Lincoln’s life. If it were any other 19th-century figure, we would take the same set of evidence as at least indicating a strong possibility that the subject was gay.  

2 thoughts on “Was Abraham Lincoln Gay?

  1. I used to dismiss this as ahistoricism, like the speaker here says. Now I am willing to seriously look into the idea, but is there any serious treatment of the evidence? Even the speaker here seems to backpedal at the end.


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