If the walls in the Oval Office could talk, they might tell you “Honest Abe” shared his bed with a man for four-years or that James Buchanan had a gay love affair with a slave owner. Leave it to text book writers to omit all the juicy details that might have kept you up (or standing at attention, if you will) in history class.
Gay rumors in history are nothing new, but it’s always fun to speculate about the same-sex love affairs of our nation’s fine presidents. Historians have long hinted that the 16th president of the United States was a homosexual. They point out his rocky marriage to Mary Todd Lincoln.
It’s also well-established that James Buchanan was apparently our “first [closeted] gay president.” According to one post, the 15th president of the United States was discovered “lying nude in a guest room with… a massive strongman [from] a traveling carnival. Both men were in a state of tumescence (another word for engorged), and James was busy with his mouth on the manhood of the vulgar and sweaty behemoth.” Reports also suggest he lived with “a senator from Alabama whom Andrew Jackson dubbed ‘Miss Nancy,’ and the pair were allegedly lovers.”
U.S. News and World Reports featured an article about Richard Nixon, “the dark, homophobic two-term president doomed by the 1972 Watergate break-in” after a former White House reporter started circulating rumors that he was gay. In “Nixon’s Darkest Secrets,” Don Fulsom suggests Nixon had a relationship of a “homosexual nature” with the president’s alleged mob bagman.
Even first ladies can’t dodge the rumors. According to the author of “To Believe in Women,” Eleanor Roosevelt shared intimate love letters with a female journalist.
But all this talk is cheap. It doesn’t actually place a homosexual president in the White House (at least not in any terms that would mark a significant accomplishment in the gay rights movement). That said, we seem to be charting a course. In 2008, President Obama became the first African-American elected to the position. We may soon see a female president (dare I say, Hillary Clinton?!). It’s anyone’s guess when we’ll see an openly gay candidate run for office.