8 responses

  1. Emily K
    February 15, 2010

    So what if Steuben was “accompanied by handsome men?” This makes it seem like the only way to tell if someone is gay is if their buddies are “handsome.” To me this only reinforces the stereotype that gay men are only after looks – handy for anonymous encounters, not as useful for determining qualities for a relationship. All of my sister’s friends are good looking young ladies; I guess that makes her a lesbian. (unless the stereotype doesn’t apply to gay women. Maybe if all her friends were butch.)

  2. anteros
    February 15, 2010

    Obama is a superhero for boldly speaking out against Uganda’s AHB, at least twice. Yay! x2

  3. JJQR
    February 15, 2010

    Emily K. : That’s true what you say. That alone wouldn’t inform us of Von Steuben’s sexuality. In actuality, though, there’s far more other evidence to show Von Steuben almost certainly preferred males.

  4. Richard Rush
    February 16, 2010

    Just two days ago we rented the DVD of Outrage, the documentary about the outing of anti-gay-voting politicians. One of the extra features on the DVD was a panel discussion held after a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. At one point there was this from Larry Kramer:

    [Mentions in passing that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were gay. When the audience laughs, Kramer gets fired up and angrily yells at the audience.] Why are you laughing?! That drives me up the f***ing wall. George Washington was gay. He was in love with Alexander Hamilton and Lafayette—the three of them. It is going to come out more and more. Abraham Lincoln, we know was gay. The number of people who were gay in this history of our country is huge. Why are you laughing? We need to know our history. They would treat us better—Republicans—if they knew for a fact that Abraham Lincoln, their great savior, was one of us.

    Our history has been taken away from us by straight historians who have no concept of who we are or will not let us be who we are.

    At this time I hold no opinion on this, I’m just the messenger here.

  5. soren456
    February 16, 2010

    Gore Vidal believes that Washington was, at the very least, smitten by Alexander Hamilton, and suggests that it was a sexual attraction.

    Washington permitted Hamilton’s breaches of etiquette and punctuality, among other items of “evidence” cited by Vidal (and now forgotten by me), when he would have held others rigidly to the rules.

    Would be interesting to find this essay again.

  6. pedantophile
    February 16, 2010

    Emily K, “accompaniment of handsome men” is a figure of speech called a synecdoche. A recent film was titled “Synecdoche, New York.” Nobody got IT, either.

  7. Andrew
    February 17, 2010

    Well, thankyou USA for at least providing a more interesting palate of leaders, both progressive & dissasterous, than my sad old boring country. Keep it up!

  8. Désirée
    February 17, 2010

    wouldn’t it actually be more of a metonymy or simply a euphemism rather than a true synechdoche? Unless you are holding that “handsome men” is a well understood component part of “gay men.”

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