Gay Historical Figures Who Will Change Your View Of The Past
Friends of the screen giant have acknowledged her affairs with men and women, and some of Garbo's personal correspondence has revealed long affairs with other women like Louise Brooks and Mimi Pollack. Gore Vidal also described how Garbo would only refer to herself in third person as "he" or "him,"and recalled an incident when Garbo asked Irvin Shaw's girlfriend if she, Garbo, could see her breasts (she complied).
Alexander the Great
Sir Francis Bacon
Friends of the great English statesman and scientist have written at length of his acrimonious marriage and of his love of other men. At least one political enemy threatened to charge Bacon with sodomy, and his long friendship with King James I have led scholars to speculate that the two had an affair.
Richard the Lionheart
Leonardo Da Vinci
The jazz singer had a torrid marriage to a man, due in large part to her constant affairs with women! She's rumored to have had an affair with fellow singer Ma Rainey, and is known to have had relationships with female dancers in her stage shows. She made no secret of her love of women, and even sang songs with explicit lesbian content in the 1920s!
William Butler Yeats
George Bernard Shaw
J. Edgar Hoover
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson became one of the leading voices of the abolitionist movement, trancendentalism and modern religious thought in the 19th century. He also never quite understood that his attraction to men meant he was gay! Emerson had no interest in women--he proposed to his wife by writing her a letter--but couldn't get over his infatuation with colleague Martin Gay, for whom he wrote passionate love poems. Rumors of his affair with Henry David Thoreau remain unproven.
Licncoln's sexuality remains the subject of furious debate. While no gay rumors followed him during his lifetime, surviving private letters do hint at several same-sex relationships. He never warmed to women, but did spent lots of time with male companions and wrote at least poem about sex with men. Letters also reveal he frequently slept in the same bed with bodyguard David Derickson. Hotly disputed are papers discovered in an apartment Lincoln once shared with friend Joshua Speed, which detail a sexual relationship.
The great British character actor had a long career with starring roles in Fright Night and the Planet of the Apes series. He also kept a quiet private life as a gay man, and had close friendships with fellow closet cases Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift.
Dietrich lived her long life as a sexual libertine, indulging in affairs with men and women. She never hid or apologized for her bisexuality, quipping "in Europe we make love with whomever we like." Some of her "likes" included Edith Piaf and Greta Garbo.
The 1960s crooner of "Son of a Preacher Man" kept her life as a lesbian secret for fear it would harm her career. Springfield also had a wild, torrid love life which included relationships with singers Norma Tanega and Carole Pope. Springfield also married actress Teda Bracci in a 1982 spiritual ceremony, though the relationship soured two years later when Bracci smashed Springfield in the face with a frying pan during a fight!
George Washington Carver
The so-called "wizard of the peanut" never married, though he did try to court one woman, Sarah L. Hunt, in his later years. The relationship didn't last, and Hunt's letters reveal that Carver actually was more attracted to men, and had several gay affairs during his life. Sadly, the botanist never felt comfortable enough to have a lasting relationship with another man.
Former teen heartthrob Mineo came out publicly in 1972. At the time, he'd already lived with his longtime boyfriend, actor Courtney Burr III for six years. Mineo also gained gay icon status following his murder in a hate crime.
The iconic TV dad of The Brady Bunch kept a secretive personal life, even from close friends and co-stars for fear it would harm his career. He died of colon cancer in 1992, though his doctors later shocked his friends, family and fans by announcing that the actor had contracted HIV before his death. His close relationship with his co-stars had a profound impact, inspiring them all to become outspoken gay rights advocates.