(Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Salon)
Good Day World!
James Buchanan was gay, before, during and after his four years in the White House. Moreover, the nation knew it, too — he was not far into the closet.
I sure don’t remember being taught that when I was in school in the 50s and 60s. But a lot of things were glossed over in history books back then.
The following are excerpts from Our real first gay president by JIM LOEWEN at Salon:
“Today, I know no historian who has studied the matter and thinks Buchanan was heterosexual. Fifteen years ago, historian John Howard, author of “Men Like That,” a pioneering study of queer culture in Mississippi, shared key documents, including Buchanan’s May 13, 1844, letter to a Mrs. Roosevelt.
Describing his deteriorating social life after his great love, William Rufus King, senator from Alabama, had moved to Paris to become our ambassador to France, Buchanan wrote:
I am now “solitary and alone,” having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”
According to Wikipedia:
While Buchanan may have been asexual or celibate, many indicators suggest he was homosexual or bisexual. The argument has been put forward by Shelley Ross, biographer Jean Baker, sociologist James W. Loewen, author Robert P. Watson, and historian John Howard.
A source of this interest has been Buchanan's close and intimate relationship with William Rufus King (who became Vice President under Franklin Pierce).
The two men lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King's departure for France in 1844. King referred to the relationship as a "communion", and the two attended social functions together.
Contemporaries also noted the closeness. Andrew Jackson called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" (the former being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man), while Aaron V. Brown referred to King as Buchanan's "better half."
James W. Loewen described Buchanan and King as "Siamese twins." In later years, Kat Thompson, the wife of a cabinet member, expressed her anxiety that "there was something unhealthy in the president's attitude."
Time for me to walk on down the road…