I was watching a Swedish movie on Netflix about a gay couple who move into a picturesque neighborhood of white picket fences and nuclear families in preparation to adopt a child of their own. Adults in the neighborhood appear apprehensive and unwelcoming, while their children are outright belligerent, showing up at the couple’s doorstep to shout out insults. The most commonly used pejorative, bög (which was translated as “homo” by the subtitles), seemed almost cute to my boyfriend, who isn’t a Swedish speaker and had trouble even simply pronouncing its vowel sound.
This is me today.
LGBT Americans for Obama
“Lawrence Croft” — or what would happen if gay dudes who play video games were catered to like straight guys who play video games are.
Via Ulysses0302 on Deviantart.
Listen to a parishioner straddle her defense of Pastor Charles L. Worley’s electric fence sermon, and watch Anderson struggle to keep a straight face.
North Carolina Pastor preaches the word of God by insisting that all gays and lesbians should be kept in an electrical fence so that they’ll just die out in a couple years.
The new issue of Newsweek features a cover photo of President Obama topped by a rainbow-colored halo and captioned “The First Gay President.” The halo and caption strike me as cheap sensationalism. I realize airport travelers look at a magazine for 2.2 seconds before moving on to the next one. I grant that this cover will probably get Newsweek a 4.4 second glance. I also understand that Newsweek is desperate for sales. Nevertheless, I doubt that the Newsweek of old, before it was sold for a dollar, would have pandered as shallowly.
The caption is a superficial way to characterize an important development of thought that the president — along with the country — has been making over recent years. It is also entirely wrong. Like the mini-furor a couple of months back about the claim that Richard Nixon was our first gay president, the story simply ignores that the U.S. already had a gay president more than a century ago.
There can be no doubt that 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.
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 with me the 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.