Modern Age Homophobia: What’s It All About?

I’ve lived a fairly lucky life. I grew up in Western Sydney, and despite the bad reputation the area sustained, I escaped relatively unscathed from acts of modern age homophobia.

In hindsight, I realised I probably escaped a lot of situations thanks to the over zealous protectiveness of my parents, who despite denying any knowledge of it, had probably long assumed I was gay.  And that the world outside was not a place for a young, socially inept and naïve teen.

I Have Experienced Homophobia

Sure, over the years I have experienced a few homophobic comments and acts ranging from thrown bottles (Alcohol, full, what a waste!).  A few disparaging comments throwing shade in my direction, a push and a shove in Oxford and Kings Cross when I lived there.  Being mugged on a date in Parramatta one time.

Though the latter cannot be deemed homophobic, merely a crime of opportunity. So, relatively, in comparison to friends, friends of friends and the general community, I have escaped relatively unscathed.

Though, it upsets me when the world around me is less accepting.

Modern Day Homophobia

Take for example the plight of young Dylan Souster who was not only attacked by a group of people near his home.  But was then attacked by the person who helped him back to his home who offered to contact his girlfriend upstairs to help him go upstairs.  But upon realising Dylan had a boyfriend, subsequently punched him several times in the face.

Is it little wonder when we even experience homophobia from within our own community.

Russel Tovey, actor from ‘Looking’ was widely condemned when he made disparaging comments about how he was glad he was  not overtly gay.

He since apologised, but the damage has been done.  Expected behaviour of a male.

Australia, for the most part has been a safe place.

It could be safer, and there could be greater legal support than what we currently have.

modern age Homophobia Information
Image: Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Homophobia Statistics

But when I read news of the outside world, I am saddened.  I am saddened that Russia has recently tried to increase the level of their anti-Gay laws.  Russia has been a state that had begun to overturn the homophobic laws but has recently transgressed.

New laws make it difficult to protest, announce or even display any sexuality outside the norm.  Violence against LGBTIQ people is poorly investigated and often swept under the carpet. Controversial laws against gay propaganda have become synonymous with violence towards the LGBTIQ community in Russia.

It seemingly only gets worse in Russia

Granted, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction – the media is well known to be able to conjure up magic numbers and have their figures all in a twist.  As well as the majority of papers, people reporting on these issues are generally more liberal than others.

I say this because of a recent interview with a range of LGBTIQ people living in Russia. Whilst some said that they had a problem, and things were bad, there were an equal amount of people saying that their experiences, whilst not fantastic, were certainly not horrible.

In that regard, it’s easy for me to sit here and say that things are good or bad. Or to comment on the social justice issues of LGBTIQ individuals in Russia. But I am saddened that it is an issue. Because it shouldn’t be.

Police Don’t Always Take Homophobia Seriously

It is certainly clear that homophobic actions are often dismissed by the police both in Russia and across the world.  It is also clear that there is a clear social impact on the views of homosexuality in varying regards in places across the world.

But it is important to note that over the past few centuries, society has undergone massive social changes.  We are increasing those social changes at a rapid rate especially with LGBTQI community services readily available.

This is compounded by the fact of instant communication from virtually anywhere in the world.  Reduced travel times and the growing rate of regions and arguably, a growing trend towards separate cosmopolitanism states. It is important that we continue to have an open dialogue about homophobia.  So that we are able to share information that will increase people’s awareness that it is still a problem.

Say no to homophobia!

modern age homophobia
Blue Red Abraham Lincoln

Was Abraham Lincoln Homosexual?

First of all, let me begin by saying that I absolutely admire one of the greatest presidents to ever live on earth, Abraham Lincoln.

From managing to end the civil war and uniting the country to being instrument in the abolition of slavery, his accomplishments are well known. But the 16th president of the United States was also surrounded by a lot of controversy.  Perhaps the most controversial and without doubt the most newsworthy issue regarding Abraham Lincoln is whether he was a homosexual.

Due to overwhelming evidence, I am inclined to believe that he was indeed gay.

Why I Think Abraham Lincoln Was Gay

There are more than 16,000 books written about Abraham Lincoln. Experts say 80% of them mention the president’s homoerotic relationships with other men.  Among the most notable of these books is ‘The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln’ by C.A. Tripp.

Author of this book did us all a favor by putting together one of the most comprehensive evidence that Lincoln was gay. Even though the belief that Lincoln was gay had begun simmering in the media around the 90s, this book was single handedly responsible for fueling that belief.

I have personally read the book, and in summary it offers both direct and circumstantial evidence that Lincoln was a homosexual.

Let me begin with the circumstantial evidence.

The author states that Lincoln as a young man lacked complete interest in eligible women. He also began his puberty at an abnormally early stage, which studies show is linked to homosexuality in adult men.

I know this might not be sufficient prove to convince skeptics that the president was indeed gay, but keep on reading.  Writer of the book also provided direct evidence to support his claim. For instance, he brings to our attention an instance in which Mary Lincoln was not home one night.  And Lincoln supposedly had sexual relations with his own bodyguard.

Tripp used to credible sources to provide this information.

First is from a diary of Virginia Woodbury Fox, a well-connected, influential and important woman by birth and marriage in military and political circles during Lincoln’s time.  Fox wrote in her diary on November 16 of 1862 that there was a soldier devoted to the president, and slept with him in the absence of Mary Lincoln.

Second source is from a soldier named Thomas Chamberlin, who was one of Lincoln’s guards. In his 1895 book, Chamberlin claimed that the president was fond of one soldier called Derickson.  Who spent the night at the President’s cottage, sleeping on the same bed in a homosexual way, when Mary was away.

modern day homophobia
Abraham Lincoln America Statue

There are two reasons critics have taken these two reports seriously.

  • First, these two sources are totally independent, which increases their reliability.
  • Second, they refer to a time and circumstances when the president would have little need to share a bed unlike in his younger days.

The two accounts then offer the best evidence that certainly Abraham Lincoln was a homosexual. In fact, Tripp’s publication shook the Lincoln world.  To date no Lincolnist has ever produced a publication about Lincoln not being gay or bisexual, that has equaled Tripp’s book.

Lincoln shared a bed with many of his close associates.

Many speculate that President Abraham Lincoln was not in fact Gay but bisexual but most if not all agree he was attracted to other men. It is a historical fact that Abraham Lincoln shared a bed and lived with Joshua Speed, a close friend from his young adulthood.

It has long been known that Lincoln also shared a bed with several other young men in Illinois during his younger days.  His close association with various young men during his younger days has been well highlighted in literature.  It is only during the early 1990s that the world began to take a closer look at these associations. And wondered whether there was more than meets the eye.

Now, many historians and skeptics are quick to claim that men shared beds at that time due to a shortage of beds, so that does not prove Lincoln was gay.

But Lincoln went on to share a bed with other men even at a time he clearly did not have need to do that.

Besides, the calculated impulse to make this president appear totally heterosexual reflects an evident societal discomfort with the intricacies of sexual orientation and human sexuality.  As well as deeply entrenched streaks of homophobia.

When Abraham Lincoln was 20 years old, he wrote a very controversial poem

Which is thought to have been the first gay marriage reference in the U.S. history.  In his poem, Lincoln mentioned a certain boy named Billy who married a boy.

True, most historians concur that he wrote this poem as a rebuttal or joke due to the lack of invitation to a wedding of a friend.  But the fact that the thought was in his head proves to me that he had homosexual tendencies.  The fact that so many biographers have omitted it from Lincoln’s biography further strengthens my belief.

Lincoln obviously was one of the first prominent politicians to voice opinion of same sex marriage in his poem.

‘For Reuben and Charles have married two girls,

But Billy has married a boy.

The girls he had tried on every side,

But none he could get to agree;

All was in vain,

he went home again,

And since that he’s married to Natty.’

Word of mouth as passed down through generations.

The history of America is not only found in books.  But also in the sacred telling of family stories, which endure as unforgettable patches in our hearts.

Stories about Lincoln being gay began to pop up as soon as he passed away in 1865. They took root and were passed down by word of mouth until people like Thomas Chamberlin began publishing books about it.  It is hard to discredit something when it has been told and told for generations.

But I will admit, like everything else, history is influenced by new findings and open to interpretation.

Bias can also be the motivation behind retelling of events in history.

Taken individually, the accounts of Abraham Lincoln associating with other men may not provide sufficient prove he was a homosexual.  But his pattern shows that a man in his sexual prime exclusively slept with another man for about four years, shared a bed with his bodyguard when he didn’t need to, and wrote a poem about a boy marrying a boy, which convinces me he was gay or at the very least bisexual.

Whether or not you believe he was gay, from historical record, you can at least admit that Lincoln somehow enjoyed sleeping with other men.

So there you have it. I believe that one of the greatest Presidents of the United States of America was gay or bisexual.

What do you think?



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