Social Question

tentaclepuppy's avatar

Was Eleanor Roosevelt bisexual?

Asked by tentaclepuppy (404points) February 16th, 2010

I know she was married to the president, but I have heard that she was also engaged in a few lesbian relationships. Is there conclusive (non-rumor) proof? Are there any historical institutions that actually admit to believing that proof?

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9 Answers

missingbite's avatar

Why does it matter? Just curious.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I don’t think there’s any way to know for sure. Hell, she may have been a lesbian and only married because she was supposed to. But till time travel is invented and someone catches her in the act (or simply asks her) we’ll probably never know. Not many historians, as far as I know, think that there is much proof for this, but there is undoubtably enough for someone to have come up with the theory in the first place.

There’s also some people who think that Abe Lincoln was gay, and even more people who think that James Buchanan was. In fact, most historians agree than James Buchanan was probably gay.

liminal's avatar

Wikipedia quotes from a letter she wrote to Lorena Hickok. There are quite a few letter quotes floating around the internet “I want to put my arms around you & kiss you at the corner of your mouth.” This of course doesn’t necessitate that lesbionic things were happening, but they bring out the lesbian in me :)

tinyfaery's avatar

Chances are she had same-sex attraction and maybe even experience. Those letters are quite interesting.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The sexual categories of heterosexual and homosexual didn’t exist back then in that certain attractions weren’t considered taboo whatsoever between same sexes and we must be careful in placing our time’s contexts on the past.

tentaclepuppy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Thats why i phrased it “bisexual” in the question rather than “lesbian”. Going for the broad “she liked all kinds of action” generalized sex-term.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tentaclepuppy oh I know, I saw…the term bisexual also didn’t make any sense then because the other two didn’t exist…hey! there is this great book, you should read it, it’s called ‘Invention of Heterosexuality’ by Jonathan Ned Katz and it does a much better job of explaining this…in that she could have had a same sex attraction but didn’t consider it in ways we consider it now

tentaclepuppy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’ll check it out. This thread kind of takes me back a bit, to the time in college, while taking gender studies courses, where I suddenly started wondering “What were all those victorian British officers doing when they were stationed far from Mother London…”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tentaclepuppy heh…p.s.: love your username

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